• Manufacturing & Operations
    Vacancy types in this area:
    • Manufacturing
    • Operations
    • Production
    • Lean & Six Sigma
    • New Product Introduction
    • Quality
    • Maintenance
    • Engineering
    • Projects
    • Planning
    • HSE
  • Design & Development
    Vacancy types in this area:
    • Design
    • Research & Development
    • Projects
    • Applications
    • Structural Analysis
    • Materials
    • Metallurgy
  • Commercial
    Vacancy types in this area:
    • Sales
    • Marketing
    • Bids & Tenders
    • Contracts
  • Supply Chain
    Vacancy types in this area:
    • Supply Chain
    • Purchasing
    • Warehousing
    • Logistics
  • Support Services
    Vacancy types in this area:
    • Aftersales & Service
    • Commissioning
    • Parts & Spares
    • Warranty
    • Stockists


Powered by mod LCA

Lean Manufacturing Principles- Kanban Systems – The Engine of the PULL Production Systems.

Lee June 28th, 2011
By Lee

Pull systems can reduce lead times and costs within production but businesses need to analyse whether a KANBAN system will work for them.  Areas such as lead times, stock holding ability and product type need to be addressed before any KANBAN system can be put in place.

Types of KANBAN systems may be production based, i.e. purchase new parts/ materials or conveyance kanban, i.e. taking parts from one work area and transporting it to another work area.  As well as using cards organisations can use state of the art MRP software or basic labels to indicate when there is a need.

Pull systems can reduce lead times and costs within production but businesses need to analyse whether a KANBAN system will work for them.

In order for companies to successfully implement a pull systems you need to look at your workforce.  Any new procedure needs a driving force behind it, from the top level management to the shop floor.  The business needs to analyse if it has the right people in the right roles and getting the message clear from the start about the direction of the company is crucial.  There needs a structured process in place which can quickly adapt to market changes / customer demands and thus adjust the pull systems accordingly.  Buffer levels need to be managed and analysed continuously so there is minimal delays to the customer.  Size of your lots must also be considered as it should never be set too high as it will cause bottlenecking.

Overall it is evident that a KANBAN system is a pull system as it pulls parts from one stage of the production to another one.  Areas such as forecasting, buffer zone, cycle time, lot size need to be analysed and then you are able to adjust your kanban systems accordingly.  When companies implement KANBAN systems correctly they will improve production and inventory flow, eliminate lead times and waste.  This is the path to becoming a LEAN organisation.

For more information on lean manufacturing principles including JIT, 5’S, Kaizen, please visit

Key words: Lean, kanban, pull systems, buffer, life cycle, bottle necking, inventory, lot size.

« Back to News