A kanban system schedules the production of six
people assembling industrial air cleaners from sheet
metal and purchased parts.
They build 15 basic units and many variations. Ten
assembly cells have fixtures, tools and parts ready
at all times.
Each cell produces one or two basic models. One to
three people can staff any cell. An adjacent
warehouse holds a small finished stock of each
The charts show the data which formed the design
basis. P-V analysis displays relative volume. The
order analysis shows volatility and the order size
The Team Leader scans incoming orders. He prepares
one-time cards for large orders and customized items.
The Leader sorts cards coming from the warehouse. All
cards then go on a board arranged by assembly cell.
Cells with cards in the red zone have priority. If
necessary, additional people work an overloaded cell.
The warehouse picks standard orders from stock and
sends cards to production. They combine standard items
with any customized items arriving from production and
ship the orders.
Inbound Kanban System
In a second phase of this project, sheet metal and
welding operations moved directly adjacent to the
assembly cells. They have dedicated people and
equipment. The welding Team Leader examines each
assembly cell for stocks of welded cabinets. He also
checks the Board.
This daily checking constitutes the signal for
replacement. Operators weld the necessary replacement
cabinets and place them on a paint line. This
replenishment is normally 24 hours. It may be as little
as four hours.
The welding department stocks sheet metal components
in large wiretainers. Each wiretainer has special
shelves and brackets. It holds a fixed number of each
item on a particular cabinet. A minimum quantity signals
operators or the Team Leader to send the basket to Sheet
Metal for replenishment. The sheet metal Team sets up
and builds components to replenish the basket and
returns it to the Welding. This normally occurs within
24 hours. Higher volume cabinets may have several
identical baskets to maintain welding production during
This complete system uses Kanban, Direct Link and
Re-Order Point. A Broadcast system overlays the other
systems since all team leaders have access to the final
assembly Kanban board.
This kanban system eliminated 96% of finished goods
inventory, simplified scheduling and eliminated losses
from obsolescent product.