Benefits and Drawbacks of Kanban Systems

2544 Words Jan 11th, 2012 11 Pages
1. Historical Background of Toyota’s Production System
Kanban System was found by the Vice-President of Toyota Motor Company Taiichi Ohno in the middle of the 20th century. The idea behind Kanban System came from US supermarkets and this system is about producing only the necessary products, at the necessary time, in necessary quantity (Sugimori et al., 1977).
The starting point of Kanban was the recognition of diversity of Japan’s features and the idea is developed by considering the two distinct characteristics of this culture : (1) lack of resources in Japan, (2) Japanese working culture (Sugimori et al., 1977).
After World War II, Japan was affected excessively - insufficient and unproductive land for agriculture - and this lead
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(Sugimori et al., 1977) To understand Kanban, one must be aware of pull systems. A pull system controls the flow of resources in production by replacing only what is consumed. To illustrate, let’s assume that an order is received from the final customer. Next, pull system is activated with a message which is sent to a plant to complete products to be scheduled. Then, the company gives related raw material information to its suppliers in order to start production of the order. When materials and/or subassemblies arrive to the plant, assembly of the products starts with considering due date of the order. At the end, orders exit the production line and are supplied to the final customer who orders them. Actually, they are already sold at the very beginning.
JIT is based on a pull system and Toyota was applied its JIT system with kanbans. Kanban production control system includes the usage of cards that manage the production of parts and delivery in plant. Therefore, there are basicly two types of kanbans : (1) production kanban which is used to order production of the portion withdrawn by the succeeding stage and (2) transport kanban (T-kanban) which is carried when going from one stage to the preceding stage (Huang C. & Kusiak A., 1996).
Literally, Kanban production control system connects two consecutive stages of production, that are isolated in terms of time, through buffer stocks (Mertins &
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