Implementing a Mixed Model Kanban System: The Lean Replenishment Technique for Pull Production

by James C. Vatalaro and Robert E. Taylor

kanban system

Implementing a Mixed Model Kanban System: The Lean Replenishment Technique for Pull Production is a workbook on the principles of a kanban pull system. The kanban implementation process is illustrated step-by-step through a case study of a fictitious golf club manufacturer. The case study is based on the authors’ years of experience of on-site pull implementation across different industries.

The first chapter describes how to create a strong foundation for building a kanban pull system. With this, the interdependencies between kanban and other lean concepts are addressed. In addition, the culture of discipline that is required to maintain continuous improvement is discussed. A strong foundation is necessary to take full advantage of controlling the production and replenishment of the value stream using a kanban pull system.

In the second chapter, the basic elements and mechanics of a kanban pull system are explained. Five essential rules for the function of a kanban pull system are presented. The various forms of a kanban signal are discussed.  The interaction of kanban cards, kanban boards and supermarket systems are explored to ensure production of the right product at the right time in the right quantity.

The next chapter involves “number crunching” to determine the number of kanban needed for the kanban pull system in the future state value stream map. This entails a requirements study, A-B-C-D classification, allocating resources, determining order frequency, etc.

The fourth chapter provides a recommended kanban pull implementation strategy. A “kaizen kit” is provided with detailed agendas, planning check sheets, facilitation guidelines, etc. to ensure a successful kaizen event. These forms are also included on the CD.

In the fifth chapter, managing the daily operation of the system is discussed for both normal and abnormal conditions.

Finally, a chapter on frequently asked questions is included.

A CD-ROM is also included which contains spreadsheets and forms discussed in the text.

Implementing a Mixed Model Kanban System is a very easy to read and follow workbook. The concepts presented are clearly presented and also illustrated with the case study, spreadsheets and forms which enable the reader to easily apply the concepts to their workplace. The addition of the CD with the forms, check sheets, etc is very helpful to implementing the concepts.

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