The Kanban Calculator can help you improve performance and reduce waste cost. Whether you are trying to determine the capacity for one machine or a plant full of machines and no matter if the period of measurement is for a week, a month or a year the Kanban Calculator can give you the information you need to improve your production process.

Kanban Disciplines

Always turn kanban cards in after lunches, breaks, and between shifts to get up to date scheduling every two hours.

Have a common drop off location for cards to be dropped off (Example: break room, restroom or production office). Operators on the way back from break or restroom will look at kanban drop off to see if any parts are pulled from their processes. If there are cards the operator will return the cards to their work station and place them on the kanban board.

Never run over the kanban card amount and never substitute paper notes for kanban cards. If you must run extra parts get overrun cards from the scheduling department. It’s always best to run the specified kanban amount.

Never run machines with set-up times earlier than when the cards are fully up to the green on the kanban board. This would create unnecessary set-ups. If no cards are up to the GREEN don’t run the machine.

Nothing is made or moved without a kanban card.

Always fill containers to specified quantity on kanban card. If you have a partial container generated at the end of a run, use a partial tag to identify the container and store it away from the primary location. When that part is set-up on the next run then finish filling the container.

Always define kanban cards with a color scheme. (Example: W.I.P. “Green”, Finished Goods “Yellow”, Overrun Cards “Orange”, etc...

Always start out slow when implementing kanban. Do one machine and then audit that machine for at least two weeks to make sure you have the discipline in the system. Then implement another machine. As you get more machines done the faster the process will go, because people will see the system work and want it on their machines.

Train Everybody!!!! This is very important.

Always start the kanban system simple, then fine tune the system later. If you start a difficult kanban system, it will fail.

Pass scheduling responsibility to the Operators. This gives process ownership to the people operating the equipment or work center. They will get a feel for the schedule and smooth out the flow. Scheduling personnel should only step in when a designated quantity of parts are in the red.

Schedule overtime based on kanban cards in the red zone.

Only quality parts are sent to the subsequent processes.

Kanban cards are not to be left on products in the hold area.

Establish a primary location for all parts.

Place a kanban card on all parts in stock when setting up the kanban board on a machine. This will tell you where you are at with the schedule on the Kanban board.

Kanban Process Flow
Shipping Pull:

Shipping dept. pulls customer containers and removes kanban cards from containers before shipping product.

Shipping Tech. returns kanban cards to appropriate machines that product was pulled from, and places cards on the kanban board. When the kanban board hits the green run position on a part, that cell should begin running that part.

Note: (Some cards can be returned directly to previous cell from shipping, and some cards will be returned to a central zone. (Mailbox) (Example: By restroom where everybody goes)

When cards are put in a central zone mailbox they will be picked up after break, lunch or in between shifts by the operators of that machine and placed on their kanban board to see if any parts are in the run condition.

Assembly Pull:

When containers are pulled from W.I.P. area (ex. Press) the cards are pulled from that container in assembly when the container is empty. The kanban card then is placed in the mailbox by (ex. Restroom) and picked up by the operators of the previous machine after lunch, break, or in between shifts to be placed on the Kanban board by their machine.

When the cards build up to the green line at that press, setup and run that job. When a container is complete at the press place a kanban card on the container and move container to primary W.I.P. area for that part.

Kanban Card Scenario’s:

If there are multiple jobs up to the green line (Run status) chose which one to run next by your customer pull. (Example: If part is directly shipped to outside customer, probably run that one first.)

If multiple cards on multiple parts are in the “Red Zone” contact Materials Dept. for assistance on what sequence to run the parts.

Partial filled containers:

If a container is not quite full due to a insufficient amount of raw material, put a partial tag on that container and store that container in a partial area in the plant.

When the operator sets up on a part that has a partial container the tow motor should go to the partial area to pick up that container, to finish filling the container to the required kanban. The operator will know he has a partial because the partial tag is not on the kanban board.