The Kanban system is an essential tool for implementing a Just-in-Time (JIT) production process, which enabled Toyota Motor Company to achieve the highest productivity in the automotive world. Furthermore, it can be also a useful management method in other types of industries as well. In future, many organizations and business other than the automobile industry will discover the benefits of the Kanban system in achieving what we call “lean operation”.
The Kanban system is an integral part of an overall Kaizen (“continuous improvement”) undertaking, acting as a visual control tool. Any JIT production process incorporating a Kanban system requires Heijunka (“leveled production”).
This report includes an overview of an actual Kaizen operation incorporating a Kanban system at a sub-assembly process for aircraft components. After implementing the Kanban system, the average inventory cost was reduced by approximately 42% in one year. The Kanban system benefited the assembly process overall, with shorter lead-times, and faster detection and remedy of abnormalities in the production line.