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Lean concept in manufacturing field - Literature review Example

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Lean concept in manufacturing field

With the failure of MRP to offer enhanced system performance, the shift has focused to Just-in-time production systems which are driven by customer demand Hence, the jobs are “pulled through the system” with linkage between stages in the production process (Deleersnyder, et al., 1989). The Japanese system of Kanban is required in order to physically implement the pull production system. Kanban is often used in conjunction with Just-in-Time production whereby the right quantity must be manufactured at the appropriate level and at the right time. Literally translated as “a card”, the Kanban signal, which is generated through the master production schedule (MPS) or customer demand, triggers JIT as it works its way backwards through each work centre. Generally, a Kanban is tied to each container of work-in-progress (WIP) which contains specifications pertaining to that WIP such as the lot size, card number, due date etc. Research has demonstrated various benefits associated with the use of Kanban. JIT allows most companies to achieve the benefits of shorter lead times, enhanced quality and low inventory buffer (Cimorelli, 2013). However, choosing the Kanban size often requires tradeoffs. For instance, a large size of Kanban will often result in higher level of stock albeit with a shorter lead time and less time for setting up machines frequently. Furthermore, Kanban acts as a means of communication from usage points to the prior operation as well as serve the purpose of visual signage (Wang, 2011). As far as the types of Kanban are concerned, there are generally two types of Kanban systems: single card and dual card systems. This entails separating the storage of output of a particular stage from the storage of input in the succeeding stage along with the use of extra cards named as “withdrawal” Kanban (Krieg, 2005). This Kanban is defined as one which accompanies the containers that are responsible for storage at the input stage. This is followed by removal of the withdrawal Kanban and its subsequent storage in a “collection box” when the production system uses a container (Krieg, 2005). Subsequently, the withdrawal Kanban is further removed from the collection box by a carrier and moved into the storage for output from the previous stage. On the other hand, the single-card Kanban is more efficient for manufacturing processes that contain high “changeover time” owing to batch production (Basu & Wright, 2005). The major difference between a single-card and dual-card Kanban is that the former lacks a “production” Kanban and specific inventory points (Basu & Wright, 2005). To conclude, the use of Kanban in the Just-in-time production system is fairly old. However, their importance has steadily increased owing to the paradigm shift towards demand-pull manufacturing systems as opposed to push-manufacturing systems. Nevertheless it must be noted that although the Kanban system lead to efficient levels of inventory, shorter lead times and better flow of communication across the production system, it may not always fulfill all order qualifiers at the same time as tradeoffs may be involved. 2. Push/pull systems Lean manufacturing systems are usually split into pull and push production systems. Push systems are based on scheduling work such that it is released on the basis of customer demand (Kimura & Terada, 1981). This is because their aim is to maximize the usage of production capacity. These systems are driven by the system of due-dates. The release date is controlled and the level of Work in Progress is then observed. By using this system, companies are able increase the volume of their production which in turn reduces the cost of production per unit. The push strategy has been used by companies such as Dunkin Donuts for producing their donuts. Customer demand for each of the donuts (such as Glazed, chocolate, cream etc.) is arrived ...Show more


With the failure of MRP to offer enhanced system performance, the shift has focused to Just-in-time production systems which are driven by customer demand.Hence, the jobs are “pulled through the system” with linkage between stages in the production process (Deleersnyder, et al., 1989). …
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