Does the kanban system promote efficiency or errors?

The Kanban system promotes efficiency.  It is not an especially complicated system.  Sometimes, though, we must go back to the most basic basics.  So let’s review the principles of the Kanban system.  Nipon Ekanaronqpun describes Kanban this way in his article What Is The Kanban System for Lean Manufacturing?:

The word ‘Kanban‘ comes from a Japanese word which means ‘card’. The Kanban system, as it is known, uses cards which have several meanings and serve as representations for withdrawal, deposit, and other signals which develops and practices a smoother flow of businesses in the productivity line. In a real situation, using signals and symbols in the system will send a connection or a message to the manufacturing team. The Kanban system is developed and designed with its intention to provide a quick response between both the manufacturer and the deliver so that the system can be used in real situations and that time will not be much wasted.

He continues on in his article to list Kanban signals:

Different signals are used in different situations. For instance, a company dealing with network connections and Wi-Fi system wants to delivery its portable cables to another company where the deadline is on the next day; the company of course has to use an electronic Kanban in order to relay the information quickly and directly to the manufacturing team.


1. Kanban Card

2. Look-see

3. E-mails

4. Electronic Kanban

Then he describes the Kanban signals which he just listed:

The Kanban card is used mainly for standard situations like moving of items from one place to another. Suppose a manager gets a feedback that the delivered products were damaged and ruined; to solve the problem, the company has to use the Kanban card to signal the manufacturing team and the customer relation team to deal with the problem. The Look-see signal makes it easier for all the teams because the situation they are all in reveals what happens around them. If there is a need for anything like delivery, withdrawal, or a refund, all the teams will see and be able to react quickly. E-mails are considered modern and electronic; it is a communication system that involves technology and computer networks. E-mails allow quick and fast delivery of messages that can get all teams in touch to know what is happening. Relaying of information, messages, and responses can be really quick and convenient. Electronic Kanban works pretty similar to emails but the fact that messages are being relayed might work differently. The electronic Kanban allows a quick response and relaying of messages as well; the electronic Kanban signal though, uses technology and tools that are [more] complex than normal tools like computers, a screen, video camera, or an online cam are the probable tools used in electronic Kanban signals.

Just a little further on in the article he lists the information a Kanban card should have, types of Kanban cards, and the regulations attached to properly using the Kanban system:

What information should a Kanban card have?

  1. Name of the raw materials used
  2. Name of the manufacturer (This information is needed to provide defenses to companies when many manufacturers can produce numbers of raw materials)
  3. The amount of products made (is a representation for money)
  4. The serial number of card (needed for contact)
  5. The amount of cards (When a Kanban card is missing, it is risky and most-likely that products will not be received or made)
  6. Types of Kanban Cards
  7. Production Order Card
  8. Withdrawal Card
  9. Container

The rules and regulations include:

  1. Within each container, there must always be a card
  2. If there is no approval in the withdrawal card then it is impossible to transfer products
  3. The container must contain the right amount of products with high quality only
  4. Only high quality parts or components in making specific products are used in the productivity line
  5. The total amount of products produced should not be more than the amount recorded in the card

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