Two Bin Kanban System Explanation
Kanban is a lean manufacturing system of which the two-bin system is the most popular. A two-bin Kanban system aids in lean manufacturing practices to reduce costs and waste in a number of settings, including hospitals, factories, and warehouses.
How Does the Two Bin Kanban System Work?
The system works simply by supplying two plastic storage bins to workers which contain inventory that they pull from to fill orders or to provide supplies to various departments. The speed at which the individual items are used will determine how many of the items are placed in the bins. The workers pull from one bin until empty and then switch to the second bin at the same time placing an order to replenish the items in the first bin. The amount of items required to replenish the first bin is predetermined so that there is little chance of running low on stock, which can impact production.
The two bin Kanban system seems simple at first glance but there are multiple details that must be considered to make it effective. Some of these details include:
The time it takes to reach the bottom of a bin must be longer than the time needed to order and have the replacement inventory delivered. Otherwise, the second bin could become empty before the new stock arrives. The goal of the business is to have enough inventory to prevent running out of stock while waiting on replenishments without having too much surplus inventory. The fact that the two bin Kanban system works with small volumes reduces the risk of either situation occurring.