Definition of kanban in English:



  • 1

    (also kanban system)
    A Japanese manufacturing system in which the supply of components is regulated through the use of an instruction card sent along the production line.

    ‘In the electronic kanban system Mathis decided to move to, the inventory database would go online.’
    • ‘Eiji and Ohno came up with the kanban system of labeling, an early precursor to bar codes, to keep the flow of parts smooth.’
    • ‘Buyers must know that their suppliers can hit delivery windows in this age of just-in-time and kanban manufacturing, and rely on them to maintain quality and manufacturing capacity.’
    • ‘This helps in implementing kanban internally and helps supply chain partners see the consumption of inventory, shipments, and on-order inventory against actual production.’
    • ‘In short, this is automated ‘pull’ capabilities leading toward real-time vendor managed inventory and kanban processing.’
    1. 1.1An instruction card used in a kanban system.
      ‘The inventory database would become more important, since the data printed on the kanban cards was being reduced to a bar-code label.’
      • ‘Furthermore, there is no room in the plant to stockpile bodies (or completed cars for that matter), just a marked off area in front of the loading dock that acts as a kanban; it holds only enough bodies to fill the next trailer.’
      • ‘When a stock of components or raw materials reaches a certain level of depletion - when a kanban is emptied - a signal is passed back down the manufacturing flow to build or order more parts.’
      • ‘Engineers are particularly likely to latch on to tools like kanban, heijunka, and jidoka, and think they have captured the essence of TPS.’



/ˈkänˌbän/ /ˈkɑnˌbɑn/


1970s Japanese, literally ‘billboard, sign’.