How will Kanban help you in the Food Processing Industry?

Published on
February 4, 2022 at 10:02:16 AM PST February 4, 2022 at 10:02:16 AM PSTth, February 4, 2022 at 10:02:16 AM PST

What is Kanban and How Did it Originate?

Kanban (看板) (signboard or billboard in Japanese) is a scheduling system for lean manufacturing and just-in-time manufacturing (JIT). It uses visual signage to control the flow of materials during a process. Taiichi Ohno, an industrial engineer at Toyota, developed kanban to improve manufacturing efficiency. He observed the way American supermarkets stocked only what they needed, restocking only when they needed to. This led to producing just enough, rather than overproducing. This idea was not totally accepted at first as people were used to having extra material on hand even when they didn’t need it. As the efficiency of Kanban became apparent, production became reduced to only what was needed based on customer demand. Kanban became the system for controlling this type of production, originating in the 1940s.


Common problems:

  • How do I make my production facility lean?
  • How can I be more organized?
  • Does your PPE Dispensers always run out?
  • Wasting time & resources at every step?
  • I need to improve quality of output & lead time?

……so how will Kanban help you in the food processing industry?


The Kanban Method allows a processing facility to visualize its production workflow. Consequently, companies will reduce inefficiencies and achieve goals easily. Following is steps you can take to implement Kanban methodology into your production facility:


Visualize the Production Flow

Create a clear mental picture of the whole production process

Drawing the process can help to create a clear visual

Where is the process smooth and where does it need to be improved?


Limit Work in Progress

Splitting tasks so that each person is responsible for one job, will help employees to concentrate and maximize their output

The success of Kanban revolves around WIP (Work in Progress) – the single tasks will increase productivity to the next level.


Focus on Flow

Monitor the production process flow, analyze the drawbacks, and finally implement the desired changes. Control charts or cumulative flow diagrams can be useful in measuring a workflow.


Make Everything Explicit

When rules are defined and everyone understands their role in the production flow, each person can then make result orientated decisions.


Key Signs that can be implemented in the Food Production Industry:

  • PPE Dispenser Level Indicator Station signage to monitor replenishment levels
  • Monitor your PPE levels for Earplugs, Gloves, Lab coats, Aprons, Sleeves, Color-coded Hairnets & Bouffant caps, etc.
  • Visual Signage for any labeling levels during the food production process
  • Visual Signage for monitoring packaging that is consumed during the food production flow
  • Any type of consumable that is important to & needs to be near at hand during the food production process is essential to have visual signage for a successful Kanban implementation.


Kanban Basic Principles:

  • Start with the known, then move to the unknown
  • Be adaptable to change
  • Respect the existing processes, titles and roles
  • Encourage leadership at different levels


Kanban Benefits:

  • Boost production
  • Empowerment
  • Responsiveness to demand
  • Quality control
  • ontinuous flow of output