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Kanban based on consumption

The main advantage of this method is to give less freedom to define what has to be produced. The consumption pilots this scheduling system. No need for interpretation as well as no need to check inventory level: this Kanban method is really an automatic scheduling system.

How does it work?

When a defined quantity unit of a reference (box, trolley, pallet...) is consumed, a signal (card, empty box...) is put in the Batch Building Box of the reference (or family of references). This Batch Building Box contains the last signals related to the quantity units taken/consumed by the customer.
When the total of these signals is equivalent to the Batch Size of the reference, they are removed from the Batch Building Box and put together at the end of the queue on the Launcher. The first batch on the Launcher is the next to be produced just after the current production batch. It will be removed from the Launcher at the beginning of its production.
The signals (card, boxes) are used to identify the production batch (for example: one KANBAN card per box, per trolley, per pallet ...).

This method requires to define a Batch Size, to have a Batch Building Box for each reference (or family of references) as well as a Launcher for the production line.

No customer consumption means no more signal into the Batch Building Box and no more batch added on the Launcher. Then, batch after batch, the production will empty the Launcher. At the end, there will have no more batch on the Launcher and production will stop.


This method requires equipments (Batch Building Boxes, Launcher) and seems more complex to design and implement than KANBAN based on stock level. But, on operational stand point, it is a very simple and repetitive system which allows no interpretation.

2 types of signal to trigger production can be used in this system: the KANBAN Cards or the boxes containing the produced parts, in this case we talk about "KANBAN with no card".

KANBAN with no card A very simple and efficient Kanban. For small parts or a low global loop.

KANBAN with cards Classical KANBAN using cards as signal. For general purpose and when the global loop is very high.

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