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Kanban (Japanese: card or sign) refers to a supply method based on the pull principle. The replenishment is thus based on the actual consumption of materials at the point of consumption. The various Kanban control mechanisms ensure an efficient flow of materials and the lowest possible stock in the system. In particular, articles with relatively constant consumption and a low consumption value are suitable. Often, Kanban is used in combination with milk runs (e.g., via route trains) and supermarkets. Kanban contributes to increased efficiency by reducing waiting times, material inventories and lead times.

Control mechanisms

  • Kanban container: Containers regulate the control e. g. via the filling level. The necessary information is available.
  • Visual Kanban: The control is carried out via visualization, e. g. available buffer areas, visual aids, colored markings.
  • Kanban cards: Stuck cards (e. g. at boards) serve as information transfer of quantity, article, storage place, etc.
  • E-Kanban: Electronically transmitted data is used for the control; information is available if possible in real time, the material flow is represented transparently.


Main category:

Core functions

Sub category:

Production supply area


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en/begriffe/kanban.txt · Last modified: 17/08/2022 (external edit)