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Kanban Made Simple: Demystifying and Applying Toyota's Legendary Manufacturing Process

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Originally developed at Toyota, the manufacturing process known as “kanban” has helped revolutionize how corporations and suppliers achieve maximum efficiency in getting products to and from the assembly line. Kanban adds a new dimension to just-in-time manufacturing by keeping your production line “liquid” at all times.

Kanban can be translated from the Japanese as “signboard” or “card signal,” which refers to a system of visual cues in the production process. These cues ensure that parts are delivered to the manufacturing floor only as they are needed, reducing both parts and storage and finished inventory in the production area. When implemented properly, the kanban technique minimizes waste, prevents overproduction, and ensures quick response to changes and problems.

Kanban Made Simple is a step-by-step guide to incorporating the ingenuity of the kanban system into any manufacturing environment. Using before-and-after case studies, this easy-to-follow guide shows you how to establish project goals, form a kanban team, and design the process from start to finish.

About the Authors

John M. Gross is the author of The Fundamentals of Preventive Maintenance (Amacom 2002). He has held various engineering and business management positions in the food and automotive industries, and is a licensed professional engineer, Six Sigma Blackbelt, ASQ Certified Quality Engineer, and AFE Certified Plant Engineer.

Kenneth R. McInnis has held positions in materials and logistics, production management, and business unit management in the apparel, automotive, and food industries. He is a Six Sigma Greenbelt.

Both authors write extensively on the subject of productivity, and have been published internationally in trade magazines.

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