A number of design issues must be resolved when the kanban method is implemented, including the determination of the number of cards to use, the size of the kanban-lots, and the machine allocation. Objectives may include the reduction of work-in-progress, the reduction of makespan or cycle time and the overall improvement of shop floor planning and control. This paper reports on results obtained using optimization models of the kanban method in an assembly shop to determine the optimal number of kanban cards. Numerical results illustrate the relationship between makespan of an order and the number of kanban cards and indicate that there is, in practice, an upper bound to the number of cards that should be used with a given kanban-lot size.

International Journal of Production Research
Sprott School of Business

Prlce, W. (W.), Nsakanda, A, Cantin, F. (F.), & Gravel, M. (M.). (1995). Modelling the performance of a kanban assembly shop. International Journal of Production Research, 33(4), 1171–1177. doi:10.1080/00207549508930199