Determining the number of kanbans in multi-item just-in-time systems

Ronald G. Askin, Mitwasi George, Jeffrey B. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Kanbans (cards) are one means of controlling Just-in-time production systems. The kanbans serve as production authorization orders and essentially become the information system. The presence of a production ordering kanban for a specific part type constitutes an instruction to the workcenter to produce a “container” of that part. In this paper we assume workcenters produce multiple part types and address the issue of the number of kanbans needed for each part type. Our objective is to minimize the sum of inventory holding and backorder cost. A stochastic model is formulated. Steady-state results are derived for the cases of a few and many part types. Modifications for the case of expediting of backorders are also provided. Simulation results demonstrate the accuracy of the model for a large number of kanbans, but an investigation of a finite population queueing model for small numbers of kanbans is suggested as a worthwhile extension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-98
Number of pages10
JournalIIE Transactions (Institute of Industrial Engineers)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Determining the number of kanbans in multi-item just-in-time systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this