I have visited the above site and found it interesting, however, it seems that you have re-invented the wheel.

Since my first kanban implementation at Lucas Electrical, Birmingham, England in 1983 I have found that it is never as simple as portrayed in your article. In practice the kanban principles adapted to the factory environment as much as the factory adapts to kanban.

If there is a norm then the card signal travels as per your green arrows for your hybrid control model, the product travels along the blue arrows and the containers (box/pallet/platen etc) move as your red arrows.

You may have invented a new name for it, but unless I'm missing something it is practical kanban dressed up for academic paper writing.

Also if significant machine breakdowns are so likely as to require such special attention, then the factory is not ready for kanban. The whole point of the exercise should be to highlight the inefficiencies in the workplace and you've just written an article on how to hide them again.

Kanban is not a stand alone system, many other factors have to be brought in to make it work. We use the reduction of WIP to entice factory owners into using kanban, but the main benefits are that they improve efficiency of plant and personnel in order to make it work and the process becomes visible.


John Wilson


Troubleshooters (UK) Ltd