The Benefits of Kanban in Aerospace Manufacturing
For businesses in the aerospace manufacturing industry, having a reliable supply chain is crucial. As anyone familiar with aerospace production can tell you, even small supply interruptions can lead to significant program delays. One of the simplest and most effective ways to ensure reliability in a supply chain is the use of kanban, a process originally developed by Toyota in the mid 1950s.
Kanban is actually the Japanese word for billboard, or more precisely the identifying “signal card” used outside shops in historic times. The principle behind kanban is simple: when a part or product runs out, a card at the bottom of the bin is then is passed back to signal a refill or start of another manufacturing run. This ensures parts are only produced as needed and creates an efficient workflow. While originally designed as an internal mechanism, improvements in communications technology now allow for electronic kanban to extend between companies throughout the supply chain and supports both lean manufacturing and just-in-time delivery.
When implementing kanban in an aerospace manufacturing environment, the need for high-mix, low-volume production can lead to complexity. This is why it’s best for aerospace manufacturers to use an ERP/MRP system to manage their kanban and effectively organize the demands into a production schedule. It’s also smart for aerospace manufacturing companies to utilize their EDI for production forecasting to allow for kanban to be implemented more effectively.
At Intrex Aerospace, we manage our manufacturing processes through an Epicor ERP/MRP system which can effectively manage kanban orders. We also have advanced production equipment such as our Mori Seiki lathes with automated bar loaders and parts retrieval systems that can quickly produce a wide mix of parts. In fact, our ability to manage kanban for JIT production helps us maintain an on-time delivery rate between 95-100%.
For more information on Intrex Aerospace and our manufacturing service, contact us today.