Kanban Calculation

Kanban Card“That’s not the formula I use” was the start of the debate. So looking at a few reference books and searching the web here’s what I’ve come up with. How can something so simple have so many variations?  Let us count the ways …

1.  No. of kanban = (DD*LT+SS*SQRT(LT/TB))/KB+(DD*EPEI)/KB

  • Where: DD = Daily demand (units)
  • LT = Replenishment leadtime (days)
  • SS = Statistically calculated safety stock (units)
  • SQRT = Square root
  • TB = Time bucket of the safety stock data points (days)
  • KB = Quantity per kanban (units)
  • EPEI = Supplier’s replenishment interval (days)

2.  #KB = (DD*(LT+SS))/KBS +1

  • #KB = Number of Kanbans
  • DD = Daily Demand
  • LT = Lead Time
  • SS = Safety Stock
  • KBS = Kanban Size

3.  Total Req’d Inventory = (Average period demand * Replenishment time) + 1 or 2 sigma + safety stock

4.  Total Req’d Inventory = (Average period demand * Replenishment time) * 1.X   {where X= 20-40%} and the # of bins = TRI / container or bin size

5.  # Kanban = ((AD * RT) + (SF * SD))/SCQ

  • AD = average period demand
  • RT = replenishment time (in the same time bucket as AD)
  • SF = the Z factor, typically 1.645 for 95%
  • SD = demand standard deviation
  • SCQ = the standard container quantity

6.  # Kanban = (average demand during lead time + safety stock) / container quantity

7.  N = (dL + S)/C

  • N = number of kanban
  • d = average demand per hour
  • L = lead time in hrs
  • S = safety
  • C = container quantity

8.  K=((RT * AC)/Cont) * (SF + C)

  • K = number of kanban
  • Cont = contents per kanban
  • RT = replenishment lead time per kanban
  • AC = average consumption per time period
  • SF = safety factor
  • C = constant, default = 1

The one I use is #5. Larry Loucka

More calculations here, and here.



51 Replies to “Kanban Calculation”

  1. i have a problem with kanban calculation. i have no idea how to figure out the correct solution the following question. if you able to answer this questions, your help will be highly appreaciate. i am the beginner of learning kanban calculation. hope can get your reply soon. your help will be highly appreciate.

    1. In a lean manufacturing environment a ‘pull’ system is used for material control. This means splitting the day’s production into small transfer batches each controlled with a kanban card.

    Consider the time required to process 150 units of a product through four sequential processes with each process taking 2 minutes – use the situation to list and explain the advantages of small transfer batches.

    A Kanban system is used to control the manufacture of valves in a feeder cell for a main pump assembly line.
    • 2 valves are required to assemble each pump.
    • 1850 Pumps are manufactured each day.
    • Valve processing time is 0.001days/valve.
    • The total authorised inventory for the cell is 5060 and each container holds 253 spools.
    • On average a Kanban spends 0.65 days queuing and 0.12 days moving around the system.

    How many kanbans are used in the cell?

    What factor is being applied to control safety stock in the system?

  2. 1. If 150 units are processed in a batch it will take 300 minutes to be worked in the first process, then 300 minutes in the second and so on. The time to process all 150 units through four processes will be 1200 minutes.

    If the batch size is one, then it will take eight minutes for the first piece to be processed through all four operations. The last piece will take 308 minutes.

    2. Problem states pumps, values, and spools. 2 values per pump. How are spools related to values or pumps?

    #K = (AD * R)/C = ((1850 pumps/day * 2 values/pump) * (0.65 days 0.12 days))/253 = 11.26, round up = 12

    Safety might be considered the 0.65 days waiting in queue. Maybe don’t need so much.

  3. In formula 5.

    SF = the Z factor, typically 1.28 for 95% <<< I think it should read 90% instead of 95%.

    It would be 1.65 times the SD for 95%, ie Z = 1.65 for 95%
    and 2.33 for 98% and so on…

    Pls correct me if I’m wrong.

  4. Ren, right you are. When looking at customer demand we are interested in protecting from unusually high demand. If demand is less than the average we should have enough stock or in-process to cover. It’s when demand spikes that things get interesting. So we use the one sided normal probability distribution. 95% coverege is the then 50% below the mean and 45% above the mean. So the z-value for 0.05% is 1.645.

  5. I’m wondering, most of your examples use the terms # of kanban.
    What does 1 kanban correspond to physically? Is it quantities? Cards?


  6. i have a problem of counting number of kanban which is known that :
    1. used 12,5% of daily time (1 day = 8 hours working time)
    2. daily average production to meet the demand is 2000 units
    3. safety stock is 5% of daily average production
    4. container capacity is 100 units
    would u help me to solve this problem? what is the suitable kanban formula for this problem? i am in urgent!!! thanx a lot.

    1. Jessie,
      For kanban think of a container with 100 parts. When the is empty it goes back to the suppler and is a signal to make or buy 100 more parts. Then the container is filled up and returned to the customer. This container makes a loop, going around and around. How long does it take for this one container to make the whole round trip. This we call Replenishment Time. Replenishment Time is not Lead Time.

      Equation I use:

      Number of Kanban = ((Average Daily Demand * Replenishment Time) + Safety Stock)/Standard Container Quantity

      So #Kanban = ((2000 * Replenishment Time) + 100)/100

  7. HELP!

    This is great information … however I seem to be getting stuck on symantics. I tend to use the formula with standard deviation. If I have an average daily usage of 3.67 parts, a standard deviation of 3.74, a 24 hour replenishment time, and I want to use a z factor of 1.645 … I seem to be getting a kanban of 9.8. The bin can hold 50 parts, but I do not think it makes since to put 50 parts into the bin and my supply can supply whatever quantity I ask for. So how can I tell what my reorder point and quantity should be?

    1. Rick, if your replenishment time is really only one day then why not just use 2 Bins and keep your average daily demand + 2 or 3 standard deviations in each bin.

      Also as far as your math goes – your bin quantity of 50 is a variable not a constant! You can make the bin quantity (or what I call Standard Container Quantity any number you want.

      So OK, lets do some math … # Kanban = ((AD * R) + (SF * SD))/ SCQ

      #K = ((3.67 * 1) + (1.65 * 3.74))/50
      #K = 0.19 which doesn’t make sense. If you change SCQ to say 5 then the number of kanban you need is 1.968.

      You certain your replenishment time is 24 hours?

  8. This is the situation. I have a drug machine that dispenses drugs to nurses and internal pharmacy that has enough OH stock to refill. The pharmacy has a 24 hour turn around time when the machines warn they are low. The issue is that the low warnings are not set properly and we can run out of drugs. I am trying to optimize the drug machines. Right now we stock the machines with an average of two weeks of stock based on average daily usage … but as you can see, the standard deviation is large. I would like to minimize the stock within these machines while ensuring the nurses have the drugs OH 95% of the time. My idea was to use the Kanban formula to find the right level of stock and the SF to determine the amount of stock needed for a particular Z.

  9. So to summarize:
    The machines need to have stock in them when the nurses need the drugs at least 95% of the time.
    The pharmacy can refill the machines within 24 hours should the warning system alert them to a low stock level.
    I would like to start with the same 2 weeks in the machines and then optimize later. This is because we have 400 drugs in the 25 different machines and do not want to have someone refilling each position every day.
    I can set the warning level to whatever I want … the question is, what is that level for the above parameters. I’ll need to do this same process for all machines and all drugs.

    1. From your description it seems that the replenishment time isn’t 24 hours. Semantics – in the kanban calculation replenishment time is the time it takes a card or container to make the complete cycle from empty to full to empty. Imagine say three containers in circulation. An empty container is a signal to refill and return to the point of use. If you put a clock on the container and then follow it through its life you’ll see the full container sitting at point of use, then some parts will be removed, then the container will be empty, and returned to supplier, then refilled, then returned to point of use to sit in queue. In the situation you describe it looks like your replenishment time is 2 weeks plus a couple days.

      Perhaps rather than kanban you need to figure out a reorder point, or as you call it “low stock level”. If restocking is truly only 24 hours from warning system alert then you would set your reorder point at AD + (SF* SD) or (3.67 + (1.65 * 3.74)), or 9.84 or rounded up to 10. When stock in the machine falls to 10 you order more.

      How much more? Two weeks worth, or something less? You can look into Economic Order Quantity to optimize inventory carrying cost, order filling cost, and service level. Or you can use a fixed order quantity with kanban, but you need to rethink the bin quantity of 50, which I suppose is the quantity that your machine will hold?

  10. Great! Thanks for the help. I came up with the same number and just need to bounce it off of an expert. These drug dispening machines have containers sizes that can be adjusted. Right now they are all set to a size that will acomidate 2 weeks of drugs (based on 6 months of data converted to a 2 week quantity) … therefore the sizes can vary. The order point (low) is set at 1 week, and the critical low point is set at 1/2 of that. My thought was to use the Kanban order quantity of 9.8 and add to that the average usage of 3.67 (times the number of day I what in the machine … two weeks to start). Then optimize by slowly reducing the average number of day OH when everyone feels confortable that the process works.


    again thanks for the help!

  11. With a 95% service level there of course will be times when you will be out of stock. People will remember being out of stock but won’t easily be able to judge the frequency. You might want to track a Fill Rate metric.

    You might also look at why your standard deviation is so high and if there is anything you can do to dampen or level load. As a rule of thumb I generally avoid kanban when Cv > 1.0 where the Coefficient of Variation is the standard deviation divided by the mean (or average).

    Also, demand can change over time, so you will want to regularly recalculate your order points and order quantities.

    Good luck!

  12. Rick,

    I agree 100% with Lawrence’s recommendations of using a ROP technique, estimating an EOQ, tracking actual stockouts and doing what you can to minimize daily demand variation.

    Let’s see if I’ve properly understood your posts so far:
    • Lead time = 1 day (24 hours from replenishment signal to replenishment).
    • Replenishment interval = your choice; maximum (ROP + ROQ) is limited by dispensing-machine capacity, minimum can be as little as 1 day.
    • Target service level = 95% = 1.645 z-value

    Perhaps I could ask several more questions about your situation:
    • Does each of the 25 dispensing machines hold all 400 different items? Or, does each dispensing machine hold about 16 items, so that 16 * 25 = 400?
    • How often do you want the pharmacy to make a replenishment visit to each of the 25 dispensing machines (once per day, twice per week, etc.)?
    • Do you have cost estimates for pharmacy replenishment? Cost per trip to the facility that has the 25 dispensing machines? Cost per trip to a dispensing machine? Cost per replenishment of each item in a dispensing machine?
    • Is your week (and the pharmacy’s week) a 7-day week?
    • Does the pharmacy always replenish within 24 hours? Or is this an expedite-only lead time? If so, what’s the non-expedite lead time?
    • What happens during the 5% of the time when a drug is not available for a nurse? Does the drug get expedited immediately?

    FYI – with daily average demand = 3.67, and std dev = 3.74, your example item definitely does not have a normal distribution of demand. Instead, it is doubtless right-skewed, and its demand is probably sporadic (some days have no demand). This is important, because your z-value service-level multiplier assumes a normal distribution. When you use a normality-based z-value with a distribution that is right-skewed, you run the risk of substantially understating the safety stock that’s included in the kanban or ROP calculation.

    I’ve made some uneducated (and probably wrong) guesses about your example item’s demand distribution, and some other (probably wrong) assumptions, just for the sake of illustration. I ran my guesses through our proprietary safety-stock model, and came up with these example results for your item with average demand = 3.67 and std dev = 3.74:
    Replenish once every 14 days: ROP = 53, ROQ = 53, Safety Stock = 0, Avg Qty On Hand = 28.0
    Replenish once every 7 days: ROP = 27, ROQ = 27, SS = 0, AQOH = 16.6
    Replenish twice per week: ROP = 14, ROQ = 14, SS = 0, AQOH = 11.9
    Replenish once every two days: ROP = 10, ROQ = 8, SS = 2, AQOH = 10.7
    Replenish once per day: ROP = 12, ROQ = 4, SS = 8, AQOH = 10.7

    Notice that with the longer replenishment intervals, ROP = ROQ. This is because the ROQ itself is providing “de facto” safety stock that achieves the 95% target service level with 95% confidence, without additional calculated safety stock in the ROP.

    As replenishment interval (RI) gets smaller, two days or less in this example, ROP > ROQ. This is because the ROQ does not provide sufficient “de facto” safety stock, so the ROP must include additional calculated safety stock.

    The “de facto” safety stock provided by larger ROQs is not efficient, in terms of inventory performance. That’s why AQOH drops significantly from the 14-day RI to the 7-day RI, and somewhat less significantly from the 7-day to the 3.5-day. However, from the 3.5-day RI to the 2-day RI, AQOH drops very little, and it doesn’t drop at all from the 2-day RI to the 1-day RI. This supports your intuitive conclusion that there’s no value in replenishing every item every day. These AQOH values are an important component of an EOQ calculation.

    I’ll be happy to perform our correct, comprehensive safety-stock analysis on up to 30 of your items as a free trial, just as I’ve offered at https://www.resourcesystemsconsulting.com/blog/blog (about the third posting down from the top). Feel free to contact me at http://www.topdownleansystems.com/contact.php.

    Also emphasizing Lawrence’s suggestion, you may also be able to correlate demand to predictive factors such as flu season, etc., and adjust ROPs and ROQs accordingly. The more you can do this, the less you need to depend on a static safety-stock level (whether calculated or “de facto”) to achieve your target service level.

    David McPhetrige, TopDown Lean Systems

  13. This is a very informative discussion on Kanban quantities.

    Can someone help me, how kanban can be used in Made-To-Order kind of scenarios.



    1. Even in Made-to-Order there can be lower level items in the Bill of Material that are in frequent demand. In the extreme where you only make a product once and never again then Kanban may be out of the question. Here’s what I do … get usage (demand) history for parts, calculate the daily average and standard deviation. Calculate the SD/Mean (Coefficient of Variation). If Cv is less than 1.0 then maybe you can use kanban to control resupply.

  14. You take the monthly average usage for the item and divide it by 21 shipping days per month. This equals average units shipped per day. Take this figure and times it by the lead-time days it takes to receive the goods from your supplier (the supplier lead-time must be ACCURATE). Always give yourself some cushion here and generally round this number to the nearest case pack. This would be a general rule for ROP.

    As far as ROQ it just depends on how many turns per year you are aiming for i.e. if you want 6 turns per year then make your ROQ close to 2 months usage. Remember the ROQ must be equal to or greater than the ROP or you will probably run out of stock at some point in time in the process.

  15. Hi guys,

    As i see here is many formulas how tro calculate Kanaban. But which one is the better to choose ?

    I’m just a beginner about the calculating Kanban and in fact I don’t know exactly from where to start. Can somebody explain for me the beginning of it?
    I will appreciate this a lot.

  16. Viki,

    Short answer: The type of kanban calculation you choose depends on your specific situation. Use the simplest technique that achieves your overall business goals. Usually, those goals include sustainability, ease of use, optimal inventory performance and customer-service-level targets. These goals can conflict with each other, so a simple technique may not be optimal when you expand the use of kanban as an inventory-management technique. “Simple” safety-stock calculations, for example, can actually provide suboptimal inventory and financial results, as our white papers discuss at http://topdownleansystems.com/white.htm.

    Here are two high-level subjects that may help you choose the right kanban techniques and calculations:

    1. Visual vs. electronic
    2. Single point of use vs. expanded supply chain

    Visual kanban is simplest. See the card at the top of this Webpage. A kanban card shows 1) the item, 2) replenishment quantity, 3) where to get more and 4) point of use. The simplest visual kanban is two-card, with two identical cards.

    The simplest kanban-quantity formula determines average usage from when a kanban becomes “empty” until it is replenished and available: Kanban Qty per Card = Avg Usage * Replenishment Time.

    Replenishment time is commonly determined by how often you want to replenish, not how long it takes to replenish. It may take only 15 minutes to replenish a kanban from a nearby location. However, you may not want to replenish every 15 minutes, because of significant materials-handling effort. Instead, you may replenish once per day, so replenishment time = 1 day, not 15 minutes.

    This simplest application works well when usage variation is minimal, and when shortages can be quickly and easily expedited from a nearby inventory or kanban location (a “supermarket,” stores or warehouse).

    As the kanban-managed supply chain expands, the kanban-quantity calculation becomes more complicated, for two reasons:

    1. The kanban quantity must include safety stock, since shortages may not be easily expedited.
    2. For optimal inventory performance, replenishment time and replenishment interval may need to be different.

    Safety stock is an inventory-optimization challenge, since it doesn’t turn over (financially speaking). Kanban with safety stock requires much more complex math. As I mentioned, we have several white papers on optimal safety stock.

    Replenishment Time (RT) Different to Replenishment Interval (RI): RT is the time from when a kanban card is “empty” until it is replenished. RI, by contrast, is the time from one replenishment signal to the next. With two-card kanban, RI = RT. However, if you use kanban for external (supplier) or off-site (distribution center) replenishment, RT and RI may be very different. For example, an offshore supplier may have a six-month RT, with monthly releases. So RI = 1 month, and RI < RT. In this example, you would need at least 7 kanban cards, each with a quantity of one month's usage: RT / RI + 1. The 1 "extra" card provides quantity on-hand until the next kanban in the replenishment pipeline arrives. You would likely require more than 7 kanban cards to provide safety stock for usage and/or lead-time variation. Our white papers discuss how to optimize these additional safety-stock kanban cards.

    Electronic Kanban: Everyone who has implemented visual kanban has experienced its strengths and weaknesses. Weaknesses include:

    1. Cards get lost
    2. Cards aren't easily updated
    3. Cards are not part of a basic MRP / perpetual-inventory business system, and may require an off-line program or spreadsheet

    Due to these weaknesses, many companies use "electronic" kanban. Electronic kanban has two components: 1) Reorder point (ROP) and 2) Reorder quantity (ROQ). These two components can take many different forms, depending on the specific business system. ROP = (Avg Usage * RT) + Safety Stock. ROQ is usually a supplier-established minimum order quantity, a financially-established economic order quantity, a process-driven batch size, or a planning-driven reorder-review interval.

    I'll be happy to provide a free-trial kanban optimization analysis on some of your inventory items. I invite you to contact me, at http://topdownleansystems.com/contact.php.

    David McPhetrige, TopDown Lean Systems

  17. Lawrence Loucka! please share your opinion… I am new in the Company and in Kanban and I have my first task on finding #ofKanban 🙂
    We do produce door handles(180 different ones) but I concentrate on 10 bestselling ones.
    The lead time is 1 working day (8 hours) but it differs a lot due to the order differences.
    Container capacity – 400units
    Average daily production – 500units
    95% SafetyStock

    what formula is most proper to use in here! thanks

    1. First, are you sure Kanban is the right solution? What problem are you trying to solve?

      Is it possible to have a smaller container? When you say average daily production is 500 units is that for all part numbers? What are the average daily demands for each of the top 10 best selling handles?

      Lead Time isn’t the same thing as Replenishment Time. Think of the kanban as an empty container. How long does it take for the container to make a complete loop from the time the last piece is taken out of the container, to the empty container being returned to the point of supply, while the empty container sits in queue, until the container is filled with new parts and then taken to the point of demand, where it sits in queue, until it is empty again. I think maybe this is more than 8 hours?
      Be sure to calculate the demand standard deviation and coefficient of variation (Cv = standard deviation/average daily demand). If Cv is greater than 1.0 be careful, if above 2.0 think twice and investigate demand smoothing and heijunka.

      Here is the formula that I use:

      #kanban = ((Average Daily Demand * Replenishment Time) + Safety))/Standard Container Quantity

      Pick one part number and tell me more, we will do the math together …

    1. Have you tried doing the math?

      Here’s the ‘no math’ approach … decide on a container size, put all current stock for a part number in to the new standard containers. When a container is empty send it back to the supplier. Don’t make or buy any unless you have an empty container. Then after the containers start circulating take one container out of the loop. Wait and see what happens. Then take away another container and wait and see. Then take another and only put a container back into circulation after you understand why you can’t take away another container.

      So, for example you have a 100 pieces of item A in stock. The daily consumption is 20. You pick a container that holds 24, because 24 fit nicely. Now you have 4 full containers and a partial (with 4 pieces in it). When the first container is empty you make 24 more pieces. Then after a few days or weeks you take 1 container away, now you have 4. Then when nothing bad happens you take another container out of circulation. Now you have 3 containers in flow. Take away another and all hell breaks loose, so put one container back. Do an investigation and learn what happened.

  18. im graduation student and my graduation project about supplier kanban , iwanna know if that calculation (above)is valid too for supplier kanban ???????????
    and ineed to know if lead time should take from the company (that im working on )and directly put it in these formulas without calcualtion ???? do we need forecast in this formulas ????

  19. Tasn,

    Kanban can be a great technique for replenishing from a supplier. Because it replenishes based on known fact (what was actually consumed), instead of on a guess (forecast), kanban can provide replenishment signals that are less subject to the frequent pull-ins, push-outs, expedites and de-expedites that tend to irritate suppliers.

    In my experience, determining appropriate supplier-lead-time values for calculating kanban quantities can be a challenge. The lead-time values in a company’s business system (Oracle, SAP, etc.) may not be realistic. Often, the company’s buyers and planners have the best ideas on realistic lead times for their inventory items. Also, depending on how a company transacts its purchase orders, PO releases and receipts, you may be able to extract and analyze actual lead-time data from the company’s business system.

    It is possible, but not necessarily easy, to accommodate two aspects of a forecast in a kanban system. 1) Trend (including seasonality, which is short-term trend): Instead of using historical, or current, mean demand, use the forecast future mean demand. Note – don’t do this if the future trend is down, or you will be more likely to have stockouts. When demand is in a downward trend, kanban-quantity reductions must lag behind the decline in actual demand. 2) Special-cause events such as one-time sales promotions: use what many businesses call a single-use kanban for the incremental one-time quantity, which is retired once it is fulfilled.

    I encourage you to read our white papers on inventory calculations that optimize fill rates and inventory performance, at http://topdownleansystems.com/white.htm. These papers may give you some more ideas for your graduate project.

    David McPhetrige
    TopDown Lean Systems, LLC

  20. thanks for helping me 🙂
    but i need to ask u something :
    when i collected my data from the company , i took 1 produt for 12 months and this product has 12 demand , 12 safety stock , but one lead time . so this my question : should i do avearge demand and avearge safety stock to put them in the formula and extract kanban’s for 12 months once a time , or i should do every month alone and extract the kanban for every month ????????????
    and do i need more data from the company differ from ” lead time , demand ” ????????

    this my questions ,,,, thanks for the help again 🙂

  21. hi again ,,,

    i need to know when i use the supplier kanban formula the demand in this formula should be especially for lead time demand ????
    and how can i have this lead time demand ????

    1. Demand is for any period you want. When calculating Average Demand be sure to use the same Lead Time units. If you calculate average Daily demand, the use lead time in days. If you calculate average monthly demand then use lead time in months.

      Where to get demand from? History or Forecast, your choice.

    1. Think of safety stock as ‘insurance’ that you will have enough on hand to support your customer. Demand varies, it is not the same every day. Some days the demand is high some days the demand is low. When demand is low you should have enough stock. When demand is high maybe you don’t have enough and customers will have to wait or go somewhere else. So how much safety stock to carry? How much of the up side demand to you want to protect? 1 sigma, 2, 3, or more? Usually management will have a policy or a order fill goal, say 95% or 98% on time and complete orders. With statistical safety stock you take the management policy order fill percent and then look up the z-factor. OK?

  22. hi loucka,
    i’m in a training corse and i have to set up a kanban method between two posts, but i have some problems to apply your formula, the company make parts wich is destinated to automobil sector,
    the costumer demand is about 10300 units/day, number of parts in 1 containers is 4800 units, the Delivery deadlines to the approval post is 5 minutes, the safety margin is about 1 container (4800units)
    can you tell me please how can i calculate the replenishement time, and what is the average daily demand? is it in my case the costomer demand/day ?

    here is my email: tougui.malak@gmail.com

    thanks & regards
    Malak TOUGUI
    0033 7 60 06 43 94
    Management & Ingénierie Loqistique

    1. Average Daily Demand = 10300
      Standard Container Quantity = 4800

      Replenishment Time is the time it takes for a signal (think of an empty tote or bin) to circulate. Replenishment Time could include:

      receive empty container or kanban signal
      wait in queue
      fill the container
      ship the container to the customer
      receive the container at the customer
      wait in queue
      use parts from the container
      send the empty container to the supplier

  23. thanks a lot LOUCKA for information,
    the kanban wich i have to set up is without cards, it’s called ”inline production kanban (IPK)”, its with markings on the ground, it have the same calculation concept than kanban with cards or not, and after having determine the total number of containers, how can i calculate the number of containers in each place (green, red)
    i didn’t find examples on internet

    thanks & regards
    Malak TOUGUI
    0033 7 60 06 43 94
    Management & Ingénierie Loqistique

    1. OK, so for In-Process Kanban we usually have one transfer quantity. In a one piece flow cell this is one or two pieces of work.
      When the kanban square on the floor is open, how long does it take to put new product in that place?
      What is the available production time? 24hours? One shift of 8 hours?
      If customer demand is 2.15 containers (10300/4800) then maybe you only need one container in the IPK.
      If you are doing Green/Yellow/Red then you might have 3 containers. When one is taken away you are in the yellow. When two are taken away you are in the red.


  24. hi lawrence,
    to put new product in the square on the floor it need 7.5h
    the available production time is 3×7.5

    1. So customer demand is 458 pieces per hour (10300/(3*7.5)).
      One container of 4800 will last 10.5 hours.
      So I would use 2 Bins or 2 IPK Floor Squares.
      When the first square is empty you have 10+ hours available in the IPK square. This square will get covered in 7.5 hours, so you will have 3 hours of safety (10.5-7.5 = 3 hours).


  25. you’r kind lawrence, i’ll see all that and i’ll contact you for other questions certainly

    thanks a lot

  26. so to calculate the total number of squares by using
    ((Average Daily Demand * Replenishment Time) + Safety))/Standard Container Quantity
    ((10300*3,35)+safety?))/4800 the safety should be on number of pieces or on time (3 days), and 2.15 containers (10300/4800)in each square ?

  27. Hello,

    could you please clarify what the “container size” and “# of kanbans” are in the real world?

    I am trying to design a continuous replenishment model and I am not sure I can map these terms to my model.


    1. Container Size is the number of pieces or units in the bin or attached to the kanban card. When we can’t move one piece at a time, we move parts in fixed quantity.

      # of Kanban is the number of containers or bins or totes or kanban cards that are in circulation.

  28. SCQ and EOQ are not the same thing. First SCQ is a fixed quantity, think of a container of a dozen eggs – the SCQ is 12. SCQ is related to how many bins or kanban are in circulation between supplier and customer. EOQ is a completely different concept that attempts to trade off ordering cost, inventory hold cost to determine order quantity. EOQ might say to buy 4 eggs or 44. Look here for a discussion on EOQ https://www.resourcesystemsconsulting.com/blog/archives/13

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