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The specific kanban and generic kanban have a similar operation: they transmit the downstream production information to the upstream.


Also known as “dynamic Kanban” or “adaptive kanban“, the generic kanban differs from the specific kanban in that:

  • The specific Kanban gives permission to produce and tells us what reference to produce and how much to produce
  • The generic Kanban only gives permission to produce but does not indicate the reference or quantity.

Description of the operation

The operation of the generic Kanban is the same as the specific kanban. All the difference being in the ” What and how much ” I have to produce.

For downstream posts

Once the downstream Position receives the information it has to produce (Kanban sent by the Position downstream of it), it will turn to its Position upstream and will produce the first product arrived in a FIFO logic. In other words, the first product that has arrived in its stock will be processed.

For the Position at the beginning of the chain

For the Position at the beginning of the chain, its operation responds to a ” client program “. When the Position downstream of it consumed a unit of a product, it returns a Kanban allowing it to produce. To know what it has to produce, it follows the production schedule defined beforehand.

Generic Kanban Interest

The generic Kanban is indeed a just-in-time piloting system where production is downstream-driven with production priorities given upstream. In other words, it looks like a classic system of management with production orders but without the disadvantages of planning.

The generic Kanban has the advantage of simplifying the flow control of a production area. With its system of card and FIFO, it allows to visualize the progress of the production and the production priorities.

But above all, the generic Kanban allows to limit see to suppress the stocks of in-progress and that some are the type of production: little or a lot of variety, small or large series.

Generic Kanban Limit

The generic Kanban limit is at the level of the production schedule definition. Indeed, between the posts, the generic Kanban offers a clear system, simplifying the flow of production.

But for the Position at the beginning of the chain, setting up the schedule is a complex study of synchronizing the parts flow. In fact, the planning must be studied to coordinate the arrival of the components and sub-assemblies on a line by harmonising with the real needs of the customers.


M. Nakhla (2006)-The bulk of industrial management

F. Blondel (2005)-Industrial Management memory aid

R. Guion, H. El Haouzi, A. Thomas (2013)-Study of the suitability of an adaptive Kanban with Multicriteria constraints: Case of a cutting cell

R. Colin (1996)-Produce just A time in small series: the Guide

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