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Electronic Kanban signals

Electronic kanban signals are used in applications where it is difficult to manually or quickly gauge the amount of inventory accurately or where the production process is automated or controlled from a distance. Examples of these applications are liquids & grains, automated inventory systems, applictions which use electronic signal and production management software.

Electronic signals, messages and alerts can usually be set up easily with most process, production and inventory management systems and inventory management software. This is also a common feature in ERP programs.

In order for a warehouse or storage area to emit an electronic kanban system the process or inventory system must be able to gauge the amount of inventory or stock available. This can be achieved through different types of sensors, switches, load cells in bins/silos, level indicators, and other types of sensors. The sensor provides feedback to the operator or control center which will usually be programmed with the level at which the system will generate a production/re-plenish kanban. These sensors must be both mounted and calibrated appropriately in order to provide accurate readings to ensure the kanban signal is triggered at the appropriate point. In order to determine the stock level at which the kanban signal/message will be emited, different type of inventory management systems can be used, such as:

-EOQ with safety stock
-Build to order
-Build to stock
-Two bin inventory systems
-One bin inventory system
-Time interval system
-ABC Warehousing

Depending on which inventory system is in use and how production and purchasing is managed the kanban signal emission point will be set appropriately. The kanaban signal can be interpreted automatically by the production or inventory software and a production or purchase order can be generated.

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