Miller explained how their Production Control and IT department collaborated with Nayo Technologies to:
1. Document a functional definition that formalized their original concept and provided a high level cost estimate for review before proceeding in the SDLC.
2. Document a functional specification that detailed the deliverable product and was used by Nayo’s development team to create the iKanban App
iKanban combines advancements in inexpensive electronic shop floor data collection devices with existing IFS functionality that enabled the following:
• The assembler simply scans the barcoded circuit number. iKanban interprets the barcode based on a pre-established kanban circuit between the assembly line and the storeroom, which triggers printing a kanban (card) replenishment request in the storeroom for the required part and quantity.
• The storeroom material handler picks and delivers the inventory to the originating “Point of Use”.
Benefits of iKanban are:
• It is simple
• No need for expensive barcode readers
• No need for a dedicated communications network since iKanban communicates with IFS using existing infrastructure.
• Uses existing IFS functionality
• No need for the assembler to interrupt the assembly process
• Improvement in the handling of Kanban Cards
• Elimination of lost Kanban Cards
• Replenishment inventory can be delivered to the “Point of Use” in a sequence that maximizes travel time within the facility
• Replenishment cycle time performance can be tracked and measured
Miller’s next step is to expand the use of iKanban from managing inventory on the Shop Floor to include managing inventory in the storeroom by setting up circuits with their suppliers to purchase all their steel.
Miller attributed Nayo Technologies functional knowledge and technical expertise of IFS as key to Nayo’s ability to develop and install iKanban in less than 3 months and no disruption to Miller’s operation. “iKanban works the same as if you were working interactively with IFS, the same prompts and information messages.”