Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Industrial Engineering


Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Freed, Tali


The kanban system is a popular Toyota lean manufacturing tool used to help facilitate material movement between workstations and suppliers. Since the 1950’s, the original kanban system has undergone many different variations due to the advancement of technology and unique company implementation. This report focuses on the development and building of a new variation of the kanban system using lean principles while integrating radio frequency identification (RFID) technology with a fully electronic based kanban card system. This new type of kanban system will be called the RFID E-Kanban in this report. Since the lean philosophy is to reduce non-value added waste to a process, the new prototype kanban system meets four design objectives that are consistent with the principles of lean and the original purpose of the kanban system.

  1. The RFID E-Kanban prototype must support the process of continuous improvement
  2. The RFID E-Kanban prototype must reduce overall non-value added waste to the material flow process
  3. The RFID E-Kanban prototype must be intuitive and simple to use for the operator
  4. The RFID E-Kanban prototype control must be decentralized

In an applied case study, a RFID E-Kanban prototype was built for a Department of Defense facility involving the movement of chemicals between two locations.