Two Bin Kanban

By Ron Updated on May 29th, 2017

A two bin kanban is one of the most popular kanban systems due to its simplicity. The basic idea is an operator will get the material they need from one of the bins while the other bin is being refilled.

When things are working properly (i.e. to takt time or pitch) the second bin will arrive shortly before the first bin empties. Pretty straight forward.

Beer Kanban

I remember being in a pub in Ireland a few years back. I struck up a conversation with one of the locals and noticed he initially ordered two large beers, instead of one. I asked him why he did this.

As I learned, to properly poor a glass of Guinness you must fill it up very slowly. In fact, it took more than 10 minutes to fill up one glass!

So this gentleman was essentially operating a two bin kanban system with his beer! It was quite interesting to watch how the bartender and this man were synchronized.

The man never went without a beer (aside from waiting for the initial glass) and rarely were there two glasses sitting in front of the man.  Who knew lean could be so fun?

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  1. Jim

    February 15, 2007 - 6:15 pm

    Most Irish pubs run a Guiness Kanban. You can not pour a ‘real’ Guiness in one go it needs to settle so is a two step operation.
    Its one way you tell a real Guiness Pub from a ‘Plastic Paddy Pub’.
    As an English man in Canada, I also need to run a two beer Kanban. For me it is to give the later beers a chance to warm up.

  2. Ron Pereira

    February 18, 2007 - 12:31 pm

    Hmmm… “Plastic Paddy Pub” is a new phrase to me. Ha!

    Personally, I prefer one piece flow (drink one, get one) of ice cold Corona (with a lime).


  3. Mark Graban

    February 20, 2007 - 4:21 pm

    Two beers at once so you never run out? BRILLIANT!

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