The 2-Bin System is one of the lean tools that are used as a way to indicate when to reorder parts to avoid any downtime due to shortage in supply. It can be used for ordering anything from certain product inventory items to office consumables.
The 2 Bin System is exactly what it is called, a system with 2 storage containers that each has a predefined quantity of the same material.

How to use 2 Bin System

Two bins containing items of the same material is created

  • Place one bin in front of or on top of the other.
  • Place a reorder card at the bottom at each bin.
  • When using the material, it is only taken from the bin in front of, or on top of the other one.
  • When the first bin is empty, it is swapped with the second one.
  • Use the reorder card to get new material for the bin.
  • While waiting for material for the first bin, material is used from the second bin.
  • When the ordered material arrives, place it in the empty bin together with the reorder card.
  • This process is then continued like this, and every time a bin is empty, material is reordered.

As long as you keep ordering material every time one of the bins is empty, you will always have material available at the workstation and avoid a line stop due to a shortage of material.

Amount of Material in 2 Bin System

In order for the 2 Bin System to work, there need to be sufficient material in the bins. E.g. if there is one week lead time on the material, then the amount in each of the bins should be enough for at least one week production, as you otherwise run out of material before receiving material to fill up the empty bin.

The 2 Bin System is a simple and effective way to see when to reorder parts, it is a visual tool where the need for new parts can easily be seen, without having to spend time counting parts to detect this.

If you are interested in lean and how to make your organisation more efficient, then our 5S Training might be interesting for you. 5S is usually one of the first elements implemented when starting out with lean, as it gives a great foundation for further improvements.

Alternatively you can continue to our Quality Training page to see some of the other training we offer.

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2 Bin System