This article is written as a walkthrough for the understanding of what is Heijunka and its use in production.
The slide above shows that Heijunka is defined as the levelling of workflow or production levelling. Toyota Production System (TPS) has defined Heijunka as levelling the types and the volume of produced goods and it is a prerequisite for “just-in-time” production. Both types of levelling (i.e. by volume and by product type) must work together for Heijunka to be effective. Traditionally, production volumes and product types can vary according to customer demands, poor planning or just because it is easy for the production to produce the goods in a sequence. The methods and goals of Heijunka are explained below.
The method is to balance the work load among manufacturing lines and it is essential to add planned buffers to improve raw material availability and to level demand spikes. The traditional erratic production demand must be smoothed out using Heijunka when applying Lean Manufacturing. The ultimate goals are to create a process that is stable, to improve delivery performance, to minimise fluctuations and to align production rate with demand.
By: Dr. Satnam Singh, PhD (Managing Director MBizM Group)