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Raissa Carey

Quality Insider

QualiPedia: Heijunka

Slow and steady wins the race.

Published: Thursday, June 10, 2010 - 12:27

Companies that apply heijunka to their production system understand the true meaning of the proverb, “Slow and steady wins the race.”

Heijunka is the concept of ending any variation of volume and/or product mix in the production system. This means that a company that applies heijunka doesn’t structure its production according to fluctuating customer demand, which governs work scheduling. Instead, it calculates an average of orders within a period of time and makes the same amount and mix of products every day, thus leveling the workload.

The management technique is a component of the Toyota Production System, but heijunka has been proven to be effective in other companies as well, especially in those operating in a lean manufacturing environment.

Among the benefits of heijunka are more flexibility for production to meet customer orders, batch avoidance, reduction of finished goods inventories, lead time and cost reduction, and stable work force.

Sources:

http://www.creativesafetysupply.com/Heijunka.html

http://www.implement-lean-manufacturing.com/heijunka.html

http://www.emsstrategies.com/dm090804article.html

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Raissa Carey