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Definition: Heijunka

Heijunka is a Japanese word that implies to the meaning “levelling”. If implemented correctly, heijunka can enable the organizations to easily achieve efficiency in processes by meeting demands effectively and reducing the wastes in the interpersonal and production processes. Heijunka is most commonly advocated to be better achieved at a more later stage of implementation process, when all the available value streams have been figured out, fixed and refined, when the philosophy of Lean production is deeply engrossed into the process and material cycles.

This essentially is a concept that levels the quantity and type of production over a fixed period of time such that the production is capable to efficiently meet customer demands by riding over problems like batching and inventory accumulation, manpower, capital costs and production lead time through the entire value stream.

The process of batching is taken up by the mass producers like Ford Motor Company, which started as a mass producer.

There are some core concepts related to the implementation of Heijunka:

• Takt time: It is defined as the time taken to finish a product in order to meet the demands of the customer. It is also defined as the customer buying rate.

• Volume leveling: Manufacture with the view of long term demand and keep the buffer inventory amount which is proportional to the variation in demand, shipping speed and production demand.

• Type leveling: Make each product, each day and reserve some capacity for the flexibility in changeover.

• Heijunka box: A production schedule and type levelling working diagram

• Work slowly and consistently: Slow but consistent work gives better results than any other style of working

• Changeover time: An efficient changeover time will contribute to better value stream between demand and supply.

• Buffer inventory: Having additional products ready for shipping before the start of any production cycle is necessary for smoothing of production and levelling of demand

• Type standardization: By producing one of every product or service per day, the transfer of knowledge becomes easier by manufacturing one of each product or service a day, knowledge can be more readily shared across types to benefit every process.


Hence, this concludes the definition of Heijunka along with its overview.


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