Production leveling also known as production smoothing or- by its Japanese original term- Heijunka is a technique for reducing the mura which in turn reduces muda. On a production line, as in any process fluctuation in performance increase waste.
- This is because equipment, workers, inventory and all other elements required for production must always be prepared for peak production.
- In the situation where demand is constant , production leveling is easy, but where customer demand fluctuates, two approacheshave been adopted: 1) demand leveling 2) production leveling through flexible production
- Industries that utilize the assembly line to obtain their products currentlygo through great challenges. The first is the need to assemble a large number of product models and their variants in their lines, due to the varirty required by the market.
- Another challenge is the need to maintain an adequate level of manpower occupation and other utilized resoures.
- Ever since henry fords introducion of assembly lines, LB has been an optimazation problem of significant industrail importance: the efficiency difference between an optimal and a sub optimal assignment can wild economics reaching milllions of dollars per year