What is Heijunka?
Heijunka means Leveling or Balancing. It is used to minimize batching and create a more efficient manufacturing process. It is a type of production scheduling and it supports a predictable and steady flow of small-batch manufacturing, instead of larger production processes used for goods and components.
Example of Heijunka:
Say a car manufacturer receives 1000 orders for cars every week. 200 on Monday, 100 on Tuesday, 100 on Wednesday, and 600 on Thursday. Instead of manufacturing 1000 cars at the beginning of the week or the exact amount needed each day, the company would produce exactly 200 cars per day. By producing the same amount every day, the factory can optimize the manufacturing operation for 200 cars and therefore create a more efficient process.
Benefits of Heijunka:
Heijunka (Leveling or Balancing) improves efficiency at all levels of the manufacturing operation.
It improves productivity and reduces the defects
Heijunka reduces inventories, working capital costs, manpower, and production lead time.