Discover the 12 other pillars of the Toyota Production System:
Having the correct number of parts required to build a specific number of cars makes production run more smoothly. Read on to find out why Heijunka increases efficiency in the Toyota Production System.
Heijunka (English: Production smoothing or leveling): A technique to facilitate Just-In-Time (JIT) production, it means production leveling (finding and keeping average production volumes) and is used to smooth out production in all departments as well as that of the supplier over a period of time.
Heijunka is also important when it comes to sequencing production. For example, were the factory’s ordering system to send batches of high specification models down its assembly line at the same time, workers would be required to manage lots of complex build tasks not present in less well equipped cars.
The Toyota Production System uses Heijunka to solve the former by assembling a mix of models within each batch, and ensuring that there is an inventory of product proportional to the variability in demand.
Furthermore, the disruption of production flow is minimised by making sure that components are sequenced to be available in the right quantity and at the right time, while changeover periods for vital processes such as die changes within the steel presses are as short as possible; often in as little as three minutes.
Just-In-Time delivery makes Heijunka possible.
Read our full Toyota Production System glossary here.