What is Leveling Heijunka

Lean Manufacturing PDF Lean Manufacturing PDF Lean Manufacturing PDF Lean Leveling Heijunka is the foundation of the Toyota House. Here is explained with real examples. Learn now Leveling Heijunka.

What is Leveling Heijunka

In this Guide you will learn:

  • Why Heijunka is important.

  • How to realize it.



Let's Start with a Video on Heijunka:

Yes it is possible.

Here the demonstration.

Heijunka Key Concepts:

  • Heijunka is the foundation of Lean!

    The TPS (Toyota Production System) is often represented by an house.

    What is the most important part of an house?

    The Foundation!

    Heijunka is the foundation.

  • Heijunka means sequencing or smoothing of production.

    It is defined as “the distribution of production volume and mix evenly over time”.

  • The objective of Heijunka is to absorb sudden fluctuations

    In market demand by producing several different models in small batches on the same line.

Good sequencing practice reduces the need for line side labour.

Where is the Heijunka in the Toyota House?

Lean Manufacturing House Toyota

Traditional Production VS Leveled Production

Are you traditional?

Discover what are wasting


how much you can save!



  • Process focuses on manufacturing in large-sized lots.

    The idea is to manufacture the maximum number of products in one lot.


  • Small lots more frequent change.

    A lean production process focuses on producing as the latest market demand




I will give you a visual example of the 2 different way of production.


Batch Production

Product B as much as possible.

Product A as much as possible.

Product C as much as possible.

The goal is to reduce the set-up!

Is it correct?




The goal is to satisfy the customer request 100% of the time!


look at the leveled production:

Leveled Production

Right amount of B


Right amount of A


Right amount of B


Right amount of C


Right amount of A


I know what are you thinking!

A lot of set-up!

Lean Logistic Expert

Let's call Luis!

Our Logistic expert to explain the benefits and

why you are wrong to be worried of set-up.


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The 4 problems of Large Batch Production.

  • The risk of unsold goods that must be kept in inventory.

    What do you do with old stuff!

  • The use of resources is unbalanced.

    Some day you run. Some day you waste.

  • Customers usually do not buy products predictably.

    If the customer decides to buy the large product early in the week the plant is in trouble.

  • There is an uneven demand on upstream processes.

The 4 Benefits of Heijunka

  • Flexibility to make what the customer wants when they want it.

  • Reduced risk of unsold goods.

  • Balanced use of labor and machines.

  • Smoothed demand on the upstream processes and suppliers

Can I do a question?

Why it is so difficult to implent?

The main reason is the companies do not work on Set-Up!

I want to tell you a secret ...

Focus on Set-Up reduction!

Set-Up in less than 10 minutes.

Am I crazy?

Believe me many firms did it!

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The customer is never leveled.

The customer demand is always crazy.


you can manage it.

See this Graph:

An Example of leveling is shown below:
Heijunka Diagram

Another very intersting post on Heijunka.

I would like to suggest you this post

to understand the math to support Leveling.

Lean Math Heijunka

Benefits of Heijunka

Specific advantages to be derived from this type of system

are much more than just about reducing waste.

The most specific advantage has to be the flexibility

that this system invokes within the company,

ensuring that the customer can get exactly what they want,

at a specific time that they need it.

This ensures that the customer is kept satisfied


therefore ensures the longer-term financial stability of the company.

Due to the fact that there is no over or indeed under production,

there is no risk that such a surplus of items will be made that will never be sold,

so general efficiency is promoted.


the correct implementation of the system provides predictability

by leveling demand,

flexibility by decreasing changeover time

and stability

by averaging production volume and type over the long term.


Implentation of Heijunka

One way to achieve leveled production is by implementing takt time,

which means basing the production rate on an estimate

of how many units per units of time must be processed at each work center

in order to meet market demand.

Takt time sets the pace of production to match the rate of customer demand,

and becomes the heartbeat of any lean production system.

As the "pacemaker" of a lean system,

takt time is essential to the smooth flow of work through production cells,

and is a key factor in planning and scheduling work.

By using takt time,

production can be leveled to either a set level


to between a minimum and maximum level.

These levels can be set in a computer system for any date and any period length,

from a day upwards.

Leveled production results in a steady demand pattern,

which ensures a predictable, smooth schedule and avoids capacity bottlenecks.

This simplifies planning and control

(since every day in the plan within the leveled period is basically the same),

creates stability in production

and gives operators a far better understanding

of what they have to do each day


how they are performing against goals and targets.

It also makes life easier for upstream suppliers who can be passed stable schedules.

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