iSixSigma

Heijunka

Definition of Heijunka:

hi-JUNE-kuh

A Japanese term that means “leveling.”

Figure 1: Relationship Among Predictability, Flexibility and Stability Is Heijunka

Figure 1: Relationship Among Predictability, Flexibility and Stability Is Heijunka

When implemented correctly, heijunka provides predictability by leveling demand, flexibility by decreasing changeover time and stability by averaging production volume and type over the long term.

Figure 2: Example of Heijunka Box

Figure 2: Example of Heijunka Box

The heijunka box helps visualize the optimized production schedule. Each square on the board represents a kanban to signal production of a single product. The “pigeon holes” are implied – the kanbans fit in them. Each square on a given day represents one product to be made. In this example, for the timeframe Monday through Friday, two of the pink products are made each day, represented by two squares (kanbans). Heijunka boxes are literal boxes on the production floor that signal workers to know what to make next during the day.

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