Production Leveling (also called Production Smoothing) is aimed at reducing the variation in quantity in a production line. Leveling creates a constant production pattern that can be adjusted easily to respond to demand variations. If all processes are capable of producing to Takt time, leveling helps to minimize WIP inventories.
The two main elements are
- Leveling the total production quantity
- Leveling every product’s production quantity (sequencing)
Level Production is not for every product. One can distinguish between:
- Runners: Small number of products (5-10% of total) accounting for 60-70% of sales turnover – sufficient volume to justify dedicated facilities or cells
- Repeaters: Next group of products (20% of total) accounting for 20% of total turnover – dedicated facilities are not justifiable but frequent production is required
- Strangers: The remaining products that account for only 10% of total turnover – should be integrated into the schedule around regular slots for repeaters