Last update: August, 2011
Once upon a time
In Ohno's (TOYOTA Production System thinker) teaching, there is the tale of "the slower but consistent tortoise causes less waste and is much more desirable than the speedy hare that races ahead and then stops occasionally to doze.
This tale is an illustration of the leveling principle in which the workload is leveled for the sake of continuity (consistency of tortoise's pace) regardless to orders variations (the dashing of the hare).
Customer's orders may be considered relatively constant when looked upon a long time period. (averaging effect), or erratic and unpredictable if considered in a shorter period and apart from any negotiated program.
However, efficient work supposes:
In order to produce with less waste (overtime, inventories, express supplies and shipments, rework,
stress...) while satisfying market demand.
Production levelling is based on orders analysis (products and volumes mix) in a given time span (one month, for example) in order to find out a pattern fitting in a smaller time span (daily, for example). This pattern is to be repeated until the whole demand (of the month) is satisfied.
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