Original Date: 02/09/1998
Revision Date: 04/22/2003
Information : Levelized Scheduling System
UE adopted a Levelized Scheduling system which pulls the product through the production floor instead of pushing it. UE’s previous (push) system was spread out over three different facilities, and had a leadtime of up to four weeks while production control and sales representatives completed the proper paperwork and scheduling.
The Levelized Scheduling system is a one-piece flow that promotes production flexibility and shorter leadtimes. Production equipment is arranged in the order that employees work instead of being grouped by equipment function. UE also consolidated all of its operations in one building to facilitate better control over the production floor. The system’s goal is to pull a product through the floor at a rate equal to the rate of sales. Downstream processes pull small amounts of work from upstream processes at a pace that reflects the customers’ demands for finished products rather than pushing work downstream in batches.
Customer service uses various tools with the Levelized Scheduling system. Visual scheduling boards define the unit loading by day, the rough mix by cycle time, and the overall Takt time (amount of time it takes for a part to go through the workcell). Spreadsheets determine the best mix of high, medium, and low cycle-time products in order to generate the best production flow. A computerized sequence list tells production employees the exact order to build the product.
Benefits of the Levelized Scheduling system include a dependable first-in-first-out approach; a visual status-check capability via scheduling boards; less than two-hour production leadtimes; and the loss of only one unit when defects occur compared to multiple units with a batch system. The system identifies and eliminates waste associated with storage, unnecessary production, inventory movement, and costs related to correcting a defect. The Levelized Scheduling system enables UE to supply its customers with high quality products at the lowest cost and in the shortest possible time.
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