Leveling, or production leveling is a technique that smooths the movement of products or services through their various processes so that everything flows with an even cadence. Balance between supply and demand is the key to success.

When everything is well balanced, each process step sends its output through the value stream with fewer fluctuations that ultimately disrupt delivery of final product to customers. Everything is more predictable, efficient and effective.

Leveling uses many of the most important elements of lean production including: pull systems (just-in-time), OEE (overall equipment effectiveness), quick change over and standard work.

With complex value streams, where there are many variables, leveling takes significant thought and planning. Trade-offs must be carefully considered. For example, batch processing and some safety stock inventory may be necessary.

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