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TXM Lean Minute – Using Short Interval Control for Planning


Short interval control production boards are a key tool to stabilizing and sustaining our lean processes within a machine or workstation area.  This Lean minute explains how Short Interval Control production boards provide the information needed for the team to make the correct decision about order and sequence of production in real time every day.

Learn About Levelling Production in a Machining Shop from our Lean Minute Video

Lean Delivers Lower Lead time in a Machining Shop in this Lean Case Study

Read the Full Transcript of this Video

Having a Short interval production helps your team make better production decisions.

Hello and Welcome to this TXM Lean minute – I’m Tim McLean

Often in manufacturing being agile means last minute changes to respond to customer demand.  This can make the scheduling of jobs a little confusing. 

Short interval production boards are a key tool to stabilizing and sustaining our lean processes within a machine or workstation area.  It can also provide the information needed for the team to make the correct decision about order and sequence.

The core principle behind the short interval production board is simple. We know what “we have done” and we can only do what is “physical ready to start“ based on the information at hand. 

When setting up a Short interval production board you need three main steps:

  1. List only jobs that can be physical started. That is – all the items are in place before starting.
  1. Only one job at a time per machine/workstation.
  2. List the critical information only, such as due date and required quantity

This information is usually displayed on a magnetic tag on a whiteboard this allows the team to reschedule and plan better outcomes “on the fly”

When starting out we want to set up a pilot, getting our team to trial the production board and to decide what critical information is needed.

Then to mange the board as the work progresses and highlighting any changes as needed.

Once this has been defined the production board can be upgraded and then expanded into other production areas creating a link.

And finally, as lean leaders, we need to review our teams performance, checking the Short Interval production boards daily to review how the team is managing the works and ensuring the tasks are in the best order so that the right work is done at the right time .

Following these key steps helps you to set up your Short interval production board and your team for success.

Contact us at TXM to learn more about how to improve your business processes.