pacemaker – (1) In a manufacturing context: The lean manufacturing concept of using a single workcenter to set the pace (speed) for the entire process; also called a pacing process. (2) In a medical context: A medical device used to set the pace of a patient’s heart.

In the lean manufacturing context, the pacemaker should be used to level-load the system over time and to set the pace for the other processes in the system. Ideally, the pace for the pacing process should be determined by the takt time, which is the cycle time determined by the market demand rate. Processes before the pacemaker (upstream) should produce only when they receive a pull signal from the next downstream process or directly from the pacemaker. This helps prevent overproduction ...

Get The Encyclopedia of Operations Management: A Field Manual and Glossary of Operations Management Terms and Concepts now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.