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planning and scheduling

Rhythm Wheel Tutorial

The Rhythm Wheel Trainer is a training tool that simulates this instrument for production planning and scheduling. It demonstrates the basic interactions between inventory levels and cycle length and shows the conflicts between the involved parties: the customer, the supply chain manager, and the production asset manager.

While the asset manager is mainly interested in stable capacity utilization, the supply chain manager wants to operate at lowest possible inventory levels to serve customer demand. The Rhythm Wheel Trainer provides a first impression on how these parameters interact and how to adjust these in order to find the optimal configuration.

Learn more in our video tutorial


The Rhythm Wheel Trainer represents a small scale model of a Rhythm Wheel controlled supply chain. Three major products are coordinated with a consumption driven pull replenishment mode. Customer orders are served from the distribution center. The distribution center in turn is replenished from the Rhythm Wheel leveled production asset.

The Rhythm Wheel Trainer is segmented into three views: The customer view, where demand and service level are observed, the distribution center view, where inventory levels are monitored, and the production asset view, where capacity utilization and its fluctuation are tracked.

Customer view

In the customer view, the development of the customer demand over time is observed. The graphs show the variable demand for the three products in every period. With the sliders, demand variability can be changed to test different scenarios of demand uncertainty. In the customer KPI-field, the service level for the three products is tracked to evaluate the supply chain performance.

Distribution center view

In the distribution center view, the three graphs show the current inventory level for every product. The Inventory Replenishment Level (IRL) can be increased or decreased with the sliders. If the IRL is chosen too high, excess inventory can be tracked in the inventory KPI-field. On the other hand, if the IRL is chosen too low, the customer service level in the customer KPIs will drop.

Production asset view

In the Production asset view, the single graph shows the Rhythm Wheel cycle length developing over time. High fluctuations in capacity utilization can be reduced by using the minimum and maximum cycle length sliders. Factoring is applied such that the cycle length will always stay between the minimum and maximum cycle length boundary. Should the boundaries be far apart, the fluctuating resource utilization can be tracked in the asset KPI-field. On the other hand, if the cycle length boundaries are very close to one another, fluctuation of the resource utilization is reduced but more stock is needed to achieve a high service level.