Takt Time

Production adjusted to takt time

The takt time is an indicator of the customer’s purchase frequency measured in seconds.

For instance, Heijunka considers it as a target time to which the production system must adapt in order to meet customer expectations and set the pace of production.

In order to stablish a Lean Manufacturing Program, this is the first indicator anyone willing to improve should know.

How to calculate takt time?

Companies can calculate takt time with the next formula:

Takt time = Available time / Demand

For example:

  • Working hours: 8 hours per shift
  • Lunch time: 0.5 hours per shift
  • Number of shifts: 1 shift daily
  • Business days per month: 22 days per month
  • Monthly demand: 9,730 pieces per month
  • Available time = (8 hours / shift) – (0.5 hours / shift) = 7.5 hours / shift
  • Available time = (7.5 hours / shift) * (60 min / hour) = 450 min / shift
  • Available time = (450 min / shift) * (1 shift / day) * (60 sec / min) = 27,000 sec / day
  • Daily demand = (9,730 pieces / month) / (22 days / month) = 422 pieces / day

Takt time = (27,000 sec / day) / (422 pieces / day) = 64 sec / piece

In other words, a customer buys a piece every 64 seconds, in such a way that the standard time per piece must be equal to or less than 64 seconds.

Know your customers’ needs

This operation is all about the speed at which you need to complete a product to match the customer demand.

However, it is worth considering that not all customers order a single item at a time. Certainly, on an industrial scale, this situation is atypical.

For example, people can request more or less standardized quantities to be delivered in a logistics unit that groups production units (containers or pallets).

As a result, companies must transform the takt time into a unit called pitch.

Pitch represents the production and, also, packing time of a production unit in its corresponding logistics unit:

((takt * pieces per pack) / 60 s)

In conclusion, producing the pace of takt time sounds simple, but it requires considerable effort to respond quickly to variations, eliminate causes of inefficiencies, and change times in downstream logistics processes.

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