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Takt time

"Takt" is the German word for the baton, as used by a conductor to control the speed at which the orchestra plays. In manufacturing, takt time is a calculated value that gives the speed at which parts must be manufactured in order to satisfy demand. 

To calculate takt time:

  1. Determine the daily order or demand volume. (eg. 21 instruments per day).
  2. Determine the number of time units (often minutes) in a working day. (eg. in an 8 hr day with 1 hour for lunch and no other breaks there is 7 x 60 = 420 minutes).
  3. Divide the number of minutes by the number of products needed.  (42021 = 20. This means that one unit must be manufactured every 20 minutes in order to meet demand. Takt time thus is 20 minutes.)

The takt time gives 'production slots' into which products must be manufactured to meet demand. 

The other form of time that is important is cycle time, which is the measured time that it actually takes to make a product. If this, plus any set up times, is greater than the takt time, then it is time for process improvement!

If you have a totally controlled and synchronized lean system, the takt time of all processes in the entire supply chain will be linked, even to controlling when the customers purchase.

See also:

Lean systems

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