Takt time

Takt time

The takt time, which is a German derived word meaning meter, is referred to the available work time per day or production shift to completely satisfy all customer order demands within a defined work period. It is obtained by dividing the available production time in a work day or shift by the required daily quantity of output. It defines the maximum available work time to complete all customer orders in time within a defined time period.

The takt time is useful for a producer to balance the rate of production to better meet customer demand. If the cycle time of each unit of output is less than or equal to its takt time then the time to produce the required units during each time period is sufficient to meet customer demand. If the cycle time is equal to the takt time, the production process is said to be at capacity. This does not include any plant downtime which can reduce total takt time.

The takt time available to complete tasks or produce an item can place requirements on production teams and machinery or plant to produce products under a certain amount of time in order to complete all customer orders for each product. Even though this may put production under pressure to achieve their production target, product or service quality should never be sacrificed nor should plant maintenance time, as this may provide short term gains at the detriment of product quality and supply reliability in the long run.

The takt time can be used to smooth out production and material flow to achieve faster production times and should be considered for when adding capacity to an existing production line or procuring new production facilities in order to be able to meet future customer demand.

Takt time formula

Takt time is simple and straight forward to calculate by using the following formula:


Fig 1. Takt time Formula

Calculating Takt time

For example, in a production environment if the available work time in a work day is 7.5 hrs and 200 units of production are required, then the takt time can be calculated as:

Minutes available for production per day: 7.5hrs = 7.5hrs x 60mins= 450 minutes

Units required: 200 units per production day

Takt time: 450/200 = 2.25 minutes

So the takt time for this production process is 2.25 minutes, this means that in order to produce all of the units required in one full production day, each unit must be completed in 2.25 minutes or less. If the production time for each product is more than 2.25 minutes then production engineers and managers have to adjust production technology, work methods/standardization, tooling, labour or production plant. The choice will depend on cost and investment returns as well as available technology and equipment.

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