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How to Calculate Takt Time to Control a Process

Joshua has work experience in aerospace/aluminum manufacturing & distribution. He received his BBA in accounting from Kent State University.

Takt from the phase "Takt Time" originated from the German word Takt zeit, which relates to a clock interval.

Takt from the phase "Takt Time" originated from the German word Takt zeit, which relates to a clock interval.

What is Takt Time?

Takt time is the maximum time it takes a manufacturer to produce a product to meet customer requirements. Takt time is easily confused with lead time (from customer order to completion) and cycle time (time of part of a process).

It’s better to picture takt time as a rate rather than a time, as its name suggests. Imagine that you are working at the very end of a long assembly line. The line has 5 different processes. The lead time would be the time it takes to complete one unit of product from start to finish. In between that time, each process is working at different cycle times to produce the products, adding to the overall lead time. Your job consists of placing a tag on the product and setting in on a skid (the last part of the process). The interval from the time one unit is set on the skid till the time another is set on the skid is the takt time.

Takt time is measured by dividing the available production time by the number of units that customers demand. Units shouldn’t be too difficult to measure, but you do have to put some thought in the numerator. For instance, you must know how much time is available (with a deduction of employee breaks) and per what unit of time. There is not really a rule of thumb to go with when coming up with the time units to use. This should be dictated by reviewing the last process and determining if takt time should be seconds, minutes, hours, or even days.

Takt time was created around 1941, after the time which Taiichi Ohno studied Ford principles of mass production and assembly Line to aid the creation of the Toyota Production System.

Takt time was created around 1941, after the time which Taiichi Ohno studied Ford principles of mass production and assembly Line to aid the creation of the Toyota Production System.

Takt Time Equation

Takt Time can be measured by dividing the net time available to work divided by total demand for the product as shown in the equation below:

T= Ta / Td

Where

T = Takt Time

Ta= Net time available

Td = Total demand

Takt Time Example Calculation

If a department works 8 hours a shift, takes a 1-hour lunch, and the demand for parts is assumed to be 200 then takt time is as follows:

(8 x 60) - 60 = 420 minutes of available work time

Total demand = 200

42 / 200 = 2.1 minutes

If each step in production takes a max time of 2.1 minutes, then the demand for 200 units can be met. For a company that follows lean principles, the pace time set for processes can be set less than or equal to the takt time.

Suppose the company has 100 employees. This would increase the number of minutes available to 42,000 and takt time would raise to 200 minutes. This would be wrong because you would only want to calculate takt time for the number of employees that are needed to fulfill the demand requirement. If the company had scheduled 42,000 minutes worth of labor available and there was a demand of 50,000 and the labor is broken up into category 1 and category 2. Each category takes a certain amount of time 30 seconds and 2.5 minutes respectfully and category 1 is 75% of all demand. Calculations to find processing time for both categories can be found below:

Category 1

Processing Time Required = (42,000 X .75)(.5) =15,750 minutes

Category 2

Processing Time Required = (42,000 X .25)(2.5)=26,250 minutes

So, by knowing the percent of demand of the two product categories was able to allocate the workforce, then figure out how processing time per category by multiplying the time it takes to complete the process.

So total Processing Time Required to complete all demanded work = 18,750 + 31,250 = 50,000 min. Now that we have the processing time required to meet demand, we can calculate the Net Time Available to complete category 1 and 2.

Therefore, the Net Time Available to complete category 1= 42,000 * 18,750 / (18,750 + 31,250) = 15,750 min.

Therefore, the Net Time Available to complete category 2 = 42,000 * 31,250 / (18,750 + 31,250) = 26,250 min

Now the time can be calculated.

Takt Time Category 1= 15,750 min. / 37,500 = 0.42 min. per unit. On the average, the company needs to compete 1 unit every 0.42 min.

Takt Time Category 2 = 26,250 min. / 12,500 = 2.1 min. per unit. On the average, the company needs to compete 1 unit every 2.1 mins.

Neither category is meeting the time it takes to complete each process so overtime will need to be scheduled and backlogging will occur.


If the cycle time of a process is greater than the takt time, then kaizen (continuous improvement) should be used to make it either less than or equal to the takt time.

If the cycle time of a process is greater than the takt time, then kaizen (continuous improvement) should be used to make it either less than or equal to the takt time.

Benefits of Using Takt Time

Using calculated takt times effectively can make production lines operate with greater efficiency. Waste can potentially be eliminated, and it will be easier to complete production planning as a result. Listed below are the key benefits to takt time implementation.

Reduction of Overproduction – With this type of production planning, you can produce more as needed, therefore allowing you to meet customer demand and reduce the amount of inventory stocked on the shelf.

Manages Overtime – After implementing takt time you should be producing products on a more consistent basis and can reduce the costs of overtime.

Easier Planning – Since it will be easier to predict your output based understanding your shift requirement for the following work week should prove to be easier due to a more stable schedule.

References

Boyer, K. & Verma, R. (2010). Operations & supply chain management for the 21st century. Mason, OH: South-Western.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Joshua Crowder