Takt time is an important indicator used in lean and is defined as the amount of time allowed to produce one product in order to meet demand. Takt time is often referred to as the beat of production and many organizations use this as a benchmark on which to target their processing times against. When calculated Takt time is usually expressed in seconds

Calculating Takt Time

Takt time is calculated by taking available production time and dividing it by the customer demand.

For example if you have 8 hours of production time which equates to 480 minutes or 28,800 seconds and the demand is for 350 widgets per day then the Takt time (in seconds) is calculated by taking the total seconds available 28,800 and dividing by the demand of 350 which equals 82 seconds.

Most businesses don’t run at 100% efficiency so available working time normally has an efficiency ratio applied to it which will result in a shorter Takt time (meaning the production line needs to run slightly faster).

Takt time is one of the core measures of lean and is vitally important when carrying out process improvements as it represents the ideal state of production meeting demand. Takt time is an essential tool when calculating allowable time for process steps and – you’ll often see cycle time and takt time comparisons as organizations attempt to shorten the gap between the two.

A key variable in takt time is demand and a variety of problems can be caused by demand which is highly variable. This has direct implications when planning production to meet takt time and can impact resource planning. Therefore many organizations will attempt to smooth demand (through using a master production schedule or MPS for example) to enable takt time to be maintained at a steady rate.

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