TAKT (Takt Time)

Takt Time in Manufacturing

Why Use Takt Time?

Takt time paces production in a way that aligns it with customer demand. It is an important concept in lean manufacturing because it balances the importance of meeting customer demand with the importance of minimizing work-in-process and inventory. Think of takt time as establishing the “rhythm” or “beat” of your manufacturing process. In fact, takt is a German word that means cadence, rhythm, time, measure, bar or cycle.

In practical terms, not only does takt time establish the pace of production, it provides an easy way to see if you are ahead of schedule, behind schedule, or right on schedule. How? By using takt time to drive a real-time target for schedule adherence. A very popular plant floor scoreboard display is target (how much should have been produced thus far) versus actual (good parts actually produced), along with efficiency (the ratio of actual to target).

DyoCense Takt Time BENEFITS

Integrating the use of Takt Time into your manufacturing operations will:

  • Help you to achieve a steady and continuous flow of production.
  • Eliminate the waste of overproduction by producing to actual customer demand.
  • Encourage the development of standardized work instructions, promoting quality and efficiency.
  • Enable you to set real-time targets for production that show operators exactly where their work output should be at any given point of time.
  • Make it easier to establish what-if scenarios for customer demand based on flexible manning
Takt Time for the Plant Floor

A common use of Takt Time is to pace a production line. Takt Time can be used to drive a Target Counter, such that each time the Takt Time elapses, the Target Count increments. Typically, the Target Count is shown alongside the Actual Count (the number of good pieces that have been produced) and the Efficiency (the ratio of Actual Count to Target Count). Visualizing a target can be as simple as a white board that is manually updated once per hour or as sophisticated as an electronic scoreboard that automatically updates in real time. Visual feedback can be a very powerful motivator for operators, especially when it is in straightforward and understandable terms such as Target/Actual/Efficiency.

Standardized Work

Standardized work refers to instructions that capture the best practices for manufacturing a given item in an efficient and highly repeatable manner. It is important to note that through kaizen these best practices are likely to continue to improve over time. Standardized work helps to eliminate unwanted variability in the manufacturing process, which diminishes the opportunity for defects to be created. It also results in a much more consistent “per piece” manufacturing time (i.e. standardized work also helps eliminate variability in manufacturing time). Thus, in most cases standardized work instructions will have an associated Takt Time. As touched on earlier, Takt Time can serve as a goal for kaizen activities that focus on making improvements to the production process. The results of these activities should ultimately be captured in standardized work instructions.

Flexible Manning

Customer demand rarely holds steady – it often fluctuates in unpredictable ways (especially over the short term). One way to cope with this is flexible manning (other ways include overtime and inventory buffers). With flexible manning, work processes and the associated standardized work instructions are designed to run with a variable numbers of operators.

  • When customer demand is high, Takt Time is low, and more operators are utilized.
  • When customer demand is low, Takt Time is high, and fewer operators are utilized. This frees up operators to work on other processes or on improvement initiatives.

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