Within Lean manufacturing, takt time can revolutionise organisations and production. Takt time originates from the German word “takt,” which refers to a musical beat or pulse – and in manufacturing, takt time is a crucial metric for aligning production with demand. Every part of our process plays the perfect note in a big music performance.
Understanding takt time
Takt time teaches us to make sure our product-making speed (production pacing) matches what our customers want (customer demand). Think of takt time as a helpful guide – it tells us exactly how quickly we need to make our products so that we make just enough to keep our customers happy and don’t waste any materials or time.
Takt time makes sure your team plays their part just right for waste-free and on-time production. Strong leadership is key to guiding your team.
Calculating and applying takt time
Takt time weaves its magic by succinctly aligning the production time per unit with the customer demand rate. Calculating takt time is simple: it involves dividing the available production time by customer demand.
Imagine a small toy manufacturing unit has received an order to produce 1,000 toys to be delivered in 10 days. Let’s assume the production facility operates eight hours a day and will work a total of 80 hours to meet the order in the given timeframe.
The formula to calculate takt time is:
Takt time = Available Production Time Customer Demand
In this scenario:
Available Production Time = 80 hours (or 4,800 minutes)
Customer Demand = 1,000 units
Takt time = 4,800 minutes 1,000 units
Takt time = 4.8 minutes per unit
In order to meet the customer demand and deliver the 1,000 toys in 10 days, the production line must produce one toy every 4.8 minutes. Understanding and applying takt time ensures that the production pace meets customer demand without over or underproduction, reflecting the essence of Lean manufacturing. Takt time is pivotal in aligning production pacing with customer demand, promoting efficiency, and minimising waste.
Takt time shapes the production landscape, ensuring resources, labour, and time harmonise to drive Lean manufacturing.
Challenges in maintaining takt time
While a perfectly balanced production is good, maintaining takt time requires astute leadership and a nuanced understanding of Lean principles. Fluctuations in customer demand, variances in production capabilities, and unforeseen obstacles need a leader who can adeptly navigate challenges, ensuring Lean manufacturing in turbulent times.
Takt time management is not inherent but an acquired skill honed with comprehensive education and practical experience. Leadership courses provide the weapons to battle the challenges, equipping you with adaptive strategies and robust problem-solving mechanisms.
Introducing takt time and Lean manufacturing to leaders and aspiring professionals encourages continuous learning and improvement. By booking a course on production pacing, takt time, and lean manufacturing, you’re not just acquiring knowledge – you’re becoming a master of precision, efficiency, and purpose.
If you would like to learn more about balancing takt time for Lean production or to sign up for one of our courses, please contact us: