# Takt Time

Takt" is the German word for the baton that an orchestra conductor uses to regulate the speed at which musicians play. In manufacturing terms, takt time is a calculated value based on customer demand. Takt time is the speed at which parts must be manufactured in order to satisfy demand, and it is the heartbeat of any lean system.

Takt Time
Example: – Determine the daily demand (order) volume. Let's say we have orders for 215 super widget units per day. – Determine the number of working minutes in a day. Say that we have an eight-hour day, with 30 minutes for lunch and two 10-minute breaks. This means we have (8 x 60)30-10-10=430 minutes, or 430 minutes in a working day. – Divide the number of minutes by the number of products needed. In our current example, the calculation would be 430/215, which equals 2. This means that one unit must be manufactured every other minute in order to meet demand. Takt time is 2 minutes.

Takt Time
• • Takt time is the goal. It must be reached to satisfy demand. Cycle time is a measured value, not a calculated value as takt time is. In other words, you must go out to the floor, and measure the time it actually does take to manufacture the product. When making time observations, it is important to measure both the total cycle time for each operator (how long the job takes from beginning to end), and the time of each of the component tasks that make up the cycle. The cycle cannot be improved without a detailed understanding of what makes it up, and often it is possible to reassign component tasks to rebalance the operation. After making the observations, draw out an Operator Loading Bar Chart to graphically express what is going on.