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What is Takt Time?

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Takt time is the time between starting one unit and starting the next. It is a common measure that is used to plan and manage production lines and business processes. Takt is taken from the German word Taktzeit meaning clock cycle. The word has music origins and is used to describe the tempo set by a conductor.


Takt time is a calculation of how often units need to be started to meet demand. This should not be confused with the time required to produce units. If production takes 4 seconds or 4 years, the calculation of takt time is the same:
Takt time = available work time / unit demand
Both work time and demand need to be for the same period, such as a week or month.


A brewery has demand for 40,000 units a week and its factory operates for 40 hours a week.
Takt time = 40 hours / 40,000 = 3.6 seconds
The brewery may factor in breaks and downtime to reduce operating hours to 32 hours a week:
Takt time = 32 hours / 40,000 = 2.88 seconds
The brewery times its production line to begin a new unit each 2.88 seconds. Production of each unit takes a constant time of 7 minutes. Therefore, a unit is finished every 2.88 seconds for a total of 40,000 units a week if the line is up for 32 hours.
Overview: Takt Time
The time between starting one unit and starting the next.
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