TAKT time, Lead time and Cycle time

While we are implementing lean we come across three mostly used terms for calculating the Time Spent i.e, Takt Time, Lead Time and Cycle time . Often people get confused of these terms and use Takt Time, Lead Time and Cycle time interchangeably. eventhough they are distinct.

These are used to Optimize the workflow and also to calculate on the capacity to meet the customer demand. Little confusion in this will lead to confused production line.

Now let us get to the details of these.

Lead time : The most simple of these words. The clock starts when we have an order from customer and ends with the time the order is delivered to customer. Let us say we have the order on 15-Sep-2018 and and delivered to customer on 20-Sep-2018. In this case, the Lead time if 5 Days.

Cycle time : Cycle time is the time taken for Production of one Unit. In other words its the time taken from Start of Production to Shipment. Let’s Say, we are able to produce 400 units in 100 days, the Cycle time is 100 /400 = 0.25 Days per Unit.

Takt Time : This tells you how much time you can take. It is the rate at which we can Produce to meet the customer demand. In other words, this is the time available with us to produce one unit. Lets say we have a demand of 200 Units from customer and this is to be delivered in 100 Days. In this case, the Takt Time is 100/200 = 0.5 Days Per Unit.

Using these times, we can simply ensure the production is planned to optimize the resources and meeting customer demands.

De-bottlenecking process and improving throughput

De-bottlenecking is  one of the very good lean tools focus on reducing cycle time and improving throughput. One of the important toll used is to study the bottlenecks in the system and improving throughput. A systemic approach is taken in studying, analyzing and acting on the bottlencks. A similar approach is taken in the theory of constraints also.

Bottleneck- Definition

The place in the value stream that negatively affects throughput; as a resource capacity limitation, a bottleneck will not allow a system to meet the demand of the customer.


De-bottlenecking essentially involves studying the bottleneck in the system and Improving the throughput rate of the process by working on optimizing the utilization of the bottleneck. 

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