What is takt time? Zero to coffee in 60 seconds.

Ah, the subtle nuances of takt time. So many questions.

What does takt mean? Why are you teaching us German? Isn't Lean a Japanese philosophy?

In traditional manufacturing, factories make parts as fast as possible. Output is king, as long as quality is queen. It can be hard to fathom actually slowing down a work cell and being more productive (assuming you’re using less people).

The benefits of levelling production and timing work cells to takt time are enormous. Steady production is easy production!

Wikipedia has a decent explanation of takt time.

I try to keep it simple when explaining takt time. Here's a typical conversation:

Me: How fast can you make a part?

Worker: 60 seconds

Me: That's the cycle time.

Worker: I know that. I've been doing this for 20 years.

Me: Okay. How fast does the customer want the part?

Worker: Well. . . It's complicated. Some days they want more than other days. And sometimes it's just crazy. Like yesterday. . .

Me: I know what you mean. Yesterday was crazy. But if you take the average demand of the customer and you know how much time you have, you can figure out how many seconds you need per part.

Worker: Sounds a little complicated. You do the math and tell me.

Me: Just divide your time by their demand. That's the takt time. This is how often the customer wants a part. Let's figure it out together.

Takt Time Training Video:

There was a cool takt time video in this place, using purchasing coffee to explain takt time, but alas, it has been removed from Youtube. 

Here's another video that describes takt time in more detail.


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