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Takt Time and Routine management

Takt Time e Gestão da Rotina

One of the strongest and simple ideas of lean and the idea of takt time.

In article Lean Service: an example with Cells discussed the application of the concept in the process flow through cells in a production services company. An important part in this application is to use correctly the Takt Time to balance the work of the people in the cell, among themselves, and with the demand.

If you are interested in seeing a true case of development of production cells, recommend the case Doré-Doré, about the process of transformation of this century-old French company of the textile sector (, leaving the typical production of large lots, in factories with functional layout for production cells with flow-oriented layout.

Takt Time

Takt is a German word which literally means clock. So Takt Time would be something like “Time Clock”, or “Time marked on the clock”. In practice, Takt Time is used as the indicator of “recommended speed” for an operation. Making an analogy, as well as drive in the process whose speed limit is 60 km/h, the takt is the “speed” for a production system, being calculated according to the following formula:

See that the Takt Time depends on the demand that you have to answer, and how long do we have to produce the amount requested by the client. Only!

I’ve seen some people speak in time, and use line takt time the neck for it. The neck of the time line is important. He is the most we can produce, but he’s not the Takt Time. We can compare the cycle time of the bottleneck over time to see if we have takt ability to meet the demand or not. But definitely the cycle time of operation is not considered in calculating the takt time.

Takt time calculation: a simple example:

Let’s see an example of an assembly line with 3 stations:

Note that the operations cycle times vary between 40 and 50 seconds. Being 50 sec time bottleneck operation. But the takt time is given exclusively by demand-55 seconds. Possible analysis is to compare the time the neck with the demand and calculate how far you can climb the demand without compromising the delivery. See the new calculation below:

That is, considering the example, this Assembly line is capable of producing up to 33,264 pieces per month, with the same amount of people.

Note that I also made the great calculation of the workforce required to meet the demand in both scenarios. In the first example, I arrived in 2.5 people, which involves 3 people – although that means 16.7% of idleness. In the second example, with a smaller 2.8 I takt people. Rounding to 3, we have a 6.7% idle.

Rhythm in operations: Takt time

These examples are simple. Someone always ends up saying that your work environment is much more complex, being impossible to apply these concepts.  In fact, we need to see through the operations as measuring the Takt Time. Somehow that makes sense and allows the management of the process.

Let’s see a curious case that discussed a time with a person of the area.

Think of a warehouse of dispatch of products such as appliances. There are over 40,000 product options. This warehouse, which has more than 100 docks for shipment, working in 3 shifts, Monday to Saturday, and with a team of 30 people. This operation dispatches products to the stores the retailer maintains, but also deliver directly to the consumers who buy via internet.

There are more than 9,000 requests per shift. And each application can consist of several items.

See the following calculations:

All right … but it’s impossible to work with a takt of 3 seconds. Takt is an indicator used in operating system design, and later in your management. How to do real-time monitoring of takt of 3 seconds??? Impossible.

A solution was already presented in the table. Did the calculating the takt time of each person involved in the separation of applications. Assuming each takes a complete application, from start to finish. In this way we come to a takt of 1.5 minutes. Which is already measurable, although it is still too short for most systems. I say most because in assembly lines this takt is already measurable.

Here I will use another solution. I’m going to make a Pitch. The Pitch is a multiple of the takt time with some physical sense – usually some storage unit. That is, instead of working with requests, we could use the pallet unit. In each pallet we have several requests. Thus we started to work with larger time intervals.

See the previous example again:

In this example I came in a 3-minute Pitch. That is, every 3 minutes, a truck must be loaded, so that us demand for dispatch of orders.

In this example I came in a 3-minute Pitch. That is, every 3 minutes, a truck must be loaded, so that us demand for dispatch of orders.

In the operations use the takt as performance evaluation parameter of the system. In addition to being an important parameter of the design of the system, it is very useful in the management of the same. Now let’s talk about the process of operations management in General and routine management.

I will not describe the process of managing, but I would like to reinforce the idea of embedded in the same rhythm. In other words, as well as the precise operation of pace and stability, the modus operandi also needs management. That is, how long are we going to manage the operation? Check out partial operating results?

Many managers are betting on flexibility of time and day and whole hour to do routine meetings to manage the operation. Others say they do it all the time. We know that “always” and “anytime” actually means never.

So it is important to build the takt. Routinely meet with start and end time to deal with the problems that impacted the operation. And ensure that we will do all the time. Within the takt.

The photo below illustrates a routine management framework into operation.

But that’s another post!




Carlos Lobo

Engenheiro mecânico pela UFRJ, Mestre e Doutor em Engenharia pela Unicamp. Split PhD pelo MIT. PMD pelo ISE/IESE Business School. 15 anos de experiência em projetos de melhoria. Traduziu e prefaciou o livro “Criando Fluxo Contínuo” publicado pelo Lean Enterprise Institute.


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