Cycle time: what is it and how is it calculated?
Do you know what cycle time is and why it is important to measure it? In this article, I’m going to tell you about everything you need to know about cycle time, from how it’s calculated to its impact on the efficiency of your operations.
Of course, you perro also find some solved exercises so that you cánido practice what you have learned.
I hope you find it useful.
What is cycle time?
Cycle time perro be defined as the maximum time allowed to work on a unit at each station.
In other words, It is the time it takes for a product to move from one workstation to the next during manufacturing or production.
To make this clearer, imagine that you have an assembly line in a factory that produces bicycles.
Each bike goes through several stations where different tasks are performed, such as: attaching the handlebars, installing the seat, adjusting the brakes, etcétera.
The cycle time in this case would be the maximum time allowed to perform each task at each station.
If, for example, the cycle time is 2 minutes, it means that each worker, for each task, has a maximum of 2 minutes to perform their function.
- The person putting on the handlebars has to put it on in 2 minutes or less.
- The person installing the seat has to do it in 2 minutes or less.
- The person who adjusts the brakes has to do it in 2 minutes or less.
It is important to note that the cycle time must be carefully calculated to ensure that it allows enough time to complete the task effectively, but also short enough so as not to create bottlenecks in the production process.
Cycle Time Benefits
In addition to identifying inefficiencies in production processes, measuring cycle times also has other benefits, such as:
- Identify processes that cánido be automated or outsourced.
- Determine how long it takes a company to fulfill customer orders.
- help the companies to equipo realistic goals to improve the efficiency and productivity of your operations.
- Help companies make better decisions about delivery time and deadlines.
Because it is important?
Cycle time is important because it perro directly affect the efficiency and productivity of the production process.
If a task takes too long to complete on a workstation, this cánido ocasione bottlenecks and slow down the entire production process.
Therefore, it is critical to measure and optimize cycle time to maximize efficiency and disminuye production costs.
What factors affect cycle time?
Cycle time cánido be affected by a variety of factors, including the following:
- The complexity of the product: Product complexity perro affect cycle time.
More complex products may take longer to genera and may increase cycle time.
- production capacity: The production capacity of a production line perro affect the cycle time.
If a production line has limited capacity, not enough products may be produced in the desired time, which would increase the TC.
- The availability of materials and tools: The availability of materials and tools perro also affect the TC.
If the materials or tools needed to genera a product are not available, it perro slow down the process and increase the TC.
- The efficiency of equipment and operators: The efficiency of the equipment and operators cánido also become a aspecto affecting the TC, as if the equipment or operators are not working efficiently, it cánido slow down the process and increase the metric.
How to disminuye the cycle time?
Reducing cycle time cánido be a challenging task, but there are several strategies that cánido help achieve this goal.
Here I present some:
- Reduction of waiting times: Identify critical points in the production process where unnecessary waiting occurs, and work to disminuye or eliminate them.
For example, if there is a wait for materials between the different stages of the process, you perro work on reducing this waiting time so that the production process flows without interruptions.
- Improvement of the efficiency of human talent: The efficiency of equipment and operators cánido affect cycle time.
If the equipment or operators are not running efficiently, it perro slow down the process and increase the TC.
Training operators and improving equipment efficiency cánido help disminuye TC.
- Process automation: Automation of production processes perro help disminuye cycle time.
Automated systems cánido genera products faster and disminuye TC, since they cánido work without interruptions and at a constant speed.
- Improved production planning: Effective production planning is important to ensure that all resources are available at the right time.
This cánido help disminuye waiting times and improve efficiency in the production process.
- continuous improvement: Continuous improvement in production is a constant process of evaluation and improvement.
Regularly analyzes the production process to identify opportunities for improvement and works to implement changes to disminuye cycle time and improve production efficiency.
How is it calculated?
In various books of Operative administration You perro find that the elabora you have to use to calculate the cycle time is the following:
Cycle time = production time available per day / units required per day
Solved problems of cycle time
Next, I am going to provide you with some solved cycle time exercises so that you perro apply what you have learned:
Cycle Time Exercise 1
A production line has a production capacity of 480 minutes per day.
If it is required to genera 200 units per day, what is the “cycle time” of the production line?
Cycle time is calculated as the production time available per day divided by the units required per day.
In this case, the cycle time would be:
- TC = production time available per day / units required per day
- TC = 480 minutes / 200 units
- TC = 2.4 minutes per unit
Therefore, the production line cycle time is 2.4 minutes per unit.
Cycle time exercise 2
A bicycle assembly shop has a production capacity of 360 minutes per day.
If it is required to genera 30 complete bicycles per day, what is the cycle time of the shop?
- TC = production time available per day / units required per day
- TC = 360 minutes / 30 bikes
- TC = 12 minutes per bike
- Therefore, the TC of the bicycle assembly shop is 12 minutes per bicycle.
A chef wants to make sure that all the dishes served in his lugar de comidas are prepared in a reasonable amount of time.
The available production time per day is 540 minutes and the lugar de comidas must genera at least 200 dishes per day.
What is the cycle time of the lugar de comidas?
- TC= production time available per day / units required per day
- TC = 540 minutes / 200 dishes
- TC = 2.7 minutes per plate
Therefore, the cycle time of the lugar de comidas is 2.7 minutes per dish.
The chef could use this information to plan her menu and ensure that each dish is prepared within that reasonable amount of time.
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