Lean cycle time

Cycle time variation is a metric and philosophy for continuous improvement with the aim of driving down the deviations in the time it takes to produce successive units on a production line. [1] It supports organizations' application of lean manufacturing or lean production by eliminating wasteful expenditure of resources. It is distinguished from some of the more common applications by its different focus of creating a structure for progressively reducing the sources of internal variation that leads to workarounds and disruption causing these wastes to accumulate in the first place. Although it is often used as an indicator of lean progress, its use promotes a structured approach to reducing disruption that impacts efficiency, quality, and value. [2]

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are million people working in the US construction industry in 2016. The average construction worker is statistically more likely to work in a small or medium business than a large multi-billion company. Despite this statistic, many of the research and implementation case studies in Lean Construction have been on large multi-million or multi-billion projects. The goal of this blog post to present a case study of an application of the Last Planner System within a small 20-person company.

T&D electric manufactures high-voltage switches and other equipment for electric utilities. One line that is staffed by three workers assembles a particular type of switch. Currently the threes workers have fixed assignments; each worker fastens a specific set of components on the switch and passes it downstream on a rolling conveyor. The conveyor has capacity to allow a queue to build up in front of each worker. The bottleneck is the middle station with a rate of 11 switches per hour. The raw processing time is 15 minutes. To improve efficiency of the line, management is considering cross-training the workers and implementing some form of flexible labor system.

Cycle time is the time it take to complete your task or piece of the process (washing, loading or drying).
Takt time is the pace at which you need to produce to meet customer demand. It is available working time divided by customer demand in that period of time. Say if you have 5 working hours available to do laundry and you have 10 customers a day that need your services, your takt time is 5/10=. So you need to deliver a clean load every .5 hrs, or every 30 minutes. It is solely a calculated time based on your available working time and customer demand. It has nothing to do with your cycle time which is how long it takes you to perform a task.
The time to wash might be 60 minutes or might be, 90 minutes. In which case you can use your cycle time to calculate how many machines you should have or people washing (if hand washing).
In this case you would CALCULATE the number of resources you need:
(cycle time) / (Takt time) = # of resources needed. In this case 60 / 30 = 2. So you would need 2 machines to meet your takt time.

If cycle times vary widely, whether from cycle to cycle, or from person to person, it is an indication that there is something wrong with the process. On occasion, you will have one person who can’t seem to keep up. Make sure you observe the operator before you to jump to conclusions. In all likelihood, the person is slower because he is not following the process, not because he can’t do the work. In most cases, this is a training problem, meaning the operator doesn’t know the right way. That’s not the operator’s fault. It’s yours. 

Lean cycle time

lean cycle time

Cycle time is the time it take to complete your task or piece of the process (washing, loading or drying).
Takt time is the pace at which you need to produce to meet customer demand. It is available working time divided by customer demand in that period of time. Say if you have 5 working hours available to do laundry and you have 10 customers a day that need your services, your takt time is 5/10=. So you need to deliver a clean load every .5 hrs, or every 30 minutes. It is solely a calculated time based on your available working time and customer demand. It has nothing to do with your cycle time which is how long it takes you to perform a task.
The time to wash might be 60 minutes or might be, 90 minutes. In which case you can use your cycle time to calculate how many machines you should have or people washing (if hand washing).
In this case you would CALCULATE the number of resources you need:
(cycle time) / (Takt time) = # of resources needed. In this case 60 / 30 = 2. So you would need 2 machines to meet your takt time.

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