lean manufacturing concepts explained

Lean manufacturing - TAKT time

Lean manufacturing systems work on a rhythm. Whole organization works on the rhythm provided by the customer. This rhythm is known as the TAKT time of the system. This is the ultimate pull scheduling system anyone can think about.

The TAKT Time can be calculated using simple formula given below.

TAKT time = Net Time Available for production / Customer Demand

For an example think you work 8 hrs a day for 5 days a week. For a week you have a demand of 100Pcs. Then your calculation will be as follows.

Takt = 8 x 5 x 60 minutes / 100 Pcs

= 24 minutes

What is the meaning of this? This means that you have to produce a finished product in every 24th minute. No this does not mean that you should produce 2Pcs in every 48 Minutes. It doesn’t mean that the system should produce an item in less than 24 minutes. Both these scenarios can lead to inefficiencies and wastes in the system.

If we aim to produce 20Pcs a day we have no need to produce an item in every 24th minute. In this case system may not run smoothly. For an example it might produce 12Pcs in first 7 hours and the remaining 8Pcs in the last hour (of cause if they have enough capacity). This is not the aim of a lean manufacturing system. So you can understand that not only the work, but also the way the work is carried out is important in lean manufacturing context.

If we produce a piece of that particular product in 20 minutes what will be the end result. You will either produce quantities greater than required or you might have an idle time. Over production and waiting are wastes in lean manufacturing. Both will lead to higher WIP accumulation and related problems.

I believe the greatest problem of implementing this kind of manufacturing concept is the mentality of the people. If you tell your finance guys “I worked on takt principle and I produced a part in every 24th minute, although I could have produced a piece in 20 minutes” I am sure that guy will go mad. Only very little number of people understand that we should only produce to the customer demand not extra.

So what are the advantages of sticking to the takt time?

1. It will give you the rhythm in which the system should operate
2. Production is smoothly planned and operations will be carried out without interruptions
3. The system is in synchronization with customer requirement
4. Pull scheduling is enabled
5. No over production
6. No rush hours in work
7. WIP reduced and problems in the system will be reveled

Takt time principle will work very well in cases where the demand can be traced easily. In a system where there is a fluctuating demand the takt will change continuously on the customer demand.

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