The manufacturing industry has been around for centuries, and with technological advancements, it continues to evolve. Despite its entrenched nature, however, manufacturing companies must constantly find ways to optimize their operations and provide value as international competition continues to intensify.
As manufacturers across the globe seek to eliminate waste and increase efficiency, Lean manufacturing has emerged as a methodology and the go-to, comprehensive approach to achieving these goals.
One of the many crucial components of a well-executed Lean transformation for a manufacturing enterprise is Takt time. In order to achieve operational excellence, Takt time — or the pace of your manufacturing process — must be aligned with customer demand.
Once understood, implemented, and regularly monitored for improvement, Takt time can be the efficiency strategy your company needs to stay competitive and scale up.
Understanding Takt Time
Takt time is a central concept in Lean manufacturing that provides a framework for synchronizing production with the needs of the customer. It is based on the simple principle that production should always meet the demand of the consumer, but never overproduce to exceed demand.
It is calculated by dividing the available production time by the customer demand — this establishes the rate, or Takt time, at which products should be manufactured to meet demand.
For example, if a company has 480 minutes of production time available per day and a customer demand of 240 units per day, the TAKT time would be 2 minutes per unit. By understanding TAKT time, companies can optimize their production and meet customer demand efficiently.
Benefits of Implementing Takt Time
Executing the time-conscious process known as Takt time in your manufacturing company can have numerous benefits.
As a facet of Lean manufacturing, Takt time supports the core tenets of the methodology: delivering customer-defined value, eliminating waste, and continuously improving. The concept of Takt time supports these goals by having a number of individual advantages happening simultaneously.
A few of the major benefits of using Takt time in your manufacturing company are as follows:
1. Avoid overproduction — Takt time helps manufacturers eliminate unnecessary waste and excess inventory.
2. Boost efficiency — Takt time establishes the rate at which products must be manufactured, which helps leaders optimize operations.
3. Reduce costs — Minimizing waste and improving efficiency translates to reduced costs and increased profitability.
4. Facilitate teamwork — This concept requires collaboration among team members to synchronize production with customer demand, which promotes teamwork and a culture of continuous improvement.
5. Streamline production — Takt time helps manufacturers identify and eliminate bottlenecks and inefficiencies in production, which can streamline operations and reduce lead times.
6. Increase capacity utilization — this principle ensures that production is aligned with customer demand, which can increase capacity utilization and reduce idle time.
7. Enhance predictability — Takt time provides a predictable and reliable production schedule, which can help manufacturers plan and manage their resources more effectively.
Common Obstacles of Takt Time
While Takt time is a relatively straightforward concept, the execution can be a challenging endeavor. Strategic implementation of Takt time requires Lean-specific expertise, experience, and a significant investment of time and resources.
Subsequently, one of the biggest challenges companies face when implementing Takt time is resistance to change. Employees can be resistant to changes in their work processes, and leaders may be hesitant to take on a new approach. Working with a highly experienced Lean consultant can mitigate this issue, as their knowledge can help garner enthusiasm from both management and frontline employees for this transition.
Learn More: Choosing the Right Lean Consultancy Team
Insufficient training and communication can also be a challenge when instituting Takt time. Without the proper education, employees may struggle to understand the new processes and how to execute them effectively. Communication is also crucial to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals. By working with a team of tried-and-true experts, like those at Lean Horizons Consulting, you can ensure that these issues are addressed.
5 Steps to Institute TAKT Time in Your Manufacturing Company
Every company is unique — that’s why the Lean Horizons Consulting team believes in taking a deep-dive, individualized approach to process optimization rather than a templated one.
That being said, the implementation of Takt time will generally follow the framework below.
1. Identify the area: Choose a process or product that would benefit from TAKT time implementation.
2. Analyze the process and establish the baseline: Understand the current production rate and customer demand rate to determine the existing gap.
3. Determine the customer demand rate: Understand the market and customer needs to identify the demand rate.
4. Calculate the TAKT time and communicate it to the team: Use the formula to determine the TAKT time, then communicate it to the team.
5. Implement controls and standardized work: Institute visual controls to monitor the production process and ensure that everyone is following standardized work procedures.
At the end of the day, Takt time is about driving growth and reducing costs for your manufacturing company. However, successfully executing Takt time can be a daunting endeavor for newcomers and Lean enthusiasts alike.
Don’t let the potential hurdles of implementation hold you back from realizing your goals and reaping the benefits of Takt time. Partner with Lean Horizons Consulting — our team of globally renowned Lean experts will guide you through every step of the process and into a new era of profitability.