Cycle Time

The time it takes to do one repetition of any particular task typically measured from “Start to Start” the starting point of one product’s processing in a specified machine or operation until the start of another similar product’s processing in the same machine or process. Cycle time is commonly categorized into:

1) Manual Cycle Time: The time loading, unloading, flipping/turning parts, adding components to parts while still in the same machine/process.

2) Machine Cycle Time: The processing time of the machine working on a part.

3) Auto Cycle Time: The time a machine runs un-aided (automatically) without manual intervention.

4) Overall Cycle Time: The complete time it takes to produce a single unit. This term is generally used when speaking of a single machine or process.

5) Total Cycle Time: This includes all machines, processes, and classes of cycle time through which a product must pass to become a finished product. This is not Lead Time, but it does help in determining it.

Note: In most cases it doesn’t matter very much which form of cycle time is greatest. What does matter is that your “Total Cycle Time” is less than your “Takt Time.”