Takt Time: all you need to know

It is a reality, companies all over the world focus on reducing the amount of time. And that’s not all. They are also reducing the resources used while providing greater quality products to their customers. To achieve that goal, implementing takt time in your business plan can help in an efficient way.

But, let’s see what is the meaning of takt time.

The term derives from the German word Taktzeit and translates to either “measure”, “cycle” or “pulse”.

It refers to the maximum amount of time in which a product needs to be produced in order to satisfy customer demand.

Takt time is very popular in lean manufacturing. And it is an essential tool to reduce wasted time and resources (TIMWOODS) and establish a smooth workflow to fulfill the customer demand.

Why do we need takt time?

Takt time is more than a tool. It is also a new way of thinking while running your operations efficiently.

Let’s talk about the benefits.


Mainly, takt time ensures that all the capacity in a lean manufacturing process is planned and utilized and still meets the customer demand.

It will allow us to deliver the right product (RP) at right time (RT) at the right quantity (RQ).

It is possible to achieve RP, RT and RQ without implementing takt time. However, this may lead to much waste of man and machine within the process.


With each stage of the process broken down, the overall process becomes very visual.

This way, it creates a constant pulse within your process, which will immediately highlight capacity issues, synchronization between each stage among the process, quality product issues and many others.

How to calculate takt time

So, now that you know the definition of takt time and its advantages, let’s explore in detail how to calculate it.

As noted above, takt time relates to the time span required to manufacture a product from start to end.

This way, the continuous flow is ensured and the customer demand is fulfilled successfully.

Now, we will talk about the formula of takt time and we will break down its components:

takt time = available production time / customer demand

Available Production time

Mostly, manufacturing businesses operate an 8-hour shift, 5 days a week. This equals 480 minutes in total.

But, of course, not all the 480 minutes are “available”.

We have to bear in mind coffee and lunch breaks, personal needs, material preparation in the morning, etc.

So, assuming that there are 2 x 10 minutes of coffee break, 30 minutes for lunch and 20 minutes consumed at the start and end of each day, the available production time decreases to 410 minutes.

Total Time: 8 hours x 60 minutes = 480 minutes.

Breaks: 50 minutes.

Preparation: 20 minutes.

Total Available Time: 480 – 50 – 20 = 410 minutes.

Customer Demand

This simply relates to the number of units the customer requires in a specified period of time.

To keep the maths simple, we will assume that the customer requires 100 units of a determined product in 8 hours.

Customer Demand in 8 hours: 100 units.

Takt time

Simply take our Total Available Time and divide it by the Customer Demand.

Takt Time: 410 minutes / 100 units = 4.1 minutes or 246 seconds.

This means that a completed unit must be finished every 246 seconds or less to fulfill the customer demand. Otherwise, there is a danger to not meet the demand requested by the customer.

After the calculation of takt time, you are ready to go to the practical section of the post.

Takt time and ISC Software

As you have seen in the previous section, the formula is easy.

However, it’s one of the most difficult tools to implement in a lean manufacturing business.

This section will guide you through the following steps to successfully implement takt time in your whole process:

  • Separate out the process into individual stages.
  • Balance the production line accordingly. 

Analyze individual processes

Start implementing takt time by measuring the cycle time of individual processes.

However, it is important to consider two types of analysis depending on the process.

Machine Process

When it comes to machine processes, DGM is the most professional tool to improve the performance.

It provides an advanced Non-Value Added module that allows you to identify and reduce or eliminate waste.

Quick & Outstanding Results
DGM has an average of 30% increased performance.

Manual Process

With an average improvement of 20%, DGI is the appropriate software to deeply understand manual processes.

It also provides a powerful Non-Value Added module adapted to manual processes to enhance the original cycle time.

Quick & Outstanding Results
DGI has an average of 20% increased performance.

Balance the workload of operators

Once every individual process has been fully analyzed, represent your actual layout with DGL, our complete line balancing software.

The Calculations module automatically brings individual cycle times closer in order to reduce the total amount of time.

After that and based on your actual takt time, DGL will highlight the best combination of operators to keep the line balanced while the customer demand is satisfied.

Maybe your process wil need fewer operators…

Takt time and DGL

The following steps explain how to find out the right workload of operators with DGL.

Let’s assume that you already finished a completed analysis for every individual process using DGM and DGI, with its appropriate Non-Value Added study.

Log into your DGL application and setup a brand-new project.

line balancing software

Create operations for each individual process analyzed before

lean manufacturing dgl

Drag and drop operations with the mouse to the canvas

takt time formula

Establish connections between your operations representing the actual workflow of your process

takt time calculation

Click the Calculations button from the main menu

takt time definition

Setup a brand-new calculation

In another post we will talk about the two powerful strategies shown in the calculations window.

To keep things simple, select N/A Strategy, leave other parameters as default and click run.

time and motion study software

Enter your takt time to find out the best combination of workers

takt time meaning

That’s all! In this post we have deeply covered what is takt time and what are the its advantages.

Additionally, we have shown how easily it is to implement it in our processes using the DGL, professional line balancing software from ISC.

Balance your line
It has never been easier to find the most efficient approach of your line.

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