Takt time represents the average amount of time needed to adequately meet customer demand while not operating over capacity. Takt time is calculated with the following equation:
Takt time = Ta÷ D
In this formula you need the total production time (Ta) and the rate of customer demand (D) in order to find Takt time. Total production time is not just the amount of time a machine is running or how the long the work day is, but rather the total hours or minutes employees work that does not include time spent on meetings, maintenance, breaks, lunch, or other planned stoppages.
To show a practical application of calculating Takt time, we will use an example of a factory that manufactures microwaves. In this microwave factory, operation runs five days a week for eight hours a day. Each week includes one 30-minute meeting and a total time of one hour is spent on maintenance. Employees get one half-hour lunch break with two 15-minute breaks daily. An eight-hour, five-day workweek puts us at a beginning total time of 2,400 minutes. After factoring in the time not dedicated to production, we are left with the total production time of 2,010 minutes.
The next variable needed is the rate of demand. For our example, we will say that approximately 50 new orders for microwaves are placed every (250 orders a week). We will then plug these numbers into the equation:
2,010 ÷ 250 = 8.04 minutes
This means the microwave company has about eight minutes and two seconds to produce enough unites to meet customer demand. Granted this only happens if there are absolutely no stoppages, unplanned maintenance, emergency stops, etc. Although this number is flexible and not always achievable, it does simplify capacity calculations and knowing this number can help you in making production decisions or creating improvement plans for the future.