Actual Cycle Time
Actual cycle time is the time spent by the company’s facilities to manufacture one part. In other words, the actual cycle time is the time interval in which the finished product is manufactured. This indicator is calculated according to the formula as the working time divided by the total number of manufactured parts.
What Parameters Can the Actual Cycle Time Consist Of?
Depending on what the manufacturing process consists of, the actual cycle time may include, for example:
- time for loading of raw materials and materials;
- manual operator time;
- time for automatic operation of the equipment;
- time for unloading materials or finished products;
- time for transportation of raw materials, finished products, etc.
Since this is the actual time, the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) variables are also considered: equipment downtime, delays due to replacements, or defects. But this does not include the time of reconfiguration of equipment from one type of product to another.
What Is the Actual Cycle Time Used For?
This indicator is used to calculate OEE performance in production.
Also, the cycle time allows you to determine the maximum possible productivity of the process at the speed that was measured.
All this allows for more effective enterprise asset management.
What Is the Actual Cycle Time Loss?
Cycle time loss occurs whenever equipment in a plant is running slower than ideally expected, and when there are shortstops in the cycle that are not considered downtime.
This indicator is calculated based on the ideal, reference, and cycle time (it is also called the theoretical minimum time for manufacturing products). This parameter is usually specified by the equipment manufacturer, but it can also be determined independently if based on the maximum allowable production speed.
How to Reduce the Actual Cycle Time?
This indicator can be reduced if you minimize the loss of cycle time – remove flaws and inconsistencies in work processes. For example, perform the following actions:
- improve the qualifications of employees;
- carry out planned preventive maintenance more often or with better quality;
- adjust product quality requirements;
- do the equipment downtime classification and minimize them;
- use other materials, etc.
How Are Cycle Time and Takt Time Related?
For the production process to keep up with consumer demand, the cycle time must be less than the cycle time. In this case, it takes less time to produce a unit of product than it takes to create a demand.
Thus, if demand requires the production of 50 units of production, and the company produces only 41 units, it can be argued that production is keeping up with demand.