Cycle Time Reduction

Example of balance chart used in Cycle Time Reduction projects

Cycle time reduction takes two possible forms:

1) For companies with predictable demand and reasonable mix of products, focus on reduction of cycle times of the bottleneck operation (i.e. increase the throughput of the flow) through line balancing

  • Reduce the cycle time of the bottleneck operation
  • Balance the cycle times of all operations so that they are reasonably equal and close to takt time
  • Develop a system where the line/process can be re-balanced on the regular basis to ensure synchronization with true takt time

2) For companies with high mix, low volume environment, focus on reducing the total lead time of the process from beginning to end

  • Measure the cycle times of all operations involved
  • Reduce the cycle time of every operation, starting with the slowest operation
  • Do not worry about line/process balancing for high mix, low volume production where takt time is unpredictable and therefore not very meaningful