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How to Calculate an Ideal Manufacturing Cycle Time

Nov 19, 2019

Value stream maps are an important tool to improving this process.

Editor’s Note: The following question comes courtesy of Reddit. I was on Reddit, saw this inquiry and found it interesting. Given that Larry Fast writes our Ask the Expert: Lean Leadership column, I asked him to weigh in on it—which he did in the following column.  If you have a question you would like Larry to address, please use this form to submit it. We want your questions.—Jill Jusko, associate content director. 

Q: “I am working as a manufacturing manager in a manual (batch) process plant. Our management has decided to go lean and asked me to come up with the cycle times for each step for all varieties of products. So, I observed the processes and came up with close to 150 sample times for every step. The range is high – varying from seven minutes to 45 minutes. Now in this case, how to come up with an ideal cycle time based on which our plant’s productivity will be calculated? This is the case for 80% of the processes!! 

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