Back to Volume 4 | Summer 2019

Cycle Time Formula Revisited

Executive Summary

Herein we describe a refinement of the well-known Cycle Time Formula, introducing two new components into the formula. One component describes the “wait-to-match” time of different routings in a production system converging at a single point, such as in an assembly operation. The second component accounts for “planned time buffers” – the time that parts or tasks are waiting, whether or not they can be worked on because of policies governing whether work can be done or not. Including these new components leads to a deeper understanding of the key contributors to cycle time, allowing us to make better decisions to optimize production system performance for considerations such as time-to-market or minimizing cash tied-up in Work in Process (WIP).

Keywords: Cycle Time; Wait-to-Match; Planned Time Buffer; Work in Process

H. James Choo Chief Technical Officer, Strategic Project Solutions,
Mark Spearman Director of Technical Solutions, Strategic Project Solutions,

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