Cycle Time

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    I have a question about Cycle times.

    A process takes 48 seconds to complete – this includes loading 4 parts into a nest, machine welds product until finally the nest releases the finished product and it is ready to be unloaded.

    Does this mean that the cycle time is 12 seconds (48secs/4 parts)?



    Cycle time is the total time from beginning to end of the process and as agreed with the customer. So does the process manufacture 4 products at a time?


    Chris Seider

    Check the site on cycle times vs lead times etc.

    If you’re doing a process map, value chain map, etc. be sure to keep the units consistent. That part of the process would have one piece per 12 seconds assuming no waste–which is important to consider including setup times, downtimes, etc.


    Jason L.


    Unfortunately, you did not provide enough information about your process to answer your question. At least for me you didn’t.

    You started out by saying your process takes 48 seconds. Based upon the way you wrote this, I interpret your end-to-end process cycle time to be 48 seconds. But you also said that the 48 seconds, “…includes loading 4 parts into a nest”. The way you wrote this implies there is MORE to the total process than you’ve described. Is the process you are trying to measure ONLY the total loading time for the 4 parts? Or is it the total loading time plus other things on the front and back end? You also didn’t indicate if the 4 parts are loaded in series or in parallel (makes a big difference).

    For example: 4 parts loaded in 48 seconds could be 1 part taking 8 seconds, another taking 2 seconds, and the last two taking 1 second each. End-to-end cycle time = 48 seconds…in series. Same example above with the process done in parallel? End-to-end cycle time = 8 seconds (the time of the longest lead item).

    What specifically is your goal? What are you trying to measure? Please provide more detail and I’m sure we’ll be able to guide you.


    Mike Carnell

    Phil Don’t let people turn this into a science project for you. I measure from the time I dump the 4 parts until the next time I dump another 4 parts. Never worried about somebodies definition of right or wrong it is just simply how long it is going to take to get 4 more parts.

    As far as what goes on inside the operation, I wouldn’t even think about it. This process produces 4 parts every 48 seconds. If your next operation take 15 seconds per part to process then this process isn’t your problem (assuming you are trying to reduce time).

    You need to remember the words attributed to Jerry Garcia (I don’t know if it is a real quote or not): “Stay as high as you can for as long as you can.” In this context it is basically not getting into the minutia until you actually have a reason.

    Just my opinion

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