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Takt time vs. slack time

Takt time vs. Slack time

Author: Henry Salo
Published: 4.3.2019

The purpose of takt time production is to make problems more visible. It is easier to correct defects at an early stage when they are detected on a constant basis. Takt time stabilises processes and creates standards for them. Takt time defines our operation.

Slack time in construction

In construction, slack time is the time when premises are empty and ready for the next work stage to begin. Slack time may be caused by planning, the lack of necessary materials or workers, or a delay in the completion of the previous work stage. Slack time comes about when overall planning is not detailed enough.

Slack time is reduced in the building by careful planning and making the schedule transparent and real time.

Takt time

Takt time is an old invention that is already being utilised in construction and within production facilities. Takt time can be seen as a unit of time during which a product or a part thereof must be completed in order to keep to the agreed schedule. In takt time production, an entity is divided into smaller sections.

Let’s take bathroom fixtures as an example. An apartment building has ten bathrooms on three floors and four hours have been reserved for each apartment. The worker will start from the first floor apartments and then move on to the next floor. The next phase of work can begin in the area once the worker has left the apartment. Other work can also be done in the apartment at the same time, for example in the kitchen.

Car factories offer another excellent example. Cars are built on an assembly line where the manufacturing process has been carefully planned and organised. The completion of an automobile, in other words the turnaround time, can be kept within the required schedule. Possible issues with quality can be quickly detected and solved before the product is completed.

In an ideal situation, it takes less effort to produce more results

Takt time requires a systematic approach, processes, tools and a common objective. Takt time cannot just be achieved through a joint decision. Everyone involved in the project must understand that we all affect the final outcome through our work.

When planning is more detailed, there is less rushing around and more time for actual work. In an ideal situation, it takes less effort to produce more results. When things are done right the first time, work quality improves and costs are reduced.

In takt time production, the various sections of work must be scheduled correctly to ensure the required outcome and adequate time allocation for completing the work. Takt time improves product quality because the manufacturing process is divided into parts and possible quality defects can be detected in between sections and not only once there is a finished product.

up to 50% lead time reduction

Flow efficiency before process efficiency

In the construction industry, takt time is a multidimensional concept that clarifies work processes by making problems more visible. The accuracy of plans from the perspective of both a customer and a worker, the status of the previous phase and the availability of materials have a major impact on how well the required rhythm can be kept. Everyone involved in the project must be committed to the approach and common goal in order to achieve the takt time.

Production with a rhythm will show its advantages when it is seen as the entire organisation’s approach. In a production organisation, projects integrate into the built machinery – they flow through it.

Takt time itself is not the solution to all problems, but it makes problems visible and allows the development of the operation.

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