Why is takt time important?
Although not a perfect system, takt time has some benefits. The streamlined production makes bottlenecks and poor operations (such as frequent breakdowns) more apparent. Teams can then remove those barriers to improve their productivity. Takt time also helps companies identify value-added work. If a station requires maintenance or setup, companies can remove those barriers to production to improve their takt time.
Additionally, the machines and workers on the production line only perform a set of tasks. They don’t have to adapt to new processes, so they can improve productivity regularly. Finally, takt time doesn’t allow for incomplete processes or removal of products from the assembly line, so fewer products are damaged.
However, takt time is not perfect. It relies on a steady stream of production, with no breaks or interruptions. A breakdown at one point can stop progress on the entire production line. For workers, this can leave no time for breaks, injuries or errors, or other humanmade or environmental disruptions. And when customer demand increases, takt time shrinks. But if the takt time is too fast, workers may find it difficult to meet demand.