Takt Time Calculator

Created by Jasmine J Mah
Reviewed by Dominik Czernia, PhD candidate and Jack Bowater
Last updated: Sep 25, 2022

The takt time calculator tells you how fast to produce each product in order to meet demand.

Whether you're running a burger joint, manufacturing parts, or producing specialty items, you can learn how to calculate takt time to ensure you always meet demand. Our takt time calculator even lets you calculate takt time for batch production! Read on to learn:

  • Takt time definition;
  • History of the takt time concept;
  • Takt time formula;
  • How to use the takt time calculator; and
  • A takt time calculation example.

What is takt time?

Takt time refers to the time interval that each product should be produced to meet demand.

In mass production, either over-production or underproduction can lead to inefficiencies and losses, so you should carefully control the manufacturing pace.

Suppose you're running a business. Aside from working on your business budget worksheet, you can also set up a system to operate like clockwork so that you create a new piece of product over a specific time interval. This time interval is the takt time.

Now that you know what takt time is, you might also be interested in related calculators for production management, such as the lead time calculator, cycle time calculator, and the reorder point calculator.

History of the takt time concept

The takt time definition has an interesting history. Takt is the German word for "meter", "beat", "rate" or "pace", like the beating of a clock or metronome. Taktzeit means clock cycle, and takt can also refer to an orchestra conductor's baton.

It is thought that the Japanese adopted the concept of takt time during the 1930's, when Germany and Japan collaborated on military production, particularly in aircraft manufacturing. After WWII, new manufacturing ideas were propagated in Japan, and Toyota adopted takt time in its widely known Toyota Production System, also called the Just in Time method.

Takt time formula

The takt time formula is the available production time divided by consumer demand for a given time period:

takt time=available production timeconsumer demand\footnotesize \text{takt time} = \frac{\text{available production time}}{\text{consumer demand}}

For batch production, you need to modify the takt time formula so that consumer demand is divided by items per batch in order to calculate takt time per batch:

takt timeper batch=available production timeconsumer demanditems per batch\footnotesize \text{takt time}_\text{per batch} = \frac{\text{available production time}}{\frac{\text{consumer demand}}{\text{items per batch}}}

How to calculate takt time using our calculator?

1. Simple calculation

Let's say you have a donut shop, and you want to calculate takt time per donut for a given day. You need to sell 500 donuts in one day, but the total time available for baking is only 3 hours per day.

  1. Enter 3 hours as the available production time in the takt time calculator.
  2. Enter 500 units as consumer demand.
  3. The calculator tells you that during your 3-hour production window, you must begin a new donut every 21.6 seconds.

2. Batch production

Let's say you have a cookie shop (Are you feeling hungry yet?), and you bake batches of cookies with 24 cookies per batch. How would you calculate takt time per batch of cookies?

You bake fresh cookies every morning for 4 hours and typically sell 600 cookies in a day in the shop. In the takt time calculator:

  1. Select batch production as the calculation type.
  2. Enter 24 items per batch.
  3. Enter 4 hours of available production time.
  4. Enter 600 units as consumer demand.
  5. The calculator tells you that during the 4-hour production window, a new batch must begin baking every 9.6 minutes.

But wait! What if a single batch takes 12 minutes to bake? Based on the calculation and time constraints, you might consider running two batches simultaneously on different shelves of the oven or getting a second oven so you can achieve production speed according to the takt time of 9.6 minutes. Alternatively, you could extend production time to accommodate the takt time of 12 minutes. Try it in the calculator, leaving available production time blank (Spoiler: the answer is 5 hours)!

3. Weekly calculation

You should calculate takt time on a weekly basis if you sell products every day of the week, but only do manufacturing certain days per week. For example, let's say you have an online shop that sells handmade cloth masks. Customers can buy units every day of the week, including weekends, but your operation only produces masks Monday through Friday. Here's an example calculation:

  1. Set "Working" to 5 days per week.
  2. You operate one 8-hour shift per day, so write 8 hours per day.
  3. Since lunch breaks are not part of production time, enter your 30-minute lunch break.
  4. Add 20 minutes to other breaks to account for the 10 minutes it takes to both setup and clean up.
  5. The calculator tells you that the available production time per week is 35 hours and 50 minutes!
  6. Let's say your consumer demand is 100 masks per week, so write that in weekly demand.
  7. Finally, the calculator shows you that during production, you must be able to produce one mask every 21.5 minutes! Your challenge now is to achieve this speed of production successfully. Can you manage it?

Takt time calculation example

Do you want to calculate takt time yourself? Let's take the donut example above and calculate it step by step.

In 3 hours, you need to produce 500 donuts to meet daily demand. If we want the final takt time to be in seconds, let's first convert hours to seconds.

3 hrs×60 secondsminute=10,800 seconds\footnotesize 3\ \text{hrs}\times 60\ \tfrac{\text{seconds}}{\text{minute}} = 10,800\ \text{seconds}

💡 We can also use our time unit converter for convenience - or when converting long durations like days to seconds or even years to seconds!

Then, using the takt time formula, we can find takt time:

takt time=available production timeconsumer demand=10,800 seconds500 donuts=21.6 secondsdonut\footnotesize \begin{align*} \text{takt time} &= \frac{\text{available production time}}{\text{consumer demand}}\\[1.2em] &= \frac{10,800\ \text{seconds}}{500\ \text{donuts}}\\[1.2em] &= 21.6\ \tfrac{\text{seconds}}{\text{donut}} \end{align*}

And that's how we arrive at the answer of 21.6 seconds per donut!

Jasmine J Mah
Simple takt time
Available production time
Consumer demand
Takt time
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