Manufacturing Throughput Time
Manufacturing throughput time, often simply referred to as “throughput time,” is the amount of time it takes for a product to go through the production process with no waiting. It includes the time taken to process the item at each stage of production, as well as the time the item spends waiting in line for the next operation.
Throughput time is a crucial metric in manufacturing and operations management, as it helps to measure the efficiency of the production process. Reducing throughput time can lead to greater productivity and efficiency, lower costs, and faster delivery times, which can all contribute to improved customer satisfaction.
Components of throughput time usually include:
- Process Time: This is the time during which a product is actually being worked on directly in order to transform its shape or form to produce the output.
- Inspection Time: This is the time during which the product is examined for quality assurance purposes.
- Move Time: This is the time consumed while the product is being moved from one place to another during the production process.
- Queue Time: This is the time the product spends in line while waiting for processing.
So, the total throughput time would be the sum of the process time, inspection time, move time, and queue time.
Reducing any of these times (without negatively impacting other aspects of the production process, such as quality) would generally reduce the overall throughput time, thus making the production process more efficient.
Example of Manufacturing Throughput Time
Let’s continue with our example of “Cycles Inc.”, the bicycle manufacturer.
Let’s break down the manufacturing throughput time for one bicycle:
- Process Time: Each bicycle takes 3 hours of direct work to assemble the parts into a finished product.
- Inspection Time: After the bicycle is assembled, it undergoes a quality check which takes 30 minutes to ensure everything is assembled correctly and the bicycle is safe to ride.
- Move Time: The time taken to move the bicycle parts from one station to another during the assembly process totals to 15 minutes.
- Queue Time: The bicycle parts spend a total of 1 hour waiting in line at different stages of the assembly process.
So, the total manufacturing throughput time for a bicycle would be:
Process Time: 3 hours
Inspection Time: 0.5 hours
Move Time: 0.25 hours
Queue Time: 1 hour
Total Throughput Time: 4.75 hours
This means it takes a total of 4.75 hours for a bicycle to go from the start of the assembly process to the end, including both processing and waiting times. This is valuable information for Cycles Inc. as it helps in planning the production schedule, determining delivery times, and identifying areas where the process could be made more efficient.