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how to calculate ideal cycle time

Cycle Time Calculator

Cycle Time is an essential manufacturing KPI to understand in manufacturing. It is used by ERP and MES systems for scheduling, purchasing and production costing. It is also a critical part of the OEE calculation (use our OEE calculator here). Fortunately, cycle time is easy to calculate and understand.

Cycle Time Measurements

Cycle times can be expressed in many different units of measure below are a few of the most common and what you find in many manufacturing analytics systems like Mingo Smart Factory.

  • Parts per Minute
  • Minutes per Part
  • Seconds per Part
  • Parts per Second
  • Hours per Part
  • Parts per Hour

There are typically 3 terms used to represent a cycle time, and as we said before, defining those terms varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

1. Theoretical Max Machine Cycle – Maximum number of parts a machine can produce in a particular time period
2. Target Cycle Time – Time you would need to hit to deliver a product on time to customers (or downstream processes)
3. Actual Cycle Time – Time it takes to produce an actual number of parts or complete a “cycle”

We will show you how to calculate cycle time in any of the above units and how to convert it, too. From the list above, it may seem like there are 6 different cycle time calculator formulas but there are really only two:

  • Parts per Time Period
  • Time Period per Part

There are two components of the cycle time formula:

Total Parts Produced: Including scrap and good parts

Production Run Time: How long the machine is running when the parts are produced (Do not include planned or unplanned downtime)

How to Calculate Cycle Time

cycle time formula

Conversion Guide

Cycle times often need to be converted into another unit of measure. You can use the list below as a cheat sheet to convert the various formulas into parts per minute.

Minutes per Part

1 / Minutes per Part = Parts per Minute

Seconds per Part

(1 / Seconds per Part) * 60 = Parts per Minute

Parts per Second

Parts per Second * 60 = Parts per Minute

Hours per Part

(1 / Hours per Part) / 60 = Parts per Minute

Parts per Hour

Parts per Hour / 60 = Parts per Minute

Is your plant ready to take the next step with manufacturing analytics?
Take the Smart Factory Digital Assessment.

Cycle times are only one component of an efficient factory floor. Data-driven decisions start with automatic data collection, real-time visibility and manufacturing analytics.

This 20 question assessment will take about five minutes and show you:

  • What level of digital transformation your factory floor is ready for
  • Potential OEE increase working with a production monitoring system
  • Next steps for optimization