Introduction to Takt Time Production Planning

Takt planning has come into its own in the last few years. Takt is German word (Taktzeit Cycle) for establishing the “beat” or rhythm of a process. Companies including BMW, Sutter Health, and others have reported very positive results of implementing Takt planning. A Takt helps balance the production rates across an assembly line to ensure continuous and even flow of work. This process minimizes downtime and eliminates unnecessary work in progress (WIP).

Takt planning has been used in manufacturing and is very straightforward when used on a manufacturing setting with a fixed assembly line. Although there are many differences between manufacturing and construction, the same concept has been adapted and successfully applied to construction.

Rather than having products flow along fixed workstations, in construction, the trades move between fixed locations (rooms) when implementing Takt Time planning. Each trade moves through the building in a train-like format, working in a particular space during the Takt duration, and moving to the next location at the end of the Takt. The key is to balance the workload, crew size, and areas so that each trade can finish their work during the allocated Takt Time.

In construction, various installation speeds disrupt flow and create waste. Creating a takt plan and managing production plans that are location-based is the central premise of Takt planning. Takt planning is used to synchronize the sequences and therefore the trade partners flow of work and to level the work and create a production plan and consistent rhythm of work, materials and information associated with conditions at specific locations.

The value of Takt planning has been realized in combination with other lean tools including the Last Planner System® and Lean Principles. Takt production planning is especially effective for project with repetitive spaces.

In this upcoming webinar (May 14, 2019), I will introduce you to the basics of Takt Time production planning for construction. I will share data from a construction project (475-unit apartment in Northern California) that applied Takt Time for the very first time, their results with the process, and our lessons learned from.

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