Glossary Term: Cycle time

The cycle time refers to the time required to complete a full cycle of production in manufacturing. More specifically, the cycle time is the time from the start of production to the delivery of the final product. The cycle time is composed of all wait times in the production cycle including, processing time, queue time, inspection time and wait time.

Cycle time is a measure of efficiency through the entire process of manufacturing and should not be confused with lead time. Lead time, while similar, is customer-centric focusing on the time it takes for a customer to receive a product from the time the order was placed. By monitoring the cycle time managers are able to see where production is slowed and potential solutions to congestion in the manufacturing cycle.

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