Determining the length of the production cycle

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Determining the length of the production cycle (ie. period from the start of the production process to its completion) involves identification of particular product material and process requirements. Production cycle depends on such factors as: specification of the product, technological sophistication, organization of the production process, qualifications of the employees and available resources.

Calculation of the length of the production cycle is important in the planning of the production, supply and waste disposal processes. For this purpose managers can use methods that have varied character (ie. analytical, graphics and mixed). Duration of the operations of the production process and time gaps in the basic production process can be determined using statistical analysis, experimental design, estimation methods. The most common methods are: estimation and statistical-empirical method. These methods are not very accurate, and sometimes cannot be applied, in particular in case of new products or new equipment. In such case managers could apply analytical or heuristic methods.

Knowledge of the length of the production cycle is a very important economic aspect in the production management. Production requires material resources, employees and equipment from the beginning to the end of its duration. By this, significant financial costs are incurred while financial results (income) appear after some time. For this reason, each enterprise is committed to reduction of the length of the production cycle, which also reduces costs of production and gives more opportunity to sell products faster.

See also:


  • Herrmann, J. W., & Chincholkar, M. M. (2000, September). Design for production: a tool for reducing manufacturing cycle time. In Proc. of the 2000 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference (pp. 10-13).
  • Rahim, M. A., & Lashkari, R. S. (1985). Optimal decision rules for determining the length of the production run. Computers & industrial engineering, 9(2), 195-202.
  • Rahim, M. A., & Raouf, A. (1988). Optimal production run for a process having multilevel tool wear. International journal of systems science, 19(1), 139-149.