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Manufacturing cycle time

Checked for updates, April 2022.

What is Manufacturing Cycle Time?

Manufacturing cycle time, also known as throughput time, refers to the total time spent to convert raw materials into finished goods and ship the goods out for delivery.

Process time refers to the time used to actually work on the product. Move time refers to the time required to transfer the product from one workstation to another. Inspection time is the time spent to check if the product is free from any defect. Queue time is the idle time the product spends waiting to be moved, processed, inspected, and shipped.

Manufacturing Cycle Time Formula

Manufacturing cycle time = Process time + Move time + Inspection time + Queue time

It can also be computed using the delivery cycle time. The delivery cycle time includes all of the items above plus wait time. Wait time refers to the length of time from the receipt of customer order to the start of production.

Manufacturing cycle time = Delivery cycle time - Wait time


XYZ Company recorded the length of time spent in various activities in its operations. The following information has been drawn from its records.

Wait time 2 days
Process time 10 days
Inspection time 2 days
Queue time 3 days
Move time 1 day


Manufacturing cycle time = Process + Move + Inspection + Queue
  = 10 + 1 + 2 + 3 days
Manufacturing cycle time = 16 days

The manufacturing cycle time is 16 days. It means that at an average, the length of time from the start of production to the shipment for delivery of the product is 16 days.

The delivery cycle time includes the wait time. In the above example, the delivery cycle time is 18 days. At an average, the company spends 18 days from the receipt of customer order to the shipment of the product.

The manufacturing cycle time and delivery cycle time is vital in making managerial decisions. The faster the production and delivery, the better the position of the company is. However, the quality of the products should not diminish. Companies achieve this by reducing or eliminating non-value adding activities and re-engineering its processes for improved efficiency.

Key Takeaways

Manufacturing cycle time (throughput time) is a business process evaluation measure. It calculates the time from start of production up to the shipment of the finished products.

Manufacturing cycle time includes process time, move time, inspection time, and queue time.

Delivery time, is another process evaluation metric. It is equal to the manufacturing cycle time plus wait time.

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Manufacturing cycle time (2022). Accountingverse.
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