Cycle Time refers to the time required to repeat a given task, generally measured from the beginning of an item processing on a specified machine or operation to the beginning of another similar item on the same machine or the same process.
Cycle time can be classified into 5 distinct categories:
1. Manual cycle time: time, loading, unloading, turning over / rotating parts, adding components to an item while remaining within the same machine / process.
2. Machine cycle time: the processing time needed for a machine to work on an item.
3. Automatic cycle time: the time for a machine to run without any manual intervention (automatically).
4. Overall cycle time: Total time required to produce a single unit. This term is generally used to refer to a single machine or a single process.
5. Total cycle time: This figure includes all the machines, processes and cycle time categories that a product must undergo to become a finished product. It is not a discrete duration, but it helps to determine one.