Manufacturing Estimating Cycle Time

One of the most difficult aspects of estimating is figuring out what the cycle time may be for a process.   There are many factors which affect the cycle time which are not fixed including skill level of the person running the machine, reliability of the machine, maintenance of the machine, inspection of the parts being run, the quality of the material and others.   In future discussions we will go over these different aspects of estimating but right now we are discussing at the high level, what is cycle time?

Cycle time is defined as the handling time + run time.

Handling time is the time spent as the operator loads and unloads the part being manufactured from the machine.

Run time is the time the operator spends at the machine running the part or the time the machine is running by itself, i.e. a cnc machine.    Some operations require the operator to be present during the running of the part and others do not.

The basic formula for estimating an operations cost is

Cycle Time Per Piece

(Handling Time + Run Time)

Total Estimating Operation Time

Setup Time + Cycle Time


(Staging Time + Setup Time + Transit Time + Tear Down Time) + (Handling Time * Run Time) * Quantity To Be Produced

Estimating your cycle times is a critical area for any manufacturer to be profitable.    Cost estimating MIE Solutions provides software to help you do this calculations as efficiently as possible through their MRP/ERP systems quoting package.



Leave a Comment