What is the definition of cycle time?
Cycle time is defined to be the time that happens from the time a task or series of tasks is initiated to the time a task is completed. Example, the cycle time is the time a shipping order is printed to the time it is loaded on the truck and the system is updated. An alternate definition would be is the time it takes to load, run, and unload on workpiece.
Cycle time of a machine can be simply measured by timing how long it takes from pressing the button to start the cycle for the first workpiece to the pressing the next button for the next workpiece.
Production quantities in an industry dictate that the more workpieces you run, the more important it is to achieve the goal of lowering the cycle time.
Everything and anything that happens in a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining equipment can be divided into four categories:
1.) On-line, productive tasks:
These are the actual machining operations that occur during a CNC cycle. These are the milling, drilling, tapping, reaming, and any other machining operation that in some way furthers the completion of the workpiece. To minimize the cycle time in these areas, there are two ways in which this can be achieved. One would be through careful process planning.
The process engineer must select an appropriate machine tool, cutting tools, fixturing, and machining order in a way that it matches the number of workpieces to be machined that will be based on the production quantity. The cycle time will be a reflection of the processes being used to machine workpieces.
If in the many times that your company’s processes have already been developed and implemented before you begin your cycle time reduction program, then your second alternative is to optimize cutting operations for this would involve properly selecting cutting tool materials, feeds, and speeds to machine workpieces as efficiently as possible with the current process.