November 2, 2016

Cycle Time Formula

The Cycle Time Formula is an essential manufacturing KPI to understand. It is used by ERP and MES systems for scheduling, purchasing and production costing. It is also a critical part of the OEE calculation. Fortunately, it is easy to calculate and understand.

Basically the cycle time is how long it takes to make a part or how long it takes the machine to complete a cycle. Some machines produce multiple parts per cycle other only production one.

Cycle times can be expressed in many different units of measure below are a few of the most common and what you find in many manufacturing analytics systems like SensrTrx.

  • Parts per Minute
  • Minutes per Part
  • Seconds per Part
  • Parts per Second
  • Hours per Part
  • Parts per Hour

We will show you how to calculate cycle in any of the above units and how to convert it as well. From the list above it may seem like there are 6 different formulas but there are really only 2:

  • Parts per time period
  • Time period per part

There are two components of the formula:

Total Parts Produced – including scrap and good parts.

Production Run Time – how long was the machine running when the parts are produced. Do not include planned or unplanned downtime.

Parts per Time Period Cycle Time Formula

Actual Cycle Time (parts/min) = Total Parts Produced / Production Run Time


10 parts/min = 1,200 parts / 120 minutes 

Time Period per Part Cycle Time Formula

This formula is useful with longer cycle times like 30 minutes per part (which is the same as 2 parts per hour, but more on that later).


30 mins/part = 120 minutes / 4 parts 

Cycle Time Conversions

Often it you will need to convert cycle times into another unit of measure. You can use the list below as a cheat sheet to convert the various formulas into parts/minute.

  • Minutes per Part
    • Parts per Minute = Minutes per Part / 60
  • Seconds per Part
    • Parts per Minute = (1 / Seconds per Part) * 60
  • Parts per Second
    • Parts per Minute = (Parts per Second) * 60
  • Hours per Part
    • Parts per Minute = (1 / Hours per Part) / 60
  • Parts per Hour
    • Parts per Minute = Parts per Hour / 60

Next Steps

  • Look at our OEE calculator and formulas page to see how cycle time fits into the OEE calculations.
  • View or schedule a Demo