Pitch interval (Ip) can be thought of in two ways: 1) as a unit of time representing the (usually) smallest common pitch shared among a range of products, services, or transactions that are being produced, conveyed, performed, or executed by a given resource(s), and 2) as a count of the number of intervals of a common pitch over a period of time, typically a shift or day.

Available time for changeovers per period (Ta∆), also called available time for (internal) set-ups, represents the time per a given period day, shift, week, etc. during which a machine, equipment, or resource (i.e., room) can be changed over from one product to another, prepared for a different medical procedure, cleaned for another customer, etc. Ta∆, is foundational to every part every interval (EPEI), changeover distribution, and kanban sizing calculations.

The time observation form, also known as a process study form, is a basic and often-used tool for lean practitioners. Note that here we are talking about the application of the continuous time observation method and not the work sampling method.

The form, in combination with a stop watch, serves multiple purposes, including:

Pitch: Takt Image Math

Pitch is a representation of takt image - a visual and often audible management timeframe that lean practitioners use to pace and monitor value stream performance. It is typically driven by, and linked to, a value stream or line’s pacemaker process. Pitch performance is routinely tracked and reinforced with plan vs actual charts (a.k.a. production analysis boards), digital displays, lines that are “pulsed” or indexed every time interval, etc.


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