Creating awareness of branch time in parts of a production process where products cannot be delivered and removed according to the frequency of branch time. In a final assembly line, it is easy to consider branch time because the line produces products according to branch time. However, in production cells upstream in the value stream and in common processes, such as forming presses, it can be difficult to represent branch time even though it is the heartbeat of customer demand.
A branch image can often be created by taking off end products and outputting production signals according to a multiple of branch time proportional to the pack size or transfer size. A cell operating according to a takt time of
1 minute and forwarding those products by twenty units to the next link in the value stream would thus have a takt image of 20 minutes. While takt image is not as good as branch time, it still helps you figure out within a few minutes whether a process is out of sync with customer demand.