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Lean Tools, Training, and Systems

Machine Balancing

Machine Balance Chart for Machine Load Balancing

Use this Excel template to ensure that the 'Machine Cycle Time' for any machine does not exceed your 'Target % of Takt Time' for the process.

In other words...

Is there enough time for our machines to run?

You will also find your Machine Load Balancing template very helpful to answer 'what if' questions, like...

What if we were able to reduce Time per Changeover by 30 seconds?

What if we reduced our batch size?

What if we substituted an alternate machine with a different machine time?

Machine Balance Chart template

Sample Machine Balance Chart example

Machine Balance Chart Template

For the purpose of machine balancing, the term 'machine' means...

Any type equipment that runs automatically without operator intervention after the operator has perhaps loaded or started it.

NOT included within machine balancing...

Any equipment that requires an operator to run it because it is the operator, not the machine, that will be the focus of attention for lean process analysis for those types of operator-run machines.

How to use your

Machine Balancing template

Find and open your template

Find and open your Machine Balancing template


in the same way that you find and open your other 150+ Systems2win templates.

Excel Ribbon bar > Systems2win menu

Save your working document

following the usual document storage and naming conventions established by your leaders

Open a Blank Sheet

When you're ready to start doing your own real work...

click the button to 'Open a Blank Sheet'

Excel Ribbon > Systems2win tab > Open a Blank Sheet

This blank sheet is where you will do your real work

(not on the Sample sheet — which gives you sample data that is extremely helpful for learning how to use your new tool, but is the wrong place to do your real work)

Systems2win menu > Open a BlankSheet

Rename your new sheet.

If English is not your preferred language

Switch to your language, just like every Systems2win Excel template.

Now your team is ready to get started...

Enter header data

Enter Title, Author, Revised Date, and any other data that you want at the top of your document.

Choose your Time Unit of Measure

You must use one consistent unit of measure for everything — either seconds, minutes, or hours

Optional: Hide the row for 'Lost Time'

If your process has gaps between shifts...

(in other words, if this operation does not run 24 hours a day…)

then hide the row for 'Lost Time'


Because lost time can be dealt with using overtime.

Time Observation

Do Time Observation

Go to the gemba, and use a stop watch to observe actual machine times.

Optionally use one of your Time Study forms to also observe Operator times.

Fill in your data

To document any custom formulas or assumptions...

use Comments and/or Links to Related Documents

If you need custom formulas - see Advanced Training

Analyze your 'As Is' process

Get consensus that everyone agrees that your 'As Is' Current process is an accurate representation for the way things really are now.

Improve your process

Copy Sheet

Use the special Systems2win utility

Systems2win menu > Copy Sheet

to copy your 'As Is' Current sheet
to serve as the starting point for your 'To Be' Future version.


Remember... the ultimate purpose of every lean tool and method is to stimulate human thinking.

Don't get so caught up in 'following the steps of the process' that you forget to do the most important part.

Use your Hansei questions to systematically think about how to improve your process.

Implement your changes

Just thinking about a better way doesn't make it so.

Now you need to implement your changes... perhaps using your templates for:


Advanced Training for

Machine Balancing

If you need more machines

Unhide existing hidden columns, and/or copy columns for even more machines

Tip: To ensure that your new columns are included in your chart - copy new columns to the middle of existing columns - not before the first column.

Target Cycle Time instead of Takt Time

Especially for machine balancing, Takt Time is usually Operational Takt Time, which adjusts for Sales & Operations Planning considerations.

(see definitions in the Systems2win online Lean Dictionary)

Even so…

you might often find it more useful to use Target Cycle Time instead of Takt Time.

You can easily change row headers

using any of the optional ways to edit text.

All of the calculations stay the same if you simply change the row header labels from 'Takt Time' to 'Target Cycle Time'.

If you want to permanently change your master template,

your leader should personalize your master template using a User Substitution
(so you change will be automatically found and transferred to your new master template every time that you upgrade)

takt time drumbeat

Custom Formulas

This is one of those lean tools where you might want to add some of your own custom formulas, and will therefore appreciate the well-conceived Custom Formula Safe Zone that is common to every Systems2win Excel template.

Custom Formula Safe Zone

If you do add your own custom formulas, then you will also appreciate the several different ways that Systems2win provides to easily highlight cells containing formulas

so that you don't accidentally overwrite your own formulas because you didn't notice that the cell contained a formula rather than static data

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This Machine Balancing template comes with many more tools for Standard Work


to empower every team member to improve every process






Training and Coaching

Consider Training and Coaching to support your teams to succeed


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Training to get you started.
Tools you won't outgrow.




Schedule a Conference

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to discuss your challenges
with an experienced lean advisor








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