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Calculating Rolled Throughput Yield (RTY)

By Ron Pereira Updated on May 14th, 2020

Rolled Throughput Yield (RTY)One of the most powerful operational metrics I know of is Rolled Throughput Yield (RTY).  It’s used to assess the “true” yield of a given process.  This includes what we often call the “hidden factory” that plagues so many organizations… sucking profit right off their financial statements!

Traditional Yield

Let’s use an example to demonstrate how some, let’s call them, traditional manufacturing folks attempt to measure things.

Say there is a manufacturing process with 3 steps – Processes 1, 2, and 3 (original, eh?).  Let’s also say that on a particular day they note the following performance:

  • Process 1: 100 parts passed through this process and 84 “good” parts left this process (scrapped 16).
  • Process 2: With some WIP laying around 110 parts passed through this process with 82 “good” parts passing (28 scrapped)
  • Process 3: With even more WIP laying around this process they managed to produce 138 parts with 126 parts passing (12 scrapped).

Since the manufacturing manager only cares about “what goes out the door” the process they are most concerned with is the last one – process 3.  And since they had a great day (only scrapped 12 parts) they report a “yield” of 91% (126/138).  The manager even calls his buddy Sal, the sales manager, to brag about all the product they shipped!

Not So Fast Buddy

There are some fundamental flaws with this technique.  The most severe issue is the fact they are ignoring all the scrapped parts process 1 and 2 created.  This “hidden factory” is not known by Sal or really anyone else short of the folks on the line.

Here is how the manufacturing manager should be measuring the performance of their line.

Rolled Throughput Yield (RTY)

Process 1 had a daily yield of 84% (84/100) while process 2 had a daily yield of 75% (82/110) and finally process 3 had a daily yield of 91% (126/138).

So, to calculate RTY we simply multiply these yields together giving us a composite yield for the day.  Doing this gives us: 84% x 75% x 91% = 57%

Our Opportunity

This value of 57% is a more accurate representative of how this production line is performing.  And more importantly this 57% is our opportunity as lean and six sigma practitioners!

Sure, the manager will probably not call old Sal telling him the latest RTY.  And that’s fine.  But we must not kid ourselves into believing we are performing better than we are.  By focusing on RTY we can be sure we stay focused on the true pulse of the organization.

Note: All the WIP I mentioned in the example is another problem!  But we will save that for another day. 

  1. mangesh

    February 13, 2008 - 12:11 am


  2. Eoin Gaughran

    June 10, 2008 - 5:23 pm

    Whats if the processes are in parallel and then feed into a series system?

    And when can we read the article that considers the WIP

  3. adrian leyland

    March 12, 2009 - 7:09 am

    What is considered as Wolrd Class with regards to RTY e.g. above 0.7

    How do you Benchmark RTY ?

    • Jitendranath

      January 15, 2012 - 11:11 pm

      Benchmarking for RTY is completely depend on the type of process(Manufacturing,IT services,Software).
      Setting a benchmark without considering all the factors involved is meaningless. One company should not set Benchmarking by considering other companie’s Benchmarking.
      Because taking benchmarking value is an output(or a result) so we should not manage our service based on output of other company. We need to set benchmark based on our KIPVs..or causes
      This leads to Continual Improvement.
      Ideally every company should set benchmark as 100% or in Quality terminology…a 3 Sigma or 6 sigma capability.

  4. Ron Pereira

    March 12, 2009 - 8:52 am

    Hi Adrian, good question. I am not sure if I’ve ever heard of what a world class RTY is. With this said, personally I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about benchmarking since, in the end, we can always improve. So, even if you have a RTY of 95% I’d challenge you to get better.

  5. Mark Woodhouse

    April 2, 2009 - 12:36 pm

    I don’t mean to be a stick in the mud, but this technique is taking first pass yield and multiplying them together. I understood RTY to equal “e” to the minus DPU. I have also seen it as equalling “1-DPO.” Your calculation shows nothing about DPU, DPO etc. maybe some review is needed here.

  6. Ron Pereira

    April 2, 2009 - 12:53 pm

    Hi Mark,

    You’re not being a stick in the mud at all!

    There are actually two ways to calculate RTY. Method 1, as you describe, assesses dpu when all that is known is the final number of units made and the number of defects. In this case RTY = e^-dpu. So, for example, if you had 8 defects over 6 units the dpu would be 1.33 and plugging this into the formula our RTY = 0.264.

    The method I described is the other, and I contend superior, method of calculating RTY since we determine throughput yield (Ytp) for each step. And if we have this information for each step we simply multiply them together for RTY.

    Make sense?

  7. Kent V

    April 6, 2009 - 9:32 pm

    Isn’t what Mark is getting at is that these methods tend to blur the difference between yields based on overall defects per unit rather than numbers of units that manage to pass at various process steps? Whenever the multiplied yields method is displayed for RTY, people have a tendency to assume each entry represents the yield of good units rather than the long term probabilistic absence of defects among units at each step. There is a subtle but important difference here that demands that we get more specific about “yield” — of what, relattive to what?. Mikel Harry has a cogent explanation of this in his Six Sigma Breakthrough Management book (2000, pp. 83-88.) I haven’t found a better explanation anywhere. I’m still looking.
    To flip this around the other way, consider a unit with 10 potential defects. In one sample of 10 units there may be 5 defects all stuffed into one unit. The good “unit” yield would be 0.9. In another sample of 10 with 5 defects there may be one defect on each of 5 units, giving a good “unit” yield of 0.5. But both samples have the same probabilistic level of defects. The reference to yields on a unit basis is of little use in these cases and even shrouds the truth about the extent and risk of defects. This goes way past the confusion about which WIP belongs to which sample batch and how a step-after-step unit yield might be hard to track– a legitimate challenge in any real world plant or heavy transaction environment.

  8. Ruddy

    June 3, 2009 - 10:33 am

    RTY – Rolled throughput yield as I can see is more concerned with how effective the current process is. It accounts for how many parts are accepted with or with out defect. Unacceptable parts are scrapped. Therefore this is a measure of yield throughout an entire process which is a different measure than DPU and DPMO.

  9. Sergio Lopez

    September 4, 2009 - 3:52 pm

    Whats if the processes are in parallel and then feed into a series system?

  10. Ron Pereira

    September 4, 2009 - 4:03 pm

    Good question, Sergio. I’d probably split them. So we’d have a RTY for parallel process 1 + series system and then a RTY for parallel process 2 + series system. Make sense?

  11. Lusi

    October 22, 2009 - 12:05 pm

    Hello All,

    could you tell me how can i improve RTY if most of defects are caused by defectived parts (provided from supplier, for example parst which lead to leakage) or functional defects ?

  12. Bill

    November 2, 2009 - 10:14 am

    is RTY designed to measure the odds of just a piece part passing during a sequence of operations or can it be used to meaure the odds of an assembly and it’s related sub assemblies passing? IE if I have a production cell that builds 5 sub assemblies that comprise 1 compelte unit, can I use RTY to tell me how my cell is performing? The examples I have seen always talk about a part going from one process to the next and parts either being reworked or scrapped or passing. That is simple to understand, my example is more complex as there are hundreds of parts in the completed unit. Would you recomend that I substitute each of my sub assemblies for a “process” and multiply the passing % of each subassy times each other to get RTY? How would I include tests on the completed unit? thanks.

  13. Santiago

    February 8, 2010 - 4:09 pm

    How do i establish a method to measure RTY in a cell?

  14. Ron Pereira

    February 8, 2010 - 4:13 pm

    Hi Santiago, assuming you have different processes within the cell you would simply calculate the yield at each process and then multiply them together as described in the article above. Make sense?

  15. Santiago

    February 8, 2010 - 4:19 pm

    Yes, my question its more focused on the actual collection of the data, since it has several processes, i need to have one person on each process just collecting the data? since the actual operator will be busy with his operation.


  16. harry Hills

    September 21, 2010 - 9:14 am

    How about Test operations…

    How would I measure RTY for test operations? If I have 35 test operations and 2 assemblies that need testing; Would I measure each assembly as it passes through the 35 tests? For instance; if I measure two assemblies and assembly one passes test one through 26, but then fails test 27. Assembly two passes the first 15 tests, but fails test 16, 21, 23 and 27. What is my RTY? 100% for tests one through 15, 50% for 16 through 20 then 15% for tests 21 and 22, then 12.5 % for test 23; then 6.25% for test 25 and finally 3.125% for test 27?.

  17. Ajay

    February 28, 2022 - 1:07 am

    Good explanation, though expected a comparison between FPY & RTY

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