On the assembly line it takes 2 1/2 minutes to complete task one, 3 minutes 10 seconds to complete task two, and 1 minute to complete the last task to make an item. How many items can be completed in 25 minutes?

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Oddman answered
If production is on-going and if tasks are done by different resources, the rate is limited by Task 2. That task can be completed
  25/(3 1/6) = 25*6/19 ≈ 7.89
times in 25 minutes. 7 items can be completed.

If a resource must complete all 3 tasks on one item before working on the next, then the number that can be produced in 25 minutes is
  25/(2 1/2 + 3 1/6 + 1)
  = 25/(20/3)
  = 75/20
  = 3.75.
3 items can be completed in a 25-minute period.

If the production line must be started, but tasks are done by different resources, the rate is limited by Task 2 and the other task times need to be subtracted from the time available.
  (25 - 2 1/2 - 1)/(3 1/6)
  = (43/2)/(19/6)
  = 129/19
  ≈ 6.79.
6 items can be completed in the first 25 minutes of production.

The problem is not described very well. One should be able to assume that on an assembly line, the tasks will be done by different resources. Each of the answers here has a fractional part, meaning that in some 25-minute intervals N items will be assembled and in other 25-minute intervals (N+1) items will be assembled.

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