Time and Motion Study – Robust Productivity Improvement Tool

“The unexamined life is not worth living” said the great Management thinker ‘SOCRATES’.

As far as operations is concerned, time and motion study is one of the better ways of determining the capacity of the plant and also the particular time when the efficiency and productivity can be improved. This study is an appropriate solution to determine the ‘time’ taken to complete a certain task by a plant and machinery in a factory.

Though basic in nature, Time and Motion studies outlines the ground work and facilitates to arrive at better capacity, awareness and robust planning system which will lead the operations of a plant to operational excellence.

Basic study of Time and Motion includes the following 5 key points:

– Look closely at the present work/ current situation
– Identify the opportunities to be more efficient
– Modify the current process that is followed
– Examine if it produces the expected results
– Rinse and repeat

Time and Motion study is an observation method used to determine the timing and duration of tasks or procedures. It is a work measurement technique for recording the times and rates of working for the elements of a specified job carried out under specified conditions and for analyzing data. The study helps in reducing and controlling costs, improving working conditions, and motivating people.

When the time taken to complete a task is measured, machine delays, personal needs, fatigue, and any other foreign interference is also taken into account. Effectively a job is broken down into its component parts. The time taken to complete each component is noted. And the components are ordered or rearranged, keeping in mind efficiency.

A Time Standard is an important component of Time and Motion Study. A time standard takes into account three factors: qualified worker, working at a normal pace, and doing a specific task.

In a manufacturing department, a time standard helps in identifying the following:

– Determining how many machines or tools to buy
– Determining the number of manpower needed
– Determining the cost of manufacturing and selling
– Scheduling the machines, operations, and people who will do the job.
– Determining the performance of a worker.
– Determining the assembly line balance and conveyor belt speed.
– Pay wages for teams or individuals that exceed the normal work standards.
– Performing cost reduction
– Evaluating new equipment purchase
– Creating budgets

Below representation indicates on how time and motion studies work in practice. Hence, Time and Motion study is an important tool for further improvements in productivity and operations in any plant.

time and motion study

Contributed by: Faber Raveena Rathi & Faber Mayuri Pandya


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