October 31, 2023

Time and Motion Studies Explained


joydeep | Senior Engineer - PMI Corps

Time and Motion Studies Explained

A time and motion study is a technique used to analyze the time it takes to perform specific tasks based on human motion. It is often used for repetitive tasks performed by an average worker who has been fully trained. The study involves breaking down tasks into measurable steps and assigning a proper time to each movement based on the joint being moved to complete the motion. Industrial Engineers use this analysis to distinguish between Value-Added and Non-Value-Added segments of work tasks. This understanding helps in creating efficient labor standards.

Work Measurement Explained

Several work measurement techniques can be used to measure work, including:

  • Predetermined Motion Time Standards (PMTS)
    • MOST
    • MTM-UAS
  • Production Time Study
  • Stopwatch Time Study
  • Work Sampling

PMTS Methodology Techniques

PMTS utilizes Work Measurement to analyze the elements and motion of a task, with each work element duration being recorded in a database. Industrial Engineers then compile these elements to determine the total task duration or work content.

PMTS Methods

  • MODAPTS® - Modular Arrangement of Predetermined Time Standards
  • MTM® UAS - Methods Time Measurement – Universal Analysis System
  • MOST® - Maynard Operation Sequence Technique

Preparing for a Time and Motion Study

Clearly define the purpose of the study to determine the desired outcomes

  • What is the aim of the study?
  • This is to help determine the success of the time study and ensure deliverables are met.

Determine the variables to be measured

  • Identify the key factors to be measured, relevant variables, and establish parameters for the study.
  • Make sure that all relevant tasks and work activities are included and accounted for.
  • The accuracy of the study increases with a higher number of recorded cycles.

Identify the optimal time to accurately capture data

  • At what times are the workers engaged in activity?
  • Can factors such as vacations or inoperable machines affect the average performance?

Adhere to established guidelines for collecting data samples

  • Ensure that the data samples collected are in accordance with the work instructions and free from any bias.
  • Ensure consistent collection of data based on previously established parameters, ideally using a templated format.

Conducting a Time and Motion Study

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