INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING - METHOD STUDY

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INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING
LECTURE 2


METHOD STUDY
METHOD STUDY, AIMS TO ACHIEVE THE BETTER METHOD OF DOING WORK AND FOR THIS REASON METHOD STUDY IS SOMETIMES CALLED WORK METHOD DESIGN.

DEFINITION: METHOD STUDY CAN BE DEFINED AS THE PROCEDURE FOR SYSTEMATIC RECORDING, ANALYSIS AND CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF EXISTING OR PROPOSED METHOD OF DOING WORK FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF EASIER AND MORE EFFECTIVE METHOD.

METHOD STUDY PROCEDURE
THE FOLLOWING GENERAL STEPS DESCRIBE THE PROCEDURE FOR MAKING A METHOD STUDY.
  1. SELECT THE JOB – ON WHICH METHOD STUDY IS TO BE APPLIED.
  2. OBTAIN INFORMATION AND RECORD.
  3. EXAMINE THE INFORMATION CRITICALLY.
  4. DEVELOP THE MOST PRACTICAL, ECONOMICAL AND EFFECTIVE METHOD BY CONSIDERING REAL LIMITATIONS OF THE SITUATION.
  5. INSTALL THE NEW METHOD AS STANDARD PRACTICE.
  6. MAINTAIN THE STANDARD PRACTICE BY REGULAR FOLLOW UP.
LET US CONSIDER THESE STEPS IN SOME DETAIL.

SELECTION OF JOB FOR METHOD STUDY
PRACTICALLY, ANY ACTIVITY OR A JOB IS POTENTIAL PROJECT FOR IMPROVEMENT BUT AS THE WORK STUDY ENGINEER IS TO SELL HIS IDEAS AND MAINTAIN HIS EXISTENCE IN THE ORGANISATION, HE SHOULD ALWAYS ATTEMPT TO SELECT THOSE JOBS FOR IMPROVEMENT WHICH ARE UNPOPULAR AMONG EMPLOYEES OR ARE CONSIDERED “DIRTY” BY THEM.
BY IMPROVING SUCH JOBS, HE WOULD EARN GOODWILL FROM THE EMPLOYEES AS WELL AS THE MANAGEMENT, AND CAN EXPECT THEIR FULL COOPERATION FOR OTHER STUDIES IN THE FUTURE.
CONSIDERATIONS MAY BE GIVEN TO THE FOLLOWING FACTORS WHILE SELECTING A JOB FOR METHOD STUDY
• ECONOMIC FACTORS
• TECHNICAL FACTORS
• HUMAN FACTORS

ECONOMIC FACTORS:
IF THE ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF A JOB IS SMALL, IT IS NOT WISE TO START OR CONTINUE A LONG STUDY. PRIORITIES SHOULD BE GIVEN TO THOSE TYPES OF JOB WHICH OFFER GREATER POTENTIAL FOR COST REDUCTION. SUCH JOBS ARE EASILY IDENTIFIABLE, AS THEY HAVE
• HIGH LABOUR CONTENT, I.E. THEY CONSUME MORE TIME
• EXCESSIVE MACHINE OR MAN IDLENESS
• HIGHER FREQUENCY OF OCCURRENCE, I.E. THEY HAVE LARGE DEMAND
• BOTTLENECKS IN PRODUCTION LINE
• HIGHER PROPORTION OF ACCIDENTS
• MOVEMENT OF MATERIAL OR MEN OVER LONG DISTANCE
• HIGH SCRAP AND REPROCESSING COSTS
• HIGH PAYMENT OF OVERTIME BILLS.

TECHNICAL FACTORS: THE METHOD STUDY ENGINEER MUST HAVE THE NECESSARY TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE JOB TO BE STUDIED. ONLY SURFACE KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE SUBJECT MAY NOT LEAD TO THE RIGHT SOLUTION TO THE REAL PROBLEM. TO ILLUSTRATE, CONSIDER THAT A PARTICULAR MACHINE TOOL IN PROVING BOTTLENECK. THE OUTPUT FROM THIS MACHINE IS NOT REACHING THE ASSEMBLY LINE IN THE REQUIRED QUANTITY. THROUGH A PRELIMINARY STUDY, IT IS FOUND THAT IT IS RUNNING AT LOWER SPEED AND FEED THAN THAT RECOMMENDED FOR THE PAIR OF WORK AND TOOL MATERIAL USED. JUST INCREASE IN SPEED OR FEED MAY NOT BE THE SOLUTION OF THIS PROBLEM. IT MAY BE POSSIBLE THAT THE MACHINE ITSELF IS NOT RIGID ENOUGH TO OPERATE AT HIGHER SPEEDS OR TAKE A DEEPER CUT. JUST INCREASE IN SPEED MAY INCREASE THE OUTPUT BUT THE QUALITY OF JOB MAY BE SERIOUSLY AFFECTED. TECHNICAL EXPERTISE IN MACHINE TOOLS AND METAL CUTTING PROCESS WOULD BE ESSENTIAL TO SOLVE PROBLEM OF THIS KIND.

HUMAN FACTORS: EMOTIONAL REACTION OF THE WORKERS TO THE METHOD STUDY AND CHANGES IN METHOD ARE IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS. IF THE STUDY OF A PARTICULAR JOB IS SUSPECTED TO CAUSE UNREST OR ILL FEELING, IT SHOULD NOT BE UNDERTAKEN, HOWEVER USEFUL IT MAY BE FROM THE ECONOMIC POINT OF VIEW. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO TAKE UP FIRST THOSE JOBS WHICH ARE CONSIDERED ‘DIRTY', UNSAFE, UNPLEASANT, BORING, OR HIGHLY FATIGUING, AND IMPROVEMENTS BROUGHT ABOUT AS A RESULT OF METHOD STUDY. THIS WOULD POSSIBLY ENSURE COOPERATIVE FROM THE WORKERS FOR THE OTHER JOBS AS WELL.
AFTER IT IS RECOGNIZED THAT A PROBLEM EXISTS, THE FIRST STEP IS TO PROPERLY FORMULATE IT. FROM THE GENERAL STATEMENTS LIKE “COSTS ARE TOO HIGH“, “INCREASE THE PRODUCTION”, “REDUCE SHOP FLOOR ACCIDENTS”, IT IS NECESSARY TO DETERMINE JUST WHAT THE REAL PROBLEM IS. AFTER IT IS ASCERTAINED THAT THE PROBLEM MERITS CONSIDERATION, IT IS DECIDED WHETHER THIS IS THE PROPER TIME TO SOLVE IT, AND HOW MUCH TIME CAN BE SPENT IN SOLVING IT. THE PROBLEM MAY THEN BE DEFINED BROADLY GIVING MINIMUM CONSTRAINTS AT THIS STAGE, AS IT WILL PERMIT THE USE OF IMAGINATION AND CREATIVITY IN FINDING A SOLUTION. IT MAY SOMETIMES BE DESIRABLE TO DIVIDE THE COMPLETE PROBLEM INTO A COUPLE OF SMALL PROBLEMS AND SOLVE THEM.


REFERENCES : -

1. www.nptel.iitm.ac.in

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