WORK STUDY & MOTION STUDY

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WORK STUDY

DEFINITION: WORK STUDY MAY BE DEFINED AS THE ANALYSIS OF A JOB FOR THE PURPOSE OF FINDING THE PREFERRED METHOD OF DOING IT AND ALSO DETERMINING THE STANDARD TIME TO PERFORM IT BY THE PREFERRED (OR GIVEN) METHOD. WORK STUDY, THEREFORE, COMPRISES OF TWO AREAS OF STUDY: METHOD STUDY (MOTION STUDY) AND TIME STUDY (WORK MEASUREMENT).

ROLE OF WORK STUDY IN IMPROVING PRODUCTIVITY
IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND THE ROLE OF WORK STUDY, WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE ROLE OF METHOD STUDY AND THAT OF TIME STUDY.

METHOD STUDY (ALSO SOMETIMES CALLED WORK METHOD DESIGN) IS MOSTLY USED TO IMPROVE THE METHOD OF DOING WORK. IT IS EQUALLY APPLICABLE TO NEW JOBS. WHEN APPLIED TO EXISTING JOBS AND EXISTING JOBS, METHOD STUDY AIMS TO FIND BETTER METHODS OF DOING THE JOBS THAT ARE ECONOMICAL AND SAFE, REQUIRE LESS HUMAN EFFORT, AND NEED SHORTER MAKE-READY / PUT-AWAY TIME. THE BETTER METHOD INVOLVES THE OPTIMUM USE OF BEST MATERIALS AND APPROPRIATE MANPOWER SO THAT WORK IS PERFORMED IN WELL ORGANIZED MANNER LEADING TO INCREASED RESOURCE UTILIZATION, BETTER QUALITY AND LOWER COSTS.

IT CAN THEREFORE BE STATED THAT THROUGH METHOD STUDY WE HAVE A SYSTEMATIC WAY OF DEVELOPING HUMAN RESOURCE EFFECTIVENESS, PROVIDING HIGH MACHINE AND EQUIPMENT UTILIZATION, AND MAKING ECONOMICAL USE OF MATERIALS.

TIME STUDY, ON THE OTHER HAND, PROVIDES THE STANDARD TIME, THAT IS THE TIME NEEDED BY WORKER TO COMPLETE A JOB BY THE STANDARD METHOD. STANDARD TIMES
FOR DIFFERENT JOBS ARE NECESSARY FOR PROPER ESTIMATION OF
·         MANPOWER, MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS
·         DAILY, WEEKLY OR MONTHLY REQUIREMENT OF MATERIALS
·         PRODUCTION COST PER UNIT AS AN INPUT TO BETTER MAKE OR BUY DECISION
·         LABOR BUDGETS
·         WORKER'S EFFICIENCY AND MAKE INCENTIVE WAGE PAYMENTS.

BY THE APPLICATION OF METHOD STUDY AND TIME STUDY IN ANY ORGANIZATION, WE CAN THUS ACHIEVE GREATER OUTPUT AT LESS COST AND OF BETTER QUALITY, AND HENCE ACHIEVE HIGHER PRODUCTIVITY.

WORK STUDY AND ERGONOMICS
THE WORK STUDY AND THE ERGONOMICS ARE THE TWO AREAS OF STUDY HAVING THE SAME OBJECTIVE: DESIGN THE WORK SYSTEM SO THAT FOR THE OPERATOR IT IS SAFE, AND THE WORK IS LESS FATIGUING AND LESS TIME TAKING.
  
HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENTS
THE WORK OF TAYLOR:
TAYLOR BEGAN HIS TIME STUDY WORK IN 1881 WHILE ASSOCIATED WITH THE MIDVALE STEEL COMPANY IN U.S.A. HE EVOLVED A SYSTEM BASED ON THE “TASK”, AND PROPOSED THAT THE WORK OF EACH EMPLOYEE BE PLANNED OUT BY THE MANAGEMENT IN ADVANCE. EACH JOB WAS TO HAVE A STANDARD TIME, DETER­ MINED BY TIME STUDIES MADE BY EXPERTS. IN THE TIMING PROCESS, TAYLOR ADVOCATED DIVIDING THE WORK INTO SMALL DIVISIONS OF EFFORT KNOWN AS "ELE MENTS." EXPERTS WERE TO TIME THESE INDIVIDUALLY AND USE THEIR COLLECTIVE VALUES TO DETERMINE THE ALLOWED TIME FOR THE TASK.

EARLY PRESENTATIONS OF TAYLOR 'S FINDINGS WERE RECEIVED WITH LITTLE ENTHUSIASM, BECAUSE MANY INTERPRETED HIS FINDINGS TO BE SOMEWHAT NEW PIECE-RATE SYSTEM RATHER THAN A TECHNIQUE FOR ANALYZING WORK AND IMPROVING METHODS. BOTH MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES WERE SKEPTICAL OF PIECE RATES, BECAUSE MANY STANDARDS WERE EARLIER TYPICALLY BASED ON THE SUPERVISOR'S GUESS OR EVEN SOMETIMES INFLATED BY BOSSES TO PROTECT THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DEPARTMENTS.

IN JUNE 1903, AT THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS MEETING, TAYLOR PRESENTED HIS FAMOUS PAPER, "SHOP MANAGEMENT," WHICH INCLUDED THE ELEMENTS OF SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT: TIME STUDY, STANDARDIZATION OF ALL TOOLS AND TASKS, USE OF A PLANNING DEPARTMENT, USE OF SLIDE RULE AND SIMILAR TIMESAVING IMPLEMENTS, INSTRUCTION CARDS FOR WORKERS, BONUSES FOR SUCCESSFUL PER­ FORMANCE, DIFFERENTIAL RATES, MNEMONIC SYSTEMS FOR CLASSIFYING PRODUCTS, ROUTING SYSTEMS, AND MODERN COST SYSTEMS. TAYLOR 'S TECHNIQUES WERE WELL RECEIVED BY MANY FACTORY MANAGERS, AND BY 1917, OF 113 PLANTS THAT HAD INSTALLED "SCIENTIFIC MANAGE­ MENT," 59 CONSIDERED THEIR INSTALLATIONS COMPLETELY SUCCESSFUL, 20 PARTLY SUCCESSFUL, AND 34 FAILURES.
IN 1898, WHILE AT THE BETHLEHEM STEEL COMPANY, TAYLOR CARRIED OUT THE PIG-IRON EXPERIMENT THAT BECAME THE MOST CELEBRATED DEMONSTRATIONS OF HIS PRINCIPLES. HE ESTABLISHED THE CORRECT METHOD, ALONG WITH FINANCIAL INCENTIVES, AND WORKERS CARRYING 92-POUND PIGS OF IRON UP A RAMP ONTO A FREIGHT CAR WERE ABLE TO INCREASE THEIR PRODUCTIVITY FROM AN AVERAGE OF 12.5 TONS PER DAY TO BETWEEN 47 AND 48 TONS PER DAY. THIS WORK WAS PERFORMED WITH AN INCREASE IN THE DAILY RATE OF $1.15 TO $1.85. TAYLOR CLAIMED THAT WORKMEN PER­ FORMED AT THE HIGHER RATE "WITHOUT BRINGING ON A STRIKE AMONG THE MEN, WITHOUT ANY QUARREL WITH THE MEN AND WERE HAPPIER AND BETTER CONTENTED."

ANOTHER OF TAYLOR 'S BETHLEHEM STEEL STUDIES THAT BECAME FAMOUS WAS ON SHOVEL­ ING WORK. WORKERS WHO SHOVELED AT BETHLEHEM WOULD USE THE SAME SHOVEL FOR ANY JOB—LIFTING HEAVY IRON ORE TO LIFTING LIGHT RICE COAL. TAYLOR DESIGNED SHOVELS TO FIT THE DIFFERENT LOADS: SHORT- HANDLED SHOVELS FOR IRON ORE, LONG-HANDLED SCOOPS FOR LIGHT RICE COAL, AND SHOWED THEIR USEFULNESS IN IMPROVING PRODUCTIVITY.
NOT AS WELL KNOWN AS HIS ENGINEERING CONTRIBUTIONS IS THE FACT THAT IN 1881, HE WAS A U.S. TENNIS DOUBLES CHAMPION. HERE HE USED AN ODD-LOOKING RACKET HE HAD DESIGNED WITH A SPOON CURVED HANDLE.

THE WORK OF OTHER’S
CARL G. BARTH, AN ASSOCIATE OF FREDERICK W. TAYLOR, DEVELOPED A PRODUCTION SLIDE RULE FOR ESTIMATING THE MOST EFFICIENT COMBINATIONS OF SPEEDS AND FEEDS FOR CUTTING METALS OF VARIOUS HARNESSES, CONSIDERING THE DEPTH OF CUT, SIZE OF TOOL, AND LIFE OF THE TOOL. HE IS ALSO KNOWN FOR HIS WORK ON ESTIMATION OF ALLOWANCES BY ESTABLISHING THE NUMBER OF FOOT-POUNDS OF WORK A WORKER COULD DO IN A DAY. HE DEVELOPED A RELATIONSHIP IN WHICH A CERTAIN PUSH OR PULL ON A WORKER'S ARMS WAS EQUATED WITH THE AMOUNT OR WEIGHT THAT WORKER COULD HANDLE FOR A CERTAIN PERCENTAGE OF THE DAY.
HARRINGTON EMERSON APPLIED SCIENTIFIC METHODS TO WORK ON THE SANTA FE RAILROAD AND WROTE A BOOK, TWELVE PRINCIPLES OF EFFICIENCY, IN WHICH HE MADE AN ATTEMPT TO LAY DOWN PROCEDURES FOR EFFICIENT OPERATION. HE REORGANIZED THE COMPANY, INTEGRATED ITS SHOP PROCEDURES, INSTALLED STANDARD COSTS AND A BONUS PLAN, AND INTRODUCED HOLLERITH TABULATING MACHINES FOR THE ACCOUNTING WORK. THIS EFFORT RESULTED IN ANNUAL SAVING OF $ 1.5 MILLION AND RECOGNITION OF HIS APPROACH, CALLED EFFICIENCY ENGINEERING.
IN 1917, HENRY LAURENCE GANTT DEVELOPED SIMPLE GRAPH THAT WOULD PRESENT PERFORMANCE WHILE VISUALLY SHOWING PROJECTED SCHEDULES. THIS PRODUCTION CONTROL TOOL WAS ADOPTED BY THE SHIPBUILDING INDUSTRY DURING WORLD WAR I. FOR THE FIRST TIME, THIS TOOL DEMONSTRATED THE POSSIBILITY OF COMPARING ACTUAL PERFORMANCE AGAINST THE ORIGINAL PLAN, AND TO ADJUST DAILY SCHEDULES IN ACCORDANCE WITH CAPACITY, BACK­ LOG, AND CUSTOMER REQUIREMENTS. GANTT IS ALSO KNOWN FOR HIS WAGE PAYMENT SYSTEM THAT REWARDED WORKERS FOR ABOVE-STANDARD PERFORMANCE, ELIMINATED ANY PENALTY FOR FAILURE, AND OFFERED THE BOSS A BONUS FOR EVERY WORKER WHO PER­ FORMED ABOVE .STANDARD. GANTT ADVOCATED HUMAN RELATIONS AND PROMOTED SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT IN THE BACK DROP OF AN INHUMAN "SPEEDUP" OF LABOR.
MOTION AND TIME STUDY RECEIVED ADDED STIMULUS DURING WORLD WAR II WHEN FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, THROUGH THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, ATTEMPTED TO ESTABLISH STANDARDS FOR INCREASING PRODUCTION. THE STATED POLICY ADVOCATED GREATER PAY FOR GREATER OUTPUT BUT WITHOUT AN INCREASE IN UNIT LABOR COSTS, INCENTIVE SCHEMES TO BE COLLECTIVELY BARGAINED BETWEEN LABOR AND MANAGEMENT, AND THE USE OF TIME STUDY FOR SETTING PRODUCTION STANDARDS.

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.
SELECT THE JOB – ON WHICH METHOD STUDY IS TO BE APPLIED.
OBTAIN INFORMATION AND RECORD.
EXAMINE THE INFORMATION CRITICALLY.
DEVELOP THE MOST PRACTICAL, ECONOMICAL AND EFFECTIVE METHOD BY CONSIDERING REAL LIMITATIONS OF THE SITUATION.
INSTALL THE NEW METHOD AS STANDARD PRACTICE.
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.
A FLOW PROCESS CHART SHOWS A COMPLETE PROCESS IN TERMS OF ALL THE ELEMENTS OF WORK.

THE PRODUCT TYPE RECORDS THE DETAILS OF THE EVENTS THAT OCCUR TO A PRODUCT OR MATERIAL, WHILE THE OPERATOR FLOW CHART DETAILS HOW A PERSON PERFORMS AN OPERATIONAL SEQUENCE.
AN IMPORTANT AND VALUABLE FEATURE OF THIS CHART IS ITS RECORDING OF NON-PRODUCTIVE HIDDEN COSTS, SUCH AS DELAYS, TEMPORARY STORAGES, UNNECESSARY INSPECTIONS, AND UNNECESSARY LONG DISTANCES TRAVELED. WHEN THE TIME SPENT ON THESE NON PRODUCTIVE ACTIVITIES IS HIGHLIGHTED, ANALYST CAN TAKE STEPS TO MINIMIZE IT AND THUS REDUCE COSTS.

OPERATOR PROCESS CHART: IT IS ALSO CALLED LEFT HAND – RIGHT HAND CHART AND SHOWS THE ACTIVITIES OF HANDS OF THE OPERATOR WHILE PERFORMING A TASK. IT USES FOUR ELEMENTS OF HAND WORK: OPERATION, DELAY (WAIT), MOVE AND HOLD. ITS MAIN ADVANTAGE LIES IN HIGHLIGHTING UN-PRODUCTIVE ELEMENTS SUCH AS UNNECESSARY DELAY AND HOLD SO THAT ANALYST CAN TAKE MEASURES TO ELIMINATE OR SHORTEN THEM. 


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