Man-Machine Chart: Concept, Use and Benefits

October 20, 2023

Man-Machine Chart: Concept, Use and Benefits


mbawankar |

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Today’s world is very competitive on cost, quality, delivery, and Service. To be ahead in this competitive world, one must strive hard on all these fronts of cost, quality, delivery, and service.  Every setup must inculcate continuous improvement culture on all the aspect of business process.

To ensure speed in this continuous improvement initiative, various tools and technique are used and deployed across business processes.

Any setup consists of Man, Machine and Material. Thus, there is interaction of man with machine in almost every setup. To improve this interaction or engagement between man and machine, there are certain methodology and tools that are developed and can be deployed. Man-machine chart is one such tool which represents engagement of man with machine on a time scale.

Through a graphical representation of the operation and by visualizing the chart, one can find out avenues/possibilities of improvements.

What is Man-machine Chart?

  • A man-machine chart represents a graph showing the relationship between one or more instruments or machines and the manual work carried by one or more persons involved in the manufacturing process.
  • Man-machine charts help engineers to compare using visual charts, engagement of multiple operators and machines. These charts help them to easily identify areas of improvements.

Man-Machine Chart - 1

To better represent various types of activities performed by human being along with machine, activities are generally classified as –

1. Independent Activity: 

  • Man: An operator working independently.
  • Machine: The machine is auto feed, m/c works independently.

2. Combined Activity:

  • Man: An operator working with or handling machine (hand feed) or another operator.
  • Machine: A machine is loaded or unloaded, the servicing of machine.

3. Idle:

  • Man: An operator is waiting for the machine to complete the operation.
  • Machine: An operator engaged in the inspection, etc.

If such activities are represented in a systematic manner through a graph, this becomes a man-machine chart which triggers improvement possibilities.

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Use of Man-Machine Chart can be best depicted by following Task –

In one of the assemblies lines of Light manufacturing industry which provides parts to automotive manufacturing industry, there are 3 stations run by 3 man producing around 100 parts per day. The agenda was to improve the manpower utilization and increase productivity. The following details are mentioned below which explains the existing scenario before study.

Man Machine Chart - 2

The above line is studied with respect to each station and activities of each station; below chart gives a brief idea on how the line can be optimized by combining operations.

Existing Scenario:

Man Machine Chart - Existing Scenario

From the above chart we can see the relationship of Man-machine in each station-

  • The above chart helps us to understand the activities done by Manpower in collaboration with machine and gives a clear picture how we can merge the activities of different station to optimize the line for productivity improvement.
  • Man-Machine chart also provide the idleness available with manpower so it can be used somewhere else for improving manpower utilization.

 Proposed Scenario:

Man Machine Chart - Proposed Scenario

After data analysis and study on Man-Machine chart following results were obtained and potential improvements were triggered.

  • Same amount of production can be achieved by providing 2 Manpower instead of 3 Manpower (Saving in Manpower).
  • Scope of Multi-Manning is being discovered by Man-machine chart and how to perform it is depicted by chart.
  • Based on Man-Machine chart manpower deployment can be done on production line.

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Man Machine Chart - Results

In conclusion, man machine chart is a valuable tool for process improvement, productivity enhancement, and cost reduction. It involves the systematic measurement and analysis of work activities to identify areas of inefficiency and waste.

However, man machine chart can be challenging and resource-intensive, it requires careful planning, accurate data collection and effective implementation of the suggested improvements.

Overall, man machine is an essential tool for any organization seeking to improve its efficiency, but it is important to be aware of the challenges involved and to address them appropriately to ensure accurate results and a successful outcome.


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