Time and Motion Studies Explained

December 13, 2023

Time and Motion Studies Explained


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joydeep | Senior Engineer - PMI Corps

What is a Time & Motion Study?

A time and motion study is the study of time as it relates to human motion.  This study is commonly used for repetitive tasks performed by a fully trained average worker. Tasks are simplified into measurable steps, and the proper time is assigned to each movement according to the joint being moved to complete the motion. Industrial Engineers use Time and Motion Analysis to decompose work tasks into Value Added versus Non-Value-Added segments. Understanding these work segments enable the creation of efficient labor standards.

Work Measurement

How is work measured?

Work can be measured using the following work measurement techniques:

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

PMTS Techniques

PMTS uses Work Measurement to break down each element of work and the motion of a task. Each work element duration (in seconds) is referenced in the PMTS Database. The Industrial Engineer compiles these discrete movements & work elements to compute 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

How to Prepare for a Time and Motion Study

Firmly establish reasoning for the study to identify desired outcomes

  • What is the purpose of the study?

Choose what is to be measured

  • Determine which aspects are to be measured, important variables, and set boundaries
  • Ensure all applicable work content is captured
  • The more cycles recorded, the more accurate the study will be

Determine the best time to accurately capture data

  • When are the workers active?
  • Are there factors like vacations or inoperable machines that would cause a change in average performance?

Follow best practices for collecting data samples

  • Make sure collected data samples are unbiased according to work instructions
  • Ensure that data is collected consistently based on earlier determined parameters, preferably in a templated format

How to Conduct a Time and Motion Study

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    A time and motion study is the study of time as it relates to human motion.  This study is commonly used for repetitive tasks performed by a fully trained average worker. Tasks are simplified into measurable steps, and the proper time is assigned to each movement according to the joint being moved to complete the motion. Industrial Engineers use Time and Motion Analysis to decompose work tasks into Value Added versus Non-Value-Added segments.

    joydeep
    joydeep
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    joydeep

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