People have been looking for better and efficient ways of doing things for the longest time. Frederick Taylor was one of the pioneers in this field and he came up with concepts that are still relevant today. His concept of scientific management has had a profound effect on the world of business. Among the many concepts that he introduced was the concept of time and motion study. This is the process of carefully analyzing tasks and coming up with standard methods and time for performing them. It is also used to identify areas where technology can improve productivity in any plant or production facility.
The main purpose of motion study is to eliminate the wastefulness of movements in a job. This is achieved by studying the present method of doing a particular job in detail and examining every movement that is necessary to perform that task. The process is then re-examined with the aim of eliminating unnecessary movements and reducing their duration. It can be compared to the process of making an electrical diagram and determining the best arrangement of wires.
It is important to note that the principles of motion economy are not universally applicable to all jobs and industries but form a code or basis for increasing speed while doing manual work and improving quality. Some of these principles include: a) avoiding unnecessary movements, b) arranging the sequence of movements in a way that builds rhythm and automaticity into it, c) using definite recurring movements, d) relieving the hands of all work that can be done by feet or other parts of the body and e) eliminating wasteful and unproductive pauses.
During the initial stages of motion study, an engineer makes a list of all the operations that are required to complete a particular job. He then questions himself regarding how these operations are performed and what tools are needed. It is essential that the engineer makes a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the existing method of doing the job. The analysis should not be limited to the machine work but should also cover the hand work and materials handling.
Once the detailed analysis of the present method is complete, the engineer comes up with a new procedure for doing that job and documents it in the form of a flow process chart. The chart is divided into the following sections: operation; inspection; transportation; delay; and storage.
This type of chart is prepared for each item that is manufactured. It helps in reducing unnecessary and defective movements as well as minimizing the time required to do an operation. Moreover, the jigs and fixtures are improved for efficient handling of material, better inspection methods are used, and more economical tools and machines are introduced.
Moreover, the use of the time and motion study theory enhances resource planning and allocation and leads to decreased costs. The resulting cost savings are usually passed on to the customer in the form of lower prices. Hence, it is very beneficial for the customers to implement this technique in their daily operations.