Time-motion Analysis
Pages Appendix1 Appendix2 References


Motion and Time Study


Motion and time study can reduce and control costs, improve working conditions and environment, and motivate people.

   The basic purpose is to improve the work and to reduce waste.

1. Motion analysis techniques

2. Time study techniques

3. Uses of time standards.

   Manufacturing management and engineering students are being prepared to design work stations, develop efficient and effective work methods, establish time standards, balance assembly lines, estimate labor costs, develop effective tooling, select proper equipment, and layout manufacturing facilities.

   However, the most important thing is to learn how to train production workers in these skills and techniques so they can become motion and time conscious.

   Motion study offers a great potential for savings in any area of human  effort. We can reduce the cost by combining elements of one task with elements of another.

   Motion study uses the principles of motion economy to develop work stations that are friendly to the human body and efficient in their operation.

   Motion study must consider the operator’s safety

   Time study can reduce cost significantly well. Time standards are goals to strive for. In organizations that operate without time standards, 60% performance is typical.

   When time standards are set, performance improves to an average of 85%. This is a 42% increase in performance:


                       85 % - 60 %

                        ------------------ = 42% performance increase.


   Incentive systems can improve performance even further.

   Incentive  system performances average 120%, that is another 42% increase in performance:

  120% - 85%
---------------------- = 42% performance increase.

  Manufacturing plants with no standards average 60% performance.

  Manufacturing plants with time standards average 85% performance.

  Manufacturing plants with incentive systems average 120% performance.

   If additional production output is required, don’t buy more machinery, don’t add a second shift, and don’t build a new plant.

   Just establish a motion and time study program.

    Motion and time study is considered to be the backbone of industrial engineering, industrial technology, and industrial management programs because the information that time studies generate affects so many other areas, including the following:

1. Cost estimating
2. Production and inventory control
3. Plant layout
4. Materials and processes
5. Quality
6. Safety

   Motion study comes first  before the setting of time standards. Motion study is a detailed analysis of the work method in an effort to improve it.

   Motion studies are used to

1. Develop the best work method.

2. Develop motion consciousness on the part of all employees.

3. Develop economical and efficient tools, fixtures, & production aids.

4. Assist in the selection of new machines and equipment.

5. Train new employees in the preferred method.

6. Reduce effort and cost.

   Motion study is for cost reduction, and time study is for cost control. Motion study is the creative activity of motion and time study.

   Motion study is design, while time study is measurement.

   Once the importance of motion and time study is understood and accepted, the techniques of motion and time study are introduced.

Flow diagrams
Multi activity charts
Operation charts
Flow process charts
Process charts
Operations analysis chart
Work station design
Motion economy
Flow patterns
Predetermined time standards system (PTSS).

   The techniques of time study start with the last motion study technique, which shows the close relationship between motion study and time study. The techniques of time study are:

Predetermined time standards system (PTSS)
Stopwatch time study
Standard data formula time standards
Work sampling time standards
Expert opinion and historical data time standards.



   Motion studies are performed to eliminate waste.  Before any improvement in quality or quantity of output, any study of operations time, any scheduling of work or balancing of workload or any calculation of standard time, a study of the current and proposed method is required.

   Studies of overall factory flow or process, called macromotion studies, and then additional studies of detail or operations, called micromotion studies, should be completed for a project.

   Motion studies were conducted by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth about a century ago in a search for the “one best way.” It is important to note that such studies seek to minimize and simplify manual efforts.

Macromotion Study

   Any process can be studied by dividing it into process activity. Although each activity is different, depending on the product, there are five classes of activities that are included in all processes. Savings, may be found in the process by reorganizing activities.

   These activities found in every sequence of processes are

Operations          Changes in the properties of the product

Transportations Changes in the location of the product

Inspection    Confirmation that change fits to specification

Delay Wait for start of operation, transportation, or inspection

Storage         Wait until needed

   When the process is first studied, each activity is recorded and arranged into one of the five classes. All observed activities are recorded, and activities not done are not recorded. The purpose of each activity should be studied.

   Typically, the questions Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How? must be answered. Next, each event is observed in the following sequence:

Can the activity be eliminated? If not,

Can the activity be combined and done with another activity? If not,

Can the activity be rearranged so occur in the sequence at an easier time?  If not.

Can the activity be simplified with shorter distances, mechanical assist, or reduced complexity?

   Once these questions are asked and the improvement sequence is defined, it is necessary to draw a chart or diagram that shows the motion improvements.


Process Flow Plan              A plan-view plant layout with activities overlaid

Process Operations Chart The sequence of serial and parallel operations

Process Chart                           All serial activities on a preprinted form

Flow Process Chart            All serial and parallel activities on a single page

Work Cell Load Chart         A plan view with repetitive operations

Route Sheet                   A planning tool for scheduling operations


Micromotion Study

   Considerable wasted motion and idle time can occur within an operation. This time can’t be found with macromotion studies because is usually within one process operation. The improvement is gained from reducing the operation cycle time.



   The definition of a time standard is “the time required to produce a product  at a work station with the following three conditions:

(1) a qualified, well-trained operator,

(2) working at a normal pace,

(3) doing a specific task.”

   These three conditions are essential to the understanding of time study.

   The importance of time standards can be shown by the three statistics 60%, 85%, and 120% performance.

   The time standard is one of the most important pieces of information produced in the manufacturing department. It is used to develop answers for the following problems:

   Determining the number of machine tools to buy

   Determining the number of production people to employ

   Determining manufacturing costs and selling prices

   Scheduling the machines, operations, and people to do the job and deliver on time

   Determining the assembly line balance, determining the conveyor belt speed, loading the work cells with the correct amount of work, and balancing the work cells

   Determine individual worker performance and identifying operations that are having problems so the problems can be corrected

   Paying incentive wages for outstanding team or individual performance

   Evaluating cost reduction ideas and picking the most economical method based on cost analysis, not opinion

   Evaluating new equipment purchases to justify their expense


   Developing operation personnel budgets to measure management performance.


How would you answer the following questions without time standards?


How Many Machines Do We Need?


   One of the first questions rose when setting up a new operation or starting production on a new product is “how many machines do we need?” The answer depends on two pieces of information:


a. How many pieces do we need to manufacture per shift?

b. How much time does it take to make one part? (Time standard)




1.  The marketing department wants us to make 2,000 wagons per 8-hour shift.

2.  It takes us 0.400 minutes to form the wagon body on a press.

3.  There are 480 minutes per shift (8 hours/shift x 60 minutes/hr).

4.  - 50 minutes downtime per shift (breaks, clean-up, etc.)

5.  There are 430 minutes per shift available @ 100%.

6.  @ 75% performance (based on history) (0.75 x 430 = 322.5).

7.  There are 322.5 effective minutes left to produce 2,000 units.



8.      ---------------- = 0.161 minutes per unit, or 6.21 parts per minute.

          2,000 units



   The 0.161 minutes per unit is plant rate. Every operation in the plant must  produce a part every 0.161 minutes; therefore, how many machines do we  need for this operation?


 Time standard = 0.400 minutes/unit

----------------------------------------------------- = 2.48 machines

     Plant rate = 0.161 minutes/unit


   This operation requires 2.48 machines. If other operations are required for this kind of machine, we would add all the machine requirements together and round up to the next whole number.


   In this example, we would buy three machines. (Never round down on your own. You will be building a bottleneck in your plant.)



How Many people should we hire?


   Look at the operations chart shown in Figure 4-1.


   From a study of this chart, we find the time standard (or every operation required to fabricate each part of the product and each assembly operation required to assemble and pack the finished product.


   In the operation shown here (casting the handle), the 05 indicates the operation number. Usually, 05 is the first operation of each part. The 500 is the pieces per hour standard. This operator should produce 500 pieces per hour. The 2.0 is the hours required to produce 1,000 pieces. At 500 pieces per hour, it would take us 2 hours to make 1,000. How many people would be required to cast 2,000 handles per shift?



   Not many people, departments, or plants work at 100% performance.

         How many hours would be required if we work at the rate of 60%, 85%, or 120%?



 4 hours                                  4 hours                                 4 hours

----------- = 6.66 hours;         ------------- = 4.7 hours;     -------------- = 3.33 hours.

    60%                      85%                              120%



   Look again it use operations chart shown in Figure 4-1. Note the total 138.94 hours at the bottom right side. The operations chart includes every operation required to fabricate, paint, inspect, assemble, and pack out a product. The total hours is the total time required to make 1,000 finished products. 


   In our water valve factory, we need 138.94 hours at 100% to produce 1,000 water valves. If this is a new product, we could expect 75% performance during the first year of production. Therefore,


   138.94 hours per 1,000

---------------------------------- = 185 hours/1,000    where 75% = 0.75

        75% performance



   The marketing department has forecasted sales of 2,500 water valves per day. How many people are needed to make water valves?


            185 hours/1,000 X 2.5 (1,000) = 463 hours/day needed.        


            463 / 8 = 57.87   which is equal to 58 people.


   Management will be judged by how well it performs to this goal.

   If less than 2,500 units are produced per day with the 58 people, management will be over budget, and that is not good.


   If it produces more than 2,500 units per day, management is judged as being good at managing, and the managers are promotable.



   For example, how many direct labor employees do we need for a multi-product plant? Per day, 1,132 hours of direct labor are needed. Each employee will work 8 hours; therefore,




            1,132 hours

      ----------------------- = 141.5 employees.

      8 hours/employee


   We will hire 142 employees, and management will be evaluated on the performance of these 142 employees. Without time standards, how many employees would you hire?


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