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Work Study is a generic term for those techniques, particularly “method/motion study” and “time study/ work measurement”, which lead systematical investigation of all the factors that affect the efficiency and economy of the work being reviewed in order to effect improvement. Method/Motion Study is the systematic recording and critical examination of existing and proposed ways of doing work, as a means of developing and applying easier and more effective methods and reducing costs. Time Study / Work Measurement is the application of techniques designed to establish the time for a specified job at a defined level of performance. Definitions
Both Method Study and Time Study are made up of number of different techniques. Flow diagram Operations Chart Process Chart Flow Process Charts Work Cell Load Chart Routing Sheet Operations Analysis Chart Operator/Machine Chart Multiactivity Chart Gang Chart Multimachine Chart Left Hand/Right Hand Chart Stop Watch Time Study Work Balancing (work cell/plant/assy line) Activity/work Sampling Predetermined Time Standards Sys. Usually Method/Motion Study preceedes Time Study when the subject is to set time Standards. However, time study is used to compare the effectivenes of alternative Methods. Techniques used
Basic steps in conducting work study can be summarized as follows; Basic procedure <ul><li>Select the job or process to be studied. </li></ul><ul><li>Observe and record everything by using the appropriate recording technique. </li></ul><ul><li>Examine the recorded facts critically with respect to the purpose of the </li></ul><ul><li>activity, where it is performed, sequence in which it is done, the person </li></ul><ul><li>or machine which is doing it, the means by which it is done. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop the most economical method by considering every thing. </li></ul><ul><li>Measure the output of the method and calculate a standard time for it. </li></ul><ul><li>Define the new method and related standard time to identify it. </li></ul><ul><li>Implement the new method as standard practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain the new standard practice by appropriate control procedures. </li></ul>
History FREDERICK W. TAYLOR (1856-1915) He is known as the father of scientific management and industrial engineering. He is the first person to use a stopwatch to study work content and, as such, the father of time study. Throughout his professional life, he worked as an apprentice machinist, time keeper, expediter, lathe operator, gang boss, foreman of the machine shop and chief engineer. Before Taylor, the work force developed own methods by trial and error. Taylor wanted management to reject an opinion for a more exact science. Thus, he <ul><li>Specified the work method, </li></ul><ul><li>Instructed the operator in that method </li></ul><ul><li>Maintained standard conditions for performing that work </li></ul><ul><li>Set time standard goals </li></ul><ul><li>Paid premiums for doing the task as specified </li></ul>
FRANK (1868-1924) AND LILLIAN (1878-1972) GILBRETH He is responsible for the following innovations; <ul><li>Stopwatch time study </li></ul><ul><li>High-speed steel tools </li></ul><ul><li>Tool grinders </li></ul><ul><li>Slide rules </li></ul><ul><li>Functional type organization </li></ul>They are known as the parents of motion/method study. Throughout their life time, they searched for the best method of doing a specific job and they developed many new techniques for studying work. At the beginning of his work life as a bricklayer’s apprentice,Frank Gilbreth noticed that his instructor was using three different set of motions when laying the bricks; <ul><li>One set of motions when he showed Frank how to lay bricks, </li></ul><ul><li>Another set of motions when he is working alone, </li></ul><ul><li>Third set of motions when he is in a hurry. </li></ul>
The predetermined time standards system which is used today is a newer technique which is built on Gilbreths’ work. Gilbreths developed the terminology defining the entire range of manual motions. Later on these elementary subdivisions of motion are called “therblig”s in memory of their name. Thus, when he started his own business, he introduced several competetive advantages of; * Adjustable scaffolding : previously bricklayers built the wall from their toes to their highest reach, and the built some more scaffolding and start again. * Helper for bricklayers : At about one half of the cost of bricklayer, these helpers would sort, carry, and stack the bricks for the bricklayer. * Constant mortar mix. * Improved motion pattern. * 350 bricks/hour instead of previous 120.
HENRY LAURENCE GANNT (1861-1919) He worked for Taylor at Midvale and Bentlehem, and is among the major pioneers of method and time study. He invented the “task and bonus system” or “earned hour plan”. On the contrary of Taylor’s penalty approach for less proficient worker in his multiple piecework system, Gannt defended a livable wage with a sizable bonus for performance over 100%. While Taylor emphasized analytical and organizational aspects of work, Gannt was more interested in operator selection, training and motivation. His basic notion of the importance of a leadership function is exactly in line with today’s thinking. During the First World War, he developed a technique for scheduling work.
RALPH M. BARNES (1900-1984) Dr. Barnes was one of the first and best known professors of engineering in the field of “work measurement / time study”. His achievements included writing; <ul><li>The longest published text on work measurement, </li></ul><ul><li>A thorough description of the Gilbreths’ micro-motion study, </li></ul><ul><li>The procedure for work sampling. </li></ul>He conducted numerious methods studies of activities with motion picture cameras and developed rating films for training time study technologists. There are also other people like, Harrington Emerson (1853-1931), Marvin E. Mundel (1916-1996), Shigeo Shingo (1909-1990), and Professor Elton Mayo who contributed the studies in the field of Work Study.
CRITICS ON THE WORK OF FOUNDERS IN THE FIELD OF WORK STUDY Frederic W. Taylor was criticized as being a management speed-up artist. Indecent managers used Taylor’s techniques, and when workers met the goals, management raised the standard. Taylor would have hated this process. We must never change a standard without due cause. Lilian and Frank Gilbreth were charged with dehumanizing work. Because of the reduction of motions to the absolute best set of procedures possible, unions defined Gilbreths as antiworker and as wanting to make machies everywhere.
<ul><li>Good relations must be established before work study is applied </li></ul>Because of their preoccupation with pressing and important problems, some managers often forget that people who are working for them are subject the same feelings, although they may not be able to express them openly. The man at the bottom of the ladder also resents an injustice and fears the unknown which in turn are the causes of resistance. The human factor in the application of Work Study It should be always in mind that, work study is not a substitute for good management. It is only one of the tools in the management’s tool kit. If a work study is to contribute seriously to the improvement of productivity, relations between the management and the workers must be reasonably good.
<ul><li>Work Study and the supervisor / foreman </li></ul>The work study man’s most difficult problem may often be the attitude of spervisors and foremen. They represent the management to the workers at shop floor. Just as any other departmental manager, they will take their attitude from the top manager and workers will take theirs from their supervisors. Before starting a work study, gaining the support of foreman or supervisor is at top importance. Main reasons for this can be given as follows; He is the person most deeply affected by work study. Even if the efficiency of the operations for which he is responsible for years is increased by the study, he may feel that his prestige in the eyes of his superiors and of the workers will be lessened. In most firms where specialists are not used, planning the work, development of job methods, keeping time sheets, setting piece rates, hiring and firing of labor may have been done by the foreman. Fact of loosing some of these responsibilities is likely to make him feel that his status is being reduced. When disputes arise or workers are upset, he is the first person to clear matters up.
When conducting a work study in a foreman’s area, the following rules must be obeyed; * The work study man should never give a direct order to a worker. All instructions must be given through the foreman. * Workers asking questions calling for decisions outside the technical field of work study should always be referred to their foreman. * The work study man should never tell personal opinions to a worker. * The work study man should ask for foreman’s advice in the selection of the jobs to be studied and in all technical matters related with the process (even if he knows a great deal about it). * At the start of every investigation, work study man should be introduced to the workers by their foreman.
Qualifications of Work Study Man Following are the basic qualifications of a work study man which are essential for success; <ul><li>Education </li></ul>The minimum standard of education for anyone who is to take charge of work study application in an enterprise is a good high school education. It is highly unlikely that, someone without this level of education, can get full benefits of a complete work study training course. If such a person is also to be involved in studying other problems of production management, auniversity degree in engineering / management will be an important asset. <ul><li>Practical experience </li></ul>For candidates of this post, a practical experience in idustries in which they will be working is most preferable. Such an experience should include a period of actual work in one or more processes of the respective industry.
<ul><li>Personal qualities </li></ul>Anyone who is going to undertake improvements should; <ul><li>have an inventive mind, </li></ul><ul><li>be capable of devising simple mechanisms and devices which serve </li></ul><ul><li>the purpose of saving time and effort, </li></ul><ul><li>be able to gain the cooperation of engineers and technicians in </li></ul><ul><li>developing such mechanisms, </li></ul><ul><li>be good in human relations. </li></ul>Thus, we can give the essential personal qualities as; <ul><li>Sincerity and honesty, </li></ul><ul><li>Enthusiasm, </li></ul><ul><li>Interest in and symphaty with people, </li></ul><ul><li>Tact, </li></ul><ul><li>Good appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Self confidence </li></ul>
Although the results of a work study are obtained scientifically , work study itself must be applied as an art just like as any other management technique.