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A time and motion study is used to determine the amount of time required for a specific activity, work function, or mechanical process. By determining the work elements and cycles to be studied, capturing cycle time data, and using statistical analysis, accurate times can be calculated and used for planning, measurement, and comparison purposes. Time studies are used for a variety of initiatives such as:
Performance measurement and incentive programs
Automation comparisons
Staffing, equipment and layout planning
Time utilization analysis
Workload planning
Accurate performance quotas
Identification of non-value-added activities
Time studies were initially performed primarily in manufacturing and construction environments. However, over the last couple of years, the discipline has expanded and is now used in many other environments including:
Distribution and warehousing operations
Medical laboratories
Call centres
Manufacturing and refurbishing facilities
Hospitals and clinics
Data processing and data entry functions
Trucking and transportation operations
Retail store operations
Administrative and technical support functions
Inside and outside sales operations
Field service operations
Service and repair facilities
Time studies are useful in determining vital information such as:
Accurate times for job functions
Amount of processing time for equipment/automation
Calculated time reduction for process, layout, technology, or workstation changes
Percentage of time utilization by operators and/or equipment
Appropriate staffing levels based on workload
Batch processing times, turn-around times, cycle times, process lead time, change-over time, etc.
Percentage of non-productive time during a given time period
Amount of time spent on random, non-value-added activities, such as equipment changes, system failure, etc.