Motion and Time Study, the basic foundation stone of industrial engineering application in apparel manufacturing seems an anachronism today. We pay scarce attention to the equipment being used for time studies. It is difficult to find an accurate stopwatch in many factories practicing time study. Instead of a decimal stopwatch, the normal stopwatch and even the stopwatch function of mobile phones are used these days.
Basic Level of Technology (Manual Operations)
In the basic level, time study engineers use a stopwatch, time study board and pencil to record time. First the engineers observe the operation to be timed, to break up the operation into small elements, preferably keeping the sewing and handling elements separate. The observer keeps an eye on the operation; once one element is over, he looks at the stopwatch, notes down the time in the time study sheet and repeats the process for the subsequent elements. In an incentivised manufacturing operation, operators generally work at a fast pace and conducting a time study correctly demands skill and experience. Generally 20-25 cycle readings are observed. The work content (Standard Allocated Minute) of a job or operation is calculated as: basic time (observed time) + operator rating + relaxation allowance + additional allowance, e.g., bobbin replacement, etc. using the calculator.
Problems associated with this technique are that it is time consuming, requires special expertise and experience to carry out, has scope of manual error during data capture and calculation, cumbersome mathematics to arrive at SAM, etc. Even though ergonomically designed time study boards are available, the industry uses the normal rectangular study board, thus making data capture difficult and uncomfortable for the time study engineers.
Machinery and Equipment Required for Basic Level Technology
|Makes And Models||Features and specification of machinery and equipment|
|Meylan||Decimal stopwatch (analogue)|
|Time study board specially shaped (for hand held) and fixture for fixing stopwatch and clip for attaching study sheets.|
Intermediate Level of Technology
Like in the basic level, here too time study engineers follow similar steps but instead of a separate time study board and stopwatch, the time study engineers use a stopwatch integrated time study board and/or software programme or even standard PDAs and PC-based software to conduct time study and sampling data. No time consuming calculations needs to be done, as they are executed automatically.
The software obviates the stopwatch, clipboard, calculator, charts, paper and pencil in doing a time study. All you need to take to the worksite is your portable PC, running, at the least, Windows 98/95. All calculations are completed instantly and during the study, partial results can be observed on-screen as the study proceeds.
The study board offers simplicity of design with tough construction. This unique product provides the optimum data collection system for the Industrial Engineer. The software can store and manage tens of thousands of studies – a formidable [and cumbersome] task even when using a spreadsheet. The reporting modules allow for the extraction of select information and this can be either printed or exported to third party software. Information is used optimally in this way to generate standard elements of work and synthetic operations.
Machinery and Equipment Required for Intermediate Level Technology
|Makes & Models||Features & Specification of Machinery & Equipment|
|Techtime Pro SeriesApplics from Techtime Data System and sampling data.Instant Study||Time study board|
|With its specific keyboard layout, note pad area and 24 hour run time, this rugged data collection board is dedicated to work measurement and provides a easy to use solution ‘out of the box’.|
|PF&D Wizard™ will walk you through the process of establishing a new PF&D Allowance or updating an old one, you’ll need a Personal, Fatigue & Delay Allowance to enter.|
|Performance Rating Wizard™ will walk you through the rating process like a pro, even if you’ve never done performance rating before! Just enter readily available data as requested by the software, and all computed.|
|Database Output™ that, use a comma-delimited text file (.csv file) format, makes it simple to import results into virtually any spreadsheets (such as Microsoft Excel), any database management systems (such as Microsoft Access), and any DBMS on any size hardware platform.|
This easy-to-use intuitive software takes time study to the next level by dramatically decreasing the time required for an engineer or manager to do a time study and have all computed results like Personal, Fatigue & Delay [PF&D] Allowance, etc., available in a consistent format on paper and in a spreadsheet or database. It will seamlessly integrate into your organisation, whether you use an incentive rate system, work standards without incentive, or just historical data for labour costing, cost estimation, production scheduling, measuring productivity, capacity planning and/or line balancing. The software Outputs its results in three convenient ways: (1) on-screen, (2) to a discrete data file for each study, and (3) to optional comma-delimited text file (.csv file) format, makes it simple to import results into virtually any spreadsheets or database management systems.
Highest Level of Technology
Observing operation live and recording time from analogue or digital stopwatch by time study engineers are subject to manual error. In a videographic option, instead of recording time from live operations, the engineers first capture the operation cycle in video and then observe the video to record the time. Here engineers can record the time at leisure and can rewind any operation, if required. This method ensures perfection. In the traditional time study technique described earlier, the important aspect of motion study is being ignored.
The latest level of technology involves integrated video imaging using any inexpensive, basic digital video camera, loading the video file in the PC / Laptop, doing the Video Time Study [VTS] to get the activity description and timing, etc. The Video should mainly capture the subjects under time study – like the operators (hands, eyes, body movements, etc.), machine elements (starting, stopping, machine movements, etc.) as required by the study. Specialised software can split the movie into motion elements automatically or by a simple mouse click, deriving timing for each motion element.
Machinery and Eqauipments Required for Highest-level Technology
Digital Video camera, PC/laptop, specialised software.
|Makes & Models||Features & Specification of Machinery & Equipment|
|ORTS-Mpeg (Operation time research software) from Jasi Corporation, Japan. |
Timer Pro Professional, USA http://www.acsco.com
|Pentium 2.0 Ghz or more|
|• Operating System: Windows 2000 or Windows XP|
|• Memory - Above 512 Mb|
|• Graphics - Resolution 1024 * 768 or more|
|• Display - 1024 * resolution of 768 or more|
|• External memory medium|
|• Digital video (AVI), WMV type and MPEG4 type, etc.|
|• You should be able to divide one operational element, the start and operational element; invalidity (wastefulness) time should be indicated in the chart.|
|• When analysing, the resetting and speed control of image (0.03~4 time speed) should be possible|
|• Frame interval selection is possible|
|• Cycle counting should be possible|
|• Integrated line balancing module based on your Time Study results|
|• Replay any observation at any time - by a single click.|
|• Use built-in six sigma accuracy reports - to check the correctness of your observations|
|• Direct link to your ERP system to have updated routings and cycle times.|
|• PDA and Excel-based time study modules, for use in mobile real time data collection.|
|• The points of caution, etc., with respect to the job, workmanship instructions by letter and sound.|
|• QuickTime module for methods analysis and improvement using the included predetermined standard time dataset.|
When wasteful motions (foreign elements) are is found in the element, it is possible to separate the wasteful part. The speed of the movie can be adjusted to accurately separate and document the elements, the time unit can be set either in seconds or in TMU (time measurement units; 100,000 TMU = 1 hour). Another software option is to analyse by the multiple still picture. Frame interval selection is possible.
Technically, VTS does not require elaborate planning. You can take the Camcorder and shoot the operation – usually after telling the operator. As you have a total record of the operation , you can fill up all the data from the Video. You can even catch sub-second actions – the Therbligs – using the VTS.
Video Time and Motion study accurately documents and times any task while simultaneously isolating the non value-added work content. Video supported analysis creates an unchallengeable history of the current process state. Each and every task observation can be instantly replayed for review and analysis, Best practices can be identified, isolated and consolidated into a new video presentation of the desired future process state – the ideal solution to your training needs.
The video module includes powerful integrated task timing capabilities including slow motion, fast motion, timed jumps, instant rewind, side by side comparison playback – completely eliminating the need for expensive time stamping video and players.
Video supported analysis creates an unchallengeable history of the current process state. Select best practice clips for training the future process state. Feed into your value stream mappings. The package may also include PDA and Excel software modules for mobile real time data collection.
Benefits of Video Time Study
- Deskills the time study process – can be used by staff at any level.
- Increases consistency and traceability – improves costing and planning,
- Is 95% faster than time study – can also be used in estimates and methods analysis
- Encouraging operator involvement
- Identifying and documenting non value-added activities
- Isolating and create training recordings of best practice methods
- Creating standard time libraries based on best practices.
- Obtain a visual history of the entire time study.
- Enhance Kaizen/Poka Yoke/SMED programs with concrete results.
Value for Money
Actually, not many reports are prepared in the manual time study; they just give only one report – the Standard Time Report. Hence there is no true comparison between VTS and the manual time study. It is possible to video time study a 30 min video in about 60 mins – first time with description typing, etc. But, in the second time it takes about 40 mins only. Once you know the details of the operation, it will be quicker.
For example: A Style of 30 operations takes about 5 minutes (for one cycle). For getting good accuracy, you need to do at least ten cycles. Let us say this takes about 50 minutes. With allowances added, let this duration be one hour. Now the VTS of the 5 minute operation will take (with the simple visual technology available in Timer Pro today) 15 minutes first time. This will involve typing the activity description, plus finding the start & stop times and all particulars of the operation – VA, Nva, etc. Of course, the software has got all the features for this and YOU can do this in a jiffy.
You need to key it in only once and for the second cycle, you can do the same with just a few clicks. The second cycle VTS will take about 7 mins only. So for the ten cycles – it will take about 15 + (9 x 7) = 78 mins. You can sum up all ten Time Studies and can take a number of reports within a maximum of 5 mins. In total – it will take 60 + 78 + 5 = 143 mins = 2 1/2 hours. Say, an even 3 hours.
Manual Time Study of the same style of 30 operations for ten cycles will take at the very least – about four hours. This is because they cannot take the time one after the other for short cycle activity elements. They will also have to write the time values on the time study sheet. Keying the values in MS Excel sheet, etc., will take about three hours minimum. Even then, the calculations plus preparation of the same kind of accuracy report, summary report, Standard Time Report, etc., will take about five hours if not one day. The total will thus be : 4+3+5=12 hours.
Calculating ROI for Timer Pro
Cost of 1 license of Timer Pro : Rs 48,000/- (with training)
Cost of Camcorder : Rs 30,000/- (with all accessories)
Total : Rs 78,000/-
Cost to Company (CTC) of one Time Study Engineer per annum : Rs 84000/- (minimum)
A company just does not need this Engineer – it can do Video Time Studies with their existing shop supervisors themselves. This is the barest minimum direct savings; even in this kind of small companies, the Timer Pro will payback in one year – cost to cost.
If the no of IEs is more, then the payback is rapid. For a five member IE team, the direct productivity improvement in doing Time Study is a minimum of 75 to 80%. Practically speaking, the IE team can clearly focus on improvements rather than just Time Studies.