Every job can be broken down into its’ fundamental work elements. The Gilbreth family found that there are seventeen of these motions. The time to complete each motion does not change. Jobs can be studied visually or through the assistance of a camera for micro-motion studies.
The environment for the workers also needs to be set up to promote efficiency of work. Tools should be placed in fixed locations to eliminate the search and selection therbligs. Work surfaces and chairs should be adjusted to the correct working heights to eliminate stress. Whenever possible, gravity feeders should be used to deliver parts to the correct location. The worker’s tools should be designed to eliminate multiple cuts. Adjustment handles should be designed to maximize the operator’s mechanical advantage.
Performing a time study. Without a standard the company will find it hard to estimate lead-time on their products. Times very greatly when the employee does not know what the expectation of company is. In order to correct this problem the IE will develop a fair standard expectation for each operation. It has been estimated that 12% of a company’s total cost comes from direct labor. Another 43% of cost comes from the material cost. The other 45% is spent in overhead. So the idea that the largest productivity gains can be felt on the floor does not hold up in this light. A good time study will take into account the unavoidable delays, fatigue, and to an extent, outside interferences. Time for wasteful steps, such as searching for tools, will not be included in the final standard. The expectation is that the workplace will be designed to accommodate the work and will be free from this type of waste.
Set-Up Times Set up time is the amount of time it takes to begin producing different parts on a machine. If set-up times remain large the company will operate with high levels of work in progress and finished goods tying up the companies valuable capital. Companies that fail to reduce their set-up times have a tendency to look sluggish in regards to their customers.
Cost An IE will generally be responsible for coming up with a cost analysis on the equipment purchase. There are a several ways of coming up with this. Lifehow long the machine is expected to last when developing the cost analysis.
Efficiency The traditional way of looking at efficiency was to keep the machine running at a 100% The idea was the cost of the machine could be spread out over the amount of time it was kept running. The higher the machines efficiency, time running / time available, the better the accounting numbers looked in regards to machine cost.
Material The IE is concerned with the delivery and flow of material throughout the plant, often the plant has evolved as the company has.
Lot size To allow the manufacturer to stay flexible the production lot sizes should be minimalized. This will only be economical after the reduction of machine set-ups have been achieved.
Inventory Levels Since inventory is capital that cannot be converted until finished and purchased by a consumer, it should be kept to a minimal. Inventories not only tie up capital but if the customer requests a change then the inventory runs the risk of becoming obsolete.