WORK MEASUREMENT TYPES
Assembly manufacturers or distribution centers have three main types of labor standards: Output Estimates that a department foreman generally establishes. Historical output that are records of past accomplishment. And Industrial Engineered Standards that are developed by trained and experienced technicians or engineers. The primary advantage of estimates and historical output is there is no cost involved in the process of development but the main disadvantage is they are not accurate and almost always are 15% below that of the industrial engineered standard.
METHODOLOGY OF A PROPERLY DEVELOPED INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERED STANDARD - REPEATABLE WORK TASKS
The following steps provide valuable information that can be used to improve any repeatable assembly operation or a distribution center work tasks such as order picking:
Define Objective. What is your primary goal? Is it cost reduction, accurate labor reporting, operator performance records, product labor pricing or line (time) balancing of work? Determining your objective will assist in developing a time frame to accomplish your goal.
Work Method Optimization. Reduce to writing the detail of each alternative method. Use power tools or fixtures where applicable. Maximize hand and eye coordination and reach ergonomics. Take a cycle time of each alternative method before developing a detailed time study to ascertain which method takes the least overall time. This generally will give you an idea of where to concentrate your efforts.
Detailed Work Measurement: The development of a labor cost expectation or industrial engineered standard and method includes:
• Listing of work elements for each operation.
• Scrutiny of work elements for optimum methodology.
• Plotting of time values for each work element through direct observation - take 10 minimum cycle times of each work element for each assembly operation or distribution center work task.
• Average the cycle times or select a representative time that best suits your operator rating. Rate the performance level of each work element for the operator observed…have you completed a certified class of operator speed leveling that compares your rating with the average of thousands of industrial engineers?
• Totaling of leveled work element time values for each operation.
• Factoring of unavoidable delay, personal and fatigue allowances for the respective department of your facility.
• Calculations of operational standards - covert the factored total to your standard into the following pieces per hour, pieces per day, hours per hundred etc.
Test Results. Compare the results of your new industrial engineered standard with that of what existed before especially if there is a monetary incentive involved. Have your accounting and payroll departments run a parallel system - new versus old. Make sure your objective has been achieved before implementing the standard.
Implement the standards. Only after performing the above test. Years ago with the suspicion of union stewards, new industrial engineered standards had to be quoted immediately after the time study observation and before the time study technician left the floor. That not the case here. Do it right and test the results before quoting the standard.
Maintain the standards. A slight change in the time-studied method can result in a corresponding minor addition or deletion to the developed standard time. But if left alone over years, those slight changes add up to a major change where the entire job has to be completely re-methodized and retime studied. So it's to your advantage to keep on top of your department's industrial engineered standards by keeping them current.
New Accurate Reports.