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Rodger Koppa, P.E., Ph.D.
Industrial and Systems
Work Study

“The systematic examination of the

methods of carrying on activities so
as to improve the effective use of
resources and to set up standards of
performance for the activities carried
Introduction to Work Study (4th Ed) G. Kanawaty
International Labour Office, Geneva, Switzerland
Work Study Approaches
• Method Study
– The What and How
– Workplace design
– Workplace layout
• Work Measurement/estimation
– Time
– Observation
– Standards
Method Study: Tools
• Process sequence charts
• Process flow charting:
– Worker(s)
– Material
– Equipment
• Process Time lining
• Multiple Activity Chart
Process Chart Symbols
= Operation (part, material, product
modified or changed as result of operation
= Inspection (verification of operation
or quality control)
= Temporary Storage/delay/in queue
= Transport (material handling)

= Storage (controlled or file)

First Things First
• Make a list of steps to accomplish task
• Classify steps according to basic 5 chart
symbols: O, I, D, T, S
• Sketch of assembly however crude can be
• Then chart the process:
– Overview: Outline (Operations) Chart
– Detail analysis: Flow Process Chart
Outline C har t
 Highest level of description
 Uses flowchart symbols O and I
 Each component of assembly has own
column, symbols keyed to list of operations
or events
 Assembly proceeds in time from right to left
 Time for each step can be estimated or left
for later analysis
Detail Flow Process Chart
• Worker Type: Records what worker does
• Material Type: Records how material is
handled or treated
• Equipment Type: Records how equipment
is used
• DFPC prepared for each major component
(vertical line of Outline Process Chart)
Flow Diagram
• For material handling and multiple work
stations a Flow Diagram can be helpful
• Use same symbols and numbers for
• Study flow charts and diagrams together
to visualize the method
Process Critical Analysis
5 basic events classify into 2 major
2. Something is actually happening to
material or work piece (being
worked on)
3. Material or work piece not being
worked on—in transit, storage, or in
Being Worked on
3 things can be happening:
2. Make Ready activities: to prepare
material/workpiece and set into position
3. Do operations: effects change in shape,
chemical composition, physical condition
4. Put Away activities: material/workpiece
move away after (2)
Goal: Max (2); Min (1) and (3) Only (2) is
How to Max (2), Min (1;3)
• Purpose
• Place
• Sequence
• Person
• Means
For each activity recorded on the process
“I keep six honest serving men,
They taught me all I knew;
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.”
--Rudyard Kipling
• What is done?
• Why is it done?
• What else might be done?
• What should be done?

Goal: Eliminate unnecessary parts of the

• Where is it done?
• Why is it done there?
• Where else could it be done?
• Where should it be done?

Goal: Combine or locate operations to

simplify task
• When is it done?
• Why is it done just then?
• When could it be done?
• When should it be done?

Goal: rearrange sequence to be more

effective and cut down time
• Who does it?
• Why does that person do it?
• Could anyone else do it?
• Who should do it?

Goal: Cut fatigue, combine jobs

• How is it done?
• Why is it done that way?
• How else might it be done?
• How should it be done?

Goal: Simplify!!
THUS Basic 5 Questions:
• What should be done?
• Where should it be done?
• When should it be done?
• Who should do it?
• How should it be done?
After Basic 5 Questions
• Draw new process charts
• Compare with original
• Estimate times for each operation and
compare original vs. improved/simplified
• Ask Basic 5 again on each charted
operation and see if further improvements
• Sell to management ($, People, Schedule)
A Case Study
Refer to Handouts
Situation: Brewster Aviation
Receiving/Inspection Dept
Phase I: Receiving
 Shipping cases unloaded from
delivery trucks
 Cases stacked one on top another
 Cases unstacked and moved to
receiving bench
Case Study (Cont’d)
Phase II: Preliminary Inspection
 Parts cartons removed from shipping
 Parts unpacked and checked against
packing slip
 Parts repacked in carton
 Cartons replaced in shipping case
 Case placed in queue for transport to
inspection bench
Case Study (Cont’d)
Phase III: Critical Inspection
 Parts cartons removed from shipping
 Parts unpacked and
inspected/measured with reference to
 Parts repacked in carton
 Cartons repacked in shipping case
 Case transported to marking bench
Case Study (Cont’d)
Phase IV: Marking and Inventory
 Parts cartons removed from shipping case
 Parts unpacked and marked for inventory
 Parts repacked in carton
 Cartons repacked in shipping case
 Case transported to Stores
 Cartons placed in bins in Stores until called
for by Assembly
How Can This Material Flow Be
Use Critical Question Approach:
Just for openers---
 Why must cases be stacked if then
unstacked to open?
 Why are reception, inspection, and marking
places so far apart?
 Why does the case have to go all around
the building to reach Stores?
 Why are cartons unpacked and repacked 3
times before reaching Stores?
Improved Method

 Shipping case goes right to a hand truck and is transported to
unpacking place, opened, packing list removed, and taken to
Receiving Bench
 Cartons unpacked and parts placed on Receiving Bench
 Parts counted against packing list, inspected, and inventoried
 Parts repacked in cartons and cartons repacked in case
 Case taken to Stores
 Case stays on hand truck through all of above
Ask the RIGHT Questions
 What should be done?
 Where should it be done?

 When should it be done?

 How should it be done?

Get outside the BOX of “we’ve always

done it this way!”
Much of the material in this lecture
came from:
Kanawaty, G. (Ed) Introduction to Work
Study (4th Ed.) Geneva: International
Labour Office 1992
Another resource:
Groover. M.P. Work Systems and the
Methods, Measurement and
management of Work Pearson-
Prentice Hall 2007

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