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Micromotion Study

Micromotion study, which was originated by Frank B. Gilbreth, is one of the most
exacting forms of work analysis available for job improvement. It is an analysis
technique making use of motion pictures (or videotape) taken at a constant and known
speed. The film becomes a permanent record of both the method being used and the
time consumed in doing the work.
Although micromotion study formerly made use of motion pictures, very few companies
today are using them. As indicated earlier, videotape equipment has been developed so
extensively that it has virtually supplanted the use of the motion picture camera. Further
it is so cheap and easy to use that it makes the older approach archaic.
Micromotion study provides a valuable technique for making minute analyses of those
operations that are short in cycle, contain rapid movements, and involve high production
over a long period of time. Thus it is very useful in analyzing operations such as the
sewing of garments, assembly of small parts and similar activities.

It is a technique for recording and timing an activity. It consists of taking motion

pictures of the operation with a clock in the picture (or with a video camera running
at a known speed. The film is a permanent record of the method and the time and
is always ready to be examined when needed. Purposes of Micromotion Study 1. To
assist in finding the preferred method of doing the work. 2. To assist in training the
workers to understand the meaning of motion study and to enable them to apply
motion economy principles in a professional way.

Limitations of micromotions study:

a. It requires special motion picture equipment.
b. It requires considerable time for the analysis.

Applicable in work produced in large volume.

d. Large number of workers are needed.

e. It is not compatible for complex operation.

Profitable applicable only in short cycle operation.

Memomotion Study
Before leaving the general area of micromotion study, let us touch briefly on
memomotion study. Memomotion study, which was originated by M.E. Mundel, is a
special form of micromotion study in which the motion pictures or videotape are taken at
slow speeds. Sixty and one hundred frames per minutes are most common.

Memomotion study has been used to study the flow and handling of materials, crew
activities, multiperson and machine relationships, stockroom activities, department store
clerks, and a variety of other jobs. It is particularly valuable on long-cycle jobs or jobs
involving many interrelationships. In addition to having all of the advantages of
micromotion study, it can be used at relatively low film or tape cost (about 6% of the
cost at normal camera speeds) and permits rapid visual review of long sequence of

In memomotion study, the camera speed is at 60 or 100 frames per minute. In

addition to its use in industrial operations, it is used to study many other operations
such as check-in operations as airline counters, the manner in which customers
select items in the store, traffic flow on highways, and in banks. It costs less than
micromotion study (only costs 6% of the cost of a micromotion study.

Advantage of memomotion study:

1. It will record interrelated events more accurately visual techniques.
2. It reduces film cost to about 6% of the cost with normal film speed.
3. It reduces the time required for film analysis
4. When film is used it permits papid visual review of an extended period of performance.
5. It has all the other advantages of film or tape study.