Thursday, April 5, 2012

Motion Study - Operation Analysis - Questions

Industrial engineering is based on question and answer method. The answers to each question have to come from the facts and the knowledge  base of the industrial engineer and the experts, engineers, supervisors and operators involved in the study. Industrial engineer is responsible for conducting the questioning process and for certifying that adequate and satisfactory answers were given by the participants of the study (It is important to reemphasize that industrial engineer himself is one of the participants for giving the answers to the questions in some areas of his expertise and experience)

1. Material

Is the material uniform and in proper condition when brought to the workbench?
Is the material stored in suitable containers for easy pick up by the operator?
Can the operator be relieved of picking up the material by the use of materials handling equipment?

2. Tools, Jigs and Fixtures

Are the tools the best kind for this work?
Are the tools in good condition?
In case of metal cutting tools, are the cutting angles of the tools correct, and are they ground in a centralized tool-grinding department and subject to quality control?
Can tools or fixtures be changed so that less skill is required to perform the operation?
Are both hands occupied by productive work in using the tools and fixtures?
Can slide feeds, ejectors, holding devices, etc., can be used?
Can an engineering change be made to simplify the design of the jig or fixture?

3. Machine

A. Set up
Should the operator set up his own machine?
Can the machine speed or feed be increased?
Can an automatic feed be used?
Can the operation be still divided further into two or more short operations?
Can two or more operations be combined into one?
Can the sequence of operations at the work bench be changed?
Can the part be pre-positioned for the next operation?
Can an inspection be combined with an operation?
Is the machine kept in good working condition?

4. Operator


A. Person and Supervision

Is the operator qualified to perform this operation?
Is there adequate supervision?
Does the operator need more training?

B. Motions



Is there an alternative workbench layout that reduces searching for articles?
Can tools and materials be standardized and variety reduced?
Are parts and materials properly labeled?
Are common parts interchangeable? Reduce variety of parts.
Are parts and materials kept separate?
is the lighting satisfactory to facilitate search?
Can color be used to facilitate selecting parts?


Is it possible to grasp more than one object at a time?

Transport Empty and Transport Loaded

Can either of these motions be eliminated entirely?
Is the distance traveled the best one?
Are correct means used - tweezers, etc.?
Are the correct members (and muscles) of the body used - fingers,forearm, shoulder etc.?


Can a vise, clamp, clip, vacuum, hook, rack, fixture, or other mechanical device be used?
When hold cannot be avoided, can arm rests be provided?

Release Load

Can this motion be eliminated?


Is positioning necessary?
Can tolerances be increased?
Can a guide, funnel, bushing, gauge, stop, swinging bracket, locating pin, spring, drift,recess, key, pilot on screw, or chamfer be used for positioning?
Is the operator grasping the work piece for easiest positioning?
Can a foot operated collet be used?


Can the object be pre-positioned in transit?
Can holding device be made to keep tool handle in proper position
Can tools be suspended?
Can tools be stored in proper location to work?


Can inspect be eliminated or overlapped with another operation?
Can multiple gauges or tests be used?
Can machine inspection be used instead of manual inspection

Assemble, Disassemble, and Use

Can a jig or fixture be used?
Can stops be used?
Shoud a power tool be used?
Can a cam or air-operated fixture be used?
Some more questions are to be added especially regarding motions


Barnes, Ralph M., Motion and Time Study: Design and Measurement of Work, Seventh Edition, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1980
Related Web Pages
Therblig Analysis Checklist
OK - Knol Number 1841

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