If a portion of your workforce has tasks that involve repetitive motions in order to complete tasks, a predetermined motion time system is worth looking at in order to be sure the time spent on those tasks is being utilized at maximum efficiency in productivity.

What is a predetermined motion time system?

A predetermined motion time system can be defined as a work measurement system that assigns a time value to a work operation down to its basic human movements. All the individual repetitive movements involved in the work operation are accounted for and tables of data are utilized to assign a time value to each movement needed to complete the operation.

3 Drawbacks of Predetermined Motion Time Systems

While there are benefits to predetermined motion time systems, their drawbacks should also be considered:

1. They do not account for unnatural conditions.

A PMTS cannot account for actions made under unnatural conditions. Some examples of this would be in a cramped space or when the body is in an unusual posture.

2. They are only beneficial for repetitive motions

A predetermined motion time system is only functional for work tasks that have the same repetitive movements.

3. Predetermined motion time systems take a lot of resources to develop

If you have specialized equipment or tasks that require a series of movements that fall outside of the current predetermined motion time systems currently available, it would take a massive amount of data collection, research, and time to develop one suited to your unique processes.

Why are predetermined motion time systems important to understand?

Predetermined motion time systems are worth understanding for the following reasons:

1. They show how work is done.

Predetermined motion time systems are useful for studying how work is accomplished, how the work can be improved, and how long work should take.

2. They can be useful in planning.

Since the system can be utilized before work begins, the appropriate equipment, methods, and production schedules can be determined ahead of time, thereby minimizing waste.

3. A predetermined motion time system can be great in training.

A system can be utilized for training employees in movements that can be made to save time and that utilize proper ergonomics to prevent on-the-job injuries.

An industry example of a predetermined motion time system

A new frozen pizza company wants to be able to advertise that all of their pizzas are hand-tossed before freezing. They have contracts with 500 stores that are going to carry the pizzas for the company’s initial launch. The only thing they are unsure of is how many employees they will need as well as the lead time to make the pizzas in order to be ready for the launch. They decide to use studies done with predetermined motion time systems to determine how many pizzas an employee should be able to toss in an 8-hour shift.

3 best practices when thinking about predetermined motion time systems

Here are some practices to keep in mind when thinking about predetermined motion time systems:

1. It can pay off with little investment.

If the work required uses a set series of basic movements, utilizing an existing predetermined motion time system can reap great rewards for your labor model with very little financial resources needed.

2. If building PMTS data, get rid of the stopwatch.

The technique for accumulating PMTS data avoids inaccuracies that stem from the human element by not using a stopwatch to measure element-time.

3. Make sure those implementing the system are well-trained.

By having well-trained staff that implement the study, you can help prevent on-the-job injury and fatigue.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about predetermined motion time systems

1. What is an example of a predetermined motion time system?

A major PMTS is Methods-Time Measurement. It is a family of systems with different levels that correspond to different types of work. MTM-1 is the most detailed level and was developed in the 1940s while studying the motions involved in manual work on film sets.

2. What are some uses of a PMTS in work measurement?

Examples of uses would be to establish time standards and estimate labor costs.

3. Are predetermined motion time systems only useful for manual labor?

No. There are more specialized systems designed for other kinds of work as well, such as office work.

Are predetermined motion time systems right for your business?

If your business has a workforce that has set repetitive motions utilized to complete tasks, exploring a PMTS to improve output could be worth exploring.

About the Author