Chronoanalysis: the study of time and motion

Cronoanálise: o estudo de tempos e movimentos

At a time of great changes in the industry and greater competition in the market, companies need to find ways to increase productivity and be more efficient. One of the ways found by managers to achieve this goal is chronoanalysis.


What is industrial chronoanalysis?

Although it is a methodology increasingly used in the context of Industry 4.0, chronoanalysis has its origin with the Americans Frank Gilberth and Fredereick Taylor, precisely in the context of Taylorism.

The engineers realized that there was a fundamental variable in the search for greater efficiency: time. Thus, they dedicated themselves to analyzing the times of each stage of the production process, trying to understand the production line in a rationalized way.

Chronoanalysis is, therefore, a tool that aims to analyze the times of carrying out activities that involve the production process. Thus, it is possible to have greater control over the business and understand where there are spaces for the optimization of processes.


Why measure times and movements?

Ok, now you know what chronoanalysis is. But what are the benefits of being able to measure the execution of each task in a industrial process?

The idea is closely related to the concept of Lean manufacturing. After all, it is only by having full control of your processes that you will be able to identify and eliminate waste.

With real data of times and movements, managers can make more assertive decisions and no longer rely on intuition when trying to solve a problem. They still have a much greater support to acquire machines or a new technology; after all, there are data that prove that there is a bottleneck in the operation.

Analyzes do not just involve the processes that your company performs. Remember that behind every activity there is a professional performing. In other words, measuring execution times is also a way of evaluating the performance of its employees and even defining a system of bonuses and fair targets.

Finally, the end customers themselves benefit, since greater control over the time of each activity allows for more precise and faster deadlines.


How to apply chronoanalysis?

To achieve this series of benefits, it is necessary to follow a methodology for the application of chronoanalysis. It is not so complex, but it needs to be follow carefully and with organization.

In a simplified way, we can divide this process into the following steps:


1 – Process mapping and definition of elements

Before measuring the execution times of each task, you must first understand what are the processes performed by your company.

It sounds simple, but if you do not have it mapped, you’re sure to get lost along the way. It is not by chance that there are process-mapping tools aimed exclusively at organizing these activities.

Once you have a better view of the company’s processes, it is time to break them down into “elements of analysis”. That is, intervals with a well-defined start and end to measure execution times. It is important that the elements are not as short (not to make timing difficult) nor long (so as not to lose depth of analysis).


2- Survey of times

The time has come to finally take measures. At this point, the ideal is to measure the activities of workers who are considered “normal”. That do not have great variations in performance during their tasks.

The idea is to measure this execution from 10 to 20 cycles, with each cycle representing the realization of all elements of the operation. Only then is it possible to eliminate possible deviations.

All of this must be done by an outsider or even with the use of technology. Do not let the employee himself describe your times, as you will run the risk of interfering in the process.


3- Definition of Standard Time

To understand what is the standard time spent on each activity, you need to do some math.

First, let us identify what is the Normal Time for a task. At this stage, there is a certain degree of subjectivity. This is because we will score the pace at which the evaluated worker performed the task.

So if we think that the employee performed it more slowly than usual, it can be readjusted here. For this, we use the following formula:

Normal Time = Measured Time X Yield (%) / 100

The “yield” value is subjectively defined, if the manager thinks he worked at a normal pace (100%), the Normal Time will be equal to the measured time.

Then, it is necessary to discount a “tolerance time”, which is usually between 7% to 10% in jobs, that do not require a lot of physical effort.

Finally, the final formula is:

Standard Time = Normal Time – Tolerance.

This is the final value that the manager will have as a reference to try to optimize and streamline the operation.


4- Improvement actions

After data collection, it will be possible to understand exactly how each employee’s time is spent and it will be easier to identify bottlenecks in the production process. Thus, a process of continuous improvement is created, where the manager must run a PDCA cycle to carry out the necessary actions.

It is important to always measure and analyze the company’s processes, as they gain new dynamics with the changes aimed at optimization.

In search of the most efficient method upon finding the standard time and understanding the work rhythm of the employees, the manager will have inputs to define which the most efficient methods are in the different stages of the production process.

This is essential for him to take concrete actions. These changes can be related to the processes (it is the case of the elimination of some inefficient stage, for example), to the people (with training if the times are not satisfactory), or to the industrial layout (if it is a problem of space organization)

Regardless of the changes, the important thing is to base yourself on the data collected and make effective decisions based on it. After all, chronoanalysis only makes sense if there are practical actions at the end of its cycle.


How can Novidá help you?

Have you ever wondered if you could measure times and movements in an automated way, without any human interference? What is more, with real-time, historical data and a complete analysis of each of its employees and processes?

This is already possible through Novidá’s precision geolocation system. Through tags (beacons), badges or smartphones, we monitor the movement of equipment and employees in the operation.

In a customized dashboard, the manager has access to execution times, heat map, real time location and much more! All of this will be essential for him to make decisions that are more assertive and improve his process management.

Do you want to understand how Novidá can help you in chronoanalysis and increase the productivity of your business? Contact us!

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