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Methods analysts use operation analysis to study all productive and nonproductive elements of an operation in order to: Increase productivity per unit of time; and Reduce costs while maintaining or improving quality.

Questions asked during operation analysis, the most important of which is why: 1. Why is this operation necessary? 2. Why is this operation performed in this manner? 3. Why are these tolerances this close? 4. Why has this material been specified? 5. Why has this class of operator been assigned to do the work?

The question why immediately suggests other questions, including How, Who, Where, and When. Thus analysts might ask: 1. How can the operation be performed better? 2. Who can best perform the operation? 3. Where could the operation be performed at a lower cost or improved quality? 4. When should the operation be performed

The Nine Primary Operation Analysis Approaches

Operation purpose Part design Tolerances and specifications Material Manufacture sequence and process Setup and tools Material handling Plant layout Work design

1. Operation Purpose
An analysts cardinal rule is to try to ELIMINATE or COMBINE an operation before trying to improve it. To eliminate an operation, analysts should ask and answer the following question: Can an outside supplier perform the operation more economically? There is a need to establish the purposes of

2. Part Design
To improve the design, analysts should keep in mind the following pointers for lower cost designs: 1. 2. Reduce the number of parts by simplifying the design. Reduce the number of operations and the length of travel in manufacturing by joining the parts better and by making the machining and assembly easier. Utilize a better material. Liberalize tolerances and rely on key operations for accuracy, rather than on series of closely held limits. Design for manufacturability and assembly.

3. 4. 5.

2. Part Design
The following criteria apply to the development of forms:
Maintain simplicity in the form design, keeping the amount of necessary input information at a minimum. Provide ample space for each bit of information, allowing for different input methods (writing, typewriter, word processor).

2. Part Design
Sequence the information input in a logical pattern. Color code the form to facilitate distribution and routing. Provide adequate margins to accommodate standard filing facilities and procedure. Confine computer form to one page.

3. Tolerances and Specifications

These relate to the quality of the product, that is, its ability to satisfy given needs. Method analysts should be well versed in the details of cost and should be fully aware of what unnecessarily close tolerances and/or rejects can do to the selling price. Today, there is only one way that a company can be competitive: all parts in every product must be produced to the precise dimensions given in the drawing. (Taguchi, 1986)

4. Material
Method analysts should consider the following possibilities for the direct and indirect materials utilized in a process: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Finding a less expensive material. Finding materials that are easier to process. Using material more economically. Using salvage material. Using supplies and tools more economically. Standardizing materials. Finding the best vendor from the standpoint of price

5. Manufacture Sequence and Process

To improve the manufacturing process, the analysts should consider the following: 1. 2. 3. Rearranging the operations; Mechanizing manual operations; Utilizing more efficient facilities on mechanical operations; 4. Operating mechanical facilities more efficiently; 5. Manufacturing near the net shape; and

6. Setup and Tools

Several points that should be considered in reducing setup time are as follows: 1. Work that can be done while the equipment is running should be done at that time. 2. Use the most efficient clamping. 3. Eliminate machine base adjustment. 4. Use templates or block gages to make quick adjustments to machine stops.

7. Material Handling
Material handling includes motion, time, place, quantity, and space constraints. First, material handling must ensure that parts, raw materials, in-process materials, finished products, and supplies are moved periodically from location to location. Second, since each operation requires materials and supplies at a particular time, material handling assures that no production process or customer is hampered by either early or late arrival of materials.

7. Material Handling
The following five points should be considered for reducing the time spent in material handling: 1. Reduce the time spent in picking up material; 2. Use mechanized or automated equipment; 3. Make better use of existing handling facilities; 4. Handle material with greater care; and

8. Plant Layout
The principal objective of effective layout is to develop a production system that permits the manufacture of the desired number of products with the desired quality at the least cost. Two basic layouts: 1. Product or straight-line layouts 2. Process or functional layouts

9. Work Design
Work designs addresses: 1. Manual work and the principle of motion economy; 2. Ergonomic principles of workplace and tool design 3. Working and environmental conditions; and 4. Cognitive work with respect to informational input from displays, information processing, and interaction with computers.