the time during which a piece of equipment (machine, lathe, unit, or apparatus), without direct participation of an operator, produces a change in the dimensions, shape, or state of a workpiece. The machining time depends on the characteristics of the manufacturing process; on the qualitative features of the raw material, semifinished product, or stock; on the type of equipment and tool; and on the mechanization and automation of labor.
Standards for machining time are calculated by determining the optimum operating schedule for the equipment, which ensures maximum output, minimum prime cost of the articles being processed, and the required quality level. For example, for metalcutting machine tools the standard machining time is determined according to well-grounded conditions of cutting (depth of cut, feed, cutting speed, and number of passes). Machining time may be reduced through the introduction of highspeed processing methods and by using high-performance equipment and instruments. As the level of mechanization and automation of production rises, the proportion of machining time in the standards of piece rate time for completing a unit or for completing one manufacturing operation increases.