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time study[′tīm ‚stəd·ē]
a technique of studying the time spent in the performance of recurrent elements of work operations through measurement of the actual elapsed time and analysis of the conditions under which the work is carried out. The individual elements may be manual tasks or may involve the operation of a machine.
In the USSR, time studies are used to establish standard durations for work operations, to derive time rates, and to study the methods and procedures of outstanding workers. They help reveal the reasons for workers’ failure to meet standard time rates and to make maximally efficient use of machines. In the case of operation of several machines by a single worker, time studies provide the necessary initial data for calculating the optimal sequence of tasks and the standard times required for each task. Time studies also help reveal ways of reducing the time required by individual operations.
A time study is conducted in three stages: (1) preparation for observation and breakdown of the operation or job being studied into its component elements; (2) observation of the performance of the elements in their sequential order, including measurement of the times elapsed in carrying them out; and (3) analysis of the observation results, selection of the most efficiently performed elements, and calculation of a normal time for the carrying out of each element. Time studies are made with a split-second watch or other instrument. Time study observations are generally carried out by the current time, sampling, or cyclic methods.
B. F. NIKONOV