History of MTM-1

  • History of MTM-1

  • History of MTM-1

History of MTM-1

History of MTM-1

As part of a consulting contract issued in 1940 by the Westinghouse Electric Corporation to the “Methods Engineering Council” of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA), the American industrial scientists


H. B. MaynardJ. L. Schwab, and G. J. Stegemerten


worked on the development of the data supporting the MTM basic method. This data was evaluated, revised and fully tested in industry in the following years. The results were published in the journal “Factory Management and Maintenance” in 1948. The book “Methods-Time Measurement”, which summarizes the basics of the MTM methodology, appeared that same year.


At that time, no distinction had yet been made between the terms “MTM method” and “MTM-1”, as this was the first system developed for use in modeling work systems.


The developers of MTM had already formulated the following requirements for the MTM method:


  • the method must be applicable in every industry
  • the method must be generally comprehensible and easily learned without any particular previous knowledge
  • the method must be designed in such a way that the execution time for a given method is “automatically produced”
  • the method must be managed in an identical fashion around the world


All data used in the development of MTM-1 are stored at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan (USA) and at the Maynard Research Council in Columbus, Ohio (USA) and can be seen there. They form the basis for research conducted in the 1950s and 60s by the U.S. MTM Association for Standards and Research. Both “Methods-Time Measurement” published in 1948 by Maynard, Schwab and Stegemerten and the subsequent published research reports serve as the “genetic material” for MTM-1.


In order to distinguish the Basic Motions from each other and calculate their time requirements, a large number of industrial work processes were filmed. The actual times were calculated by counting the number of frames per motion (film speed of 16 frames/second). The method of obtaining data is described in full in the text by Maynard, Schwab and Stegemerten. For other motions, e.g. for Walk, the actual times were calculated with the help of time studies.

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The time values resulting from the original research were leveled using an American system of performance rating, the LMS System. This method gets its name from the first initials of its originators (Lowry, Maynard, and Stegemerten).


Performance at 100% is described in the book Methods-Time Measurement as being


“the equivalent of the much-discussed fair day’s work. It was to represent an effort level that could be easily maintained year in and year out by the physically normal operator without in any way requiring him to draw upon his reserves of energy.”


The LMS System of leveling considers the following four features in assessing performance:




MTM Standard Performance for each category of time was established by a group of experienced practitioners using the LMS system as follows:




The MTM times were then further processed using statistical methods, with particular emphasis on the factors that influenced the variance inherent in the data.


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