Introduction to MTM-UAS

  • Introduction to MTM-UAS

  • Introduction to MTM-UAS

Introduction to MTM-UAS

Introduction to MTM-UAS

Independent of a company’s size, economic work organization aimed at the continuous improvement of


  • cost-performance ratio  (function, quality)
  • delivery reliability (short-term, on time deliveries)
  • humane and motivating work design


represents a permanent task to secure the competitiveness of a company and its products.


Since its release in 1948, the MTM technique has played an important role in accomplishing these tasks. With MTM it is possible


  • to have an overall view of the processes in order to detect the weak points in a work method and in the realization of the determined improvement potential;
  • to look at work processes in a consistent and in many cases analytical way;
  • to guarantee up-to-date times of work systems on the basis of a uniform reference performance.


With regard to the prevailing structural situation in industry, MTM-1 (MTM Basic System) was originally developed for mass and large-scale production and was applied there successfully.


Market conditions have changed the situation in many companies. Therefore, new methods for structuring, designing, planning and controlling operational work processes are necessary in order to meet these changed requirements. The new situation is characterized by


  • smaller number of pieces,
  • shorter product durability,
  • increasing product complexity,
  • increasing diversity of variants, and
  • smaller batches.

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From the positive experience made with the application of MTM in large-scale and mass production, the objective was to make the MTM technique economically applicable under the conditions of batch production as well.


Consequently, a specific building block system was developed to meet the requirements of batch production:


MTM-UAS – Universal Analyzing System

Development of the Building Block System MTM-UAS


The development of the MTM-UAS Building Block System is based on the features typical for Process Type 2.


  • Order-oriented production with a repetitive character – The type of work processes and the frequency at which they are performed are changing. However, the range of variations is limited.
  • Designed work processes – The work stations are provided with standard equipment that conforms to the requirements of the range of jobs. The equipment (machines, tools, devices) being used also conform to the range of jobs.
  • Comparable work contents – Despite the diversity of models and variants the work contents are often comparable.
  • Defined general conditions for work processes (work organization) – Work organization is not at the high level exhibited in mass production; the worker himself often has more involvement in getting or making the material to be processed available.
  • Longer cycle work processes – The work cycles are significantly longer than those found in mass production.
  • Experienced workers – Compared to mass production, the degree of skill of the workers is higher. The operations are performed in an individual operator method, while the stated work method is met to a large extent.
  • Work instructions – While work instructions are provided, they do not contain a detailed method description.


These characteristic features were incorporated into the development of the MTM-UAS Basic Operations. The MTM-UAS Basic Operations formed the basis for the further development of the MTM-UAS Standard Operations. Therefore, the existence of these characteristics of batch production is a precondition for the application of the MTM-UAS System.


The Method Level referred to in the MTM-UAS building blocks is identical with that found in batch production, as seen in the automotive and supplier industries, in the production of electrical equipment or in the furniture industry. In addition, the MTM-UAS Basic Operations can be used to describe processes in the field of logistics and in the office area. MTM has developed specific building block systems covering work performed in these sectors. However, these systems are not part of this manual.


The development of the MTM-UAS Basic Operations was done in the following manner:


  • In the conceptual phase, the basic operations were defined and influencing factors derived. Work processes typical of batch production were filmed in various branches of industry and then analyzed with MTM-1. The building blocks of the MTM-UAS Basic Operations, together with their appropriate time values, were then developed based on these MTM-1 studies. Therefore, the standard performance underlying the MTM-UAS building blocks is identical to the standard performance found in MTM-1.
  • The MTM-UAS building blocks and their time values were derived by statistical data consolidation to insure the highest level of accuracy. For MTM-UAS, real activities were analyzed with MTM-1. The resulting data were evaluated and statistical averages determined with regard to existing significant deviations in individual operator methods. By consolidating building blocks horizontally, as well as vertically, time-influencing factors were eliminated or their impact reduced, for example, by defining distance classes.
  • The building blocks are to some extent abstract in order to be able to take into consideration the corresponding performance conditions, while using a minimum amount of data and influencing factors.
  • The influencing factors were not derived from specific motion sequences, but represent the general conditions that are normally known during the planning phase.
    • When using MTM-1 or MTM-2, an exact knowledge of the motion sequences is required, which are described in a detailed analysis.
    • The more the production type tends towards one-of-a-kind or small-batch production, the more complex and tedious the motion sequences seem to become. At the same time, different individual operator methods can be observed.


The information regarding the influencing factors no longer originates from the motion sequences themselves, but from the general conditions under which the motion sequences are performed (e.g., general conditions for Get and Place).



From this it becomes clear that MTM-UAS is a feasible building block system that is based on the method level of process type 2 (the degree of training and routine in the motion sequences).


The main features of the building block system of MTM-UAS Basic Operations are:


  • compilation of building blocks for typical basic operations in batch production
  • more complex building blocks with an average of approximately 50 TMU compared to approximately 8 TMU in MTM-1
  • less data due to a reduced number of building blocks and influencing factors
  • building blocks contain only such influencing factors as are obvious from the general conditions under which the job is done
  • simplified application through a reduction of necessary decisions or rules
  • the time required to create an analysis is about 10 to 20 times less than in MTM-1


Furthermore, under the conditions of process type 2, it became apparent that assembly jobs in various companies included operations with almost identical work contents, which only differ in the general conditions under which they are performed (e.g., distance of the tools or parts). This led to the development of the building block system of MTM-UAS Standard Operations (cf. part III).


The MTM-UAS building block system can be applied to analyze all manual jobs, provided these show the features of process type 2.


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