MTM – A system gains acceptance
In the US, industrial engineers quickly recognize the advantages of MTM. For the first time there is a system of predetermined time that considers entire business sectors and leads to Best Practice solutions at all levels. Work methods can now be substantially optimized by analysing the work process regarding their time and production efficiency, even before production begins. At the same time they prevent overtaxing workers while reducing fatigue by observing the rules of movement economy.
The possibility to now pre-plan work processes in detail facilitates precision control of the business. Additionally, engineers and designers now have access to an instrument with which they can develop products that can be assembled faster and cheaper – and they can speak a common language to describe production processes. The inventors of the system do much on their part to make MTM known. Popular science pieces in US magazines, such as the article “Timing a Fair Day’s Work” in “Forune”, also bring the potential of the process closer to the general public. Maynard, Stegemerten and Schwab publish all of their data. It can still be accessed today at the University of Michigan.
Even research quickly saw the benefits in the new system. One of the first universities to work with the process is Cornell University in New York state.
Numerous other research institutes follow in suit. Maynard and his team are also constantly occupied with continued research. This confirms their high level of scientific soundness in developing the MTM process: Although the original MTM standard time values are refined and expanded upon, with the exception of marginal modifications, subsequent research has not added anything new to the values, which to this day remain unchanged.
However, not everyone who uses the process works with the same diligence as the inventors of the MTM system. The more the Method Time Measurement spreads, the more errors slip into its application. Harold B. Maynard justly worries about his revolutionary process. That is why he founds the U.S. MTM Organization for Standards and Research in New York in 1951. This non-profit organization is given all copyrights of the three MTM developers. The work of this first MTM Organization, which is moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan two years later, ensures the quality of the process which has now become a worldwide success. US consultant firms bring the MTM process to Europe at the beginning of the 1950s as well. It is the Swedish industrial engineers who use the potential of MTM in their country’s businesses. The first national MTM Organization in Europe is already founded in Sweden by 1955. Switzerland followed in 1957, when the first MTM publication in the German language appeared in the same year. The next European country to follow is Holland, a little while later France. Holding to the ideas of its developers, all MTM Organizations in Europe, as everywhere in the world, are bound by a common vision of goals.
In Paris, in 1957, all national MTM Organizations form an international MTM directorship, charged with guarding the copyrights. Dr. Lillian Moeller Gilbreth and Harold Bright Maynard are named as honorary members of the directorship.
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Minimizing stress situations
“We’re also carrying out process analyses in the nursing area. This has the crucial benefit that it is easier to plan human resources needs, minimize stress situations and, at the same time, guarantee excellent nursing care or even improve it.”
Dr. Stefan Beyer, Managing Director, Vital-Kliniken GmbH
Ergonomics and economics
“MTM makes a significant contribution towards reconciling an increase in productivity and ergonomics. Because the basis for any increase in productivity is firstly the technical preparation work, the industrial equipment, but also the work design for the employees. When there’s an increase in productivity, there’s greater physical pressure for the employee – and the MTMergonomics analysis allows us to classify the level of this pressure.”
Harald Ebner, Head of Disk Brakes Unit, Knorr-Bremse Systeme für Nutzfahrzeuge GmbH, Aldersbach
"The introduction of the ERGO-UAS system has dramatically changed the way of developing the new products and of managing Production and the Industrial Relations. No motion can be designed, implemented and executed in our company without the scientific assessment of the biomechanical load generated by the motion itself. The paradigm "more productivity less health" has been turned into the new "more productivity more health" and the ERGO-UAS system has become one of the fundamental pillar of our production system"
Luigi Gennaro Galante, VP Manufacturing EMEA, Fiat Group Automobiles SpA