MTM – A system gains acceptance

  • MTM – A system gains acceptance

  • MTM – A system gains acceptance

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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