Application of APPRODUCTIVITY4.0 to logistical tasks

APPRODUCTIVITY4.0 has a set of specific functionalities for determining times and calculating workloads for logistics operations.

In this video you will see a simple but sufficiently illustrative example based on a picking operation consisting of people using a trolley, moving to the different shelves (with a preset route) and picking up the material. Once the trolley is full, they move to the area for preparing orders, pack the material and then palletise and dispatch it.

In order to carry out a time and methods study of this type of work, by means of timekeeping, it must be taken into account that it is necessary to have a sufficient sample, because the pieces are of different sizes, they are also in boxes of different dimensions, in different locations, the movements start and finish in different places, etc.

To illustrate the example, three time studies were carried out on three different days.

When entering these time studies, it can be seen that various documents and information can be associated, such as photographs, workstations, or information on whether the operation is in a state of definition, or in current use, or is already outdated. Also the necessary personal protection elements; videos, drawings, etc.

The work is divided into 29 different tasks or work elements. In this company, this operation is managed by order lines, hence the frequency of all the tasks is referred to the number of times that each of them has been repeated for the 109 total lines of the order.

Obviously, the studies can refer to the control unit that is applicable in each case: pallet, package, line, unit, etc.

The result of this first study reports a time of 80.09 seconds per line.

The 29 tasks included in this study, in addition to being listed showing their standard time, frequency and relaxation time are also represented graphically, in the symogram at the top of the screen, where it is possible to modify their order of completion by drag and drop.

Going into the details of each of the work elements, the first thing that highlights is the change control system offered by APPRODUCTIVITY4.0. This is a functionality that alerts you that you are opening a software object (in this case an element) that is being used in other time studies, or processes, or balancing; and all those other contexts in which it is being used are displayed. If a change is later made to this element, the software will ask where to apply the change and where not to apply it, generating a traceability.

Regarding the levelling process of time studies, it is also remarkable, especially for logistical tasks, the possibility of indicating the units processed each time an element (or task) is repeated in order to obtain the value per unit. In the video you can see two examples of this.

We can also associate visual information with the detail of the step-by-step work method, quality information, information to draw a process diagram; whether or not it is a value-added task and, if it is not, identify what type of non-value-added task it is, as well as other classifications that will later facilitate the allocation of tasks to people, for example according to their speciality. Tasks can also be classified to obtain greater precision in the calculation of workloads.

It is also possible to associate to the tasks, among other attributes, the necessary personal protection equipment; even, in the case of a task in which a checking must be carried out, it is possible to specify the tools to be used, among other things.

Why are there elements with no time at all? In this case, all the possible tasks that can be performed in this picking operation are known a priori, but there are some that are not carried out in 100% of the orders. This is the reason. This way of proceeding is especially interesting if the time study is carried out using the App that the APPRODUCTIVITY4.0 suite offers for iPad.

Time studies on logistical tasks with error-free and agile frequency application

Especially designed for carrying out time studies for logistic tasks, there is a functionality that allows to apply the frequencies very quickly (by not having to do it task by task) and without the risk of mistakes.

Let’s suppose that the time study has been carried out task by task, some of which have appeared, for example, 1, 15 or 16 times. Here is the result of the time study once it has been loaded into the software. It is informed that, in the numerator, the number of times each task has been observed will be stated and, in the denominator, the total number of lines of the order, in this case 109.

And the software automatically applies the corresponding frequency to each of the 29 tasks. Obviously, these frequencies can be modified manually if necessary.

Regarding the relaxation times, they can be incorporated manually or by means of a wizard for the application of the tables recommended by the International Labour Office, or any others.

As mentioned above, due to the need to have a sufficient sample, in this case, 3 time studies of this operation were carried out on three different days. While the first included 109 order lines, the second comprised 40.

Due to the special characteristics of the tasks in the logistics area, the time per line resulting from each of the three studies can be significantly different. It depends on the routes covered, the number of units picked per time, the heights, the number of times each task is carried out, for example, per order or per day, and not per line.

As previously indicated, each task has a family associated with it (in this case, they are all picking tasks, but they could also be case packing, location, dispatch, etc.) and also the skill of the person who performs it (for example, storekeeper, forklift operator or packer).

It has also been indicated whether the task in question has to do with picking itself, with boxing or with packing and dispatch. Obviously, this assignment of attributes provides relevant statistical information.

Calculate weighted averages to determine the correct execution time for each task.

APPRODUCTIVITY4.0 presents a sensational functionality that allows the calculation of weighted averages to determine the correct execution time for each of the tasks.

In the video we see the process of how it should be done:

  • A new time study is created with all the necessary identifying information.
  • In this case, the elements will not be created on the basis of new time studies, whether by means of timekeeping, MTM or any other methodology, but from the studies already available (in this case 3). Nor by reusing previously created work elements that do not need to be re-clocked each time.
  • So how is it done? Using the assistant to unify studies, the aforementioned functionality. With this functionality you select the three time studies you want to unify and the elements or tasks you want to include (normally all of them).
  • A new time study is obtained with the same 29 work elements, whose standard times are the result of weighted averaging the totality of the samples of the three time studies.
  • At this point only remains to inform the treatment of the frequencies, as shown above, in order to apply the numerator and denominator correctly.
  • Here is the weighted result for the 210 lines that make up the 3 time studies.
  • The function field, which like the rest could be fed in multiple ways, allows for grouping and to know, in this case, that each order line will take 50.82 seconds for all the required tasks directly related to picking.
  • The same procedure can be repeated with the boxing tasks in order to obtain the individual time per box.
  • And, likewise, we would repeat with the elements related to packing and dispatch, also obtaining the corresponding individual value per pallet.
  • In the case of boxing, it will be necessary to change the denominator of the frequencies because it will no longer refer to the 210 lines of the order but to the 171 boxes processed in total. Doing so, there is an individual time per type of task.
  • Therefore, if there are different runs in terms of lines, boxes and pallets, the calculation can be made more precise. In the example, 210 order lines, 171 boxes and 11 pallets.
  • You can see how the calculations are adapted to the exact configuration of lines, boxes and pallets. If, for example, there were 123 boxes instead of 171, the total time would be 159.85 seconds.

As mentioned above, with APPRODUCTIVITY4.0, the determination of the correct execution times can be carried out (in addition to clocking, as we have seen in the example developed above) by means of any other technique internationally accepted by the international labour office, for example, as we have seen, MTM-Logistics and MTM-UAS predetermined times.

APPRODUCTIVITY4.0 is the best solution on the market for the proper management of logistics process times. If you want to check it out, contact us using the form below and we will contact you to carry out a simulation adapted to the needs of your company.


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