In this article we will discuss about:- 1. Meaning of Motion Study 2. Objectives of Method Study/Motion Study 3. Procedure.

Meaning of Motion Study:

The propounder of this concept was Frank Gilbesth. He defined motion study as the “Science of eliminating wastefulness resulting from ill-directed and inefficient motions”. The main aim of motion study is to find the scheme of least wastage of labour. Subsequently, the scope of Motion Study was enlarged and it was named as Method Study.

The method of study can also be defined as “Systematic recording and critical examination of existing and proposed ways of doing work as a means of developing and applying easier and more effective method and thereby reducing cost”. Method Study is a technique which includes the standardisation of equipment, method and working conditions, and training of the operator to follow the standard method.

Objectives of Method Study/Motion Study:

The important objectives of the motion study are:


1. To improve the process of doing work

2. To improve the design of work place layout

3. To find the best way of doing a job

4. To ensure reduced health hazards


5. To minimise the unnecessary human movements

6. To have more effective utilisation of material, machines and workers

7. To train the individual worker in its practice as per standardised method.

Procedure for Motion Study:

Motion Study can be performed in the following steps:


Step I: Break up the operation of the job:

The first step is to prepare a detailed list of all operations in the present method of manufacturing the job. All details such as material handling, machine work and hand work are included in the list. This may be done with the help of a process chart or diagrams of motion and film analysis or models etc.

Step II: Question each detail of the job:

Questions should be asked on himself by the motion study engineer about the way in which these operations are to be performed, and about the tools and equipment’s needed. The procedure of this questioning is known as “Critical Examination”.

Questions are asked on the following five points:

i) Purpose:

What is the purpose of this operation?

Does the operation fulfill the requirements?

Whether the operation can be eliminated?


ii) Place:

Where is the best place to do this operation?

iii) Sequence:

What is the best time to do this operation?


Whether it can be done at the same time as before or at any other better time?

When will it be more suitable and economical?

iv) Person:

Who will do this operation?


Who can do it in a better way?

v) Means:

How this operation can be performed i.e. which machines and tools are to be used?

Can we make the work more easier to do and safer for both worker and equipment?

Step III: Develop a new method:

After considering the above questions a new better method is developed.


Before finalising the new method the following facts should also be thought over during the motion study:

i) Elimination:

Every operation of the job should be thought and whether it can be eliminated without any harm.

ii) Combine:

In this context it is to be observed that whether two or more can be combined to save operation time.

iii) Rearrangement:


If the rearrangement in the sequence of operations helps in simplification or in any other aspect that it should be done.

For example, in a factory the main sequence of operations was:

a) Assembling.

b) Storage.

c) Inspection.

d) Despatching.


In this sequence, inspection was carried out before despatching and the defective components were being sent back for correction.

It can be avoided if inspection is carried out before storage, then the sequence can be rearranged as follows:

a) Assembling.

b) Inspection.

c) Storage.

d) Despatching.


iv) Simplification:

If the operation is possible with any other easy, safe and economical method then that should be adopted.

The work can be simplified by:

a) Using material handling equipment.

b) Taking useful work by both hands.

c) Using jigs and fixtures.

d) Placing the materials, tools and equipment at proper working place.

Step IV: Installing the new method:

Install the new method as a standard practice.

For installing the new method, the following procedure is followed:

i. The new method must get the approval from the supervisors, workers and management.

ii. Then the workers must be trained to work according to the new method.

iii. Observe the installed method until it runs satisfactory.

Step V: Maintain the new method:

After implementation, care should be taken to maintain it to avoid unauthorised change in the method.

For maintaining the new method the following steps are advised:

a) A job instruction sheet should be given to the worker.

b) Scheduled checks should be done to compare what is actually being done against the job instruction sheet.

c) Selection and training of persons must be done according to the job specifications for this new method.

Recording Techniques – Charting:

Recording is the second step in the basic procedure for Method Study. Just after the selection of a particular work for study, the relevant information regarding various processes, inspection, transportation with respect to an existing method or a new method must be recorded properly. Therefore, for efficient recording the charts have been developed.

The recording of the details will be done in charts to get more clear picture. Apart from that a record is also needed before and after comparison is to be made to assess the effectiveness of the study. Charting is the visual representation of recording of facts. It is a technique by which analysis for developing the method can be done quickly and easily.

For easy understanding care should be taken during the time of the preparation of the chart.

The following details should be given in the chart:

1. It should possess adequate description of all the activities involved in the method.

2. The current and proposed method should be shown.

3. The specific reference about the beginning and end of the activities should be given.

4. It should depict the time and scale followed.

5. It should explain the abbreviations and devices

6. It should possess the date of preparation of the chart.