Time Study in Apparel Industry

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Time Study

Time study is a work measurement technique for recording the time of performing a certain/specified conditions and for analyzing the data so as to obtain time necessary for an operator to carry out at a define rate of performance.

Time study is a tried and tested method of work measurement for setting basic times and hence standard times for carrying out specified work. Its roots are back to the period between the two World Wars.

The aim of time study is to establish a time for a qualified worker to perform specified work under stated conditions and at a defined rate of working.

This is achieved by a qualified practitioner observing the work, recording what is done and then timing (using a time measuring device) and simultaneously rating (assessing) the pace of working.


Objective of Time Study:

  1. The job in question a new one, not previously carried out new product, component, operations or set up activities.
  2. A change in material or method of working has been made and new time standard is required.
  3. A complains has been received from a worker or workers representative about the time standard of the operation.
  4. A particular operation appears to be a bottleneck holding up sub-sequent operation and possibly previous operations.
  5. Standard times are required before an incentive scheme is introduced.
  6. A piece of equipment appears to be idle for an excessive time or its output is low and if therefore becomes necessary to be investigated the method of it uses.
  7. The job needs studying as a preliminary to make a method study or to compare the efficiency of two methods.
  8. The cost of a particular job appears to be excessive as may be evidence by a Pareto type analysis.


Conditions of Time Study:

  • the practitioner (observer) must be fully qualified to carry out Time Study,
  • the person performing the task must be fully trained and experienced in the work,
  • the work must be clearly defined and the method of doing the work must be effective
  • the working conditions must be clearly defined.


The equipment used for time study

  • Stopwatch
  • Clipboard
  • Time study format
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Calculator


How to conduct Time Study?

An operation cycle consists of material handling, positioning and aligning parts, sewing, trimming threads and tying and untying a bundle. So in the time study format, divide whole task into various elements according to the motion sequences of the operation. For example, in operation ‘collar run stitch’, task elements may be

i) pick up panel to sew first seam,

ii) turn collar to sew second seam,

iii) turn collar to sew third seam

iv) check work and dispose and

v) waiting for next pieces.



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