Case Study 3-11886
Fundamental engineering work measurement resolves a key management-union dispute
A breakfast cereal manufacturer specializing in health conscious products
IET’s engineers structured an analysis of the plant’s current operations that would answer two important questions: (1) How will the material handling functions be affected by replacing sit-down lift trucks with walk-behind stackers? (2) What labor is required to support typical line operating conditions using the preferred material handling equipment? IET measured baseline labor performance through a combination of time study and work sampling. These studies proved that the plant’s current fleet of sit-down lift trucks routinely performed their tasks at speeds equal to or less than the maximum speed of a walk-behind stacker. Additionally, IET’s analysis revealed that some line support operators were significantly under-utilized even when running product mixes that demanded the most labor support.
IET’s assessment proved that hazards could be reduced with no impact on production by using walk-behind stackers. Equally important, headcount requirements in the affected areas could be reduced 20% per shift while maintaining typical line speeds and processing rates. The customer’s management team implemented the recommended changes and achieved the benefits they expected.