December 15, 2011

Predetermined Motion Time Systems (PMTS)

Predetermined Motion Time System (PMTS) - Introduction

A predetermined motion time system (PMTS) consists of a set of time data for basic human motions and a systematic procedure which analyses and subdivides any manual operation of human task into motions, body movements, or other elements of human performance, and assigns to each the appropriate time value.

Each system of time data was originally developed from extensive studies of all aspects of human performance through measurement, evaluation, and validation procedures.

PMTS in Use

Barnes listed 9 perdetermined motion time systems in his 1980 Edition.

They are:
1. Motion-Time Analysis (MTA) - 1924
2. Body Member Movements - 1938
3. Motion Time Data for Assembly Work - 1938
4. The Work-Factor System 1938
5. Elemental Time Standard for Basic Manual Work 1942
6. Methods-Time Measurement (MTM) 1948
7. Basic Motion Timestudy (BMT) 1950
8. Dimensional Motion Times (DMT) 1952
9. Predetermined HumanWork Times 1952

Source: Barnes, Ralph M., Motion and Time Study: Design and Measurement of Work, Seventh Edition, 1980, Chapter 27.

PMTS - Differences

Predetermined motion time systems can be categorized as motion based, action based and activity based systems.

Motion based systems


Action based systems


Activity based systems


"MTM" stands for Methods-Time Measurement. It is a procedure for improving methods and establishing time standards by recognizing, classifying, and describing the motions used or required to perform a given operation and assigning pre-determined time standards to these motions.

MTM evolved into a dynamic family of systems. It is continuing to grow and meet more needs of its practitioners and users. It has developed from a single system of work measurement and analysis to a family of systems that meets the varied demands of different users.

The basic MTM data was developed by H B Maynard, J L Schwab and G J Stegemerten of the Methods Engineering Council during a consultancy assignment at the Westinghouse Brake and Signal Corporation, USA in the 1940's. This data and the application rules for the MTM system were refined, extended, defined, industrially tested and documented as a result of further work in later years.

In 1948 Maynard, Stegemerten and Schwab published the book "Methods ­Time Measurement" giving full details of the development of the MTM system and its application rules. The use of MTM spread, firstly in the USA, and then to other industrialised countries. In 1951 the US/Canada MTM Association for Standards and Research was formed by MTM users. The system originators then assigned the MTM copyrights to the MTM Association. ( )

In 1963, a new member of MTM family with the name MTM-GPD (General Purpose Data) was introduced. The original MTM of 1948 was termed as MTM-1.


The unit of time used in MTM tables is one hundred-thouandath of an hour (0.00001 hour). The time units of MTM aer referred to as Time Measurement Unit (TMU). One TMU is equal to 0.0006 minute.

The basic motions used in MTM-1 are:

Reach - R
Move - M
Turn - T
Apply Pressure - AP
Grasp - G
Position - P
Release - RL
Disengage - D
Eye Travel - ET and Eye Focus - EF
Leg Foot Motions: FM, FMP, LM_,
Horizontal Motions - Side Step - SS_C1, SS_C2, Turn Body TBC1, TBC2,
Walk: W_FT, W_P, W_PO
Vertical Motion SIT, STD, [B,S,KOK], [AB,AS,AKOK], KBK, AKBK

Source: Barnes, Ralph M., Motion and Time Study: Design and Measurement of Work, Seventh Edition, 1980, Chapter 28.

Generic Systems of MTM

MTM Systems designed to do work measurement in multiple environments.


MTM-1 is the basic system form which all other MTM systems have been developed. This system is used worldwide. It determines the time necessary for performing a given operation by analyzing the manual motions required and assigning a time value to each. MTM-1 is ideally suited to use in high volume production environments.


MTM-UAS represents a second generation of synthesized data, based on the MTM-1 system. It was constructed through use of statistical analysis of basic MTM-1 motion patterns. This system is best-suited for use in environments which exhibit the characteristics of batch production.


MTM-MEK, a third generation system based on statistical analysis of MTM-1 data, is designed for economical measurement of small lot or one-of-a-kind production, with long-cycle times, as well as other infrequently performed tasks previously considered too costly or difficult to measure.


4M is a second level system used to convey MTM-1 level information to the MTM-LINK software for use in methods analysis and standards development. It is suited to long run production.


MTM-B represents a third generation of synthesized data, based on the MTM-UAS system. It was constructed through use of statistical analysis of basic MTM-UAS motion patterns. This system is best-suited for use as an estimating tool where the primary focus is speed of application. MTM-B is offered as a data module of the MTM-LINK Software System. Manual application is not supported.

Functional MTM Systems

MTM Systems applicable to specific work measurement environments.

MTM-HC® (Healthcare)

MTM-HC is a standard database devoted specifically to healthcare activities.

MTM-C® (Clerical Activity)

MTM-C is designed specifically for measuring clerical activity.

MTM-V® (Machine Shop)

MTM-V is a standard data system for measuring difficult-to-time long cycle manual machine shop tasks.

MTM-TE® (Electronic Test)

MTM-TE is a standard data system for measuring mental and manual activity in the electronic test environment.

MTM-M® (Work Under Microscopes)

MTM-M is the only system available which is capable of accurately measuring assembly, wiring, soldering and other work performed under microscopes.

(Source: )

MTM software

The MTM software family of help to industrial engineers consists of:

* TiCon®
* Time Ladders
* PC Graphics®

MTM Association Publications - Books
( )

Books can be ordered through the MTM Association.

MTM - FIRST TIME RIGHT ... A fascinating journey through MTM history, research, and application. By the International MTM Directorate

Basic Motions of MTM ... A clear presentation of MTM-1 motions, their coding, application rules, and TMU values. By William Antis, John Honeycutt and Edward Koch

Standard Data Systems and Their Construction ... The development, verification, maintenance and use of standard data from planning through production. By V. Aulanko, j. Hotanen and A. Salonen


MTM Research reports can be ordered through the MTM Association.

The Research Reports are:

R.R. 101 DISENGAGE ... Preliminary study and theory of disengage.
R.R. 102 READING OPERATIONS ...Synopsis of work done by eleven leading authorities.
R.R.104 MTM ANALYSIS OF PERFORMANCE RATING SYSTEMS ...An analysis of performance rating systems and various rating films from an MTM standpoint.
R.R. 105 A STUDY OF SIMULTANEOUS MOTIONS ... Final report of the Simultaneous Motions project undertaken by the MTM Association. Presents a great deal of new and valuable information which should be of interest to every MTM practitioner.
R.R. 106 SHORT REACHES AND MOVES ... An analysis of the characteristics of Reaches and Moves at very short distances. It develops important conclusions concerning the application of MTM to operations involving short distance elements.
R.R. 107 A RESEARCH METHODS MANUAL ...An effective and comprehensive set of methods for carrying on research in human motions. Major techniques, adequate sources of motion data, film analysis, data recording, and statistical methods of analysis are among the topics discussed.
R.R. 108 A STUDY OF ARM MOVEMENTS INVOLVING WEIGHT ...The effect of weight on the performance times of arm movements is presented, along with a comprehensive discussion of the whole area of weight phenomena.
R.R. 109 A STUDY OF POSITIONING MOVEMENTS ...I. The General Characteristics. II. Appendix - Defines "positioning movements and the inter-relation of component movements". The study is limited to the laboratory analysis.
R.R. 110 A STUDY OF POSITIONING MOVEMENTS III ... Application to Industrial Work Measurement. This report, the second on position, relates the results of the position research to the field of application. This study deals with actual industrial operators, work measurement tools and improving manual activity through better understanding of positioning movements.
R.R. 111 INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH ON THE ELEMENT APPLY PRESSURE ...Examines the element "Apply Pressure" under factory conditions. The report contains a descriptive analysis of the fundamental structure of the element Apply Pressure along with numerical data gathered in the research.
R.R. 112 LEARNING CURVE RESEARCH ON SHORT-CYCLE OPERATION ...A report of the first of a series of experiments which have been performed to determine how people learn the most common MTM motions. This is the preliminary or "laboratory" phase of the project Learning. This phase of the Learning project provided a series of prediction equations for the most frequently used elements.
R.R. 113A LEARNING CURVE RESEARCH ON MANUAL OPERATIONS ...Presents the results of Learning. The report details a method of combining the Learning Curves of R.R. 112 to develop a prediction equation covering an overall learning Curve for a manual operation.
R.R. 114 FACTORS IN MANUAL SKILL TRAINING ...Results of four years' study at the University of Michigan on the various factors involved in the learning process required to attain a manual skill especially the learning that occurs after the person barely knows how to do the operation.
R.R. 115 PREDICTION OF ELEMENTAL MOTION PERFORMANCE USING PERSONNEL SELECTION TESTS ... A general methodology for predicting the level of performance an individual should be able to attain when working on a manual task where a pre-determined time standard is a measure of his performance. The Methods-Time Measurement system is the system used.

Originally posted in

Industrial Engineering Knowledge Revision Plan - One Year Plan

January - February - March - April - May - June

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