Work Study


At the end of the semester, students should be able to: 

  • evaluate work cycles, in a perspective of operations efficiency and productivity;
  • define operations normal time, standard time and work allowances;
  • evaluate micromotions and value-added activities;
  • structure a line production flow and cell production flow;
  • define a process mapping in order to optimize industrial or service processes.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ana Teresa Martins Videira Gabriel, Isabel Maria Nascimento Lopes Nunes


Weekly - 5

Total - 70

Teaching language



Not applied. There are no specific units established as "precedents".


Boykin, R.F, et al. Production and operations management: test bank. 5th ed. New York The Dryden Press, 1992.

Gaither, Norman.  Production and operations management. 5th ed. United States: The Dryden Press Publishers, 1992

Galloway, Dianne. Mapping work processes. US: ASQC Quality Press, 1994

Hyer, N. Lea. Group technology at work. Nancy Lea Hyer, ed. Michigan: Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 1984.

Konz, Stephan. Work design: industrial ergonomics. 4th ed. Scottsdale, Arizona: Publishing Horizons, Inc., 1995. 

Mayer, Raymond R. Production and operations management. 4th ed. Auckland, NZ: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1982.

Monks, Joseph G. Operations management: theory and problems. 3rd ed. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1987. 

Shimokawa K., Fujimoto T., ed. Transforming automobile assembly: experience in automation and work organization. Berlin: Springer, 1997. 

Teaching method

Theoretical lectures are used to explain fundamental concepts and common techniques.

Practical sessions are used for problem-solving and practice, concerning knowledge presented during the lectures. Most practical work is based on screening of videos, recorded in real work situations and by observing simulated activities developed during Lab sessions. The subjects covered in the lab(practical) sessions are:

P1 - Time Study; time measurement techniques with chronometers.

P2 - Work sampling. Cyclic and Non-Cyclic operations.

P3 - Application of MTM-1 technique (performing simulated operations in Lab)

P4 - Operator''s multi-occupation (multitasking situations).

P5 - Time estimation (normal time and standard time).

P6 - Process analysis diagram

P7 - Process mapping techniques

P8 - Operator-machine cycles analysis

P9 - Design, balancing, and simulation of Line and Cell production systems

Didactic equipment used in Lab sessions

Chronometers, counters, measuring tapes, vídeo and photo cameras.

Evaluation method

(1) The students have to attend two quizzes (2) Each rating must be greater than 8,0 and the average ratings of the two quizzes should be greater than 9.5; (3) If the average of  the quizzes is less than 9.5, the student must carry out the final exam; (4) several Lab Works are used for evaluation (min. grade is 9.5, otherwise the student fails and must register for the next academic year); (9) for the calculation of the final grade in the course, the average grade of the Quizzes has a weight of 70% and 30% for the Lab Works, (10) In the case the student performs the final examination, the minimum classification for approval is 9.5 points. In this case, for the calculation of the final grade, the exam classification will have a weight of 70% and the lab works of 30% 

Final Grade:

Average of 2 Quizzes (individual) x 0.7 + Lab Work (group) x 0.3

The Final Exam can be used to replace the two individual assessments (70% weight on final grade); this opportunity is only available to students who delivered their Lab Works (group work, graded >= 9.5)

Subject matter

1. Introduction to labor legislation

2. Discussion of different technologies installed in industrial units: process, bulk, batch and unitary.

3. Time study, as a tool for the evaluation and optimization of industrials activities: the time study methodology. Operator activity factor. Activity allowances. Observed, normal and standard time.

4. Man-machine cycles, as a methodology of work cycle evaluation, involving operator - equipment interaction.

5. Operators pluriocupation, as a methodology of work cycle evaluation, involving the interaction between an operator and several equipments.

6. Predetermined Time Systems, as a methodology of microscopic evaluation of upper limb movements: MTM-1 system

7. Line production flow, regarding the competitive advantage in relation to other forms of production flow; cycle time, frequency, idle time and operations synchronization; line dimensioning techniques and performance evaluation.

8. Cell production flow: competitive advantage and strategic objectives related to its implementation; automatic, semi-automatic and intensive manual work cells; dimensioning techniques.

9. Human Factors in industrial production: task dimensioning and the implications in workers psychological state; workstation redimensioning techniques; individual workstations and work groups; different functional structures at the operational level and its connection to vertical and horizontal differentiation, and to communication effectiveness.

10. Process mapping of industrial or service processes



Programs where the course is taught: