MTM – Work design productive and safe

Kühne + Nagel: Process times catalog for calculating resources is now the global standard

The Solutions Engineering department at the German branch of Kühne + Nagel is responsible for planning and calculating the resources for new customer business in third-party logistics. In the past, the tender management team worked with standard times, which were partly based on MTM logistics data and partly on rules of thumb (time recordings). The times for loading and unloading containers and for picking were checked too as part of the project entitled “Determining allowances for MTM logistics buildings blocks” to provide global standardization for process times, which Kühne + Nagel conducted together with the German MTM company. The important factors here included the weights needing to be moved and the increasing load duration and intensity.

The data is mainly relevant for work stations where packages or small load carriers have to be handled manually – one of the most frequent activities at a logistics center. The goal of the project at the Kühne + Nagel warehouse sites in Hamburg-Altenwerder and neighboring Heykenaukamp was therefore to determine in-house contingency allowances on the basis of and as a specific corporate extension to the MTM logistics data or the MTM UAS times when meeting the different requirements. The data determined is to be used across the corporation as standard times and for calculating logistics solutions. 

The project focused on handling times for manual picking, particularly the workloads in handling operations (cartons, containers, bundles, parts) and repositioning items (from HUKA to HUTZ on the logistics data card). During the first stage, the current state of the processes was recorded at selected work stations using video analysis and then assessed with MTM-UAS process building blocks as regards time and with the EAWSdigital ergonomics tool with regard to physical workloads. Based on these results, the individual activities were then classified in line with the weights and body posture points; and the allowance times, which map the ergonomic risk, were determined using calculations.  This gave rise to an internal corporation data card with allowances for load weights and body postures.

The project enabled several results to be gained at the same time. The central result from the corporation’s point of view, which was the major focus of the tender management department, is an updated process times catalog for calculating resources. This is now being made available to the planners at Kühne + Nagel around the globe. However, the project also illustrated how closely ergonomics and time influencing factors caused by it are related when designing work – “and that naturally heightens the awareness of the planners to the forward-looking aspect of work design,” says Sebastian Türke, Project Manager in the Solutions Engineering department at Kühne + Nagel.

The project also brought to light a large number of design suggestions in order to minimize the ergonomic risk at the work stations that were studied or during individual activities. This risk can now be taken into consideration even during the planning phase. This is a win-win situation for employees and the corporation. The MTM company, which is supporting the project, came to the conclusion that Kühne + Nagel is a pioneer as regards ergonomics in the logistics sector.

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