MTM – Work design productive and safe

Miele: 20 Years successfull with MTM

Using from MTM-1 to MTM-HWD®

Miele & Cie. KG has been relying on MTM tools and software to plan, design and optimize processes and products for more than 20 years. As a member corporation of Deutsche MTM-Vereinigung e. V., Miele has also repeatedly made its innovative capacity available for the business of continuing to develop the process language – most recently with the introduction of MTM-HWD®. The new MTM process building block system combines methodical and ergonomic work design in just one step – that is to say, only one analysis is required to provide three results – a description of the process, the time and an assessment of the ergonomics.

Miele is a partner in the development project Human Work Design (HWD®) and has made a significant contribution to the successful development of HWD® with the extensive practical testing of the new modular system in assembly. The Miele managers were expecting conclusive information from the analysis about how it is possible to harmonize work design and productivity development – and take ergonomics into account – and also productively make use of older employees in a line-balanced, continuous flow assembly process.

All the production lines at the Miele factory in Gütersloh have now been switched to using MTM-HWD®. The system is now being introduced at the press plant and in the field of preassembling component modules. The corporation is also introducing the process building block system outside Germany – for example, in the factory at Uničov (CZ). These factories are motivated to introduce MTM-HWD® because of the mixture of benefits involving ergonomics, performance and the promotion of learning at workplaces.

Preventing negative consequences for health by using MTM-HWD®
The articles published in the newsletter from the corporate health management department and in the factory newspaper about MTM-HWD® illustrate that even the works council at the factory in Gütersloh supports the use of MTM-HWD® and this is having an effect on employees. The “Health” section of the factory newspaper in Gütersloh contains the following information: “HWD enables us to recognize better where particular movements are unbalanced and workloads are too high. On this basis, we can change procedures and working stages and reduce negative consequences on people’s health and, at best, even prevent them occurring at all… Following a test phase on the WAo6 assembly line, which continued for one year, we’ve been using the system since April 2016. A sports scientist initially showed the employees how to act in an ergonomically positive manner at the work stations and practised this with the participants. At the same time, three groups discussed the requirements and what was needed to ensure that movements become easier.”

The article in the Newsletter for Corporate Health Management (BGM) has the following title: “Analyzing Work Stations: Now with Human Work Design.” The article explains that productivity and ergonomics are the two aspects that can now be analyzed simultaneously for the first time through the HWD procedure that is being used at the GTG factory. Standardized times and a points system, which quantifies the ergonomic workload of individual work procedures, form the basis for the analysis work.

A positive response from the works council and the workforce
“We were already able to optimize some procedures with the employees during the pilot project on line 6 in this way. We worked closely with the corporate health management (BGM) on this and the positive response from the workforce shows us that we’re on the right track with HWD,” says Ralf Graute, who is a member of the industrial engineering department in Gütersloh. Heinrich Schlautmann, the deputy chairperson of the works council, observes, “We’re better able to recognize now where particular movements should be changed or prevented by using the HWD analysis tool – for example, to prevent unbalanced workloads. Work station rotation is another tool that is needed here. Employees can also learn how to screw items with both hands alternately, for example, which is a challenge that people gladly accept for their own health’s sake.”

Working methodically and systematically and not haphazardly
The all-round process of designing work systems with MTM is also a topic at the specialist conference at Miele in Gütersloh on 22 August 2018; this occasion will also be used to wish Dr. Ernst Krämer, Head of Strategic Projects for Appliance Production, all the very best for his retirement. Krämer, who is the Chairman of the Board at Deutsche MTM-Vereinigung e. V. until the end of this elected period, has closely followed the use of MTM at Miele during the last few decades. His guiding principle is this. “What you do not measure, will not change in the long term.” “This is also one of the fundamental topics at MTM – a subject that not only affects the design of individual workstations, but the complete product emergence process,” Krämer said in an earlier interview. “The most important issue, however, is that corporations use a methodology that has a systematic structure and is not subject to random procedures. This is the only way to be in a position to cope with the challenges posed by productive and healthy work.”

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