MTM – Work design productive and safe

Miele Relies on Company-Specific MTM Standards

Best Practice in Single-Part and Small Batch Production

Whether corporations are involved in mass, batch or single-part production – MTM provides the suitable building block system for each type of process. This is proving to be highly useful for the Miele corporation at its factory in
Bürmoos, Austria, too. The challenge in the medical engineering division is to plan particularly extensive work content with just small numbers of items – and still keep expenditure as low as possible. The industrial engineering department there was confronted by the issue of whether MTM could be used in a cost-effective manner for planning purposes in the medical engineering sector.

In order to answer this question, it first made sense to take a look at what was happening outside the box – in a sector that handles challenging work content and numbers of items: the air freight industry. Deutsche MTM-Gesellschaft mbH established contact with the MTM member corporation, Airbus Defence & Space in Manching. The planners there had just subjected the maintenance of the Eurofighter aircraft to close scrutiny and achieved ideal results by using MTM to calculate testing procedures. The approach adopted there benefited the time management experts at Miele.

Developing a company-specific process building block database
Based on MTM-MEK, the process building block system for single-part and small batch production, they developed company-specific MTM standards jointly with Deutsche MTM-Gesellschaft mbH. “Our MTM process building blocks are product-related and therefore form the ideal prerequisite for speedy and accurate time calculations,” says Thomas Heinze, Head of Industrial Engineering in the Professional Technology Division at Miele & Cie. KG, explaining the situation. The MTM-MEK process building block system is ideally suited as the basis, because no detailed information about motion sequences is necessary to draw up the planning analyses or to model target sequences in assembly work. It is enough to know about general conditions like distance classes, the type of provision of parts in the work system as well as the positioning accuracy and the weight of the components in order to determine the factors that influence times. Ergonomics was also observed separately from the building block system – on a case-by-case basis and where necessary.

The results were better than expected
“MTM not only enabled us to significantly improve our basis for planning. Our expectations with regard to optimizing the process through layout and workplace design were exceeded", Heinze emphasized. “The assembly times that have now been calculated were significantly lower than the previous ones. We’re not just continuing to develop the products, but the work system and the supporting processes on a permanent basis too", says the IE manager.

Cost prevention instead of cost reduction
In his view, using the MTM process language achieves success that goes far beyond the issue of time – e. g. it provides important design information to optimize the methods. And there is another benefit too. “Company-specific process building blocks have become so easy to use because of their relationship to the product that you don’t need to be an industrial engineer to configure product options, for instance. We’re now able to respond to special customer requirements faster. All in all, we now have a very flexible system for planning dates and capacities or making calculations", says Heinze with a sense of conviction. “We’ve also been able to derive direct ideas for planning in other divisions from the projects that we’ve handled so far. We’ve made use of the opportunity of becoming involved in the product development stage very early too and therefore continuing to improve the design of our products to take production into account", says the IE manager. “This is helping us prevent costs from the outset.” The corporation is currently working on transferring the newly established building block system to other product lines that involve small numbers of items in the Professional division.

Exact planning for human resources and dates
Heinze summarizes matters in this way. “Using MTM in the production environment for single parts and small batches with the relevant degree of organization is an outstanding success with the MTM-MEK analysis system. MTM supplies objective results; as a result, human resources capacities and dates can be planned precisely on this basis.”

Photo credit: Miele Werk Bürmoos GmbH

If you have any further questions, please contact Ralf Jaehnke, Managing Director of Deutsche MTM-Gesellschaft mbH; email:

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