Tool Time

Measuring Tool Time

Tech Solutions Australia conducts Tool Time analysis with a view to reducing the contributors to unproductive time. An analysis of Tool Time indicates that this non-productive time typically accounts for around 40-70% of a maintenance person’s day. Some of the time that is not utilised for maintenance work is devoted to activities supporting maintenance. These activities are required for executing maintenance tasks, but are not directly related to getting tasks done. These maintenance support activities typically include the permit-to-work process and safety tasks, team meetings, data entry and transport of personnel and materials. However, non-Tool Time also includes a component which represents unnecessary delays to maintenance jobs which are related to inefficiencies in workplace systems, as well as distracting tasks that take maintenance technicians away from high-criticality maintenance work. These include waiting for other tasks to finish, re-work, and delays in obtaining the parts or information needed to undertake maintenance tasks.

Support Activities and Delay Time

Maintenance support activities are necessitated by workplace systems and the work environment, but often can be made more efficient by analysing and optimising the time spent on them. There is usually a more effective way to complete most maintenance tasks. Delay time, on the other hand, is not time that is required for a task and could be reduced or eliminated by reconfiguring the workplace systems involved. In addition to reducing the available time for critical maintenance tasks, poorly organised systems of work are known to create pathways to failure and to de-motivate the personnel involved.

Process Safety

It is in the interest of both the company and its maintenance personnel that the time spent on the job is productive, and that work systems allow people to be as effective as possible. Eliminating Delay Time has a positive impact on most KPIs, i.e. Work Plan Execution, Maintenance Backlog, Absenteeism and Plant Availability. In addition, a workplace environment hamstrung by unnecessary delays and poorly-organised systems increases the potential for shortcuts, work-arounds, and ‘human error’. From this point-of-view, Tool-Time is also a process safety and reliability issue.

Tech Solutions Australia has a number of methods for analysing Tool Time and Delay Time. These include quantitative methods for determining the time spent on task and non-task related activities, and qualitative methods for identifying the main causes of lost work time.