Wrench Time is defined as the actual amount of time a craftsperson spends doing value-added work. A Wrench Time Study, or Work Sampling Study, is aimed at identifying and then eliminating or mitigating the time spent on non-value-added tasks.
World Class Wrench Time is 55-65%; Wrench Time for most companies is between 18-30%.
“Your system is perfectly designed to deliver precisely the results you’re getting.”
–W. Edwards Deming, PhD
Identify the percent of time maintenance personnel are delayed due to one of these specific reasons:
“Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company.”
–W. Edwards Deming, PhD
We never want our employees to fear any actions we take as managers. If a wrench time study is to be conducted, it is necessary to discuss the reasons for the study and its value.
Do not follow the “just do it” approach. You want your maintenance personnel to buy into the process.
The only reason for conducting a Wrench Time Study is to identify the delays causing maintenance to be less efficient.
Pay Attention to This Message:
A Wrench Time Study is not about finding personnel who are inefficient, making mistakes, or performing poorly. It is about the quality of the planning process and how the organization uses the planning process.
Over the years, Work Sampling Studies have taken many forms. The most infamous is the Industrial Engineer following someone around all day with a clipboard and stopwatch. This technique rarely achieves accurate results.
Our company prefers a different method. The Assessor puts his eyes on every craft once or twice every hour, placing a tick mark in the category of what they are doing at that instant. It is good if tick marks can be put in the Direct or Indirect categories. That is, they are contributing to work completion. All other categories populate the Non-contributory category.
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