Using videos to improve operations | Part 9 – Updates

It’s been 110 years since Frank Gilbreth first used film cameras to improve processes, 36 years since Kei Abe taught me how to do it with VHS, and six years since my last post about videos. Yet the number of manufacturing companies leveraging this tool remains minuscule. The technical hurdles are long gone, but the human ones are still in place. Managers must make it a priority to make the work easier for operators, and operators need to trust management not to use videos against them. My 2nd post on this subject was about management preparation. It’s doable, if not easy.

This post focuses on the easy part: technical issues. This is not to ignore the hard stuff but to address a few recent challenges. Smartphone cameras, by default, now generate high-definition video files so large that they impede analysis. It is, therefore, a good idea to work with lower resolutions. The software to help with time studies based on video has evolved too, and I am including introductions to a few currently available packages. Readers are invited to share their experiences with these or other tools.

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