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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 237: XI Workshop on Labour and Labour Management

DEVELOPMENT OF THE SIWORK TIME STUDY PACKAGE FOR THE HUSKY HUNTER PORTABLE FIELD COMPUTER

Author:   P.D. Kofman
Abstract:
The Danish Institute of Forest Technology has a long history of time study in forestry. Since 1967 the institute has carried out many studies on different methods and also for the piece rate system in logging.

In the early eigthies the need was felt to rationalise the time studies. The input of the collected time study data in a mainframe computer became too time consuming so a method was looked for to computerise the time studies, so that the data could be transferred directly from the field computer to the mainframe.

A review of the market of portable field computers then revealed that very few models were available, and that only one fullfiled the demands of ruggedness and programmabilty. Furthermore the computer was watertight. In the beginning of 1983 the first HUSKY was bought from the factory in England, and a modest time study program was developed by the name of HUSAS. This program was not much more than a pure data-collecting device and could handle up to 550 observations.

The HUSKY was a clumsy and heavy (2 kg) machine with a limited memory capacity (64 K RAM), and when Husky computers brought the HUSKY HUNTER on the market with 144 K RAM at a weight of 1 kg one was bought. The time study package was adapted to this machine under the name HUNTAS.

It was however felt that datacollection in the field was not enough. It was preferred that the unit also should be able to do simple analysis on the data. The newly developed SIWORK time study package also offers the possibilities of identifying the keys to be used with a three caracter code on the screen.

SIWORK offers the following possibilities:

  • generating a code file to identify the 15 possible elements (both time and numeric)
  • using this code file with many different datafiles
  • writing of notes on a notepad on the computer during the study
  • taking a calculation of the standard error of mean on the observation time during the study
  • analysing the in data after the study has been concluded: calculation of means, standard error of mean and standard deviation of each of the 15 elements
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