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flowcharta means of recording all the work tasks performed by a person and/or machine at a ‘work station’. Activity charts break down work tasks into five main categories: operation (altering materials, assembly, etc.); transportation (moving materials, components or products); inspection (checking for defects); delay (hold-ups in production caused by lack of materials, machine breakdowns, etc.); storage (items placed in stock).
Fig. 6 shows the symbols which are conventionally used to depict these activities:
Activity charts are used in METHOD STUDY to record the methods used to perform work tasks as a basis for improving these methods by reducing delays, minimizing materials handling and combining operations. They are also used to assist in the planning of FACTORY LAYOUTS and in PRODUCTION SCHEDULING by depicting the sequence of work tasks involved.
Where several machines or operatives are deployed alongside each other in a work station, multiple activity charts may be used to depict their interactions.