Prepare input data
The descrition of the process to be analysed must be provided through an Excel file whose template can be dowloaded here:
It is advisable to change the name of the file according to the process to be analysed, to have a clear, univocal name without spaces.
The Excel file contains 4 sheets to be filled in:
  • Activities
This sheet is used to declare the activities to be executed by the human operator (see figure below):
  1. 1.
    the first column requires the ID of the activities, which have to be put in the order of execution, starting from 1 until a maximum of 100, that is the maximum number of activities that this toolkit can analyse in a single process;
  2. 2.
    The second column is for Activity Name, that requires a complete, well identifying and univocal name of the activity considered (if one name is repeated twice, this means that the activities are exactly the same);
  1. 1.
    The third column is the most important one, since it requires the Activity Type Code, that is a number refered to the section/table which the activity has been assigned to: the right code can be identified by means of the Table 2, and it has to be selected by the evaluator by chosing the most suitable option between the ones described in the drop down menu :
'Get and Place'
'Handle Aid'
'Motion Cycles'
'Body Motions'
'Visual Inspection'
Table 2
  • Paths In the second sheet the assessor will see two tables in the interface: in the first one, named Locations (Figure 5), he has to insert the meaningful locations of the work, that are all the starting and the ending points of all the parts and tools at issue, in addiction to the base working station. Each of them have to be identified by:
  • a name in the first column
  • an acronym in the second column, composed by one capital letter and one number
  • the coordinates in centimeters in the third and the fourth columns, for the X and the Y respectively. These are the coordinates of the centers of gravity previously identified, in the step of the analysis of the situation.
Figure 5
Once filled in, this table will be a reference for the definition of the second one, named Paths, shown in Figure 6.
Figure 6
Here the evaluator needs to compile the columns in the following way:
  1. 1.
    first the ID of the path, with the capital letter "P" followed by numbers from 1 to a maximum of 100, that is the maximum number of paths that this code can analyse in a single process;
  2. 2.
    then the second and the third column (START and END) require the acronyms of the starting and the ending location of the path, respectively;
  3. 3.
    finally in the columns 'Xs' and 'Ys' the coordinates of the starting locations have to be inserted from the previous table, while in 'Xe' and 'Ye' the ones of the ending locations.
  4. 4.
    Movements This sheet is made up by a main table, named 'Movements' (Figure 7), whose aim is that of showing the whole movement and so the whole distance covered by each activity, expressed by the sum of all the paths done during it.
Figure 7
The initial layout seen by the assessor has the first and the second columns, the 'ID' and the 'Activity Name' respectively, already filled with the activities inserted in the first sheet 'Activities', thanks to a direct link between the two sheets. So the input required by the successive columns, 'Paths Sequence 1, 2, 3,...', is the list of paths done in each activity, indicated with the path ID defined in the previous sheet, one for each column until a maximum of 20, that is the maximum number of paths that can be composed to form the movement of a single activity in this code. To ease this operation, in the same sheet on the right is reproduced the dual table about "Paths" just seen above, so that the assessor doesn't need to change the sheet many times to complete his evaluation.
  • PartsTools
The filling of this last sheet, dedicated to the Parts and Tools used during the working process, is quite simple (Figure 8):
Figure 8
  1. 1.
    The first column 'ID' requires the ID of the part or tool: for the sake of clarity, the evaluator should first list all the Parts involved in the work, whose ID has to be composed by the letter X followed by a univocally identifying number; then, all the Tools used to accomplish the process have to be listed, with an ID made up with the letter T followed by a univocally identifying number.
The maximum total number of parts and tools supported by this toolkit is 100.
  1. 1.
    This second column is related to a general 'Description' of the part or tool;
  2. 2.
    The last column, named 'WEIGHT', requires a number indicating the weight of the part or tool in Kg, previously measured with the aid of the right instruments or by looking at the technical product sheet.
As a general reminder, the assessor needs to literally follow all the indications given above, so that the code and consequently the methodology can work properly giving back the right results. Particularly, a great attention is recommended in being complaint with the names and acronyms choosen for a given element: they have to be univocal for the same elements along all the tables. Before passing to the analysis of the Python code, an example to clarify the approach is showed.
2.1.1 Example (Catenaccio case - Layout 1)
The example provided from the layout 1 of the Catenaccio case analysed in the VLFT project is very important to understand how to practically apply this part of the toolkit, and to clearly get the flow of reasoning required by it. In the Figures 9, 10, 11 and 12 are shown the the just described tables of the Excel input file, properly filled by the assessor with all the data needed; respectively the "Activities", "Paths", "Movements" and "PartsTools" sheets are shown.
Figure 9 : the Activities sheet.
Figure 10 : the Paths sheet.
Figure 11 : the Movements sheet.
Figure 12 : the PartsTools sheet.
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