I want to say the product reduces the "human handling time" from 1 hours to 5 minutes. I googled "human handling time" (the whole phrase), but only 21 results are shown. What I should use to replace "human handling time"?

closed as not a real question by tchrist, RiMMER, Mitch, FumbleFingers, Jim Feb 2 '13 at 22:16

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  • What are you trying to convey with "human handling time"? Man hours might be what you are looking for. – coleopterist Feb 2 '13 at 17:11
  • 2
    How many Minutemen make a man-hour? – Edwin Ashworth Feb 2 '13 at 17:36

In industry, we refer to touch labor, which refers to the amount of manual labor required to perform a task or produce something. This translates into cost, as reducing touch labor reduces the 'human handling time' and the associated costs for that labor.

You can also find similar terms, such as touch time.

There is also interest in the activity itself (not the time), which may be referred to as manual handling.

There are other concerns, besides labor cost, associated with manual handling or touch labor, including safety for the worker and how touching might affect the quality of the product (including the introduction of germs or the likelihood of increasing production mistakes).

Do you have any specific concern that's not covered here?

  • Never heard of it. In my universe, everyone costs in man-hours, man-days, man-weeks (or man-years for a big undertaking). – FumbleFingers Feb 2 '13 at 19:36
  • I wouldn't get too fixated on man-hours. In my industry, man-hours are associated with all sorts of activities, even those that operate the automated machinery. But we pay particular interest in those activities that require human handling of the product, per se, and we call that 'touch labor'. (Might be an American term. I'll check with my London office when I have chance.) There are all sorts of reasons that touch labor is less desirable than other sorts of labor, mostly associated with product quality and, of course, costs. But quality is a dominate concern. – Canis Lupus Feb 2 '13 at 20:11
  • Actually, I think I tripped myself up there! I Googled "touch labour" before posting my comment, just to check I wasn't hopelessly out of touch myself. All the results on the first few pages where references to things like "out-of-touch Labour party", which convinced me no-one else uses the term. But of course it's primarily American terminology, so I should have cut&pasted your text to get the relevant spelling! – FumbleFingers Feb 2 '13 at 20:30

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