Use (technology)

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Under utilization is defined as the use of a resource to fulfill a task . In REFA terminology, use is the term used to describe the types of operation of the equipment in the work system .

This definition comes from industrial engineering , which is represented in German-speaking countries in particular by the REFA association.

"A resource is used when it is involved in the interaction of the system elements of a work system."


A quarter of a century later, Hopp & Spearman define it similarly

" The utilization of a workstation is the fraction of time it is not idle for lack of parts."

“The use of a resource is the fraction of time that this resource does not stand still due to a lack of parts. "

- Hopp & Spearman

Business use

From a business point of view, the goal is to maximize the benefit of an operating resource. This is achieved according to the economic principle by achieving a given goal with minimal effort or achieving a maximal result with given input.

Technical use

Computer systems

With regard to the use of computer systems, a distinction can be made between the terms “user” (individual who uses the computer to carry out certain activities) and “ user ” (possibly a company or institution that operates the computer). In the case of private individuals, these two roles may appear in personal union.

From a business point of view , an essential aspect is that the system meets the requirements of users and users, i.e. H. supports the intended tasks as best as possible. Details can u. a. be the quality features of software as defined in the DIN standard ISO / IEC 9126 , e.g. B: Task appropriateness, correctness, usability, security etc.

From a technical point of view , one goal is to make the best possible use of the individual components. This includes not letting resources (such as CPU time or memory) and their scarcity act too much as a bottleneck . This is implemented with various scheduling strategies or memory management strategies . Another bottleneck in most computer systems today is the Von Neumann bottleneck , which can limit the use of the entire system due to the bandwidth of the system BUS.


In work analyzes , the process types for the equipment are structured as shown in the figure. It is important to distinguish between usage that leads to a usage time and interruption .

Process types for the resource

Explanations of the process types, both for the work item and for the processor (people), can be found under process types .

Utilization rate

The degree of utilization ( degree of production , colloquially also utilization ) related to an item of equipment is of particular interest in terms of the degree of employment, production and equipment utilization . In this context, the degree of utilization is a measure of the use of an item of equipment in a certain period of time .

The specification of a degree of utilization without any further reference usually means a measure of how much of the energy stored in an energy carrier can actually be used over a period. In this context, it represents an expansion of the degree of efficiency by considering the entire - mostly multi-stage - energy conversion process over a period.

The minimum value is 0, which means that the resource is not used at all.
The maximum value is 100 percent, which means that the resource is always and completely used in a period.


In terms of time, the usage is divided into the subsequently determined main usage time, which is calculated from the main usage and the measured actual usage time as follows

from the target main usage time calculated in advance (p. 234).

See also


  1. REFA - Association for Work Studies and Business Organization e. V. (Ed.): Data determination . 6th edition Munich: Hanser, 1978 (Methods of Study 2, ISBN 3-446-12704-6 ) p. 29 ff.
  2. Wallace J. Hopp; Mark L. Spearman: Factory Physics: Foundations of Manufacturing Management . 2nd ed.Maidenhead : McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2000 ( ISBN 978-0071163781 , p 292.
  3. REFA - Association for Work Studies and Business Organization e. V. (Ed.): Basics . 7th edition Munich: Hanser, 1984 (Methods of Study 1, ISBN 3-446-14234-7 ) (p. 42)
  4. Prof. O. Kao: Lecture Technical Basics of Computer Science 3 - System Programming , TU Berlin, winter semester 2013/2014.
  5. a b REFA - Association for Work Studies and Business Organization e. V. (Ed.): Cost accounting, work design . 7th edition Munich: Hanser, 1985 (Methods of Study 3, ISBN 3-446-14236-3 ) (p. 234)