methods engineering


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methods engineering

[′meth·ədz ‚en·jə′nir·iŋ]
(industrial engineering)
A technique used by management to improve working methods and reduce labor costs in all areas where human effort is required.

Methods engineering

A technique used by progressive management to improve productivity and reduce costs in both direct and indirect operations of manufacturing and non-manufacturing business organizations. Methods engineering is applicable in any enterprise wherever human effort is required. It can be defined as the systematic procedure for subjecting all direct and indirect operations to close scrutiny in order to introduce improvements that will make work easier to perform and will allow work to be done smoother in less time, and with less energy, effort, and fatigue, with less investment per unit. The ultimate objective of methods engineering is profit improvement. See Operations research, Productivity

Methods engineering includes five activities: planning, methods study, standardization, work measurement, and controls. Methods engineering, through planning, first identifies the amount of time that should be spent on a project so as to get as much of the potential savings as is practical. Invariably the most profitable jobs to study are those with the most repetition, the highest labor content (human work as distinguished from mechanical or process work), the highest labor cost, or the longest life-span. Next, through methods study, methods are improved by observing what is currently being done and then by developing better ways of doing it. The standardization phase includes the training of the operator to follow the standard method. Then the number of standard hours in which operators working with standard performances can do their job is determined by measurement. Finally, the established method is periodically audited, and various management controls are adjusted with the new time data. The system may include a plan for compensating labor that encourages attaining or surpassing a standard performance.

References in periodicals archive ?
No specific tools were adopted, unlike in SME where a Computer-aided Methods Engineering (CAME) tool is typically used (Tolvanen, 1998).
Last Tuesday afternoon, Verizon Communications and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requested that we dispatch the mobile switch to Manhattan as soon as possible," said Lyle Williams, manager of methods engineering and operations support for AG Communication Systems.
Industrial engineering techniques, including methods engineering and business process re-engineering, are applied to identify ways to reduce cost and improve productivity.
CIM helps you to better understand process variables so you can manipulate them," says Mike Lee, head of the CIM team and the Methods Engineering group responsible for process helped Methods achieve an average 30% reduction in cycle times, he reports.
Upcoming e-seminars offered through Mindbuilder include Simulation: A Powerful Tool for Streamlining or Redesigning Operations, Methods Engineering, Introduction to Time Study, and Strategic e-Business.
His career progression there includes various assignments of increasing responsibility in tool and die, methods engineering, and production.
Although this technique holds the greatest promise for manufacturing and process engineers, other IEs in such areas as costing, safety engineering, human-factors, and methods engineering can benefit from its many applications.
Larkin, age 42, completed studies in production and methods engineering, marketing and advertising at the University of New South Wales and Institute of Management.
He also served in plant management and methods engineering for the division's operations in Mexico.
In 1971, Crawford was named general supervisor of methods engineering at Packard in Ohio.

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