Methods engineeringProduction

Methods engineering

What is method study?

Method engineering definition

The Study of Methods or Methods Engineering is one of the most important techniques of the Study of Work, which is based on the registration and systematic critical examination of the existing and projected methodology used to carry out a job or operation. The main goal of the Study of Methods is to apply simple methods and efficient so in this way increase productivity in any given productive system.

The evolution of the Study of Methods is to encompass in first instance the general, to ten cover particular issues, according to this, the Study of Methods must begin in a more general way within a productive system, that is to say “The process” and then arrive at the most particular, that is “The Operation”. On many occasions doubts arise about the order of application, both in the Study of Methods and in the Measurement of Work.

In this case it is worth remembering that the Study of Methods is related to the reduction of the work content of a task or operation, while the Measurement of Work is related to the investigation of unproductive times associated with a particular method. Therefore it could be deduced that one of the functions of the Work Measurement consists of being part of the evaluation stage within the algorithm of the Study of Methods, and this measurement must be carried out once the Study  of Methods has been implemented; however, although the Study of Methods must precede the measurement of work when setting production standards, in practice it will be very useful to carry out before the Study of Methods one of the techniques of Work Measurement, such as work sampling.

Basic systematic procedure to carry out the Study of Methods:

As already mentioned, the Study of Methods has a systematic algorithm that contributes to the achievement of the basic procedure of the Work Study, which consists (The study of methods) of seven fundamental stages, these are:

Stages Process Analysis Operation Analysis
To select the work to be studied. Having into account economic considerations, technical team and human relations. Having into account economic considerations, technical team and human relations.
To register all information related to the current method. Diagram of the current process: Synoptic, analytic, and path. Bimanual operation diagram.
To critically examine the registered data. The Interrogation Technique: preliminary questions. The Interrogation Technique: preliminary questions to the complete operation.
To devise the proposed method. The Interrogation Technique: background questions. The Interrogation Technique: background operation questions “Principles of moving economics”.
To define the new method. Diagram of the proposed process: Synoptic, analytic, and path. Bimanual operation diagram of the proposed method.
To implant the new method. Participation of the workforce and human relations. Participation of the workforce and human relations.
To keep the new method in use. Inspect the method regularly. Inspect the method regularly.

It is necessary to remember that in practice, the person in charge of making the Study of Methods will eventually encounter situations that are far from ideal for the continuous application of the algorithm. For example, once the results that a new method would produce are evaluated, it is determined that they do not justify its implementation, therefore a new solution must be started and devised.

Importance of Method Engineering in a production system

If the production department is seen as the heart of an industrial company, the methods, time study and salary activities are the heart of the manufacturing group. More than anywhere else, it is here that a product is determined to be competitively produced. It is also here where the initiative and ingenuity are applied to develop efficient tools, human-machine relationships and workstations for new jobs before starting production, thus ensuring that the product passes the tests in the face of fierce competition.

This phase is where creativity is continuously used to improve existing methods and affirm the company in an advanced position in its product line. In this activity, good labor relations can be maintained by establishing fair labor norms, or these relations may be adversely affected by the adoption of inequitable norms.

Objectives and benefits of applying the Study of Methods

The main objectives of Method Engineering are to increase productivity and reduce cost per unit, thus allowing the greatest production of goods to be achieved for the greatest number of people. The ability to produce more with less will result in more work for more people for more hours per year.

The benefits of the application of Method Engineering are:

  • They minimize the time required for the execution of works.
  • They conserve resources and minimize costs by specifying the most appropriate direct and indirect materials for the production of goods and services.
  • They carry out production without losing sight of the availability of energy or energy.
  • They provide a product that is increasingly reliable and of high quality.
  • They maximize the safety, health and well-being of all employees or workers.
  • They carry out production considering more and more the necessary protection from environmental conditions.
  • They apply an administration program according to a high human level.


Bryan Salazar López

By profession, Industrial Engineer, Master in Logistics, specialized in productivity, with interest and experience in modeling processes under sustainability indicators. Founder of, site where research contributions, articles and references are collected.

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