Method engineering to increase labor productivity and eliminate downtime

Mildrend Montoya-Reyes, Alvaro González-Angeles, Ismael Mendoza-Muñoz, Margarita Gil-Samaniego-Ramos, Juan Ling-López


Purpose: The purpose of this work is to present a method based on the application of method engineering, in order to eliminate downtime and improve the manufacturing cell.

Design/methodology/approach: The research strategy employed was a case study applied to a manufacturing company to explore the causes of excessive dead time and low productivity. The methodology used was divided in five steps. The first corresponds to the analysis of the lathe and grinding process; the second is the elaboration of the man-machine diagram to identify dead times; the third is the application of the improvement proposal; the fourth is the redistribution of the cell to optimize the process; the fifth is to conclude from the results obtained.

Findings: With the proposed method, the downtime was reduced by 41% and only 50% of the available labor is required, therefore, it is concluded that the method can be used to redesign manufacturing cells.

Research limitations/implications: This research was limited to analyzing and improving human-machine interaction, since work is not just the machine, or the individual alone, or the individual manipulating the machine, therefore, no other tools were used to improve the time of machines operation.

Practical implications: Designing a manufacturing cell that allows the operator to do his job with less fatigue and not adapt the operator to the job, as commonly happens.

Social implications: Companies must show a greater interest in occupational health by including human capital in their optimization plans to avoid future harm to workers.

Originality/value: The key contribution of this paper focused on developing a novel and practical methodology to design or re-design manufacturing cells to improve productivity considering the human factor, inspired by the main concepts of method engineering.


waiting time, productivity enhancement, operations management, engineering method, man-machine diagram, manufacturing cell

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Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 2008-2024

Online ISSN: 2013-0953; Print ISSN: 2013-8423; Online DL: B-28744-2008

Publisher: OmniaScience