Friday, May 26, 2017

40 Years with NITIE: 1977 - 2017 - Narayana Rao Kambhampati


5.15 am 26 May 2017 (Indian Standard Time)

Yesterday only I returned from a trip to Pittsburgh USA. I reached home by 10.30 pm on 25 May 2017. I started from Pittsburgh at 5.50 am on 24 May 2017 (US Eastern Time) and travelled to Chicago first and from there took the Delhi direct flight operated by Air India.







On 23 May 2017, I made a presentation on Principles of Industrial Engineering in the Annual Conference of Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE).  Industrial engineering as an academic discipline started in 1907 at Penn State University. A book with the title "Principles of Industrial Engineering" was authored by C.B. Going. But principles of industrial engineering were not declared so far in the industrial engineering literature. My deep thinking on industrial engineering that spanned the period 1994 to 2016, suddenly gave me the idea on 4 July 2016. I made my blog post on that day on the topic. I took one more year to go to the world's premier platform and make a presentation on the issue. This completes my 40 years association with NITIE (National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, India). I joined NITIE in 1977 and started learning industrial engineering in more earnestness. We had industrial engineering as a subject in our undergraduate programme at JNTU College of Engineering, Kakinada. But more serious and focused learning started in 1977. So in forty years, I moved from learning to telling. On 23 May 2017, I was explaining about industrial engineering to consultants from Maynard group (now with Accenture) and to a group of students from Penn State. A man from India, going and explaining industrial engineering to pioneers of industrial engineering in the birth state of industrial engineering. I thought I shall write about my journey during this 40 year period. Thus begins this writing adventure.

I present below the video made by my daughter on the presentation. My daughter's friend took photographs of the slides with her mobile phone. I shall add them also later.


Principles of Industrial Engineering Presented by Professor K.V.S.S. Narayana Rao (Author of this blog) on 23 May 2017 at the Annual Conference of Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers in Pittsburgh, USA.  Industrial Engineering is a management subject or discipline with Engineering as the foundation. Its primary application area is engineering systems. It augmented application area is any system.  INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING IS SYSTEM EFFICIENCY ENGINEERING AND HUMAN EFFORT ENGINEERING (Definition by Narayana Rao - Published in Udyog Pragati, Jounral of NITIE in 2006)
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Principles of Industrial Engineering


An explanation says principles are scientific theories or cause and effect relationships. They are of permanent nature until revised due to empirical studies and identification of new facts.

Methods are general approaches that use the scientific principle or principles for beneficial use. They are also of permanent nature.

Tools are contemporaneous ways of implementing methods.

Basic Principles of Industrial Engineering - Narayana Rao


1. Develop science for each element of a man - machine system's work related to efficiency and productivity.
2. Engineer methods, processes and operations to use the laws related to the work of machines, man, materials and other resources.
3. Select or assign workmen based on predefined aptitudes for various types of man - machine work.
4. Train workmen, supervisors, and engineers in the new methods.
5. Incorporate suggestions of operators, supervisors and engineers in the methods redesign on a continuous basis.
6. Plan and manage productivity at system level.

(The principles were developed on 4 June 2016 at Kakinada where I went for a holiday to celebrate my 60th birthday and with mother, brothers and sisters and other relatives). The principles were  developed by Narayana Rao based on principles of scientific management by F.W. Taylor)

Principles of Industrial Engineering


Presented during the Annual Conference of IISE 2017 at Pittsburgh on 23 May 2017

1. Productivity science
2. Productivity engineering
3. Ind Engineering is applicable to all branches of engineering
4. Principles of machine utilization economy are to be developed for all resources used in engineering systems.
5. Industrial engineering optimization
6. Industrial engineering economics
7. Implementation team membership and leadership
8. Human effort engineering for increasing productivity
9. Principles of motion economy to be used in all IE studies in the area of human effort engineering
10. Operator comfort and health are to be taken care of.
11. Work measurement
12. Selection of operators
13. Training of operators, supervisors and engineers
14. Productivity training and education to all
15. Employee involvement in continuous improvement of processes and products for productivity improvement.
16. Productivity incentives
17. Hearty cooperation
18. Productivity Management
19. System level focus for productivity
20. Productivity measurement
21. Cost measurement


The writing was started on 26 May 2017 (Indian Standard Time)

Updated 27 May 2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Modern Engineering and Modern Shop Management - F.W. Taylor

There is a close analogy between the methods of modern engineering and this type of management. Engineering now centers in the drafting room as modern management does in the planning department. The new style engineering has all the appearance of complication and extravagance, with its multitude of drawings; the amount of study and work which is put into each detail; and its corps of draftsmen, all of whom would be sneered at by the old engineer as "non-producers." For the same reason, modern management, with its minute time study and a managing department in which each operation is carefully planned, with its many written orders and its apparent red tape, looks like a waste of money; while the ordinary management in which the planning is mainly done by the workmen themselves, with the help of one or two foremen, seems simple and economical in the extreme.

The writer, however, while still a young man, had all lingering doubt as to the value of a drafting room dispelled by seeing the chief engineer, the foreman of the machine shop, the foreman of the foundry, and one or two workmen, in one of our large and successful engineering establishments of the old school, stand over the cylinder of an engine which was being built, with chalk and dividers, and discuss for more than an hour the proper size and location of the studs for fastening on the cylinder head. This was simplicity, but not economy. About the same time he became thoroughly convinced of the necessity and economy of a planning department with time study, and with written instruction cards and returns. He saw over and over again a workman shut down his machine and hunt up the foreman to inquire, perhaps, what work to put into his machine next, and then chase around the shop to find it or to have a special tool or template looked up or made. He saw workmen carefully nursing their jobs by the hour and doing next to nothing to avoid making a record, and he was even more forcibly convinced of the necessity for a change while he was still working as a machinist by being ordered by the other men to slow down to half speed under penalty of being thrown over the fence.

No one now doubts the economy of the drafting room, and the writer predicts that in a very few years from now no one will doubt the economy and necessity of the study of unit times and of the planning department.

Another point of analogy between modern engineering and modern management lies in the fact that modern engineering proceeds with comparative certainty to the design and construction of a machine or structure of the maximum efficiency with the minimum weight and cost of materials, while the old style engineering at best only approximated these results and then only after a series of breakdowns, involving the practical reconstruction of the machine and the lapse of a long period of time. The ordinary system of management, owing to the lack of exact information and precise methods, can only approximate to the desired standard of high wages accompanied by low labor cost and then only
slowly, with marked irregularity in results, with continued opposition, and, in many cases, with danger from strikes. Modern management, on the other hand, proceeds slowly at first, but with directness and precision, step by step, and, after the first few object lessons, almost without opposition on the part of the men, to high wages and low labor cost; and as is of great importance, it assigns wages to the men which are uniformly fair. They are not demoralized, and their sense of justice offended by receiving wages which are sometimes too low and at other times entirely too high.

One of the marked advantages of scientific management lies in its freedom from strikes. The writer has never been opposed by a strike, although he has been engaged for a great part of his time since 1883 in introducing this type of management in different parts of the country and in a great variety of industries. The only case of which the writer can think in which a strike under this system might be unavoidable would be that in which most of the employees were members of a labor union, and of a union whose rules were so inflexible and whose members were so stubborn that they were unwilling to try any other system, even though it assured them larger wages than their own. The writer has seen,
however, several times after the introduction of this system, the members of labor unions who were working under it leave the union in large numbers because they found that they could do better under the operation of the system than under the laws of the union.

There is no question that the average individual accomplishes the most when he either gives himself, or some one else assigns him, a definite task, namely, a given amount of work which he must do within a given time; and the more elementary the mind and character of the individual the more necessary does it become that each task shall extend over a short period of time only. No school teacher would think of telling children in a general way to study a certain book or subject. It is practically universal to assign each day a definite lesson beginning on one specified page and line and ending on another; and the best progress is made when the conditions are such that a definite study hour or period can be assigned in. which the lesson must be learned. Most of us remain, through a great part of our lives, in this respect, grown-up children, and do our best only under pressure of a task of comparatively short duration. Another and perhaps equally great advantage of assigning a daily task as against ordinary piece work lies in the fact that the success of a good workman or the failure of a poor one is thereby daily and prominently called to the attention of the management. Many a poor workman might be willing to go along in a slipshod way under ordinary piece work, careless as to whether he fell off a little in his output or not. Very few of them, however, would be willing to record a daily failure to accomplish their task even if they were allowed to do so by their foreman; and also since on ordinary piece work the price alone is specified without limiting the time which the job is to take, a quite large falling off in output can in many cases occur without coming to
the attention of the management at all. It is for these reasons that the writer has above indicated "a large daily task" for each man as the first of four principles which should be included in the best type of management.

It is evident, however, that it is useless to assign a task unless at the same time adequate measures are taken to enforce its accomplishment.  It is to compel the completion of the daily task then that two of the other principles are required, namely, "high pay for success" and "loss in case of failure." The advantage of Mr. H. L. Gantt's system of "task work with a bonus," and the writer's "differential rate piece work" over the other systems lies in the fact that with each of these the men automatically and daily receive either an extra reward in case of complete success, or a distinct loss in case they fall off even a little.

The four principles above referred to can be successfully applied either under day work, piece work, task work with a bonus, or differential rate piece work, and each of these systems has its own especial conditions under which it is to be preferred to either of the other three. In no case, however, should an attempt be made to apply these principles unless accurate and thorough time study has previously been made of every item entering into the day's task.

They should be applied under day work only when a number of miscellaneous jobs have to be done day after day, none of which can occupy the entire time of a man throughout the whole of a day and when the time required to do each of these small jobs is likely to vary somewhat each day. In this case a number of these jobs can be grouped into a daily task which should be assigned, if practicable, to one man, possibly even to two or three, but rarely to a gang of men of any size. To illustrate: In a small boiler house in which there is no storage room for coal, the work of wheeling the coal to the fireman, wheeling out the ashes, helping clean fires and keeping the boiler room and the outside of the boilers clean can be made into the daily task for a man, and if these items do not sum up into a full day's work, on the average, other duties can be added until a proper task is assured. Or, the various details of sweeping, cleaning, and keeping a certain section of a shop floor windows, machines, etc., in order can be united to form a task. Or, in a small factory which turns out a uniform product and in uniform quantities day after day, supplying raw materials to certain parts of the factory and removing finished product from others may be coupled with other definite duties to form a task. The task should call for a large day's work, and the man should be paid more than the usual day's pay so that the position will be sought for by first-class, ambitious men. Clerical work can very properly be done by the task in this way, although when there is enough of it, piece work at so much per entry is to be preferred.

In all cases a clear cut, definite inspection of the task is desirable at least once a day and sometimes twice. When a shop is not running at night, a good time for this inspection is at seven o'clock in the morning, for instance. The inspector should daily sign a printed card, stating that he has inspected the work done by ----, and enumerating the various items of the task. The card should state that the workman has satisfactorily performed his task, "except the following items," which should be enumerated in detail.

F.W. Taylor - Shop Management


Updated  27 May 2017

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May - Industrial Engineering Knowledge Revision Plan





First Week


Cost Information for Pricing Decisions
Cost Behavior Analysis and Relevant Costs

Costing for Strategic Profitability Analysis
Cost Information for Customer Profitability Analysis

Costing for Spoilage, Rework and Scrap
Costing for Quality, Time and the Theory of Constraints

Costing for Inventory Management, JIT and Backflush
Cost Information and Analysis for Capital Budgeting

Cost Information for Management Control and Performance Control
Cost Information for Transfer Pricing

Second Week


Managerial Accounting or Management Accounting - Review Notes
Relevant Information and Decision Making - Marketing Decisions

Relevant Information and Decision Making - Production
Relevant Information and Decision Making - HR

The Master Budget - Accounting Information
Flexible Budgets and Variance Analysis - Review Notes

Responsibility Accounting for Management Control
Accounting Information for Management Control in Divisionalized Companies

Capital Budgeting - Accounting and Cost Information
Introduction to Organizational Behavior

Third Week

Environmental context: Information Technology and Globalization
 Environmental context: Diversity and Ethics

 Organizational Context: Design and Culture
Organizational Context:: Reward Systems

Perception and Attribution
Personality and Attitudes

Motivational Needs and Processes
Positive Psychology Approach to OB


Communication
 Decision Making

Fourth Week


 Stress and Conflict
Power and Politics

Groups and Teams
 Managing Performance through Job Design and Goal Setting



 Behavioral Performance Management
Effective Leadership Process


Principles of Industrial Engineering Presented by Professor K.V.S.S. Narayana Rao (Author of this blog) on 23 May 2017 at the Annual Conference of Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers in Pittsburgh, USA.  Industrial Engineering is a management subject or discipline with Engineering as the foundation. Its primary application area is engineering systems. It augmented application area is any system.  INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING IS SYSTEM EFFICIENCY ENGINEERING AND HUMAN EFFORT ENGINEERING (Definition by Narayana Rao - Published in Udyog Pragati, Jounral of NITIE in 2006)
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Great Leaders: Styles, Activities, and Skills
Principles of Innovation

Innovation - Strategic Issues and Methodology
Idea Generation in Organizations


One Year Industrial Engineering Knowledge Revision Plan

January - February - March - April - May - June

July - August - September - October - November - December


Cost Measurement is an important skill and practice area for industrial engineers,
See the slideshow - Introduction to Industrial Engineering

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Uploaded by Narayana Rao

Understanding human behavior, the content of the subject Organizational Behavior is also important for industrial engineers  to train operators in the redesigned methods and also to interact with them during the observation phase of the IE study and then involving them in developing new methods. Understanding human behavior is also essential to understand his commitment to work at 100% rating, commitment to zero defect production, and active participation in total industrial engineering efforts.

Updated 26 May 2017,   Principles of Industrial Engineering video added., 9 May 2015

Monday, May 22, 2017

Industrial engineering Principles, Methods Tools and Techniques

An explanation says principles are scientific theories or cause and effect relationships. They are of permanent nature until revised due to empirical studies and identification of new facts.

Methods are general approaches that use the scientific principle or principles for beneficial use. They are also of permanent nature.

Tools are contemporaneous ways of implementing methods.

Basic Principles of Industrial Engineering - Narayana Rao

1. Develop science for each element of a man - machine system's work related to efficiency and productivity.
2. Engineer methods, processes and operations to use the laws related to the work of machines, man, materials and other resources.
3. Select or assign workmen based on predefined aptitudes for various types of man - machine work.
4. Train workmen, supervisors, and engineers in the new methods.
5. Incorporate suggestions of operators, supervisors and engineers in the methods redesign on a continuous basis.
6. Plan and manage productivity at system level.

(The above subsection is added on 4 June 2016. Principles developed by Narayana Rao based on principles of scientific management by F.W. Taylor)

Principles of Industrial Engineering - Narayana Rao

The full paper by Prof. K.V.S.S. Narayana Rao is now available for downloading from IISE 2017 Annual Conference site in prepublished format. Presentation is also available now.

https://www.xcdsystem.com/iise/program/A20a5CK/index.cfm?pgid=863&speakerid=287052

Detailed List of Principles - Presented at IISE 2017 Annual Conference at Pittsburgh on 23 May 2017.

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NRao making the presentation
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Principles of Industrial Engineering

1. Productivity science
2. Productivity engineering
3. Ind Engg applicable to all branches of engineering
4. Principles of machine utilization economy to be developed for all resources used in engineering systems.
5. Industrial engineering optimization
6. Industrial engineering economics
7. Implementation team membership and leadership
8. Human effort engineering for increasing productivity
9. Principles of motion economy to be used in all IE studies in the area of human effort engineering
10. Operator comfort and health are to be taken care of.
11. Work measurement
12. Selection of operators
13. Training of operators, supervisors and engineers
14. Productivity training and education to all
15. Employee involvement in continuous improvement of processes and products for productivity improvement.
16. Productivity incentives
17. Hearty cooperation
18. Productivity Management
19. System level focus for productivity
20. Productivity measurement
21. Cost measurement


Presentation Video
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Principles of Industrial Engineering related to various methods of industrial engineering are being assembled in these two articles

Principles of Human Effort Engineering

Principles of System Efficiency Engineering
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Presently the following are given as techniques of industrial engineering (Industrial Engineering). There is a need to convert these things into principles, methods and tools framework

 

 

Methods and Techniques of Industrial Engineering


Human Effort Engineering - Techniques

4. Application of Ergonomics and Biomechanics
5. Fatigue Studies
6. Productivity/Safety/Comfort Device Design
7. Standardization of Operator Methods
8. Operator training
9. Incentive Systems
10. Job Evaluation
11. Learning effect capture
12.  Work Measurement - Time Study, PMTS

Efficiency Improvement Techniques of Industrial engineering 

    Method Study
5. Statistical quality control , Statistical Process Control, Process Improvement using Statistical data
6. Statistical inventory control and ABC Classification Based Inventory Sytems
7. Six sigma
9. Variety reduction
10. Standardization
12. Activity based management
15. Learning effect capture and continuous improvement (Kaizen, Quality circles and suggestion schemes)
16. Standard costing and Kaizen Costing
17. 5S
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Principle of Fair Day's Work


Developing an estimate of  fair day's work makes planning, directing and control of the work of a person systematic.

Method
Work Measurement: Various tasks are to be measured for the time taken to complete them by an average skilled or trained worker.

Tool
Stop watch time study, MTM, Standard data methods


Principles of Motion Economy

List of Principles of Motion Economy

Method
Motion analysis

Tools
Videotaping of work




Principles of Industrial Engineering




Taylor's Principles of Scientific Management


First. The development of a true science (of work or operation or task).
Second. The scientific selection of the workman.
Third. His scientific education and development.
Fourth. Intimate friendly cooperation between the management and the men.

Harrington Emerson's Principles of Efficiency


1. Clearly defined ideals.
2. Common sense
3. Competent counsel
4. Discipline
5. The fair deal
6. Reliable, immediate and adequate records
7. Despatching
8. Standards and schedules
9. Standardized conditions
10. Standardized operations
11. Written standard-practice instructions
12. Efficiency-reward


Gilbreth's Principles of Motion Economy


        Principles of Motion Economy - Some More Details
        Principles of Motion Economy - YouTube Videos

Principle: There should be a definite and fixed place for all tools and materials
Principle:  Layout must facilitate efficiency

Method: 5S

Tools: 5S audit


Principle: The hands should be relieved of all work that can be done more advantageously by a jig, a fixture, or a foot-operated device.
Method: Jig and Fixture design


ECRS Method


        Eliminate, Combine, Rearrange, Simplify - ECRS Method - Barnes

Miles' Principles of Value Engineering


Avoid generalities
Get all available costs
Use information from the best source
Blast create and refine
Use real creativity
Identify and overcome roadblocks
Use industry experts to extend specialized knowledge
Get a dollar sign on key tolerances
Utilize vendors’ available functional products
Utilize and pay for vendors’ skills and knowledge
Utilize specialty processes
Utilize applicable standards
Use the criterion, “would I spend my money this way?”

Principles of Ergonomics


1. Work in neutral postures
2. Reduce excessive forces
3. Keep everything in easy reach
4. Work at proper heights
5. Reduce excessive motions
6. Minimize fatigue and static load
7. Minimize pressure points
8. Provide clearance
9. Move exercise and stretch
10. Maintain a comfortable environment

     Good explanation with illustrations is available in  
     http://www.danmacleod.com/ErgoForYou/10_principles_of_ergonomics.htm

Principle of Difference in Productivity
    In group of workers, there can be a difference of 100% between the least productive worker and the most productive worker.

Principles relating Wage differentials (incentives - efficiency reward)  and Motivation
    The productive workers have to be recognized and compensated through higher wages in the form of incentives for the extra production. Otherwise, they lose the motivation and produce only an amount equal to low productive workers.

Principles of Engineering Economics
    Every investment or expenditure proposal of an industrial engineer must contribute to profits or return on the investment or expenditure exceeding the cost of capital.

Principles of System Optimization
     There are mathematical methods that help industrial engineers to set system parameters that result in minimum costs or maximum profits with the given data (cost and return figures and alternative values for variables)

Principles Statistics
      The mass of data can be understood by converting it into probability distribution. Important conclusions can be made from the data by converting it into bar diagram, histogram and other graphical aids.

Principles of Mathematical Modeling
       System parameter design problems can be solved by first converting the system description into mathematical expressions and equations.


Principle of Cooperation

It should be stated here emphatically that there is nothing that can permanently bring about results from scientific management, and the economies that it is possible to effect by it, unless the organisation is supported by the hearty co-operation of the men. Without this there is no scientific management. - Gilbreth in Applied Motion Study, Book. Page No. 29-30


An Interesting Book published in 1921
What industrial engineering includes; for industrial executives; 101 things to do, 1001 results others secured
Author: Knoeppel, C.E., & co. (New York). Full book can be downloaded from Archive.Org




The Purpose, Philosophy, Principles and Methods of Industrial Engineering - Video Presentation by Prof. Narayana Rao K.V.S.S.

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Related Article

Basic Concepts, Principles and Methods of Industrial Engineering

Original Knol - http://knol.google.com/k/narayana-rao/industrial-engineering-principles/ 2utb2lsm2k7a/ 2056


Updated  23 May 2017 (Detailed principles of engineering added) 15 June 2016

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Design Thinking and Industrial Engineering



Do industrial engineers need design thinking?

Design Thinking for Managers
Design Thinking can do for organic growth and innovation what TQM did for quality.
http://nraombakc.blogspot.com/2013/08/design-thinking-for-managers.html


Industrial engineers redesign product and processes. Hence development in design process, design thinking is relevant for industrial engineers.

Today I came across an interersting article on design thinking.

NO PROCESS, JUST 4 TENETS OF DESIGN THINKING
Published on April 22, 2017 by Manoj Kothari, Director & Chief Design Strategist - Turian Labs on Linkedin.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/process-just-4-tenets-design-thinking-manoj-kothari

He emphasizes four points:  Empathic Inquiry, Abductive Reasoning, Visual Thinking or Creative Visualization and Iterative Prototyping.

Empathic inquiry is to go and stand in the posture of the users. Go and sit in the posture of the user. Understand the users' requirement from the their point of view. Go and use the item as they are using. Don't come with an ideal way of using it all the 8 hours or more a users uses an item. Understand why he does a thing the way he does it.

Aductive reasoning: Imagine various possibilities.

Visual thinking: Don't use only words to express. Use pictures and visuals.

Iterative prototyping - Once again don't limit yourself to picture or a design drawing. Convert it into prototype that can be seen as a 3D shape and handled.

I think industrial engineers have to accept all the four points and incorporate rate them into their design process.

New Technology - Understanding, Analysis and Improvement by Industrial Engineers


"Industrial engineers design, improve, and install integrated systems of people, materials, information, equipment, and energy." Key among these things we do are improvement and integration. "Industrial engineers are involved in products, processes, and services, from "hard-core" manufacturing to health care and insurance"

Source: "Technology's Impact on the Future of Industrial Engineering"
C. Patrick Koelling, Mario G. Beruvides, and Kriengkrai Tankoonsombut,
Computers ind. Engng VoL 31, No. 1/'2, pp. 5 - 8,1996
19th International Conference on Computers and Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineering improves productivity of production and other engineering systems through redesigning products, processes and optimizing using mathematical and statistical methods. It also uses economic analysis to identify and reject non economic engineering ideas or designs. It measures work, cost and productivity to understand the current performance of engineering systems. It redesign human work to improve productivity. It examines the productivity impact of  management methods and redesigns them also. It also takes responsibility for productivity management of the organization. So whenever a new technology emerges in an organization or a potentially useful technology emerges in the environment industrial engineers have the responsibility to understand it, analyze it and improve it.

Understanding the New Technology

The is the starting point. Because industrial engineers are responsible for productivity measurement and improvement of the use of new technology in the organization, they have to begin understanding it the moment they become aware of it. They have to start reading the articles, the brochures distributed by the sellers of the technology or developers of the technology, attend seminars on technology, and utilise the opportunities to observe the technology in use etc.  

Engineering Economic Analysis

The next step after adequate understanding is the engineering economic analysis. Whenever a new technology appears, industrial engineers have to identify the defender technology in the organization and see whether in the economic analysis the new technology wins or the defender technology wins. If the new technology wins, they have to recommend its adoption. To do engineering economic analysis, industrial engineers have to estimate the costs and benefits of the new technology and defender technology. This forces them to go into more details of the new technology and as they complete the engineering economic analysis, they will have much better grasp of the new technology. 

In case the defender technology wins, the adoption of the new technology is postponed. But industrial engineers have to monitor developments in new technology that are going to improve cost parameters of the new technology. So, industrial engineers have redo engineering economic analysis of new technology versus defender technology periodically to check and find time at which the new technology becomes economically the appropriate choice. In this exercise, industrial engineers become more and more conversant with the technology.

Productivity Assessment and Improvement

Engineering economic analysis is a strategical level analysis in the problem of technology adoption. As the technology is being implemented in the organization various problems crop up and technology implementors come out with various adhoc solutions to solve the teething problems that are more location specific. When  the production bugs are sorted out and commercial production starts, the project of technology implementation is declared success and closed. Now the responsibility of running the facilities with the new technology is transferred to the operations function. Industrial engineers now have the responsibility of recording the actual processes being used by the operations people and evaluate the productivity implications of them. This particular studies can be categorised as "operations industrial engineering analysis." Operation analysis is the term used by H.B. Maynard to study the production process of a component or product. It involves the study of every resource used in the production process to identify waste, come out with an engineering idea to eliminate the waste and do the required design or arrange for the required development and design so that low cost alternatives that eliminate the waste are implemented in the process. This is the productivity improvement contribution by industrial engineers. Productivity improvement studies of a process are to be conducted periodically and also whenever IEs feel that there is a technological development that has the potential to improve productivity of a process. This makes the industrial engineering department responsible for monitoring technology developments that have productivity benefits for the organization.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Optimization Uses Existing Technologies Only

Optimization uses existing technologies only but combines them into a combination that maximizes output or profit or minimizes cost. When a firm is not optimizing its resource combination to produce maximum output of specified products, it is leaving money on the table.
If any component is improved in its function through technology change, there can be further improvement in the output of the optimized system. Invention of new alloys etc. are technological developments.


Industrial Engineering involves search for alternative engineering solutions that provide productivity and thereby cost reduction. Industrial engineering is not the same as optimization. Industrial engineering when doing product engineering understand the present design of the product (if using value analysis and engineering method, they do functional analysis of the components of the product) and come out with low cost value alternatives. The low cost value alternative ideas are engineering into components and product that is less costly but provides all the functions that the earlier design is providing. In the redesign of components/product industrial engineering use optimization.  Similarly in process industrial engineering, industrial engineers  record the process in appropriate charts (earlier 5 method flow process chart is used, now seven waste identifying process chart can be used) and analyze each step to come out with alternative engineering ideas that are incorporated into the process. Once again optimization is used make sure the most optimal combination is used at every step of the new technology.

In Industrial engineering, engineering alternatives come first and then optimization.
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