Friday, April 13, 2012

Organizing for Industrial Engineering: Historical Evolution of Thinking

The Basis for Organization


The organization of an industrial engineering department demands three steps [1].


1. The authority, responsibility and accountability of the department must be clearly mentioned.


2. The department must be integrated in the company plan of organization.


3. Every provision must be made so that the department can effectively perform its assigned tasks.


According to Tully Shelley [1], Principal at McKinsey & Company,  the basic objectives of an IE department are (1) Establishment of methods for controlling production costs and (2) Development of programs for reducing those costs. Shelley discussed his organization plan based on these objectives.



Suggested Organization Patterns


Shelley proposed the following sections under a Chief Industrial Engineer [1]


Methods Section


          Operations analysis

          Motion study

          Materials handling

          Plant layout



Time Study Section


          Time study of direct labor

          Measurement of indirect labor

          Measurement of machine interference



Training Section


          Operator training

          Supervisor training


Wage Programs Section


          Job evaluation

          Wage incentives

          Merit rating


Product Section


          Product design

          Tool design


          Equipment selection


Operations Research Section


          Mathematical model building



If the company has variety of production facilities, the organization can be patterned along production divisions.


Heavy Machine Shop Section

Light Machine Shop Section

Assembly Department Section

General IE Techniques Section



Management Duties of IE Department Head

 Establishing priorities for projects 

Programming the work 

Reviewing the progress of projects

Proposal By Narayana K.V.S.S.
Industrial Engineering department can undertake activities under three major sections.
1. Human Effort Engineering
2. Systems Efficiency Engineering
3. Systems Design, Installation,and Improvement Management.
Areas under Each of the proposed sections
1. Human Effort Engineering
Interface Device Design: Jigs and Fixtures
Motion Design: Motion Study
Posture Design
Comfort Design: fatigue analysis
Safety Design: Safety Aids
Occupational Hazard Analysis Certification
Work Measurement
Operator Training
Incentive scheme design
2. Systems Efficiency Engineering
Methods Study
Value Engineering
Statistical Quality Control
Operations Research
3. Systems Design, Installation,and Improvement Management.
Facilities Design
Production Systems Design
Quality Systems Design
Supply Chain Systems Design
Information Systems Design
Project Management




1. Tully Shelley, “Organizing for Industrial Engineering’, Chapter 3 in Industrial Engineering Handbook, H.B. Maynard (Editor-in-chief), 2nd Edition, McGraw – Hill.







For Further Reading


F.M. Gilbreth, “Organizing for Industrial Engineering”, Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Conference, pp. 14-24, AIIE, 1956.


Raymond Villers, “Organizing for Better Utilization of Industrial Engineers”, Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Conference, pp. 59-63, AIIE, 1959.

Original knol - Number 60

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