Wednesday, December 26, 2012


 Review Article


About Review Knols on Articles in Maynard's Handbook

This article is a knol in the tradition of review proposed by knol.
After reading a knol you can present your view in a review on the knol.
I am trying to summarise the article in the Maynard's handbook and simultaneously express my views regarding the topic. I advocate certain changes in the focus and practice of industrial engineering and I wish to bring out these ideas of mine in these review knols.
These knols will be continuously revised by me in response to comments made by visitors.
Review knol on
(Maynard's Industrial Engineering Handbook)

Louis A. Martin-Vega
National Science Foundation, Arlington,Virginia
Louis A. Martin-Vega, Ph.D., P.E., is currently the director of the Division of Design,Manufacture, and Industrial Innovation at the National Science Foundation in Arlington,Virginia.

He is on leave from Lehigh University. He is a professor and former chairman of the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering. Prior to joining Lehigh, he held the Lockheed Professorship at Florida Institute of Technology. Martin-Vega’s research and consulting interests are in the areas of production and manufacturing  systems. 




The purpose of industrial engineering is human effort engineering and systems efficiency engineering (Narayana Rao).

Historical events in industrial engineering are covered in detail in Emerson and Naehring,  Saunders, Shultz , Nadler , Pritsker, and Turner et al.  Since the history of industrial engineering is strongly linked to the history of manufacturing, Hopp and Spearman  is a  particularly interesting reference that  has relevant exposition of the history of American manufacturing.

Early Origins  of Engineering

There are centuries-old examples of early engineering practice and accomplishments, such as the Pyramids, the Great Wall of China, and the Roman construction projects but, it was not until the eighteenth century that the first engineering schools appeared in France.The need for greater efficiency in the design and analysis of bridges, roads, and buildings resulted in principles of early engineering concerned primarily with these topics being taught first in military academies (military engineering). The application of these principles to nonmilitary or civilian endeavors led to the term civil engineering. Interrelated advancements in the fields of physics and mathematics laid the groundwork for the development and application of mechanical principles.The need for improvements in the design and analysis of materials and devices such as pumps and engines resulted in the emergence of mechanical engineering as a distinct field in the early nineteenth century. Similar circumstances, albeit for different technologies, can be ascribed to the emergence and development of electrical engineering and chemical engineering. 
As has been the case with all these fields, industrial engineering  also developed initially from empirical evidence and understanding and then from research to develop a more scientific base.

Empirical Roots and Early Thinkers

The empirical roots of the profession date back to the Industrial Revolution, which began in England during the mid-eighteenth century.
The concept of a production system, which lies at the core of modern industrial engineering practice and research, had its genesis in the factories created as a result of innovations in industrial revolution.

The concepts presented by Adam Smith in his treatise The Wealth of Nations also lie at the foundation of what eventually became the theory and practice of industrial engineering. His writings on concepts such as the division of labor and the “invisible hand” of capitalism served to motivate many of the technological innovators of the Industrial Revolution to establish and implement factory systems. Examples of these developments include Arkwright’s implementation of management control systems to regulate production and the output of factory workers, and the well-organized factory that Watt, together with an associate, Matthew Boulton, built to produce steam engines.

An early contributor to concepts that eventually became associated with industrial engineering was Charles Babbage. The findings that he made as a result of visits to factories in England and the United States in the early 1800s were documented in his book entitled On the Economy of Machinery and Manufacturers. The book includes subjects such as the time required for learning a particular task, the effects of subdividing tasks into smaller and less detailed elements, the time and cost savings associated with changing from one task to another, and the advantages to be gained by repetitive tasks. In his classic example on the manufacture of straight pins, Babbage extends the work of Adam Smith on the division of labor by showing that money could be saved by assigning lesser-paid workers (in those days women and children) to lesser-skilled operations and restricting the higher-skilled, higher paid workers to only those operations requiring higher skill levels. Babbage also discusses notions related to wage payments, issues related to present-day profit sharing plans, and even ideas associated with the organization of labor and labor relations

Babbage’s ideas got further support by the efforts of Eli Whitney and Simeon North’s innovation of interchangeable parts. Under Whitney’s system, the individual parts were mass-produced to tolerances tight enough to enable their use in any finished product. The division of labor called for by Adam Smith could now be carried out to an extent never before achievable, with individual workers producing single parts rather than completed products. The result was a significant reduction in the need for specialized skills on the part of the workers—a result that eventually led to the industrial environment, which became the object of study of Frederick W. Taylor, the person who was given the honor being name founder of industrial engineering or father of industrial engineering.

Pioneers of Industrial Engineering

Frederick Taylor, Frank Gilbreth and Harrington Emerson have to be given the principal credit for giving birth to industrial engineering discipline. Taylor and Gilbreth worked in the area of human effort engineering that promotes efficiency in production systems. Emerson specifically worked on the efficiency dimension of systems.

Taylor and Scientific Management

One cannot presume to be well versed in the origins of industrial engineering without reading Taylor’s  books: Shop Management and The Principles of Scientific Management. An engineer to the core, he earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and developed several inventions for which he received patents. His engineering accomplishments would have been sufficient to guarantee him a place in history. His contributions to management that resulted in a set of principles and concepts  which were considered by Drucker to be “possibly the most powerful as well as lasting contribution America has made to Western thought since the Federalist Papers.”
The core of Taylor’s system consisted of breaking down the production process into its component parts and improving the efficiency of each. He honed manual tasks to maximum efficiency by examining each component separately and eliminating all false, slow, and useless movements. Mechanical work was accelerated through the use of jigs, fixtures, and other devices—many invented by Taylor himself. In essence, Taylor was trying to do for work units what Whitney had done for material units: standardize them and make them interchangeable.
Improvement of work efficiency under the Taylor system was based on the analysis and improvement of work methods, reduction of the time required to carry out the work, and the development of work standards. With an abiding faith in the scientific method, Taylor’s contribution to the development of “time study” was his way of seeking the same level of predictability and precision for manual tasks that he had achieved with his formulas for metal cutting.
Taylor’s interest in what today we classify as the area of work measurement was also motivated by the information that studies of this nature could supply for planning activities. In this sense, his work laid the foundation for a broader “science of planning”: a science totally empirical in nature but one that he was able to demonstrate could significantly improve productivity.
To Taylor, scientific management was a philosophy based not only on the scientific study of work but also on the scientific selection, education, and development of workers. His classic experiments in shoveling coal, which he initiated at the Bethlehem Steel Corporation in 1898, not only resulted in development of standards and methods for carrying out this task, but also led to the creation of tool and storage rooms as service departments, the development of inventory and ordering systems, the creation of personnel departments for worker selection, the creation of training departments to instruct workers in the standard methods, recognition of the importance of the layout of manufacturing facilities to ensure minimum movement of people and materials, the creation of departments for organizing and planning production, and the development of incentive payment systems to reward those workers able to exceed standard outputs. Any doubt about Taylor’s impact on the birth and development of industrial engineering should be erased by simply correlating the previously described functions with many of the fields of work and topics that continue to play a major role in the practice of the profession and its educational content at the university level.

Taylor contributed technological progress, a concept used in Economic Theory of Growth to refer to increase in output from the same amount of resources. Taylor's human effort engineering resulted in the increased output from same manpower resources. 

Frank Gilbreth

Frank Gilbreth’s application of the scientific method to the laying of bricks produced results that were as revolutionary as those of Taylor’s shoveling experiment. He  extended the concepts of scientific management to the identification, analysis, and measurement of fundamental motions involved in performing work. By applying the motion-picture camera to the task of analyzing motions he was  able to categorize the elements of human motions into 18 basic elements or therbligs. This development marked a distinct step forward in the analysis of human work, for the first time permitting analysts to design jobs with knowledge of the time required to perform the job. In many respects these developments also marked the beginning of the much broader field of human factors or ergonomics.

Lillian Gilbreth, wife of Frank Gilbreth,  provided significant insight and contributions to the human issues associated with their studies. Lillian’s book, The Psychology of Management (based on her doctoral thesis in psychology at Brown University), advanced the premise that because of its emphasis on scientific selection and training, scientific management offered ample opportunity for individual development, while traditional management stifled such development by concentrating power in a central figure. Known as the “first lady of engineering,” she was the first woman to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering and is generally credited with bringing to the industrial engineering profession a concern for human welfare and human relations that was not present in the work of many pioneers of the scientific management movement.

Harrington Emerson - The efficiency focus

Emerson became a champion of efficiency independent of Taylor and summarized his approach in his book, the Twelve Principles of Efficiency.

Emerson, who had reorganized the workshops of the Santa Fe Railroad, testified during the hearings of the Interstate Commerce Commission concerning a proposed railroad rate hike in 1910 to 1911 that scientific management could save “a million dollars a day.” Because he was the only “efficiency engineer” with firsthand experience in the railroad industry, his statement carried enormous weight and served to emblazon scientific management on the national consciousness.

Later in his career he became particularly interested in selection and training of employees and is also credited with originating the term dispatching in reference to shop floor control, a phrase that undoubtedly derives from his railroad experience.

Efficiency Society organized by Emerson later merged with Taylor Society to form Society for Advancement of Management.
To be developed further


Related Knols

Original post in Knol
Knol No. 538

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Information Technology Systems Cost Reduction - Theory and Research Papers

Reducing the Cost of IT operations Is Automation always the Answer?

Reducing operational costs through MIPS management
 L.M. Kwiatkowski & C. Verhoef
Department of Computer Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
De Boelelaan 1081a, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Strategic Perspectives in Industrial Engineering - Course Page

Industrial Engineering is Human Effort Engineering and System Efficiency Engineering.

Industrial Engineering is a strategic function for enterprises.

Peter Drucker said human resource management on the shop floor or office is based on the theories of industrial engineering only. When human resources and their effort and performance are strategic, industrial engineering is strategic.

Efficiency or elimination of waste reduces costs and increases profit to optimal level subject to the revenue generation constraints. Revenue generation depends on the market potential and marketing efforts. Industrial engineering helps the organizations to realize the maximum profit from the revenue using both technological and managerial options to plan and control costs. Management methods like total productivity management, total industrial engineering and total cost management implemented through industrial engineering departments contribute to long term profit planning and annual profit planning. As these exercises are part of strategic plans, industrial engineering function is a partner in strategic decision making.

A board position for Director of Efficiency is to be there and it is good to note that some organizations have that position. For instance, Jim Easton is Director of Improvement and Efficiency on NHS Commissioning Board. July 2012   )

Strategic Importance of Productivity Improvement

Competition ensures that higher productivity firms increase their market share at the expense of the less productive.  These low productivity firms may then exit the market, and are replaced by 6 higher productivity firms.  There is strong empirical evidence of  these processes and their effects on productivity.
Report of Office of Fair Trading, UK Report 2007 on Productivity  and Competition.

Students are an important part in creating the future of industrial engineering be it by generating new ideas, researching and developing the recently published ideas, commiting themselves to recent successfully implemented techniques, and collecting case studies of successful implementations of currently popular techniques. Therefore, this course encourages students to get engaged with strategic importance and  scope of industrial engineering and develop each theme.

Innovation is a journey that starts with an idea and ends with a delighted customer.
Generate ideas first and develop them into implementable technology. Understand the customer desires and design a commercial product. Test with the customer and improve the product till the customer is delighted with product offering.

Contents of the course

1. Role of  Industrial Engineering in Strategy of the Organization - - Introduction

    Porter's two main strategic alternatives - Cost leadership and Uniqueness or unique performance 
    Industrial Engineering: Current Important Initiatives

    See the sample chapter of a book on IE and Manufacturing Engg. by Berman Cylingir Kayis
    Nadler's chapter in Salvendy's Handbook, 1992 is quoted there.

    Strategic Themes - How are they used and why?   
    Gail S Perry, Vice President, Strategic Solutions, Balanced Scorecard Institute, Industrial Engineering and MBA

    Top 10 Opportunities in 2013 in service industries or business - E&Y Survey
    2. Investing in process, tools and training to achieve greater productivity
    The survey results suggest that the principal barriers to improving productivity are:
    A lack of investment in skilled personnel
    An insufficient budget to make the necessary process investments
    An organizational focus on competitors, rather than on operational effectiveness
    Mckinsey 2010 article - Productivity Imperative for Developed Nations

    Systemic Practice of Industrial Engineering

    Cost leader strategy - Porter's Book - Competitive Strategy
    Cost Leader Strategy - P J Barney
    Cost Leader Strategy - Strickland

2. Total Cost Management and Industrial Engineering

    Cost Leadership Strategy - Porter - Role of Total Cost Management
     Article Collection  on Total Cost Management
     Interesting paper published in 2002 Cost Measurement and Analysis: A Necessary Part of Industrial Engineering Education and Training. Read the paper online from:
     Summary at:
     Cost Measurment: Tools and Methodology for Cost Effectiveness Analysis -1972
     Rand Organization Paper
      Cost forecasts for various technology power plants up to 2050 - NREL Report

      Total Cost Management Movement in India

      Modelling cost management maturity  - CII model

      Total Cost Industrial Engineering

3. Total Productivity Management

     Total Productivity Management and Total Cost Management by including realization of Learning Effect Results
      Chapter in Maynard's Handbook 5th Edition
       Total Productivity Management - Top down production management in Japan
      1997 paper by Nakamura
       Impact of Management Practices on Total Factor Productivity - Eritrean Fishing Companies

4. Total Industrial Engineering

     The concept being advocated by Yamashina as part of his WCM strategy.
     Total Industrial Engineering contributing to Total Productivity Management and Total Cost Management
     World Class Manufacturing by Yamashina
     Industrial engineers can take some steps to involve all employees in improvement activities. See citizen's science initiatives.

     Mura, Muda, Muri
     MUDA( Waste) MURI( Strain) MURA( Discrepancy).
     Muda: Waste
     Muri: “Overburden” or “Unreasonableness” – in short, asking someone to do something which he should not have to do, or which cannot be done.
     Mura: “Inconsistency” or “Unevenness” – wildly varying the workload, introducing instability into the process (usually from external factors).
     A Study of the Tovota Production System From an Industrial Engineering Viewpoint
     by Shigeo Shingo - Summary

5. Current Concerns of Boards in the area of Efficiency

    Boards Look for Efficiency With IT - November 2011
    IT Cost Reduction Initiatives:
    Cost Reduction in Imaging and Output infrastructure
    IT Cost Reduction - Accenture insights  - 2012
    Article for each step recommended in Accenture Report
    Information Technology Systems Cost Reduction
    Reducing the waste in the testing cycle
    Federal Marketplace for Data Center Capacity - Webinar Video

    Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation
    Google book

    Lean Software Development and IT Enabled Services - Collection of Books and Articles - NRao

6. Lean Supply Chain

7. Sustainability Movement and Industrial Engineering

   Manufacturing and the Science of Sustainability
   Keynote Address byTimothy G. Gutowski
   Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambrige, MA 02139
   2011  - Important Paper
   Industrial Engineering and Sustainability - Bibliography
   Importance of Industrial Ecology subject in Engineering Education (IE assignment)
   Sustainability and Resource Productivity - McKinsey Page

   The Emerging Roles of Industrial Engineers in Preventing Pollution and Creating a Sustainable Environment


   A Guide to Integrating Value Engineering, Life-Cycle
   Costing, and Sustainable Development in FEDERAL FACILITIES, USA - 2001

8. Scientific Management Theory


Review the preface and first chapter of the book

2. Manufacturing Rationality: The Engineering Foundations of the Managerial Revolution
By Yehouda Shenhav
Oxford University Press, 1999
Preview available in

3. AN INSTITUTIONAL ECONOMIC RECONSTRUCTION OF SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT: ON THE LOST THEORETICAL LOGIC OF TAYLORISM.  Wagner-Tsukamoto, Sigmund. Academy of Management Review. Jan2007, Vol. 32 Issue 1, p105-117. (Note: Down load from Ebsco Host database of the institute)

9. Strategic Industrial Engineering

    Paper on Strategic Industrial Engineering

    Universiteit Stellenbosch University - South Africa

   Strategic Productivity by Marketable Technology

   Thesis on Strategic Indutrial Engineering Philosophy P.S. Leonard 2004

10. Review of Current Research in Industrial Engineering Related to Strategic Themes

      Total Cost Management and Cost Management
      Total Productivity Management and Productivity Management
      Total Industrial Engineering and Enterprise Level Industrial Engineering
      Cost Leadership Strategy - Opportunities and Required Processes
      IT Cost Reduction
      Lean Supply Chain
      Sustainability and Environmental Management - Role of Industrial Engineering Departments and Discipline
      Maintenance Efficiency Improvement and Total Productive Maintenance Movement
      Six Sigma
      Value Engineering

       We review

Value Chain Analysis 

in this topic

     1.   Value Chain Analysis IMA Note
       Interoperability cost analysis of US automotive sector

           Value chain analysis - A Strategic approach to online learning

       Alok Chakraborty - Value Chain Analysis - Note


Introduction to Industrial Engineering Course Page

Related Articles, Papers and Presentations

Strategic Perspective - Supply Chain Manufacturing Activities

A Strategic Perspective on Value - 2009 - Rockwell Automation
Value of a supplier services

Latest Trends in IE Prof Scott Sinks answer in Linked Discussion for the topic
What are the latest trends in Industrial Engineering? I am looking for some answers by the experts in this field. Thanks

Based on my meetings with the Council on Industrial Engineering (a senior IE leader at Boeing, Kraft, Hershey, Disney, GM, Walmart, Deere, Campbell, Vought-Triumph, and others), I'd say the top 10 are

1--Business Requirements Definition Design for new Systems
2--Strategic Performance Improvement Planning Systems/Processes/Deployment/Execution
3--Integrated Lean and SixSigma
4--overall system architecture for Improvement at all levels, continuous, DMAIC, Design for LeanSigma, Business Process Improvement, Business Process Reengineering
5--key roles in Enterprise Transformation
6--Information Technology  -  Enablement Design and Rationalization/Improvement
7--Benefits Realization from ERP implementations
8--Change Leadership and Management assurance
9--Improved Implementation Effectiveness and Yield Loss reduction
10--Performance Measurement System Design, Development and Deployment; all levels

$2 Trillion Waste In IT Systems? What are we doing?

The IT Revolution estimates that currently 20% of IT spend of $10 trillion can be the waste. This figure comes to $2 trillion. What are we doing?

Already IT spend analysis is a board room issue.

Leading consultants like Accenture are coming out with reports on IT cost control.

Productivity improvement and cost/waste reduction were taken up for investigation and advocacy by authors like Popendiecks.

Industrial engineers are into action. IIE has a blog IE in IT.

Collection of Articles/Reports dealing with IT Cost Reduction

    Boards Look for Efficiency With IT - November 2011
    IT Cost Reduction Initiatives:
    Cost Reduction in Imaging and Output infrastructure
    IT Cost Reduction - Accenture insights  - 2012
    Collection of articles on each opportunity mentioned in the Accenture article
    Information Technology Systems Cost Reduction

    Reducing the waste in the testing cycle
    Federal Marketplace for Data Center Capacity - Webinar Video

    Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation
    Google book

    Lean Software Development and IT Enabled Services - Collection of Books and Articles - NRao

Incorporating Deming, Goldratta Ideas in Computer Science - A Presentation
YouTube Video


Friday, December 14, 2012

Information Systems Industrial Engineering - Online Book

This is the first pass attempt to assemble online and print articles related to the subject

Software Value Engineering

Industrial Engineering in Computer Engineering and Information Technology

Software Value Engineering

Information Productivity Improvement - Bibliography

TPS in Software Develpment - The Seven Wastes in Software Development

Lean Software Development and IT Enabled Services

Software Process Efficiency - Bibliography

Cloud Computing - Cost Reduction Technology - Adoption Case Studies and News

Value Engineering Computer Room Lightning
1984 Save Proceedings

Understanding Software Process Redesign using Modeling, Analysis and Simulation
Presented at the ProSim'99 Workshop on Software Process Simulation and Modeling, Silver Springs, OR 27-29 June 1999
Revised version to appear in Software Process-Improvement and Practice.
Walt Scacchi
Information and Computer Science Dept.
University of California
Irvine, CA 92697-3425 USA

A coordination theory approach to process description and redesign
Kevin Crowston and Charles Osborn
CCS WP #204 SWP # 4029
July 1998

Information Systems - Industrial Engineering  - 4 year course
Binus University

Friday, December 7, 2012

Two Kinds of Technology of Industrial Systems

I explain that role of Industrial engineering by stating that all systems are designed by functional systems specialists first and then they are evaluated and improved by industrial engineers. Industrial engineering is a specialized engineering activity. Safety engineering, reliability engineering etc. are some more specialized engineering branches that have a role in systems design.

In management systems also the original design is done by that functional management specialist and industrial engineers improve efficiency in the next iteration of design.

Quan-qing Li and Ming Li of Zhengzhou Institute of Aeronautical Industry Management expressed the same view in their paper "Thinking about the Application and Development Strategy of Industrial Engineering" presented in the IEEE 2011 conference on Industrial Engineering.

Every system has inputs, conversion process and output. The system design involves both specialized engineering technology and industrial engineering technology. The specialized engineering technology solves the problem of "is it possible?"  It makes the system come into existence and deliver the required output. It is industrial engineering technology that will make the system give good output from the given resources. It makes the system run with high efficiency and low cost. "Improving elements of operations" and "Seeking optimization" are the characteristic of Industrial engineering.

Many times entrepreneurs neglect industrial engineering because even without IE, the system is running and giving desired output. The short-sighted entrepreneurs do not see the waste that is being incurred in the system. Many times it is invisible to them until they lose the battle in the market place due to high cost of their product.