Sunday, June 30, 2013


Industrial engineering the Toyota Production System - Summary

Denis R. Towill, (2010) "Industrial engineering the Toyota Production System", Journal of Management History, Vol. 16 Iss: 3, pp.327 - 345

 The paper is intended to highlight the undervalued industrial engineering contribution of the Gilbreths to the Toyota Production System. Typical of all innovative engineering projects, TPS brings together, sifts, and successfully adapts ideas from many sources. Critically, TPS is manifestly a system, in which case the totality is (much) greater than the sum of the constituent parts. Furthermore effective linking of the latter is critical in enabling improved throughput. The viewpoint here is that the Toyota Production System is an evolutionary output with some of its roots clearly traceable back to method study combining multiple flows together with more informed design principles and control strategies. The quality movement helped to enable what was ordered to actually become useful goods (as distinct from making scrap). There are three traceable pathways connecting method study and TPS, which were pursued in paper. These include the Japanese Management Association activities; the lecture activities of Lillian Gilbreth and her associates; and  the Scientific Management Movement and FW Taylor.

              Other related topics include the contributions of the quality movement, JIT designers, and the industrial engineering viewpoint of Shigeo Shingo (1989). The cultural implications of successful TPS implementation compared to earlier industrial relations problems are also exemplified in the paper. An important adjunct is the positing of “contemporary” industrial engineering.

However, the  author is apparently still anchored in the “traditional” IE more reminiscent of the inter-war years. Simple vision for TPS – the achievement of continuous material flows. We also examine the “systems” context of TPS operation which ensures the whole is greater than the sum of the constituent parts.

 Continuous material flow

                Crystal Hall project in UK has many features of TPS. Important contributions to the future of logistics and mass production were undoubtedly made in the execution of this massive project. The real innovation was in the process of producing the components, delivering them to the site, and putting them together. Wilkinson (2000) thus comments:

                The exhibition hall was not built. It was assembled. The various parts (including cast-iron columns, wrought iron beams, wooden components, and glass were made all over the UK and delivered directly to the exhibition site by train. They arrived more or less ready for use, and at the right time and were taken straight to the place where they were needed.  From the supermarket we got the idea of viewing the earlier process in a production line as a kind of store. The later process (customer) goes to the earlier process (supermarket) to acquire the needed parts (commodities) at the time and in the quantity needed. The earlier process immediately produces the quantity just taken (re-stocking the shelves). To achieve this in Toyota, Ohno had to make many major changes to production operations. Because the supermarket logistics were designed to replenish only what had just been taken in a timely manner, lot sizes had to be drastically reduced. Hence, the Single-Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) initiatives (Shingo, 1989). To achieve the efficiencies needed, Ohno and his Toyota colleagues engineered many creative ways to reduce such changeovers. 


Holistic view of TPS

        In their seminal paper, Spear and Bowen (1999) argue that to unravel the DNA of TPS the key factor to understand is that the (surprisingly) rigid specification is the very thing that makes the flexibility and creativity possible. That conclusion was reached by Spear and Bowen (1999) based on an extensive four-year study of the Toyota Production System. They examined the inner workings of more than 40 plants in the USA, Europe, and Japan, some successfully operating the system, but some were not. These authors studied artifacts produced in both continuous process  and discrete manufacturing companies. Products ranged from prefabricated housing, auto parts and final auto assembly, cell phones, and computer printers through to injection-moulded plastics and aluminium extrusions. They studied not only routine production work but also service functions such as equipment maintenance, workers’ training and supervision, logistics and materials handling, and process design and redesign.

 The Gilbreth's “four step” approach

(1) To define the current situation noting anything that could have any possible effect on the job and its performance.
(2) To analyse the job using the special equipment he had either invented or adapted for use for this purpose and supported by one of the several systems of analysis that he had also developed.
(3) To examine the results of these analyses, cutting out any part of the job he found unnecessary, combining different parts where possible and, if practicable, designing equipment that would reduce still further the motions to do the job.
(4) Taking what was left of the job to synthesise this into a new job method which was, to him, the best way the job could be done in the given situation.

Productivity, Safety, Comfort, and Operator Health Management - Article Collection

Productivity, Safety, Comfort, and Operator Health Management

Productivity, Safety, Comfort, and Operator Health Management


Collected Knols

All new links. Links removed for articles no longer available on Knol.


Worker productivity, and occupational health and safety issues in selected industries
Ashraf A. Shikdar, , Naseem M. Sawaqed
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 33, Al-Khod 123, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Computers & Industrial Engineering
Volume 45, Issue 4, December 2003, Pages 563–572

Technology-Man Integration - The Big Achievement of Industrial Engineering

F.W Taylor and Frank Gilbreth worked on principles of motion economy, motion study, stop watch time study, wage payment plans, incentive plans, motion economy devices and made man-machine integration more efficient and productive. Thus technology-man integration is a big achievement of industrial engineering. Ergonomics developed into a big discipline and is helping industrial engineering profession by providing theories and data on human factors.

From this foundation industrial engineering developed method study, which is study of complete process for producing a component or a product, value engineering - evaluation of the product design for cost reduction, and operations research - optimization of various systems having multiple variables with divergent behavior.

The Technology Integration of Man - by Scott Klososky

Man-machine Integration Design and Analysis System (MIDAS) v5:
Augmentations, Motivations, and Directions for Aeronautics Applications
Brian F. Gore, PhD
Mail Stop 262-4
P.O. Box 1
Moffett Field, CA, USA 94035-0001

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Design of Statistical Industrial Experiments

A systematic approach to planning for a designed industrial experiment
David E. Coleman
Alcoa Laboratories
Alcoa Center, A 15069

Douglas C. Montgomery
Industrial Engineering Department 
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ 85287

Design of experiments and analysis of data from designed experiments are well-established
methodologies in which statisticians are formally trained. Another critical and rarely taught
skill is the planning that precedes designing an experiment. This article suggests a set of tools
for presenting generic technical issues and experimental features found in industrial experi-
ments. These tools are predesign experiment guide sheets to systematize the planning process
and to produce organized written documentation. They also help experimenters discuss com-
plex trade-offs between practical limitations and statistical preferences in the experiment. A
case study involving the (computer numerical control) CNC-machining of jet engine impellers
is included.


Learning Curve - Experience Curve - Bibliography

Louis E. Yelle, University of Lowell
Decision Sciences, Vol 10, Pp 302-328

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Behind the Learning Curve: A Sketch of the Learning Process
Paul S. Adler and Kim B. Clark
Paul S Adler: Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, Stanford University
Management Science, Vol. 37, No.3, March 1991
This exploratory paper sketches some of the behavioral processes that give rise to the learning curve.

The Sociology of Organizations: Classic, Contemporary, and Critical Readings - 2003 - Michael J. Handel - Book Information

SAGE, 2003 - Social Science - 541 pages
For the first time, a single volume offers a comprehensive selection of primary readings and companion overview essays on the sociology of organizations. These readings and essays provide incisive and guided coverage of the subjects normally included in a one-semester sociology of organizations course.  

The Sociology of Organizations covers the full range of theoretical perspectives and substantive topics through readings that are either classics in the field or widely discussed and debated "new classics."  

Scholars and students in the fields of sociology, management, organizational behavior, and organizational psychology and those within political science and economics who are interested in how organizations function will find this work a welcome, invaluable resource.

Google Book link with preview facility

See Chapter 10 Control to Commitment in the Workplace
by Richard E. Walton

Chapter 27 Engineering Culture: Control and Commitment in High Tech Corporation by Gideon Kunda

Design Process Improvement - Bibliography

Design Process Improvement: A Review of Current Practice
John Clarkson, Claudia Eckert
Springer, 01-Jan-2005 - Business & Economics - 560 pages
There is always room for improvement in design. Maybe there is need for a better product, or for a better, more effective and economic, design process-the late delivery of new products has been shown to be the single largest contributor to the loss of company profits in the UK. Our own experience of working with automotive, aerospace and healthcare companies has shown that effective communication, management of change and process planning are essential ingredients for an effective product development process. This book aims to develop an understanding of these issues as a means to facilitate design process improvement. Part I contains a series of review articles written by a team of international experts on models of design, perspectives on design, design practice and design management. Part II provides an introduction to the wealth of academic research on these topics by presenting the activities of research centres from around the world. It is for: business leaders who want to understand the role of design management as a driver for commercial success; design managers who want to improve their company design procedures; designers who want to know how to design more efficiently; researchers who want to explore the field of design process improvement. An up-to-date source of information on design process improvement may be found at:

Improving the Design Process

Reengineering of design and manufacturing processes
Andrew Kusiak, T. Nick Larson, Juite (Ray) Wang
Intelligent Systems Laboratory, Department of Industrial Engineering, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242-1527, U.S.A.
Computers & Industrial Engineering
Volume 26, Issue 3, July 1994, Pages 521–536

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

12 Disruptive Technologies and Their Contribution to Economy by 2025 - McKinsey Report

Immediate Impact Technologies

- Mobile Internet

- Cloud technology

- Knowledge work automation

- Internet of things

Intermediate Impact Technologies

- Energy storage

- Renewables

- Genomics

Long-term Impact Technologies

- 3D manufacturing

- Robotics

- Autonomous vehicles

- Advanced materials


Download full report from McKinsey Site

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Process Improvement and Productivity in Automobile Industry - Technology

Modern Automobile Manufacturing - 2004 report

Construction Process Improvement

Improving Construction Effi ciency & Productivity with Modular Construction
White paper

Ranasinghe, U., Ruwanpura, J., and Liu, X. (2012). ”Streamlining the Construction Productivity Improvement Process with the Proposed Role of a Construction Productivity Improvement Officer.” J. Constr. Eng. Manage., 138(6), 697–706.

Construction innovation and process improvement
Akintola Akintoye Jack Goulding; Girma Zawdie 1946-; Ebrary, Inc.
Chichester England ; Ames, Iowa : Wiley-Blackwell 2012
Title: Construction innovation and process improvement

Description: Machine generated contents note: Chapter 1 Introduction: Learning from other industries.Chapter 2 Innovation and changes in industrial practice.Chapter 3 Management of Change.Chapter 4 Lean production.Chapter 5 Integrated manufacturing.Chapter 6 Concurrent Engineering.Chapter 7 Materials requirements planning.Chapter 8 Just-in-Time manufacturing.Chapter 9 Supply chain management.Chapter 10 Knowledge management applications.Chapter 11 Quick response systems - Agile manufacturing.Chapter 12 Electronic data interchange.Chapter 13 Radio Frequency Identification Devices.

Google Book Link with Preview facility

Performance Improvement in Construction Management
Brian Atkin, Jan Borgbrant
Taylor & Francis, 25-Sep-2009 - Technology & Engineering - 330 pages
Novel research in construction management is often distant from existing practice. This collection of reviews serves to bridge this gap under three major themes: innovation, organisation and human behaviour, and methods and tools.

It outlines a series of successful collaborative projects between industry and the academic and research communities. Many of the authors have worked in technology transfer, as change agents, resolving industrially-relevant problems by using scientifically-based research. The book reveals the source of ideas, data and results to provide a useful resource for researchers, academics and graduate students, and a challenging guide for senior industry managers.
Google Book Link with Preview facility

Construction Process Improvement [Paperback]
Brian Atkin (Editor), Jan Borgbrant (Editor), Per-Erik Josephson (Editor)

Construction process improvement methodology for construction projects
Alfredo Serpell, Luis Fernando Alarcón
International Journal of Project Management
Volume 16, Issue 4, August 1998, Pages 215–221
A methodology developed for construction improvement and waste reduction is presented. This methodology has been successfully applied during the last 3 years to several construction sites in Chile, through consulting services and research studies. The approach includes a set of structured activities and tools that are performed and applied for the identification and evaluation of the problems that produce construction waste, and the causes associated to them. A second stage of the approach corresponds to the development of both short and mid-term solutions in order to act on the factors that produce these problems with the purpose of reducing or eliminating their effects. A summary of the major improvements achieved through the application of this framework is also included to show the potential of this approach, specially in countries where the construction industry is characterized by the low educational level of its workers and the many technological limitations that still pervade some construction sectors, particularly the housing construction sector.

Engineering Statistics - Handbook - Book Information

Chapters of a handbook available at

One chapter is on process improvement - 480 pages

Business Systems Engineering

 Index of concepts
  1. Aa to Az
  2. Ba to Bz
  3. Ca to Cz
  4. Da to Dz  
  5. Ea to Ez
  6. Fa to Fz
  7. Ga to Gz
  8. Ha to Hz
  9. Ia to Iz

 Concept Definition and Explanation


Business systems engineering joins all engineering activities and software processes that have to be achieved in order to develop useful software in business domain.


Agent Business Systems Engineering Development Approach





Related Knols



Business Systems Engineering
by Gregory H. Watson
John Wiley & Sons
Google Books link with preview facility
(Interesting Book)


Research Papers


Agent Business Systems Engineering Development Approach


Management Knowledge Revision Knols

Knols that facilitate revision of various subjects of MBA curriculum to keep management professionals' knowledge fresh

Original knol - / 1225

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Productive Efficiency

In a Wikipedia article productive efficiency is defined at economy level.

Productive efficiency requires that all firms operate using best-practice technological and managerial processes. When all firms operated at optimum productive efficiency,  an economy can extend its production possibility frontier outward, so that efficient production yields more output.

Business Process Improvement - James Harrington - Book Information

Original edition is 1991
Tata McGraw Hill Edition is 2005

The time is ripe for Business Process Improvement. This step-by-step guide shows you how to implement process in your support and service organizations by modifying simple techniques that the manufacturing sector has been using for years, as well as new ones developed just for the white-collar environment. BPI is not an untried theory; it is a proven process developed by Ernst & Young, the world s leading professional service firm, with over 80,000 employees around the world. Companies such as IBM, Corning Glass, and Boeing have already embraced this new approach and seen some startling improvements.

Important for Indians - Tata McGraw Hill Edition is there

Google Book  Link with Preview feature

Table of Contents

Why Focus on Business Processes?
Setting the Stage for Business Process Improvement.
Organizing for Process Improvement.
Flowcharting: Drawing a Process Picture.
Understanding the Process Characteristics.
Streamlining the Process.
Measurements, Feedback, and Action (Load, Aim, and Fire).
Process Qualification.
Benchmarking Process.
The Beginning.
Appendix: Interview Guidelines.

Steamlined Process Improvement - 2011 Book - Book Information

Harrington's process improvement method cuts costs by 60% while improving quality 100%

One of the best-known innovators in the field, Harrington worked in process improvement at IBM for 40 years and was a quality advisor for Ernst & Young for 10 years; he is the author of Business Process Improvement

Shows operations managers how to improve processes by using simulation modeling, risk analysis, innovation techniques, Lean, process variation, and organizational change management

How would you like to streamline your operations, lower your costs, improve your quality, and increase your profits'all at the same time?

It's not an impossible dream. It's the next evolutionary breakthrough in process improvement that goes beyond Process Reengineering, TRIZ, Six Sigma, and Lean to deliver actual, quantifiable results. And now it's yours.

Streamlined Process Improvement (SPI) is the powerful new program developed by H. James Harrington.

After 40 years of improving processes for IBM, Ernst & Young, the Chinese government, and many other private and governmental organizations, Harrington has become the go-to leader in the field. His revolutionary guide shows you how to:

Discover the latest process tools'to make faster, more dramatic improvements using the revolutionary PASIC improvement methodology

Use walk-through questionnaires and checklists'to streamline your job, resulting in optimum value to your stakeholders

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Inkjet Versus Laser Printing - Engineering Economics

2013 March

Basic monochrome laser printer models can be bought for less than £100, although more sophisticated colour versions – with features such as Wi-Fi and duplex printing – can sell for three times that, and more. This compares with the £50 and less that inkjet printers sell for. So a laser will only make sense if the savings on ink outweigh the extra cost of the machine.

Standard laser cartridges – coloured toner (dry ink), typically cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK) – contain a lot of intricate components, print anything from 1,500-3,500 pages but can set you back a hefty £60-£120 each. Still, that compares well with the measly 200 pages you are likely to get from the standard inkjet cartridge costing around £15.

So do laser printers now represent a cost-effective alternative for the home consumer?

"It depends on how many pages you print," says Patrick Stead, head of cartridge recycler Environmental Business Products. "Laser can be better value over the longer term, but the initial outlay can be a lot more."

Hewlett Packard manufactures more than half of the printers sold in the UK. Its bestselling HP Deskjet 3050A inkjet retails for about £90. The cartridges sell for £10-£15 and have a standard page yield of 190 (black) and 165 (colour).

The company's top-selling HP CP2025 colour LaserJet sells for about £300. Cartridges retail for about £110 and have a page yield of 2,800 (colour) and 3,500 (black).

Cursory number-crunching indicates that if you print only, say, 1,000 pages a year – based on ISO standard 5% paper coverage – then the inkjet, at about 5p per page, is better value

But for anyone who prints more than 2,000 pages a year, a laser printer, at about 3p per page, is cheaper. The savings increase the more you print. A screenwriter, for instance, who prints 10,000 pages, stands to save hundreds of pounds by switching.

"If you print a lot of black and white documents then a laser can save you a lot of money," says Laura Heywood, managing director, at laser cartridge remanufacturer Kleen Strike.

But inkjet does have its advantages. At the domestic end of the market the print quality is higher and the colour definition better. "If you print mostly photos then you probably want to stick with an inkjet printer," Heywood adds.

David Connett, editor of industry magazine The Recycler, says: "If you're buying a laser printer, it's important to work out what you're going to use it for before deciding on a model. As a rule of thumb, the cheaper the printer, the smaller the cartridge, and the lower the page yield."

Samsung's ML2160 monochrome laser printer, for example, costs about £50. But the cartridges also cost £50 – and print a comparatively modest 1,500 pages.

"Do not buy a laser printer on price alone," says Heywood. "Always look at the cost of the replacement cartridges and their print yield."

One way to save money on these is to buy refilled cartridges, which can be 30-50% cheaper than the original price, according to the European Toner & Inkjet Remanufacturers Association.

Peter Thompson, director at laser cartridge recycler PBT International, says: "Properly remanufactured laser cartridges are excellent value. But some producers find ways to cut corners, which can result in leakage and sometimes uneven printing. Try to buy from a reputable seller."

Experts say it's always worth investing in a laser that supports duplex printing – printing on both sides of the paper – which cuts down on energy and paper consumption.

"Some laser printers automatically print on both sides," says Connett. "Other models allow you to reinsert pages manually to print the second side. And some do not support duplex printing at all."

It may also be worth buying a printer that is Wi-Fi compatible so that one click of a button will allow you to print, whether from laptop or smartphone.

Thomson concludes: "If you think how little ink is in the average inkjet cartridge compared to the average laser cartridge the economics are in favour of laser. Sometimes the cartridge prices aren't that different. But those for the laser can last an awful lot longer."

What you pay – and what you get

HP CP2025N A4 colour laser printer Cost: Around £350

Speed: Up to 20 pages per minute

Features: Auto Duplex (automatically prints on both sides of a page)

Cartridge cost: Original HP: Colour £110 (2,800 pages at 3.9p per page). Black £120 (3,500 pages at 3.4p per page).

Warranty: One-year limited

Brother HL-4140CN A4 colour laser printer

Cost: Around £200

Speed: Up to 22 pages per minute

Cartridge cost: Standard Brother*: Colour £66 (1,500 pages at 4.4p per page); Black £46 (about 2,500 pages at 1.8p per page)

Warranty: One-year onsite (upon registration)

Oki C301dn A4 colour LED printer

Cost: Around £100

Speed: Up to 20 pages per minute

Features: Auto Duplex (automatically prints on both sides of a page)

Cartridge cost: Original Oki: Colour £64 (1,500 pages at 4.3p per page); Black: £60 (2,200 pages at 2.7p per page)

Warranty: Three-year return to base

(*All page yields based on ISO standard 5% paper coverage.)

Systems Efficiency Engineering - A Focus Area of Industrial Engineeering

Systems efficiency engineering is one of the focus areas of industrial engineering according to me. The other area of focus is human effort engineering.
Functional design of a system and efficiency design of system are different activities. In mechanical engineering, design of a mechanism and design of machine elements to implement the mechanism are different activities. A machine requires first a mechanism design and then machine element design. Then somebody has to do a process design to manufacture each element and then assemble them into an assembly. Similarly functional design of a system and efficiency design of a system are two different activities under division of labor.
Is efficieny engineering a new word that I am coining for the first time? No. Efficiency engineering was used in the past by many authors and thinkers. The new thing that I want to emphasize is the difference between functional engineering or design and efficiency engineering or design. Industrial engineering has focussed on efficiency of systems.
Reference to Efficiency Engineering
Efficiency Engineering –
Requirements for Tools from Industrial Practice
Andreas Möller*, Martina Prox**
University Lüneburg, Scharnhorststr.1, 21335 Lüneburg, Germany
Hamburg, Große Bergstr. 219, 22767 Hamburg, Germany
BMG Efficiency Engineering
Cost Efficiency through Efficiency Engineering
Efficiency Engineering
Efficiency engineering. Improved methods program brings savings in money, manpower.
1: Hospitals. 1969 Aug 16;43(16):77-8 passim.

Taylor, Frederick Winston
Publication: Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History
Publication Date: 01-JAN-00
Taylor promoted his ideas about efficiency engineering of both people and machine processes that would help speed up work.
I am now conceptualizing the two areas of efficiency engineering as Human Effort Engineering and Systems Efficiency Engineering.



Efficiency Improvement Techniques of Industrial engineering 

1. Process Analysis 
2. Operation Analysis 
3. Time study
4. Value engineering
5. Statistical quality control
6. Statistical inventory control and ABC Classification Based Inventory Sytems
7. Six sigma
8. Operations research
9. Variety reduction
10. Standardization
11. Incentive schemes
12. Waste reduction or elimination
13. Activity based management
14. Business process improvement
15. Fatigue analysis and reduction
16. Engineering economy analysis
17. Learning effect capture and continuous improvement (Kaizen, Quality circles and suggestion schemes)
18. Standard costing
19. 5S
20. SMED

Some More References

Improving Information System Efficiency Through Statistical Process Control 
Authors: Kenneth C. Gilbert ; James M. Reeve ;Richard A. Wannemacher

Published in:  Information Systems Management, Volume 7, Issue 2 1990 , pages 8 - 14
Electronic air cleaner improves system efficiency

Improve the Energy Efficiency of Fan Systems
Fan System Assessment Tool (FSAT) Saves Energy

Scientific Management, as it was called, involved the application of the scientific method to understand business problems and improve workplace efficiency. Previously, most managers lacked quantitative data and information and thus often relied on hunches and educated guessed to manage their business. By the early 1900’s, Scientific Management evolved into “efficiency engineering” with its main focus being optimization of a single process (i.e. point optimization), and then later “industrial engineering” whose focus expanded to system optimization – i.e. improvement of interrelated processes.
(M.L. “Bob” Emiliani is a university professor, researcher, author, historian of progressive management, and executive trainer. in
Related Knols

Original knol - Knol Number 869 systems-efficiency-engineering-a-focus-area-of-industrial-engineeering