Sunday, August 12, 2018

Productivity Improvement Process - Role of Science, Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Management

R.M. Currie who developed work study out of Motion and Times Study, described six steps as lines of attack to improve productivity.

1. Improve basic processes by research and development.
2. Improve existing, and provide new plant and equipment
3. Simplify and improve the product and reduce the variety.
4. Improve existing methods of plant operation.
5. Improve the planning of work and the use of manpower.
6. Increase the effectiveness of all employees

Work study has application in lines 4,5 and 6.

The Development and Scope of Work Study
R. M. Currie, M.I.C.E., First Published June 1, 1954 Research Article
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers

What would be the role of industrial engineers in the lines of attack indicated by Currie? That answer is not available at the moment with me. I have to search if any industrial engineer has answered such a question.

Detailed List of Activities in Productivity Improvement Process

In principle,  increasing productivity of various economic activities is a responsibility shared by many intellectual and professional disciplines.

In engineering activities, we can identify, scientists, engineers, industrial engineers and managers as principal categories of professionals that have responsibility for increasing productivity of engineering activities.

We can identify the following as activities or tasks that are to be carried out to improve productivity in engineering activities. No doubt, industrial engineers have taken up the specialist responsibility of improving productivity in engineering activities. They describe themselves, efficiency engineers, productivity engineers, productivity service providers and management service providers.

An attempt is made to create a detailed list of activities to bring into focus many subjects that have a role to play in productivity improvement and industrial engineering activities.


1. Research to create knowledge that helps development of new materials, products, equipment and processes.
2. Research that creates knowledge that helps in making existing products and processes more productive. Industrial engineering researchers have an important role in this type of research.
3.Research in the area of management


3. Development of new materials, products, equipment  and processes.
4. Development of productivity improvement devices, attachments, tools and features.
5. Development process modifications that improve productivity.


Design is scaling up the developed solutions to fit the dimensions of application. Design involves form design and strength design. The form design is based on the developed solution. Strength design is based on stress analysis and strength of the material being used. Concurrent industrial engineering needs to be practiced in this stage.

6. Design of new products that are more productive
7. Design of equipment that is more productive
8. Design of new processes that are more productive
9. Design of production systems that are more productive.
10. Design of management procedures that are more productive.
11. Using optimization in design
12. Using samples in processes.
13. Engineering economic analysis
14. Design of payment systems and incentive systems
15. Design of communication systems
16. Design of data processing system


17. Replacement decision
18. Productivity analysis and engineering of products
19. Productivity analysis and engineering of processes
20. Productivity analysis and enhancement of equipment
21. Productivity analysis and enhancement of tools and accessories

Operations - Day to Day working

Production planning - IEs to evaluate and improve planning procedures.
Project planning - IEs to evaluate and improve planning procedures.
Employee involvement in productivity improvement suggestions.
Productivity improvement workshops, events

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