Saturday, February 23, 2019

F.W. Taylor - Productivity Engineering of Belting - 1893 - Notes on Belting

Productivity Science - Productivity Engineering - Productivity Management - F.W. Taylor

"Notes on Belting" is the first paper presented by F.W. Taylor on Productivity Engineering. Taylor's commitment to productivity science can be seen in this first paper.  The Paper on Piece Rates presented in 1895 contains both productivity engineering and productivity management aspects.

Taylor wrote in the "Piece Rate" paper that to increase productivity, systematizing that is systematically studying and improving all of the small details in the running of each shop, such as the care of belting, the proper shape for cutting tools, and the dressing, grinding, and issuing tool, oiling machines, issuing orders for work, obtaining accurate labor and material returns, and a host of other minor methods and processes has to be done. Then only on the basis of productivity improvement estimates, piece rates that provide motivation or incentive to operators to participate in the high productivity redesigned process can be given. ti

Incentives are not increasing the productivity. Productivity science and  engineering improve productivity. Incentives are part of productivity management, where by operators are recruited and trained to work in high productivity processes.

"Notes on Belting" 

Presented at the New York Meeting (December, 1893) of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and forming part of Volume XV. of the Transactions.

You can access it from
pp. 204-259.

125 paragraphs are there in the paper.

Important points are extracted and given below

In using belting so as to obtain the greatest economy and the most satisfactory results, the following rules should be. observed : 

2. The chief consideration has been how to get the maximum of work from belting ; while, in making 
up belting tables, the two most important considerations — how to secure the minimum of interruptions to manufacture, and the maximum of durability — have not hitherto received due attention. The one consideration which should have more weight than all others in making up tables and rules for the use and care of belting is how to secure the least possible interruption to manufacture from this source.

3. It is the writer's judgment that belts should be made heavier and run more slowly than theory and accepted rules would indicate, not only for the sake of reducing the belt bill in the long run, but even more to avoid the frequent interruptions to manufacture. In figuring the total expense of belting, and the manufacturing cost chargeable to this account, I think that most careful observers soon come to the conclusion that by far the largest item in this account is the time lost on the machines while belts are being relaced and repaired. This is certainly the case even where the process of manufacture is such that any one machine can be stopped without affecting the running of its neighbors, but far more so in those establishments where the running of a series of machines is dependent one upon another, and the stoppage of one machine involves delays on others. 

4. While working as foreman of a machine shop, the writer became convinced that the belts, which were laced according to the ordinary rnles, were a great source of loss to the company — not so much from the cost of the belting and the labor of lacing as from the incidental delays to the machines, and the diminished output of the shop resulting therefrom. The belting was then shown to be by far the largest source of trouble in the shop.

5. But of equal importance in formulating rules for belting is the knowledge of what tension can be surely maintained through a term of  months, or what elements chiefly affect the durability of belting ; yet these considerations appear to have been rather neglected by experimenters. Very little information could be obtained either as to the cost of maintenance of belts, or in regard to the inter- 
ruptions to manufacture from belting, when used under known and uniform conditions as to tension and general treatment.

8. As a result of experience in the old shop, the tight and loose pulleys on the countershafts were made much larger in diameter and of wider face, so that the belt power from main line to countershafting was made about two and one-half times as great as formerly. All belts were made endless by splicing, glueing, and pegging, instead of lacing or hooking, and double belts were used throughout the shop. 

9. In all cases the countershafts were mounted on independent frames, which could be raised and lowered in tightening the belts by the interposition of wooden packing pieces of varying thickness between the frames and the supporting stringers overhead. For this purpose standard packing pieces, varying by eighths of an inch in thickness, were always kept in the tool room. With this method of tightening it was seldom necessary to resplice a belt, since six to ten inches of stretch could be taken up in the belt, by gradually raising the countershaft, before resplicing became necessary. 

10. Belt clamps were used having spring balances between the two pairs of clamps, so that the exact tension to which the belt was subjected was accurately weighed when the belt was first put on, and each time it was tightened. 

11. Experience soon demonstrated about the length of time that each belt would run without requiring to be tightened, and at approximately regular periods the spring-balance belt clamps were put on to each belt and the tension of same weighed, and the countershaft raised just enough to maintain the belt at its proper tension. For this reason, it was a matter of very rare occurrence that a belt slipped during working hours. And as the belts were generally tightened on Sundays (the shop working night and day), the minimum of delay was caused on the machines from this source.

14. At intervals of about three months for the first two years of the test, aud after this time at intervals of about five months, each belt was scraped clean, and greased with the kind of dubbing recommended bv the maker of the belt. 

15. An accurate account was kept of the original cost of each belt, and every item of expenditure, both for labor and materials used in the maintenance and care of same ; also the exact stretch 
of each belt was recorded, and its method of treatment throughout. 

18. In considering the results of the experiments made,  it should be borne in mind that the belts called " shifting " are those running from the main line of shafting to tight and loose pulleys on the countershafts, and that these belts were used so as to have about two and one half times as great transmitting power as the ordinary belting rules would demand ; while the " cone " belts, extending from the countershaft to the machine, are used according to the ordinary rules for belting. 

63. In considering the above table, the most interesting and important fact noticeable is the superiority of the shifting to the cone belts in every respect except first cost (32), and this superiority is even much greater than the figures would indicate, since, generally speaking, the cone belts which are still in use are nearly worn out, having reached a point at which it is doubtful whether it pays to repair them, while the shifting belts are, to all appearances, in almost as good condition as when they first went into use, and should last twice as long as they have already. 

I think it would be safe to say that the life of the shifting belts will be three times that of the cone (see 30 and 40, with foot-notes), and already the total cost of the shifting belts per year of service is less than that of the cone. (See 41.) 

66. It is interesting to note that after 8.8 years of life the total cost of maintenance and repairs of the shifting belts (33 and 31) amounts to only 30.4% of the original cost, while with the cone belts the maintenance and repairs through a life of 6.7 years amounts to one and one-half times the first cost.

67. In the writer's judgment, by far the greatest point of advantage of the shifting belts lies in the fact that the interruptions to manufacture are nearly seven times as frequent with the cone as with the shifting belts (62), each shifting belt having been tightened or repaired on an average only 6. times during nine years, while the cone belts averaged 32 interruptions * to manufacture in 0.7 years (61) ; the shifting belts having run on an average twenty-two months without tightening, while the cone 
belts ran only two and one-half months (56). 

73. Summarizing the above, we may state that the total life of belting, cost of maintenance and repairs, and the interruptions to manufacture caused by belts, are dependent upon

 (1) the " total load " to which they are subjected, more than upon any other condition ; and that, in our judgment, the other conditions chiefly affecting the durability of belting are : 

(2) Whether the belts are spliced, or fastened with lacing or belt hooks. 

(3) Whether they are properly greased and kept clean and free from machinery oil. 

(4; The speed at which they are run. 

77. Evidently then the most economical total load for belting must lie between 174 lbs. and 357 lbs. per square inch of section of belt.*

For several years past the writer has used the following rules with satisfaction, and he believes them to represent the most economical practice : 

80. The average total load on belting should be 200 to 225 lbs. per square inch section of belt. 

81. Six- and seven-ply rubber belts, and all double leather belts except oak tanned and fulled, will transmit economically a pull of 30 lbs. per inch of width to the rim of the pulley. 

82. Oak tanned and fulled double leather belts will transmit economically a pull of 35 lbs. per inch of width. 

83. The most economical speed for belting is 4,000 to 4,500 feet per minute. 

103. If the principle is correct, of using thick belts on account of their lateral stiffness and consequent durability, it becomes of the utmost importance to determine the minimum diameter of pulley which can be used with a given thickness of belt, and still have the belt last well. The writer is quite sure that double leather belts 2 inch thick will last well and give excellent satisfaction on pulleys as small as 12 inches in diameter, as he has had many belts in use for years under these conditions. 

For some time past he has had a triple leather belt 12 inches wide, 0.56 inch thick, running about 4,5(>0 feet per minute, with an idler pulley pressing liglitly upon it, and transmitting about 100 H.P. to a pulley 12 inches 'diameter. This belt has up to date given excellent satisfaction, and has already lasted much longer than the two double leather belts which preceded it. 

The writer feels certain, from his experience, that it is safe and advisable to use — 

A double belt on a pulley 12 inches diameter or larger, 

A triple belt on a pulley 20 inches diameter or larger, 

A quadruple belt on a pulley 30 inches diameter or larger ; 

and it his opinion that it is advisable to use double, triple, and quadruple belts on pulleys respectively as small as 9 inches, 15 inches, and 24 inches diameter.

104. Regarding the question of fastening the two ends of the belt together, I think it safe to say that the life of belting will be doubled by splicing and cementing the belt, instead of lacing, wiring, or using hooks of any kind. When belts are subjected to the most severe usage, the spliced portion should be riveted, iron burrs being preferable to copper.

109. The best location for the idler pulley on high-speed belts is on the slack side of the belt, and about one-quarter way from the driving pulley. In this position it wears the belt far less than if placed close to the driven pulley, as is customary ; and the tendency of the idler to guide the belt off the pulley, in case it is slightly misplaced or the belt stretches unevenly, is far less. The writer is aware that this is contrary to the accepted theories on the subject, and has only arrived at this conclusion 
after repeated trials.

112. The faces of pulleys should, where practicable, be made about one-quarter wider than the belts which run on them, to allow for possible uneven stretch or running of belt, and a certain amount of chasing. 

120. Belts should be cleaned and greased every five or six months, just enough grease being put on to keep the surface of the belt moist and prevent it from cracking. It was found in the above experiment (see 13) that every three mouths was oftener than belts required greasing. 

123. Serious repairs to belting, as well as to all other machinery in a mill, should be prevented as far as possible by systematic and careful inspection at regular intervals, and the writer has found a tickler, having a portfolio for every day in the year, from which reminders to inspect and examine are 
issued daily, an invaluable aid in caring for the machinery of an establishment. With this method, a belt should rarely slip or give out while in use, and most repairs can be made out of working hours.

124. Much time is saved by having all of the repairs and adjustments to belting made by one or two men. A day laborer can soon be taught to repair belting after working hours, and do it much more thoroughly and systematically than if it is attended to by the high-priced men who run the machines during working hours. 

125. In figuring the probable running expenses of an establishment, it is frequently desirable to know about what the yearly belt bill will average. 

Henry B. Towne 

The paper is remarkable as covering the record of an unusually large series of experiments, inaugurated on an intelligent and exceptionally comprehensive plan, and subsequently consistently carried out during the extraordinary period of nine consecutive years, under conditions not of the laboratory but of actual practice. 

Perhaps the most salient fact, and the most important conclusion of Mr. Taylor's argument, relates to the value of increased thickness of belts, and to the larger and more general use of double belts.

Having established this point, the paper then presents rules, and the experience on which they are based, governing the conditions under which thick belting can most efficiently and economically be used. These rules pertain less to the theory than to the jjractice of belting, and cover the questions of speed, diameter of pulleys, modes of tightening, distance of pulleys apart, kind and frequency of dressing, methods of lacing, and the efficiency of different kinds of belting. Previous investigations have dealt rather with the theory of belting than with the question of economy in its application and use. One of the most valuable features of Mr. Taylor's work consists in determining the conditions of application and use of belting which conduce to the lowest ultimate cost. In other words, his investigation carries the subject through the field of mechanics into that of economics, and reduces the equation finally to a commercial form. However much the theoretical questions involved may interest the student and engineer, the commercial facts are those which chiefly interest and concern the mill manager and owner. In this, as in similar cases, the work of investigation is not completed until it has been carried to a point which includes both mechanical and commercial factors. 

Mr. Taylor has wisely refrained from further investigation of it, and has directed his observations and reasoning to the other elements involved, and for the purpose of arriving at rules for obtaining the best practical and commercial results. The records show that the coefficient of friction is itself variable, and depending upon the kind of belt, the condition of its surface, and other variable factors. Hence it follows that, in most cases, it is practically unnecessary to consider the coefficient of friction at all, the other more important factors which determine the proper conditions of use, especially those conducive to the best economy, and which determine the transmitting efficiency, being such always as to preclude any slipping of the belt.

Mr. Taylor properly gives much consideration to the question of economy in time of men and machines by using belting in such way as to secure the maximum freedom from interruptions to manufacture due to this source. In this, as in other details, his rules aim to secure results which are not only the best mechanically, but also commercially. The evidence submitted sustains the assertion that to obtain the highest economy in belting it is necessary to limit both the initial tension and the total load to a point much below that fixed by former rules, and which Mr. Taylor has sought to deduce from his observations. To accomplish this reduction he resorts to the use of double belting, adduces facts tending to show that this can be used on  pulleys as small as twelve inches in diameter, and shows that, for most uses, double belting is not only as available as single, but in many respects better, more desirable, and more economical. 

He sums up his conclusions by the statement that the most important factor in determining the life of belting, and its cost for maintenance and repairs, is the total load to which it is subjected, meaning thereby the pull per square inch of cross section. Other things being equal, therefore, the life and economy of the belt will, up to a certain limit, vary directly with its thickness. The conclusions on this point are that the point of best economy of total load lies between 174 lbs. and 357 lbs. per square inch of cross section. Mr. Taylor states that he has adopted a limit from 200 to 225 lbs. If his other conclusions and rules are adopted, further observation and experiment may well be addressed to a closer determination of this factor, in order to either verify the correctness of Mr. Taylor's conclusions, or else to indicate a new and better value for adoption in practice. 

Friday, February 22, 2019

Marketing Strategy - Marketing Process for Industrial Engineering

Who has to develop marketing strategy planning for industrial engineering?

Industrial engineering professional associations, Academic institutions and departments of IE, IE departments of companies, Individual IEs, 


How to compete and succeed in a  market place?  One part of the answer is a commitment to creating and retaining satisfied customers.  Second part is adapting to a continuously changing marketplace through market-oriented strategic planning.

Strategic planning calls for action in three key areas. The first calls for managing the services of industrial engineering  as a portfolio of services. Resources in a period must be allocated to various services based on the demand potential. Second, each service has to be assessed for its market growth rate and the position and fit in the market. Based on this assessment objectives and goals are to be fixed for each service and strategy, that is game plan for achieving the objectives and goals is to be made for each IE service.

Marketing plays a key role in the strategic planning process. Customers' needs are the core focus of strategy. 

Marketing Services and Marketing Strategy for IE

Planning at the corporate level, division and business levels is an integral part of the marketing process. Businesses are engaged in delivering value at a profit to customers. This value delivery process can be initiated through a technological development and the producer hires people to make and sell. In this type of value delivery process, marketing takes place in the second half of the value delivery process.

Marketing at the beginning. There is homework or initial work to be done by marketing before a product is conceptualized or designed. The marketing staff have to identify the potential market for the likely product (product idea) and must segment the market and select the appropriate target segment and then only product can be finalized for its specific attributes. Kotler emphasized that segmentation, targeting, positioning (STP) is the essence of strategic marketing.

Once the IE  unit accepts to offer the value proposition supported by marketing as well as operations, further marketing activities include detailed product specifications, distribution system and price decisions. At the next stage, the value proposition is to be communicated in the market so that there are enough potential customers who are aware of the product and will be inclined to buy the product for the trial. Advertising through mass communication channels, public relations, personal selling and sales promotion campaigns are launched in this stage to make actual sales.

To carry out the three marketing activities outlined at the three stages, marketing managers follow the marketing process.

The marketing process consists of analyzing marketing opportunities, developing marketing strategies, planning marketing programs, and managing the marketing effort. (Kotler)

Analyzing Marketing Opportunities

Periodically, marketing managers have to analyze the long-run opportunities in the market or economic environment for improving the IE unit's performance. These opportunities can be for new products. Marketers have to conduct formal research using secondary sources followed by personal, phone, mail surveys, which are further supported by focus groups (primary sources). The data collected is analyzed by statistical tools to identify the effects of various marketing activities. In the marketing research, information related to long-term activities of competitors is also to be collected understood.

Developing Marketing Strategies

The information collected from the marketing research process to support marketing strategy decisions has to be analyzed to find stable and distinct market segments. The needs and potential of each segment needs to estimated and the segment that the market can serve best and make optimal profit is to be determined. For this selected target segment, differentiation decision for the product offered is to be arrived at and positioning strategy has to finalized. While differentiation can be in multiple attributes, position strategy calls for one or two features to be emphasized in communications so that position is associated with the company's product whenever a potential user thinks of the product.  In the case of industrial engineering, various marketing segments of one type of category can be self employed persons, small firms, medium scale firms, large firms, global firms and foreign firms.

The differentiation decision gives the signal for full development of the new product. Marketing has further role to play in the new product development process. The marketing strategy related to the product gets modified based on the life cycle stages: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. The marketing strategy is also influenced by the position the product gets in the competitive market place: leader, challenger, follower and niche player. Internationalization and globalization may become possible or may become necessary at some stage in the product life cycle and marketing strategy may need to redeveloped taking into consideration the expanded market.

Marketing Programs

Marketing strategy decisions have to be converted into marketing allocations of budget and manpower for the marketing tools of the marketing mix.

Marketing mix is a key concept in marketing management and allows orderly thinking of the marketing process.

*Marketing mix is the set of marketing tools that the firm uses to pursue its marketing objectives in the target market. (Kotler)

There are large number of marketing tools. McCarthy provided a categorization for them in terms of four Ps of marketing: Product, price, place and promotion. Under each P, there are number of tools. Some choices are possible in short term frames while some choices may take longer-time. A choice to develop a new product can be implemented in long-term only. To make budget allocations to various possible marketing tools, sales-response functions are developed. The functions indicate how sales would be affected by the various incremental amounts spent on each specific tool.

Product related marketing tools can be related to quality, design,packaging, branding etc.

Price related options or marketing tools would be commissions to wholesalers and retailers, discounts and credit terms.

Place options are related to distribution outlets. In the case of IE services of inhouse IEs and consultant IEs is one choice. Student internship projects is also a choice. IE services offered by operating engineers, supervisors and operators is another option.

Promotion includes personal sales, as well as choice of mass media, events to support and now social media activities.

Marketing strategy making and marketing programs development form the marketing process. Of course these activities are subjected to managerial oversight which is under the activity of managing the marketing effort.

To sum it up Marketing Strategy activity is divided into:

Differentiating and Positioning the Market Offering

Developing New Products

Managing Life-Cycle Strategies

Designing Appropriate Competitive Strategies (LeaderChallenger,, Follower, Nicher)

Designing Global Marketing Strategy

Marketing Programs categorized as:

  • Product related programs

  • Pricing decisions

  • Marketing channel decisions

  • Promotion decisions

Developing Marketing Strategies and Plans - Kotler & Keller- Quick Review



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30 Day MBA Self Study Course - Free Notes

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Planned Revision schedule for marketing chapters is in February and March

Product and Process - Performance and Productivity (Cost Reduction) Improvement

Bain & Company - Performance and Productivity (Cost Reduction)  Improvement

we can help you improve every component of your operations to boost the top and bottom lines.

From targeted solutions that yield an immediate impact to broad transformation programs that redefine how work gets done, Bain can help you take every function within your company to new levels of performance.

Cost Transformation. Eliminate ineffective, nonessential spending, and redirect the savings to the investments that will power your growth. Whether you need a sustained cost transformation effort, want to explore the substantial advantages of zero-based budgeting (perhaps in tandem with zero-based redesign), or need to accelerate a transformation  to quickly achieve cash, cost, capital or revenue benefits, we can help. We can also work with you to drive down costs (and boost revenue) by tackling complexity so that you can devote more focus to customer needs.

Corporate Support. Raise the bar for your support functions, from a focus on efficiency to adding value and embracing digitalization. Transform finance, IT, HR, legal, facilities management and other functions into valued business partners that work together to provide a competitive advantage. If some of these functions are, or should be, centralized as shared services, we can help you maximize the speed, efficiency and quality of the work. And, in cases in which it makes more sense to partner with third parties, Bain can guide you on choosing and working with the best partners so that your sourcing strategy complements your internal capabilities and serves your growth strategy.

Operations. From procurement and supply-chain efficiency to a range of core and cutting-edge manufacturing capabilities, we offer a broad range of experts with deep experience in operations. From the C-suite to the research lab to the shop floor to the customer service center, we can help you improve every component of your operations to boost the top and bottom lines.  (23 February 2019)

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Marketing "Industrial Engineering"

Why industrial engineers have to study marketing management?

Industrial engineers have to study marketing because they have to market "Industrial Engineering."  Because they have to market industrial engineering services.  They can create demand for their services only by marketing them.

What is marketing? One view

Definition of American Marketing Association

Marketing (Management) is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational goals.

According to the definition marketing is applicable to ideas, goods and services. What is industrial engineering?  Is it an idea or a bundle of services? Whether it is an idea or bundle of services marketing is applicable to it.

Does industrial engineering satisfy needs, wants and goals of individuals or organization?

The answer has to be yes from you. Do you agree or not?

The definition says marketing plans the conception of the idea or service.  So to develop the idea or service of industrial engineering on an ongoing basis requires the support of marketing or marketing knowledge.

What can you get as a return for your industrial engineering services? Marketing helps you in giving an answer or getting an answer.

How do you promote industrial engineering services in your target market segment? Marketing helps you in finding the answer.

Do you know? What is the target segment of F.W. Taylor when he first presented his paper "Piece Rate System" in 1895?

How do you solicit customers for IE services? Marketing will provide the support.

Do you know there is an idea called internal marketing? How to market "industrial engineering" internally in an organization? Marketing may provide the answer.

While the above description relates to marketing "industrial engineering" services, productivity engineering has customer orientation right from the beginning. Productivity engineering has linked its growth to the marketing of goods and services and therefore productivity engineers have to understand marketing implications of their productivity efforts through interaction and interface with marketing persons.

Read in more detail

The Marketing Concept - Kotler
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Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Link between Productivity and Sustainability - Circular Economy Concept

Proposition: Productivity improvement helps in preventing environmental degradation and promoting sustainability (planet, profits and people). 

The current efforts to prevent environmental degradation, to promote sustainability, and circular economy identify productivity improvement as one of the solutions to the problem They call for increased productivity and resource efficiency. Industrial engineers, productivity professionals in engineering have to respond to the demand and deliver the required services in various engineering based sectors of the economy. Productivity improvement of material, energy, information systems, machines and even labor (man) contribute to sustainability.

To achieve sustainable development, promoting productivity is a key issue.

For green transformations which aim to decouple the direct connection between human wellbeing, resource use and environmental degradation, the issue of improving resource productivity becomes increasingly important. Resource productivity is the quantity of a good or service that is obtained through the expenditure of a unit of resource.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, Japan uses only 0.3 kg of materials per 1 dollar of its GDP, compared to 6 kg in China, 4 kg in India and 9 kg in Vietnam.

What is the link between productivity, circular economy and the SDGs?
22 May 2017
Patrick Schröder
Research Fellow
Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.

Supporting (and removing obstacles to) circular economy business models can provide a triple win:

increasing productivity and economic growth
improving the quality and quantity of employment
saving lives, by reducing environmental impacts such as water pollution, air pollution and climate change.

Virtuous Circle: How the Circular Economy Can Create Jobs and Save Lives in Low and Middle-income Countries
29 August 2016

Increasing productivity key to revive growth and support sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific
Asia Pacific needs to achieve major productivity gains to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and achieve inclusive growth -  UN ESCAP executive secretary Shamshad Akhtar.
28 April 2016

Full chapter: Increasing productivity for reviving economic growth and supporting
sustainable development - UNESCAP

There are a number of practical steps that have the potential to improve decision making in this context

They involve improving:
the efficiency of resource use
our understanding of ecological systems
our ability to measure the capital stock.
Markulev, A. and Long, A. 2013 On sustainability: an economic approach, Staff Research Note, Productivity Commission, Canberra.

Wuppertal Institute Research Project

"The Wuppertal Institute undertakes research and develops models, strategies and instruments for transitions to a sustainable development at local, national and international level. Sustainability research at the Wuppertal Institute focuses on the resources, climate and energy related challenges and their relation to economy and society. Special emphasis is put on analysing and stimulating innovations that decouple economic growth and wealth from natural resource use."

Increase of Resource Productivity as a Core Strategy for Sustainable Development

07/2005 - 06/2007

 The German Sustainability Strategy and the EU Sustainability Strategy alike intend to focus on an increase of resource productivity. Resource productivity is also an important factor for increasing competitiveness, innovations, environmental protection, and employment.

The project shall develop options on how to reconfigure the framework of economic action in connection with entrepreneurial and sectoral strategies aiming to result in a radical increase of resource productivity.

Three main theses constitute the project's background:

Thesis 1:
A significant increase of resource productivity requires an abolishment of counterproductive incentive structures and the establishment of supporting incentive systems instead. It has to be analysed where favourable incentives should be enforced and where, as far as possible, counterproductive shifting effects, e.g. negative rebound effects have to be reduced. The combination of financial, legal and informational incentives is crucial.

Thesis 2:
Parts of the economy actively work on the increase of resource productivity. Few successes of pioneers, however, do not suffice for followers and diffusion effects, the more so as signals of the economic framework are not precise. The task is to develop increase rates of resource productivity such as those realised in labour productivity systematically.

Thesis 3:
A new incentive structure is required for the increase of resource productivity. Its dynamic is essentially spurred by the private economy. It generates positive macroeconomic effects and minimises intersectoral and interregional shifting of environmental damages at the same time.

Work packages:

Advancement of information systems for the measuring of resource productivity
Identification of restraints, success factors and potentials beyond current trends
Development of incentive structures and instruments
Assessment of hypothetical microeconomic and sectoral enhancement potentials of resource productivity.

Lightweighting - Material Productivity Improvement Method

Lightweighting - Material Productivity Improvement Method

Dec 2018

Lightweighting as method and technology is mature enough now to make a significant impact on manufacturing of cars and air planes and thus help the planet also in promoting less resource consumption. It is a material productivity improvement method.

Gregory E. Peterson is a  principal materials engineer for the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, a consulting organization that helps manufactur­ers improve profits and performance.

The MMTC and Peterson were asked in 2017 to find a lighter alternative to the C2’s steel frame for  and produced a composite frame comprising ultra high-strength steel, aluminum, magnesium and carbon fiber. It weighs 33% (or 89 lb.) less. The frame is also 450% stronger. Thus , the Michigan Manufacturing Technol­ogy Center helped develop an aftermarket Corvette (C2) frame that is lighter and stronger than the original.

The amount of fiberglass in the Corvette has given way to more complex, even lighter composite materials. The Formula One engineers create vehicles that can rocket to 62 mph in about 1.7 seconds and weigh less than 2 tons. They’re so good at lightweighting they have a minimum weight of 1,618 lb.

A thumb rule of  lightweighting is that a 10% weight reduction leads to a 6% to 7% increase in fuel economy.

There are more ways to make cars lighter nowadays. The parts are changing in shape and composition, blending various metals and carbon fiber reinforced plastic, relying on next-gen design software and techniques such as additive manufacturing.

If the structure becomes lighter, other elements do as well, from the suspension to the brakes to the tires.

Apart from speed, more and more the drive is for better fuel economy, or more recently increased range on an electric vehicle. The need to reduce your carbon footprint because governments around the world are demanding it is also promoting lightweighting projects.

Now for various reasons, lightweighting has become a top priority of carmakers. 

Lightweighting could potentially reduce vehicle mass by half and boost fuel efficiency by 35%. That’s dramatic; it will take a lot of work.

Innovations in metallurgy, material science and 3D-printing are leading the acceleration.

Aluminum provides a 40% to 45% mass improvement over steel. In 2015, Ford began making its bestselling F-150 pickup truck body out of aluminum, lightening it by 700 lb.

  LIFT (Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow) Consortium is a public-private partnership of universities, manufacturers and the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research. 

There is  the problem of  cost in  implementing light weight  materials. Traditional carbon steel is currently priced around $0.40/lb., and aluminum more than doubles carbon steel’s price at $0.88.

LIFT, part of the Manufacturing USA network, exists to find the right lightweight materials and way to implement them in the subsequent manufacturing processes. Their statement is that you want to get in the range of about $2 incremental cost for every pound saved. Otherwise, it’s really not a good value for the customer. 

Aluminum sheet now falls within this range, as does the third generation of advanced high-strength steel. AHSS  can reduce weight by 25%-39% over conventional steel. Aluminum has less mass than AHSS, but is weaker and is more expensive. Aluminum is lighter than Advanced High-Strength Steel, but costs more. AHSS seems to have the edge in emissions when comparing well-to-wheel scores. A life cycle assessment model by the WSA found that AHSS reduced at best 6,600 lb. of CO², while aluminum was 3,300. But recycling of aluminum is one-tenth of the energy of getting it out of ground and there’s a lot available. This may give preference to aluminum.

Magnesium is an up-and-coming metal. It costs $2.10/lb. but can reach up to 60% in weight savings.

The real solution from LIFT’s perspective will be found when the perfect combination of these metals (and plastics and carbon fiber) are implemented. In each scenario they first tinker with the array of prospective materials to create optimal strength, safety and fuel economy. Then they have to ensure the different metals don’t negatively interact

The Corvette frame developed by MMTC, which will be commercialized by a low-volume manufacturer in Michigan, used continuous bonds with structural adhesives, while being 450% stiffer in bending, is easier to manufacture, and requires inexpensive tooling and minimal labor.

High (Carbon) Fiber 

“Carbon fiber has the best potential for lightweighting, but takes a lot of energy.
Carbon fiber is 55% lighter than carbon steel and can be ten times stronger, but the limiting factor is cost. Despite the price, which could be up to $500/lb., aerospace manufacturers value the performance and use it. Half of the Airbus A350 XWB airliner’s total weight is carbon fiber reinforced plastic. Formula One, where expense always comes in a distant second to performance, also relies heavily on the material.

A new low-cost carbon fiber is available at $5/lb. Engineers are now figuring out how to attain the high throughput the auto industry needs. A Boeing or Airbus can take several hours to create one part. The goal is to reach 90 seconds to make a carbon fiber lift gate or hood.

The cycle time is limiting CFRP at BMW. The i3 and i8 hybrid sports cars had been made out of CFRP and could get up to 76 mpg. But for the new iNext cars are produced in Din­golfing, Germany, where the cycle times are 60 seconds, BMW has to  revert back to a metal frame. 

The carbon fiber industry will be worth about $6.1 billion in 2023, more than double the 2017 value, according to a markting research estimate. 

The education of people involved in the manufacturing has to be in using fibres. With composites, you’re concerned with how the fibers are aligned, the thermoset system like epoxy, temperature, and the time exposed to that temperature to achieve the properties you want.

A New Design Method 

Climate change is real. A driving force behind GM’s is the vision of a future with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.

Why does a seat belt bracket look the way it does? Because of machining requirements. But what if machining was re­placed by additive manufacturing?

A revolutionary new approach GM starts with is Autodesk’s generative design software, an engineering software tool that uses artificial intelligence and cloud computing to manifest dozens to hundreds of possible models based on physical requirements. For a bracket, it must attach at certain lengths and support specific loads, AI eliminates material that was sub-optimized only for the manufacturing process.

Generative design opens up a whole new set of lightweighting opportunities. 
The end result that GM achieved is a stainless-steel bracket that looks more like a human knee, smoother with ligament-like supports, as opposed to a robust, square shape comprised of eight welded pieces. The new version is also 40% lighter and 20% stronger.

General Motors - Generative Design
uploaded by Autodesk ___________________


Design for Additive Manufacturing - Bibliography
Design for 3D Printing - Additive Manufacturing - Product Industrial Engineering - Article - Paper Collection

Design for Productivity - Productivity Engineering - Product Industrial Engineering






Operation Analysis - Methods Efficiency Engineering

Process Analysis, Operation Analysis and Method Study are the popularly known methods in Process Industrial Engineering. Japanese industrial engineering improvements brought out new techniques like SMED, Poka Yoke, 5S and Seven Waste model etc.

The term 'Operations Analysis" was used by James Anderson in his book on Industrial Engineering published in 1928. He said operation analysis is the short form for long form "Job Standardization, Motion Study and Time Study."

 The job standardization implies what Taylor did with machine tools before he undertook study of operator's activities and movements.

H.B. Maynard has authored a full book on operation analysis.

The First Step

The first step in the study of any process/job is to make a thorough analysis by resolving it into its component parts or elements. Each part or element may then be considered separately, and the study of the process thus becomes a series of fairly simple problems.

A process consists of operations. In process analysis, each operation is examined to rationalize it for doing it as well as doing it at that step in the sequence of operations.  Eliminate, combine, and rearrange (ECR) analysis is done for each operation of the process. In a way, it is an examination of the division of a process into operations to improve the efficiency of the process.

During primary analysis of an operation, the operation is broken down into such general factors as material, inspection requirements, equipment & tools, man  and working conditions. Each one of these factors is then examined minutely and critically in order to discover possibilities for improvement. This kind of analytical work of the operation is covered by the term " operation analysis." As we know man's activities are examined using "motion study."

For examining the factors that go into an operation, more detailed methods are available. Motion study, for example,  is 'focused on the method of the operator.

Approach to Operation Analysis

During the training for operation analysis, number of examples of operation analysis and consequent improvement of the operations have to be given to develop favorable attitude in operation analysts and its team members toward potential of operation analysis to improve productivity and reduce cost.

Operations can be improved periodically due to increased technical knowledge and its application possibilities.  In, this connection, the history of a certain bench operation furnishes an excellent and by no means uncommon illustration of this point (Maynard). The job originally was done on day-work, and past production records showed that the time taken per part was 0.0140 hour, or slightly less than 1 minute. The job was time-studied and put on an incentive basis with an allowance of 0.0082 hour. The operator worked made a fair bonus on this job, and the feeling existed for some tune that the proper method was being followed.

After the operation had been set up for 6 months, however, a suggestion for improvement was advanced say by the foreman. The suggestion was not based upon systematic analysis but rather was the result of inspiration. The suggestion was put into effect;  the job was restudied, an allowance of 0.0062 hour was set. This last method was followed for 6 months more, when another suggestion, also of the inspirational type, was advanced. It was adopted, and a new time value of 0.0044 hour was established.

The job was a prominent one, and the improvements attracted considerable attention. The job was selected for detailed motion study. A completely new method was devised which followed the principles of correct motion practices. The new method was time-studied and standard time of 0.0013 hour was set.

The operation was thus improved to an extent where the time required was only approximately one-eleventh of that taken at first on the old day-work basis.   An improvement of such great magnitude justifies the statement that the latest method is a very good method; but in view of the past history of the job, it would be unwise to say that the best method has been attained.

As the result of many similar experiences, methods engineers are using the terms  "the best method yet devised"  implying recognition of the fact that further improvement may be possible (Even Gilbreth stressed this point). Carrying this thought to a logical conclusion, the .best method of doing an operation from a labor-economy standpoint is reached only when the man-machine time required has been reduced to zero. Until this point has been reached, further improvement is always possible.

This example  furnishes a foundation for the approach to operation analysis. If it is clearly recognized, it insures an open mind. It inspires further attacks from different angles and leads to progress.

The Questioning Attitude.

An open mind paves the way for successful analytical work, The analyst must take the initiative in originating suggestions himself, answering them and involving others in answering them. 

Other things being equal, the greatest amount of originality or creativity is evinced by those who have an inquiring turn of mind.  Improvements come from first examining what is with an open mind and then inquiring into what might be.

This point should be clearly understood, and what is known as the " questioning attitude" should conscientiously be developed. In making an investigation of a job, nothing should be taken for granted, and everything should be questioned. Then the answers should be determined on the basis of facts.

One who is successful in bringing about improvements in operating methods  asks questions and gathers answers which he evaluates in the light of his knowledge and experience. He questions methods, tools, and layouts. He investigates all phases of every job he studies, in so far, at least, as he has time. He even asks questions when the answers appear obvious, if he thinks he can bring out something by so doing.

The questions asked take the general form of "what," "why," "how," "who," "where," and "when. " What is the operation? Why is it performed? How is it done? Who does it? Where is it done? When is it done in relation to other operations? These questions, in one form or another, should be asked about every factor connected with the job being analyzed. Typical questions that arise during the study of industrial operations are as follows:

If more than one operator is working on the same job, are all operators using the same method? If not, why not? Is the operator comfortable? Sitting down as much as possible? Has the stool or chair being used a comfortable back and a seat that is wide enough? Is the lighting good? Is the temperature of the work station right? Are there no drafts? Are there arm-rests for the operator? If the operation can be done either seated or standing, is the height of the chair such that the elbows of the operator are the same distance from the floor in either case?

Can a fixture be used? Are the position and height of the fixture correct? Is the fixture the best available? Is the fixture designed in accordance with the principles of motion economy? Would a fixture holding more than one piece be better than one holding a single piece? Can the same fixture be used for more than one operation? Can a clamp, a vise, or a fixture be substituted for the human hand for holding? Are semiautomatic tools such as ratchet or power-driven wrenches or screw drivers applicable?

Is the operator using both hands all the time? If so, are the operations symmetrical? Do the hands move simultaneously in opposite directions? Can two pieces be handled at one time to better advantage than one? Can a foot device be arranged so that an operation now performed by hand can be done by foot?

Are raw materials properly placed? Are there racks for pans of material and containers for smaller parts? Can the parts be secured without searching and selecting? Are the most frequently used parts placed in the most convenient location? Are the handling methods and equipment satisfactory? Would a roller or a belt conveyor facilitate handling? Can the parts be placed aside by means of a chute?

Is the design of the apparatus the best from the viewpoint of manufacturing economy? Can the design be changed to facilitate machining or assembly without affecting the quality of the apparatus? Are tools designed so as to insure minimum manipulation time? Can eccentric clamps or ejectors be used?

Is the job on the proper machine? Are the correct feeds and speeds being used? Are the specified tolerances correct for the use to which the part is to be put? Is the material the most economical for the job? Can the operator run more than one machine or perform another operation while the machine is making a cut? Would a bench of special design be bettor than a standard bench? Is the work area properly laid out?

This list of questions could be extended almost indefinitely, but enough have been given to illustrate the sort of questions that should be asked during a methods efficiency study. The importance of asking such questions is paramount. The chief difference between a successful analyst and one who seldom accomplishes much is that the former has developed the questioning attitude to a high degree. The latter may be capable of making the same improvements as the former, but they do not occur to him as possibilities because he accepts things as they are instead of questioning them.

Operation Analysis Need Not Be Confined to Methods Engineers. Although the questioning attitude is developed by the methods engineer as an aid to thorough analysis, it need not be and should not be solely his property. The other shop supervisors will find it equally useful for attacking their particular problems and finding solutions for them. If they focus it on operating methods, they will be able to make many improvements in the course of their daily work. Thus, methods-improvement work will progress more rapidly than it would if it were left entirely to the methods engineer.

If a plant is small and has insufficient activity to justify employing anyone in the capacity of methods engineer, it will be particularly desirable for all members of the supervisory force to develop the questioning attitude. It is extremely easy to view things without seeing them when they are supposedly familiar. Those most familiar with the work are the least likely to see opportunities for improvement, unless they consciously try to remain as aware of their surroundings as they would be were they new to the plant. Where the supervisory group does not change often, the cultivation of the questioning attitude is almost essential to progress.

Questions should not be asked at random, although this would be better than asking no questions at all. Rather, it is better to proceed systematically, questioning points in the order in which they should be acted upon. It would be unwise, for example, to question the tools, setup, and method used on a certain job before the purpose of the operation was considered. Better tools might be devised, and the method might be changed ; but if it were later found upon examination of the purpose of the operation that it need not be done at all, the time and money spent on tool and methods changes would be wasted.

The systematic job analysis will be discussed in this knol book in sufficient detail to give a thorough understanding.

Making Suggestions for Improvement. 

When a job is examined in all its details with an open mind and when all factors that are related to it are questioned, possibilities for improvement are almost certain to be uncovered if the job has not been studied in this way before. The action that is taken upon the possibilities will depend upon the position of the one who uncovers them. If he has the authority to take action and approve expenditures, he will undoubtedly go ahead and make the improvements without further preliminaries. If, however, he does not have that authority, he must present his ideas in the form of suggestions to the one who does.

In the first place, the true worth of each suggestion should be carefully evaluated before it is offered. If he establishes a reputation for offering only suggestions of real merit, one will find it easier to secure an attentive hearing than if he is continually advancing suggestions that have to be examined to separate the good from the impractical.

The quickest way to prove the merit of any suggestion is to make or obtain estimates of the cost of adopting it and of the total yearly saving it may be expected to effect. These two figures will show just how much must be spent and how long it will be before the expenditure will be returned. If a suggestion costs $1,000 to adopt and will save $100 per year, it is not worth presenting unless there are unusual circumstances. If, on the other hand, the expenditure will be returned within a reasonable length of time, the suggestion is worthy of careful consideration.

When it has been definitely decided that the suggestion is sound and valuable, it should be presented to the proper authorities for approval. Here, again, estimates of expenditure and return will prove valuable. The statement that much time will be saved or even that a saving of 0.0050 hour per piece can be made is not likely to mean so much as figures showing a saving of a certain number of dollars per year. A complete presentation which includes cost and savings totals will be appreciated, for if they are not furnished, they must be requested anyway, and this will only postpone final action.

An example of a good presentation of a labor-saving idea is as follows :

Works Manager:

By analyzing the cork-tube winding operation in the Cork Department, it has been found that one-third of the winder's time is spent in doing work requiring a high degree of skill and the remaining two-thirds in doing work that could be satisfactorily performed by unskilled labor.

The time consumed by the portion of the cycle that requires high skill is almost exactly one-half of that required for the balance. Therefore, it will be entirely feasible to place four winding machines in a group, using one skilled man with two unskilled helpers to run them. In this manner, the average production of three skilled workers running three machines will be obtained at a greatly reduced cost.

Under the proposed setup, the skilled worker will apply the cork to the cloth core which has been set up by one helper and will then move to another machine which the other helper has set up. Each helper will tie the ends of a finished cork-covered tube, will remove the tube, and will set up another while the skilled man is busy at other machines.

The skilled man receives 60 cents per hour and the unskilled men 40 cents per hour each. The labor cost per tube will therefore be approximately 0.76 cent as compared with the present cost of 1 cent each.

On the basis of present activities, this will amount to a yearly saving of $2,361.55. There will be a certain amount of idle machine time under the proposed arrangement; but since we have more machine equipment than we require for our present volume of business, this need not be considered.

This matter has been discussed with the foreman,  and he believes that the arrangement will work satisfactorily. In order to proceed with the proposed change, it will be necessary to relocate 12 machines.  Maintenance Department estimates that this can be done for a cost of $480.

In view of the savings that can be made, the suggestion is recommended for acceptance by you


In this report, enough details are given to explain the general nature of the suggestion. The total yearly saving of $2,361.55 is shown, as also are the cost of adopting the suggestion and the source of the estimate. The fact that the suggestion meets with the approval of the foreman of the department, always a most important point, is also clearly stated. As a result, all questions that are likely to arise in the mind of the manager are answered in advance, and there is a good likelihood that he will give immediate approval.

Occasionally, ideas occur which appear to possess advantages to the originator other than those which can be measured in dollars and cents. In presenting suggestions of this nature, advantages and disadvantages should be presented in tabulated form, so that a decision can be quickly made.

Source: Maynard's Operation Analysis

Full Knol Book - Method Study: Methods Efficiency Engineering - Knol Book
Next Article on the Topic - Scope and Limitations of Methods Efficiency Engineering

Process analysis is an examination of the division of a process into operations to improve the efficiency of the process. Process analysis examines the sequence of steps specified to convert inputs into outputs.

Process analysis now is extended to analyzing the process in other dimensions.

Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing
October 2006, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 571-583
Evaluation of techniques for manufacturing process analysis
J. C. Hernandez-Matias, A. Vizan, A. Hidalgo, J. Rios

Updated 17 February 2019, 30 July 2017,  28 June 2015
First posted 16 Feb 2014

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

February - Industrial Engineering Knowledge Revision Plan with Links

February 1st Week

The Nature of Organizing - Review Notes
Departmentation in Organizations - Review Notes

Line-Staff Authority and Decentralization - Review Notes
Effective Organizing and Organizational Culture - Review Notes

Summary - Principles - Organizing
Human Resource Management and Selection

Performance Appraisal and Career Strategy
Manager and Organization Development

Summary - Principles - Staffing
Resourcing; A Function of Management

Feb 2nd week

Human Factors and Motivation
Leadership - Koontz and O'Donnell - Review Notes

Supervision - Introduction - Public Administration Point of View
Committes and Group Decision Making - Review Notes

Communication - Koontz and O'Donnell - Review Notes
Summary of Principles - Directing - Leading

The System and Process of Controlling - Review Notes
Control Techniques and Information Technology

12 February

Productivity Control

Overall Control and Preventive Control - Review Notes

Feb 3rd Week

Summary - Principles of Controlling
Global and Comparative Management

Organizing - Global Management Issues - Review Notes
Staffing - Global Management Issues

Leading - Global Management Challenges
Controlling - Global Management Challenges - Review Notes

Management and Entrepreneurship: Science, Theory and Practice
Managerial Skills

Principles of Management - List
Principles of Management - Subject Update Articles Recent Years

February 4th Week

Marketing Management Revision Articles

The Marketing Concept Kotler
Marketing Strategy - Marketing Process - Kotler's Description

Scanning of Environment for Marketing Ideas and Decisions
Marketing Strategy - Differentiating and Positioning the Market Offering

Management of Marketing Department and Function
Marketing Research and Market Demand Forecasting

Consumer Behavior
Analysis of Consumer Markets

Organizational Buying Processes and Buying Behavior
Market Segmentation and Selection of Target Segments

One Year Industrial Engineering Knowledge Revision Plan

January - February - March - April - May - June

July - August - September - October - November - December

Updated 3 February 2018
16 February 2016