Monday, January 21, 2013

Energy Efficient Computing Language - Research - Dr. Yu David Liu

Dr. Yu David Liu of Binghamton University Computer Science Department got a 5 year research grant of $448,641 from NSF.

The research will focus on energy consumption due to software program. It is about developing energy efficient programming languages that help in minimizing energy consumption by computing devices - smart phones to main frame and super computers.

Course - Energy Aware Programming Languages

Energy Types

Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Call for Research Papers in Industrial Engineering - 6th EuroMed EMRBI Conference - Portugal 2013

Track Details

Industrial Engineering and System Efficiency Improvement

Industrial Engineering has been broadened to dealing with efficiency improvement of all business functions of an organization. As effectiveness and efficiency are the two fundamental performance parameters of managerial activity or of a business organization, IE is an important subject/discipline. Efficiency is an important principle of management and it is mentioned by Koontz and O’Donnell as one of the principles of management in planning, organizing and control functions. Productivity is an important management issue. Resource efficiency now got additional support from environment management discipline. This track invites papers on: Productivity improvement; Cost Management; Product Redesign for Economy;, Process Redesign for Economy; Resource Efficiency

Track is listed at 46 in the
Full details of the conference - 6th EuroMed Academy of Business Conference

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Chapter - Introduction to Industrial Engineering - 2013 Edition

The Origin of Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineering originated in the activity of engineers managing engineering activities. More specifically, it originated in engineers managing the production activity. Frederick William Taylor is regarded as the father of the discipline. He advocated functional management, a management or supervision system wherein number of experts participate in the management of the a department instead of a single person being the manager or supervision and responsible for the successful performance of the department. Taylor's advocacy of function management in production departments was accepted by the management profession in the form of staff assistance to managers. Industrial engineering emerged as one of the staff activities. Industrial engineering has focus on human effort engineering and system efficiency engineering. In the management literature effectiveness and efficiency are considered as two important dimensions of the performance of an organization or a department.  Industrial engineering has focus on efficiency.

Effectiveness refers to producing the goods or services the consumers want. Manager has to find out what goods the market wants, forecast the demand and create a production-distribution system capable of producing and distributing the output in the market at a profit. There is significant customer interaction in this process even for a production manager. Industrial engineering department supports the production managers in the area of running the department (or the organization if they are assisting the CEO) with high efficiency. It analyses the resource usage in the production-distribution systems created by managers or specialist designers of the systems and provides design alternatives that improve the system efficiency. While the system design is a synthesis activity done in response to a demand to create a system capable of producing and distributing a product or service satisfying a target production quantity with a specified minimum profit, industrial engineering focuses on the analysis of the entire system as well as components to identify opportunities to reduce resource use.  It is a redesign activity, done over an extended time frame to continuously increase efficiency. What is the reason for increase in efficiency over a period of time. It is now theoretically as well as empirically proved that efficiency increasing ideas come to people as they are repeating an activity. This is termed as learning effect. Technology is continuously subjected to improvement and capital equipment manufacturers are coming with better technology to reduce costs. Industrial engineers also participate in this continuous improvement of production-distribution system with a special methods and tools that focus on eliminating waste, capturing the ideas of large number of operators, supervisors and engineers on continuous basis and incorporating the recent offerings of capital equipment manufacturers, subcontractors, component manufacturers and raw material suppliers that provide cost reduction opportunities.

Industrial engineering becomes a special function that has focus on improving efficiency same as eliminating waste or reducing cost.

Efficiency - Multiple Explanations

We depicted industrial engineering as management function or activity with special focus on efficient industrial or business activities. What is efficiency of a production-distribution system? In the case of machines we define efficiency as output/input. But in the case of production systems, the definition given by Harrington Emerson, a pioneer industrial engineer is elimination of waste. This definition was  utilized by Japanese company, Toyota Motors to improve efficiency of its operations many fold and became better than American companies. So efficiency of a production system is defined in terms of identifying and eliminating waste. How is waste identified? Waste is identified in one way by comparison. Waste can be defined in terms of resources. One can talk of waste of manpower, waste of material, waste of machine time, waste of energy etc. Toyota management man, Taichi Ohno came out with 7-wastes model. In this model, wastes include inventory (stock of materials, components etc.) and rework due to production of defective items.

Productivity: Productivity is another term related to efficiency. Productivity can be measured as output for specfic inputs. One can say to make one unit of output 4 mandays are being utilized in an organization. If in another organization, only 3.5 mandays are being utilized to make one unit of similar output there is a need for analysis and investigation to improve productivity. If similar machines are being used in both the organizations, probably there is waste in the first organization. Productivity measurements can be done for each resource and such measures are called partial productivity measures. There are attempts to calculate total factor productivity in terms of money. Industrial engineering department is entrusted with the responsibility of improving productivity.

Standard Cost: Standard cost calculation was made possible by industrial engineering technique of time study. F.W. Taylor, the father of industrial engineering developed the time study method through which very small elements of man-machine work was timed using stop watches and fair amount of time necessary to complete the element by any trained operator was determined. With this method, it was possible to fix standard time required to do one unit of out for man-machine systems. Cost of production for unit of output could be calculated with this method. Many times in companies there are deviations from the prescribed method termed as standard method and actual costs differ from standard costs. This difference is a waste, and there can be actions to minimize this waste. Apart from it, there can be reduction in standard cost itself because of the learning effect. Japanese managers and industrial engineers have implemented systems for exploiting learning effect in a systematic manner by demanding reduction in standard cost every month. Continuous improvement in activities made possible by suggestion schemes is termed as Kaizen by Japanese people. Kaizen means good change and the Japanese term encourages operators to think of good change always.  Reduction in standard cost is improvement in efficiency and productivity. Hence efficiency improvement is cost reduction and industrial engineers are responsible for cost reduction. In any organization, industrial engineers have to reduce standard cost per unit every period and this reduction will result in reduction of total cost of the organization for the same level of output between two successive periods.

Efficiency improvement is carried out by industrial engineers through human effort engineering and system efficiency engineering.

Industrial Engineering Definitions


Industrial engineering directs the efficient conduct of manufacturing, construction, transportation, or even commercial enterprises of any undertaking, indeed in which human labor is directed to accomplishing any kind of work . Industrial engineering has drawn upon mechanical engineering, upon economics, sociology, psychology, philosophy, accountancy, to fuse from these older sciences a distinct body of science of its own . It is the inclusion of the economic and the human elements especially that differentiates industrial engineering from the older established branches of the profession (Going, 1911) [1].


“Industrial engineering is the engineering approach applied to all factors, including the human factor, involved in the production and distribution of products or services.” (Maynard, 1953) [2]


“Industrial engineering is the design of situations for the useful coordination of men, materials and machines in order to achieve desired results in an optimum manner. The unique characteristics of Industrial Engineering center about the consideration of the human factor as it is related to the technical aspects of a situation, and the integration of all factors that influence the overall situation.” (Lehrer, 1954) [3]


“Industrial engineering is concerned with the design, improvement, and installation of integrated systems of men, materials, and equipment. It draws upon specialized knowledge and skill in the mathematical, physical, and social sciences together with the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design, to specify, predict, and evaluate the results to be obtained from such systems.” (AIIE, 1955). [4]


"Industrial engineering may be defined as the art of utilizing scientific principles, psychological data, and physiological information for designing, improving, and integrating industrial, management, and human operating procedures." (Nadler, 1955) [5]

Lyndal Urwick

“Industrial engineering is that branch of engineering knowledge and practice which
 1. Analyzes, measures, and improves the method of performing the tasks assigned to individuals,
2. Designs and installs better systems of integrating tasks assigned to a group,
3. Specifies, predicts, and evaluates the results obtained.
 It does so by applying to materials, equipment and work specialized knowledge and skill in the mathematical and physical sciences and the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design. Since, however, work has to be carried out by people; engineering knowledge needs to be supplemented by knowledge derived from the biological and social sciences.” (Lyndall Urwick, 1963) [6]

"Industrial engineering is concerned with the design, improvement and installation of integrated systems of people, materials, information, equipment and energy. It draws upon specialized knowledge and skill in the mathematical, physical, and social sciences together with the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design, to specify, predict, and evaluate the results to be obtained from such systems." [7]

"Industrial engineering is an art for creating the most efficient system composed of people, matters, energy, and information, by which a specific goal in industrial, economic, or social activities will be achieved within predetermined probabilities and accuracy. The system may be for a small single work station, a group, a section, a department, an institution or for a whole business enterprise. It may be also be of a regional, national, international, or inter-planetary scope."(Sawada, 1977) [8]

Narayana Rao

“Industrial Engineering is Human Effort Engineering. It is an engineering discipline that deals with the design of human effort in all occupations: agricultural, manufacturing and service. The objectives of Industrial Engineering are optimization of productivity of work-systems and occupational comfort, health, safety and income of persons involved.” (Narayana Rao, 2006) [9]

Narayana Rao

"Industrial Engineering is Human Effort Engineering and System Efficiency Engineering. It is an engineering discipline that deals with the design of human effort and system efficiency in all occupations: agricultural, manufacturing and service. The objectives of Industrial Engineering are optimization of productivity of work-systems and occupational comfort, health, safety and income of persons involved."(Narayana Rao, 2009) [10]


Total Industrial Engineering is  "a system of methods where the performance of labor is maximized by reducing Muri (unnatural operation), Mura (irregular operation) and Muda (non-value added operation), and then separating labor from machinery through the use of sensor techniques."  (Yamashina)
"Industrial Engineering is Human Effort Engineering and System Efficiency Engineering. It is an engineering-based management staff-service discipline that deals with the design of human effort and system efficiency in all occupations: agricultural, manufacturing and service. The objectives of Industrial Engineering are optimization of productivity of work-systems and occupational comfort, health, safety and income of persons involved."(Narayana Rao, 2011) [Added to this knol on 14.9.2011]

1. Going, Charles Buxton, Principles of Industrial Engineering, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1911, Pages 1,2,3
2. Maynard, H.B., “Industrial Engineering”, Encyclopedia Americana, Americana Corporation, Vol. 15, 1953
3. Lehrer, Robert N., “The Nature of Industrial Engineering,” The Journal of Industrial Engineering, vol.5, No.1, January 1954, Page 4
4. Maynard, H.B.,  Handbook of Industrial Engineering, 2nd Edition,  McGraw Hill, New York, 1963.
5. Nadler, Gerald, Motion and Time Study", McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York, 1955
6. Urwick, Lyndall, F., “Development of Industrial Engineering”, Chapter 1 in Handbook of Industrial Engineering, H.B. Maynard (Ed.), 2nd Edition, McGraw Hill, New York, 1963.
8. Sawada, P.N., "A Concept of Industrial Engineering," International Journal of Production Research, Vol 15, No. 6, 1977, Pp. 511-22. 
9. Narayana Rao, K.V.S.S., “Definition of Industrial Engineering: Suggested Modification.” Udyog Pragati, October-December 2006, Pp. 1-4.

Going's definition is an important one and clarifies the uniqueness of industrial engineering in engineering as well as management subjects. It is the focus on human factor and economic factor that distinguishes IE from other engineering branches and management subjects. Defintions of AIIE and IIE have created ambiguity in the explanation of industrial engineering. It would have been more appropriate if AIIE and IIE defined IE as economic design of production systems. That would have clarified the role of IE in systems design.

Explanation of IE as human effort engineering and system efficiency engineering provides a great breadth to IE discipline ranging from a single operator with a simple tool to global systems in terms of size and it provides a great area of focus that is efficiency in the two important performance dimensions of management: effectiveness and efficiency.

Industrial Engineering Tool Kit

What the important methods and techniques of Industrial Engineering?

Human Effort Engineering

1. Principles of Motion Economy and Motion Study.
    Therbligs, SIMO chart, Chronocycle graph

2. Motion Economy Device Design and Work Station Design

2. Work Measurement
    Stop watch time study, work sampling, PMTS - MTM, MOST

3. Ergonomics

4. Safe Work Practice Design
    Personal protective devices

5. Wage Incentives and Job Evaluation

System Efficiency Engineering

1. Method Study and Methods Efficiency Design
    Process analysis, operation analysis, work station design

2. Product Design Efficiency Engineering: Value Engineering

3. Capital Equipment Efficiency Engineering : Engineering Economics, Replacement Studies, OEE improvement,

4. Plant Layout Efficiency Improvement: Plant Layout Studies for reduction of material movement, operator movement and movement of salesmen etc. Assembly Line Balancing ,

5. Statistics Based Techniques: Statistical Quality Control (SQC), Statistical Process Control (SPC), and Six Sigma Projects etc.

6. Mathematical Optimization, Operations Research and Quantitative Techniques
    Linear programming models, Integer programming, Non-linear programming
    Engineering Economic Appraisals of projects submitted by Engineering Departments

8. Specialised Functional IE Solutions: SMED. Lean Manufacturing, BPR, 7 Wastes Model

Each of these methods and techniques will be explained briefly in a specific chapter for each method. 

Bibliography - Addition in 2013

20 ways to improve productivity in garment production
Many IE tools are mentioned in the list. Nice article

Practice of Twinning by Arcelor Mittal - Asking a low productivity unit to study and implement processes of high productivity plant

Productivity - Efficiency Improvement - Cost Reduction Projects in Various Industries and Organizations - A Collection - made in 2013


Chapter is being made available to readers as it is being written. Suggestions are welcome. 

Chapter - Business Process Reengineering - 2013 Edition

Reengineering is a general philosophy that indicates that when a new technology appears, there is an opportunity to reengineer the systems. The cost involved in reengineering the system can be recovered through the cost savings or through the increased revenues. Business process reengineering (BPR) is one such reengineering initiative that was based on information technology and was focussed on data processing and communication. Reengineering advocates that the new technology has to be understood very well so that totally new processes can be designed by considering only inputs and outputs of the current system. Existing process should not be the basis or a constraint for the new process development.

Bibliography 2013

DOD BPR Assessment Model

Rebirth of reengineering

Business Process Change

The Current Reengineering Opportunity
Manufacturing Process Reengineering - 3D Printing

Future of America's manufacturing sector

Intelligent Manufacturing Innovation

Anyone can be a manufacturer

Chapter - Lean Manufacturing and Systems - 2013 Edition

Lean manufacturing system was described by Womack. It is a system today well appreciated by line managers and they are advocating to all the employees with interest. Industrial engineers have to play their part in the interest that efficiency and waste reduction got in this lean system movement.


Amazon Web Services is Lean Manufacturing for IT

Lean manufacturing mindset - Continuous Innovation at Boeing

GE's Lean manufacturing strategy of new refrigerator

Increasing role of IT in lean manufacturing

Why Toyota is Lean and You are not? by Jeffrey Liker

Chapter - Setup Time Reduction - SMED - 2013 Edition

Bibliography 2013

Magnetic Workholding means less setup time

Setuptime reduction in Dynamic Cellular Manufacturing Systems
Phd thesis - 2012 - OR Models - Genetic algorithm and Dynamic Programming

Chapter - Introduction to Operations Research in IE - 2013 Edition

Industrial engineering discipline uses operations research models in human effort engineering as well as system efficiency engineering. Operations research is useful in deciding tradeoffs. Operations research models give us the efficient points of system functioning for a given values of variable and whenever the values of variable change due industrial engineering improvement or other engineering and management improvement, the efficient points need to be recalculated.

Content in earlier editions
Operations Research - Efficiency Improvement Tool for Industrial Engineers

Bibliography 2013

Additional resources identified in January 2013

The role of mathematical sciences in industry - 2012 report

Solving Vehicle Routing Problem

Optimization Theory, Decision Making and OR Applications
Proceedings - 1st International Conference in OR, 2013

Operations Research Applications
2008, A. Ravichandran

Supply Chain Engineering: Models and Applications

Applicability of OR in Manufacturing Logistics
Doctoral Thesis, 2011

A Case Study of Petroleum Transportation Logistics, 2012 paper

Noble Prize for OR Models in 2012 - Al Roth and Lloyd Shapely

Intelligence Operations Research

Newsvendor Problem

Maximizing Profit using OR techniques for the conversion of small logs into Furniture Shorts 
Doctoral thesis - 1990

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Chapter - Introduction to Value Engineering - 2013 Edition

Previous Editions Content

Value Engineering - Introduction

Bibliography 2013

Value analysis of UTM parts

Value engineering of capital projects - 1999 Old report - But potential important idea

Va - case study

Value engineering opportunity - Open text solution for vendor invoice management

Conference Papers - 2012 Dec - Asia Value Engineering Conference

Effective Organizational Factors in the Execution of Value Engineering

VE - Pipelines

S-Stock Value Engineering - Rail carriages

Software Value Engineering in Samsung Electronics

Chapter - Motion Economy Devices - 2013 Edition


Workshop on workholding and fixturing devices for productivity improvement in CNC Machines
India by Gautam Doshi

Chapter -IE - Productivity and Efficiency Improvement - Cost Reduction Projects - 2013 Collection

Improving roof life of twinhearth furnaces in Bhilai steel plant - 2011-12

Static Var Compensator (SVC) to improve productivity and power quality in a steel plant fed by 230V grid$file/1JNS013212%20LR.pdf

Energy Efficiency Opportunities in Iron and Steel making

Mobil lubricants reduce costs for Russian Steel mills

Vesuvius Precision Control improves productivity

Dedicated hydraulic system for strip guide costing Rs.35 Lakh in 2008 saves Rs. 400 lakh by 2012.

Productivity Enhancement with HC900 control system - Oxygen plant

New SPC Tool to improve Productivity in the Steelshop of Arcelor Mittal Gent
MS Thesis

Unit coordination for energy savings in Steel Plant - Coordination between two departments

New Rolling Method of Reversing Cold Rolling Mill

Productivity using large blast furnaces

India Cements improves productivity with Honeywell"s Master Logic PLC

LVT Cements Thailand focuses on designing plats with increased production efficiency and lower fuel consumption giving a productivity increase of 15-30% over competitor designs. 

Applying Gemba Kaizen in a cement plant

Injecting Oxygen into the Kiln can lower overall costs

Industrial Efficiency Technology Database - Cement
Large number of technologies are given and supporting literature is indicated.

Industrial Efficiency Technology Database - Iron and Steel

Industrial Efficiency Technology Database - Pulp and Paper

Industrial Efficiency Technology Database - Electric Motors

Autoanalytics to improve knowledge worker productivity

New Book - Published in 2012
Cross Functional Productivity Improvement
Understand linkages between functions and activities
by Ronald Blank
174 pages - 31.99 pounds

Chapter - Engineering Economic Analysis - 2013 Edition

Content - Earlier Editions
Engineering Economics or Engineering Economy - Economic Decision Making by Engineers


Analysis of Robot for powder coating
2012 paper

Grinding or Hard Turning - Choice Issue - Engineering Economic Analysis Relevant

The important thing in the new edition is the addition of recent papers and application/case studies. That is why bibliography is being accumulated first for each chapter.

Chapter - Use of Statistics in Industrial Engineering - 2013 Edition


Reduction of Flue Gas Temperature - Statistical Analysis - NTPC Ramagundam

Introduction to Human Factors and Ergonomics for Engineers, Second Edition By Mark R. Lehto, Steven J. Landry - Book Information

Introduction to Human Factors and Ergonomics for Engineers, Second Edition
By Mark R. Lehto, Steven J. Landry

Published October 26th 2012 by CRC Press – 794 pages

Series: Human Factors and Ergonomics



About This Chapter


What Is Ergonomic Design?

Human-Centered Design

Military Equipment Design

Ergonomic Criteria

Models of Human Performance


Carrots and Sticks

Trends in Industry That Impact Ergonomic Design

Organizations and Additional Information on Ergonomic Design

Ergonomic Methods

Final Remarks


Discussion Questions and Exercises


About This Chapter


The Skeletal Subsystem

The Muscles

Body Movement

The Sensory Subsystems

Support Subsystems

Final Remarks


Discussion Questions and Exercises


About The Chapter


Ergonomic Design Principles

Visual Graphics of Operations

Analysis of Tasks and Jobs

Final Remarks


Discussion Questions and Exercises


About the Chapter


Cleanliness, Clutter, and Disorder

Temperature and Humidity

Lightening and Illumination


Final Remarks


Discussion Questions and Exercises


About the Chapter


Applied Anthropometry

Design of Work Areas and Stations

Office Design

Design of Tools and Equipment

Protective Equipment for the Operator

Accommodating Handicapped People

Final Remarks


Discussion Questions and Exercises


About the Chapter


Methods Improvement

Motion and Micromotion Study

Manual Materials Handling

Final Remarks


Discussion Questions and Exercises


About the Chapter


Some Probabilistic Assumptions

Time Study

Performance Leveling

Determining Allowances

Maintaining Standards

Indirect Performance Measurement

Criteria Other Than Time

Final Remarks


Discussion Questions and Exercises


About the Chapter


Synthetic Data Systems

Standard Data Systems

Cognitive Modeling

Final Comments


Discussion Questions and Exercises


About This Chapter


Performance Criteria and Experience Units

Some Learning Curve Models

Comparing Alternatives for Learnability

The Correct Learning Curve Model

Forgetting Curves

Final Comments


Discussion Questions and Exercises


About This Chapter


Activity Sampling

Sampling Strategies

Sequential Bayesian Work Sampling

Final Comments


Discussion Questions and Exercises


About the Chapter


Questionnaire Design


Final Remarks


Discussion Questions and Exercises


About the Chapter


Essential Elements of Computer Simulation

Cognitive Simulation

Operator-in-the-Loop Simulation

A Simulation Strategy

Design of Simulation Experiments

Final Remarks


Discussion Questions and Exercises


About the Chapter


Industrial Work Teams

Simulating Industrial Crews

Research, Development, and Design Teams

Final Remarks


Discussion Questions and Exercises


About the Chapter


System Reliability and Availability

Maintenance Programs

Reducing Maintenance Effort

Final Remarks


Discussion Questions and Exercises


About the Chapter


Quality Management & Customer Driven Design

Usability Analysis & Testing

Designed Experiments

Final Remarks


Exercises and Discussion Questions


About the Chapter


Some Common Types of Inspection

Human Inspection

Signal Detection Theory (SDT)

Inspection Economics

Improvement & Correction Strategies

Final Comments


Discussion Questions and Exercises


About This Chapter


Some Historical Background

Fundamental Concepts of Industrial Safety and Health

Contemporary Occupational Health and Safety Management

Hazards and Control Measures

Warnings and Safety Programs

Final Remarks


Discussion Questions and Exercises


About the Chapter


Communication Theory

Human Information Processing

Display Design

Final Comments


Discussion Questions and Exercises


About this Chapter


Control Systems

Manual Control

Design of Controls

Fuzzy Control

Supervisory Control

Final Comments


Some Discussion Questions


About This Chapter


Classical or Normative Decision Theory

Behavioral Decision Theory

Naturalistic Decision Theory

Group Decision Making

Decision Support

Final Remarks



About the Chapter


Personnel Selection and Placement


Job Aids

Economic Considerations in Training

Final Comments


Discussion and Exercise Questions

Suggested Solutions


About This Chapter


Job Evaluation

Measuring Productivity

Wage Administration

Job Design for Sub-Populations

Final Remarks


Some Discussion Questions

Some Exercises

Solutions to Exercises

Appendix A: Selling Ergonomics to Management

Appendix B: Economic Analysis of Projects in Ergonomic Design and Management

Appendix C: Some Probability Distributions

Appendix D: Tables of Statistical Distributions

Appendix E: Some Fundamentals of Statistical Regression and Correlation

Appendix F: Fundamentals of Analysis of Variance

Google Book Preview of Mark Lehto and Steven J. Landry

Chapter - Ergonomics in Industrial Engineering - 2013 Edition


Motion Study by Frank Gilbreth, 2011
Full Text

Introduction to Human Factors and  Ergonomics for Engineers
Mark Lehto and Steven J Landry
2 edition, 2013

Chapter - Motion Study - 2013 Edition

Previous Edition Materials

Principles of Motion Economy
Motion Study


Motion Study by Gilbreth, 1911

Time and Motion Study in Improving Construction Productivity
Presentation on 8 March 2012

Occupational Study of Carpenters

Optimization of Time by Eliminating Unproductive activities through MOST - 2012

The bibliography is getting updated first as new sources of information are being identified.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Chapter - Human Effort Engineering - 2013 Edition

Human Effort Engineering

Human effort engineering component of industrial engineering focuses on the efficiency of  human resource. Principles of motion economy guide this activity. Motion study is the principal technique to redesign human motions to carry out a task giving the desirable human input into a man-machine sytem. Frank Gilbreth initially developed the motion study technique and it was further developed by other industrial engineers

Method and Techniques of Human Effort Engineering

1. Principles of Motion Economy

2. Motion Study.
    Therbligs, SIMO chart, Chronocycle graph

3. Work Measurement
    Stop watch time study, worksampling, PMTS - MTM, MOST

4. Fatigue Study

5. Ergonomics - Human Comfort and Discomfort Studies, Health Issues - Musculo-skeletal problem elimination, Human-Computer Interaction related Studies

7. Safe Work Practice Design
    Personal protective devices

8. Wage Incentives

9.  Job Evaluation

10. Motion Economy Device Design

1. Principles of Motion Economy

Principles of motion economy were proposed by Frank Gilbreth. They stood the test of time and with slight modifications the list proposed by Gilbreth is the standard for application in motion study and improvement of motion economy.

Use of the Human Body

1. The two hands should begin as well as complete their motions at the same time.
2. The two hands should not be idle at the same time except during rest periods.
3. Motions of the arms should be made in opposite and symmetrical directions and should be made simultaneously.
4. Hand and body motions should be confined to the lowest classification with which it is possible to perform the work satisfactorily.
5. Momentum should be employed to assist the worker wherever possible, and it should be reduced to a minimum if it must be overcome by muscular effort.
6. Smooth continuous motion of the hands are preferable to straight line motions involving sudden and sharp changes in direction.
7. Ballistic movements are faster, easier and more accurate than restricted (fixation) or controlled movements.
8. Work should be arranged to permit an easy and natural rhythm wherever possible.
9. Eye fixations should be as few and as close together as possible.

Arrangement of the workplace
10. There should be a definite and fixed place for all tools and materials.
11. Tools, materials and controls should be located close to the point of use.
12. Gravity feed bins and containers should be used to deliver material close to the point of use.
13. Drop deliveries should be used wherever possible.
14. Materials and tools should be located to permit the best sequence of motions.
15. Provisions should be made for adequate conditions for seeing. Good illumination is the first requirement for satisfactory visual perception.
16. The height of the work place and the chair should preferably arranged so that alternate sitting and standing at work are easily possible.
17. A chair of the type and height to permit good posture should be provided for every worker.

The currently popular 5S method is based on this group of motion economy principles

Design of tools and equipment

18. The hands should be relieved of all work that can be done more advantageously by a jig, a fixture, or a foot-operated device.
19. Two or more tools should be combined wherever possible.
20. Tools and materials should be prepositioned whenever possible.
21. Where each finger performs some specific movement, such as in typewriting, the load should be distributed in accordance with the inherent capacities of the fingers.
22. Levers, hand wheels and other controls should be located in such positions that the operator can manipulate them with the least change in body position and with the greatest speed and ease.

Motion economy device design given as a separate technique in human effort engineering is based on the principles 18.

These principles are further explained in some more detail in a separate chapter.


Ralph M. Barnes, Motion and Time Study Measurement of Work, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1980

2. Motion Study

Motion study is the investigation and measurement of the movements involved in the performance of any work, their subsequent improvement, resulting in development of easier and more productive (efficient) methods. Specifying the  human input need in the man-machine system and understanding the present way of movement or proposed way of human movement is the starting point. The needs and problems of the current operators has to be ascertained. The purpose of the study is to enable operators to work with minimum effort and maximum efficiency. Minimum effort refers to the efficiency of the operator effort. Maximum efficiency refers to the output being produced by the operator. Motion study man has to study conditions in the man-machine system, machine where human inputs are given, movement of materials, tools and the layout of the work station. They have a bearing on the efficiency and well-being of the workers.

Recording the present or proposed practice is the beginning of the study. The two-handed process chart is commonly used to record movements of each hand separately and also movement of feet if present. Micromotion study records the movements in more detail and the fundamental motions termed as therbligs are used in the recording the micromotions. Gilbreth popularized filming the motions and doing the motion study using them.

F.B. Gilbreth and L.M. Gilbreth, Process Charts: First Steps in Finding the One Best Way to Do Work, paper presented to the Annual Meeting of th Amercian Society of Mechanical Engineers, New York, Dec. 5-9, 1921
The paper is in this collection also

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Introduction to Industrial Engineering - Online Book - 2013 Edition


I am attempting to write the book once again in 2013 (8.1.2013). I made some previous attempts also and wrote number of articles. I am trying once again to write textbook version. My colleagues say one page a day could be the reasonable target for textbook writing. At that rate it will take two years to complete the book. But let me try and develop the text to the extent possible. Because number of articles were written earlier, may be it will be more easier in this attempt to complete the book.


Introduction to Industrial Engineering


Weber Four Types of Rationality

Formal Rationality

Formal rationality legitimates a  means-end rational calculation by reference back to universally applied rules, laws, or regulations.


Manufacturing Ideology: Scientific Management in Twentieth Century Japan - William M. Tsutsui
Princeton Press, 2001, Google Preview
The spread of Taylor's ideas were explained in detail in this book.

Taylorized Beauty of the Mechanical, Mauro F. Guillien, 2006, Princeton University Press
Google Full view book

Max Weber's Types of Rationality: Cornerstones for the Analysis of Rationalization Processes in History' Stephen Kalberg Universitdt Tiubingen,
American Journal of Sociology, AIS Volume 85 Number 5 1145 - 1179.

Taylorism in Soviet Russia

Monday, January 7, 2013

Information Technology Systems Cost Reduction - Technology Opportunities

Watch video presentation by Accenture 2009

Accenture 2009 report

Accenture in a report 2012 identified number of IT cost reduction opportunities.

Immediate cost-reduction opportunities and minimizing ongoing IT expenditures.

Prioritizing project spending

Reviewing license and procurement spending

     Software Licensing Advisers

     Most companies overspending on licenses

Reducing supplier costs through strategies including leveraging higher levels of offshoring  - 2002

     Understanding Offshoring returns and risks

Renegotiating service level agreements

Streamlining IT operations, headcount and staffing
       Streamlining client IT operations

Increasing utilization of assets to control cost drivers  such as data storage growth.
       Gartner - 10 Key actions to reduce Infrastructure and operation costs   Sep 2011

New cost opportunities keep appearing and managers have to keep looking for them.

Optimization opportunity in  IT for efficiency

Achieve greater control and alignment of IT with the business through service catalogs

Managing supply and demand through better IT asset management, IT process management and

          Organizing IT Asset management today - 2011 - CA paper

Rebuilding the IT operating model on a lower cost base

Initiatives to enable IT to do more with less

Virtualizing, consolidating, centralizing and standardizing servers, storage, databases and applications

      - accenture Page on virtualization

Consolidation and Centralization


Implementing “managed services”


Outsourcing of infrastructure and applications to eliminate fragmentation, complexity and waste
Increasing the use of cloud and SaaS

Introducing  more thin-client computing, workplace collaboration and self-service.

Re-architecting IT for efficiency

Prepare the business for opportunities that become popular and cost effective tomorrow.

Presently, the areas range from mobile application support to cloud computing services to support for personal devices,
IT organizations have to rethink their operations strategy to position themselves for
a future that is significantly more complex.

To prepare for this complexity, IT must adopt a cost-effective approach to managing PCs, mobile devices, software, the third-party supply chain, and the associated IT applications and infrastructure.
 IT must conduct a strategic analysis of the entire systems to assess applications’ readiness for transition to the cloud.

Rewrite legacy applications to facilitate greater workforce mobility, integration of employee-owned devices, unified communications (voice, data and mobile),
Employee personal devices Integration   

Use advanced sourcing strategies.

These above steps are iterative, ongoing processes through which organizations can continue to harness new levers and drive further cost reductions and efficiencies in IT.

Keep building IT-enabled business value

IT departments have to keep developing new IT applications and help the organization to provide better services to customers. Design of cost effective services has to be the objective and involving information technology industrial engineering in the IT systems design activity is the right way to ensure cost effective IT systems.

The levers are increased automation of business processes and user interactions;
user self-service;
transparent management information and key performance indicators;
and e-collaboration to boost workforce efficiency.

Lean Software Development search results for lean software - Large number of references

Dissertation of Kai Petersen - 2010 - Implementing Lean and Agile Software Development

WIPro case study


Economic Times article on Wipro

Publication: The Economic Times Mumbai; Date: Apr 14, 2011; Section: Technology; Page: 4
Toyota’s Lean Lessons for Wipro

Case Studies of IT Cost Reduction

Journal of Applied IT and Investment Management

Focus of Industrial Engineering - Badiru's Questions in 1994 - Efficiency the Answer

Badiru and Baxi in the article "Industrial engineering education for the 21st century",
Badiru, Adedeji B; Baxi, Herschel J. Industrial Engineering 26. 7 (Jul 1994): 66 made the following observations

IE is quickly losing its identity as a value-adding profession. The basic cause of this problem is that many IEs graduate without resolving the question of identity related to the following questions:

* What separates an IE from other engineers? and

* What contribution does the profession make to an organization?"

Answers given by Narayana Rao  K.V.S.S. in 2013.

What is the solution to these observations?

Clear answers to the two questions;

* What separates an IE from other engineers? and

* What contribution does the profession make to an organization?"

* What separates an IE from other engineers? 

The uniqueness of IE is the special focus on human effort and economic aspect of engineering. Industrial engineering is a management activity that originated in managing engineering activities. Every branch of engineering has associated industrial engineering activity. IE curriculums should provide specialization in various branches of Engineering under IE degree. May be a student will take two or even three engineering branches as elective specialisation in his IE studies.

In management IE is a staff activity and supports the line manager of department in improving the efficiency of the department. IE can be a position assisting the CEO and Chief Industrial Engineering has to be a coveted position of each IE graduate.

* What contribution does the profession make to an organization?"

The contribution of the IE department or function in an organization is improvement in efficiency and consequent reduction in cost. IE as a service activity, staff activity or overhead activity must be able to  improve the efficiency and reduce costs every period and every year. They have to be become the focal point of the cost reduction initiatives in the company and they have to independently monitor the technology environment relevant to their organization to identify cost reduction technology and method opportunities. Simultaneously they should be able independently design some in-house  method that give them cost reduction advantage compared to their competitors.

IEs have to trained in their multiple techniques so that they can use any one of them or an appropriate combination of them to improve the systems of their organization

Add to the observations of Badiru and Baxi observations of Weiss

Observations, based on 60 years of success, by the president of H.B. Maynard & Co. Inc.: IE
Torrey, Eric E. Industrial Engineering26. 12 (Dec 1994): 60.

Roger Weiss, president of H B Maynard & Co. Inc.,


One of the consistent problems that the IE profession faces is the inability of IEs to really sell the value of their profession within the company.

I told a prospective client, a couple of weeks ago, that they needed to hire a couple of industrial engineers into their company...  And, when I told him a good industrial engineer would return their salary 10 times, he just looked at me in disbelief and said, 'Well, maybe that is the first year.'

They did not understand was they had so much latent potential.

And again, the focus was all on the direct labor. He said, 'How many people can we get out of here?' I said, 'Is the issue getting people out or getting product out?' It was not a matter of downsizing, it was a matter of getting more with what they had. And the benefits of that are fairly substantial.

"I guess it is that over the years (IEs) have not succeeded in selling their worth, or measuring their own worth. It is kind of ironic. People in the measurement business should be able to measure their own worth and prove to the company that they are actually saving them money."

Badiru - further

The root of this identity problem lies in the structured and isolated approach of various IE courses.

The academic curriculum rarely emphasizes the fundamental philosophy of IE itself. That philosophy is a holistic approach to design, development and implementation of integrated systems of men, machines and materials. 

Industry measures performance in terms of real contributions to organizational goals.

Many young graduates mistakenly perceive their expected roles as being part of the management personnel, having little or no direct association with shop-floor activities. Such views impede hands-on experience and prevent the identification of root causes of industrial problems.

Many new graduates take a long time to become productive in developing solutions that require multidisciplinary approaches.

Industrial engineering education for the 21st century: IE
Badiru, Adedeji B; Baxi, Herschel J. Industrial Engineering 26. 7 (Jul 1994): 66.

Format updated in January  2020