Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Manufacturing or Production Department of a Large Organization. - Going Industrial Engineering

The manufacturing or production department of a large organization.

We are con-
cerned only with a brief general outline of the principal in-
stitutions by which industrial operations are carried on; and
having now broadly sketched such an outline, we will pro-
ceed to an equally rapid survey of the methods generally
followed in the particular department in which we are spe-
cially interested the manufacturing or production de-
partment of a large organization. That is, we will resur-
vey the operations of organized manufacturing, not sci-
entifically dissected and disconnected as in the foregoing
chapter, but in actual operation.

The fundamental proposition is that nothing shall be
made no order to manufacture shall be given out
without authority of some duly authorized and responsible
official. Whether the article to be manufactured is special,
from special or original plans, or whether it is a stock article
made by standard patterns, someone in authority " vivifies,"

by his signature, the order that starts the process of manu-
facture. Such an order to manufacture an article or a lot
of articles is usually called a production order.

The production order is general. It may call for (say)
" 20, No. 2 milling machines," or " 10 Eclipse engines,
8x12 " or " 100 type C, 10 k.w. d. c. motors." Every pro-
duction order is therefore likely to involve several or many
different items or acts of production. The production order
is therefore first sent to the engineering or drafting depart-
ment and is there reduced to these specific elements,
although, in the case of strictly standard products, standard-
ized lists of details may be filed in the production depart-
ment and may be taken off as a matter of routine. In either
case, the production order next appears as an itemized list
of materials and jobs, immediately understandable by the
shop officials. The superintendent of the shop or depart-
ment or his duly authorized subordinates then secure the
materials needed, by a requisition upon another department
which has custody of all materials. This department is
called the stores department. The materials being secured,
the various jobs of work upon them are then given out to
individual workmen, sometimes by a central work-dispatch-
ing office, sometimes by the foremen of the various depart-
ments. These separate orders to do specific parts of the
work are generally called works orders or job tickets. Each
job ticket, for convenience in accounting with the men, has
its own serial number; but each job ticket carries in addi-
tion the number of the general production order to which
it belongs.

Each work order or job when finished is delivered to the
finished-stores department, or to the assembling or erecting
department by which it is in turn delivered to the finished
stores. Notice of the completion of the entire production
order, or of each installment of it until it is complete, is
returned by this finished-stores department to the office from

which the production order originated and the cycle is
thus completed.

The original production-order number appearing on the
ticket or instruction card accompanying each job passing
through the shop serves to identify it and direct it surely to
the intended destination, though it may be mingled among
all sorts of other work at various points on its way. This
is something like the way in which an address carries a let-
ter to its destination, although that letter travels part of the
way in the mail bag with thousands of other letters. Rec-
ords of starting and finishing times- for each job are made
on the individual job tickets; these serve as checks against
the total time of the workmen employed, and afford data
for cost computations. Manifold copies of the production
orders and the work orders, sent ahead to the departments
participating in their production, notify these departments
of work in progress for which preparation must be made.
When the original comes through with the completed job
it falls naturally into the files under the same number with
the manifold, thus automatically announcing and identify-
ing itself. Manifolds of which the originals have not yet
appeared reveal work unfinished or delayed. You have
here a hint at the basis of the system of stock tracing by
which the operations of the plant may be kept up to

It will be noticed, probably, that the cycle of manufactur-
ing begins and ends in the stores department. Before the
operations can begin, material must be secured from the stores
department by authorized requisition. When the process
is complete, the finished goods are delivered to the stores
department again for shipment or delivery. Indeed, mate-
rial is supposed to be always in the custody of the stores
department is supposed to be and often is actually returned
to the stores department after each successive step or opera-
tion in the entire process of manufacture. It is, therefore,

frequent and very good practice to proceed upon the theory
that the stores department is the responsible agency for see-
ing that a stock of both finished product and raw material
is always maintained sufficient to meet the expected demands;
that all shipping orders are issued to the stores department
and not to the manufacturing department; and that what-
ever manufacturing orders are necessary for the maintenance
of the warehouse stock of finished product, shall be issued
by the storeskeeper. Even in the case of special machinery
the same routine can be observed, except that in that case
the finished product of Course will not be stock and will have
to be manufactured in accordance with the special designs
after the shipping order has been received. A very impor-
tant function of the stores department, therefore, is to insure
against delays or interruptions either to manufacture or to
shipment which would occur if items in the stock of either
raw or finished goods were allowed to run out, and at the
same time to avoid tying up an unnecessary amount of capi-
tal in wasteful idleness by keeping too large a stock either
of raw materials or of finished product on hand. The
actual procurement of raw materials is generally handled by
a sub-department called the purchasing department, which is
responsible for quality, prices, and arrivals of the requisite
supplies, but makes purchases only upon requisition from the
stores department, so far at least as materials are concerned.
In many cases machinery, tools, fuel or equipment not clas-
sified as raw material for manufacturing purposes and not
kept in the storekeeper's stock, are purchased directly upon
requisition from departments by which they are used.

The last great industrial function recognized by a sepa-
rate department is selling. In several senses it dominates
the whole. Things are not usually made unless they can
be sold. In cases of special manufacturing, such as ma-
chinery made to order from individual plans, the manufac-
turing plant produces what the sales department specifies.

In the case of standard stock manufacturing, like watches
or sewing machines, it turns out an article for which the
sales department can find a demand. On the other hand,
the operations of the sales department will not result in
profits unless they are carried on with a correct knowledge
of manufacturing department costs, of the limits of the manu-
facturing department's ability or capacity, and so on. There
must be close co-operation and co-ordination. The engi-
neering department is to a considerable extent the co-ordinat-
ing center between manufactures and sales. But being a
little nearer to the latter, it is usually found forming a sub-
division or part of the selling department.

Certain very able critics have urged forcibly that modern
tendencies, especially American tendencies, are toward over-
magnification of the salesman and his functions, and under-
appreciation of the engineer and his capabilities. It is a
natural frailty, whether human or commercial. The sales-
man is the man who brings the money in. The engineer
usually directs its outgo. The man who visibly or ap-
parently stands nearest to income and profits has the first
consideration. But it is a serious fact that in a large way we
have nationally devoted too much thought to obtaining and
raising prices a salesman's function and too little to
lowering the costs of production an engineer's function.

Attention to lowering production costs by cultivating higher
efficiency, by eliminating wastes of material, of labor, of
power, or of any other industrial element, is now at a phase
of rapid increase. It is here that the greatest opportunity
lies for the industrial engineer and the works manager.

Source: Chapter 4 Going

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