Craft Production, the American System of Manufacturing, and Mass Production: Feedback ME 546 - Designing Product Families - IE 546 Timothy W. Simpson Professor of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering and Engineering Design The Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA 16802 USA phone: (814) 863-7136 email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.mne.psu.edu/simpson/courses/me546 T. W. SIMPSON PENNSTATE © T. W. SIMPSON
Summary of Your Feedback • Summary of your points • Why I liked it • Interesting lecture because… • Feeback for improvement • Questions that will be addressed in future lectures • Questions that I will address now
Why I Liked It • Ambiguity of the motivating vignette, which left it open for interpretation thus lifting it from a historical perspective. • I liked the way you opened the lecture with a real scenario that posed a question that sparked interest and made me think; so even though the class wasn’t interactive, it constantly provided the “brain stuff” to think about • Very interesting to note commonality between what happened with England and US and what is happening now with China and in the 1990’s with Japan • I didn’t know that Eli Whitney was involved in arms manufacturing – the class was great; a break from the “plug and chug” numbers and formula lectures. • Today’s lecture was as good as it gets – real people in the history were more efficient in understanding the innovative works • History is always fascinating and maybe it inspires you in a way to perform better, a sense of respect for the subject since it makes you feel proud of what you are doing has a rich history! • Refreshing – sounded like a fairy tale for a prospective engineer. • A great start to class – I knew in general many of these things; however, this class joined the blocks of the puzzle together by providing me an organized understanding of this history – it was very complete. • Innovative way of putting a history lesson
Why I Liked It (cont) • Sequential order of the class was very suitable for me to follow and keep the information in order – easier to catch up if I get distracted and miss any information during the lecture. • My interest and attention was kept longer in this class than Tuesday – it could simply be a result of my strong sequential style or preference. • I enjoyed going through the order of things • I liked the use of one big example (Ford) to demonstrate many principles – didn’t know that much about Ford before • Like chronological ordering of lecture because it gives a sense of cause/effect that gave rise to each innovation or process • CP, ASM, and MP helped me to draw the big picture – how/what/why production changed • Gave everyone a good starting point for the semester – we are now closer to all being on the same page • Being a visual learner, I found that the pictures of manufacturing processes and the plant very interesting. • Presentation of information PPT handouts (i.e., visuals, pictures). • Examples of CP and pistols was attractive for me to understand the subjects; actually, Colt’s pistol is one of my favorites.
Interesting Because… • Learned about Fordism and MP before in several classes; however, I never encountered the concept of ASM and the characteristics of it • Understanding basic need of MP; why/what causes MP • Specific examples (e.g., Aston Martin, Ford) make it more interesting • Amazed in learning what Ford accomplished in his plant before technological advances • I have never gotten the knowledge about American industry’s history before • Case study of various manufacturers from Europe and US helped me fill the progress of ideas and realizations • Impressed by innovative people like Colt and Ford • Qualified degree of process and production improvements is pretty amazing. • Principles were very well summarized to help understand why MP was so successful • Helped me understand difference between CP and MP • Helped me think about the problems we are having today • To see the large changes that have been made over the past centuries – wish I had the opportunity to hear the same lecture 200 years from now • Provides some context for the notion of MC
Interesting Because… (cont) • A refresher but at the same time everything was tied together quite well – neat to see how production time decreased over time • Liked how you showed each step and compared how it improved things • Use of lots of examples – very unique in their style • The idea of moving the work to the worker to increase production rate, not deteriorate quality at low cost with less investment • See what a drastic impact on time of production that a lot of these technological advances had; also to see companies be able to lower product cost and still increase profits. • Easy to see advantages of MP over CP – good chance to recap much of what I learned before. • Enjoyed information about how the speed [of production] changed so drastically • Great overview of move from CP to MP • That MP started with military contracts which initially weren’t met (most contracts took longer then expressed) • Great revision of a lot of history that I have read; liked following the evolution of manufacturing through the last couple of centuries
Feedback for Improvement • Including more case studies and more examples would keep the lectures interesting while exhibiting the points and perspectives • A little bit boring; so, it would be better if we have more interesting examples. • Wouldn’t have survived if lecture would have gone for 15min more • Speaking is too fast for me to catch up – speak slower during lectures (x2) • Would have been great to go through this material beforehand and then discuss it more in class to ensure more attention • Some of the IE terms I am not familiar with since I am a ME. • As a ME, I don’t recall learning about Taylor – it would have been nice to learn a little about him; perhaps a little more background on process timing and how Taylor was “the father of IE” • I would have liked to learn a little more about the ways they kept the line moving (i.e., buffers and queues). • Lecture should have included some videos of the assembly lines • Prefer more pictures and fewer words on a slide – more likely to listen to what you are saying rather than just read the slide • Maybe force people to take notes to stay “tuned in” to the lecture?
Questions • Was the US population really homogeneous in the 1700s and 1800s? I have read a lot about the tensions between Irish and Italian immigrants, hostility toward German immigrants, and so on. Didn’t this actually result in a pretty divided society (ethnicity-wise, not class-wise)? • How can the thinking of one man revolutionize the world? • Seems that interchangeability has a high relation with commonality, but they are the same. What is the difference? • Specialization of jobs associated with MP seemed very boring and monotonous – why were workers willing to perform these jobs? Why were there lines of people waiting to fill the jobs? • ASM focuses on flexibility (Principle #7), yet assembly line and process is rigid and easily disrupted? • Why MC cannot be more specialized as people’s needs grow? • Is there a potential model to optimize the level of craftsmanship vs. MP? Is that what this class is about? Does this “paradigm” of making something cheap enough for everyone actually hurt the “social good”?
Questions that will be Addressed in Future Lectures • Suggest bringing the lesson up to today – give a slide or two about more recent advancements – how does history continue to effect current events? • Contrast this with the current tendencies, which may not have been done due to time limitations – for example, current research in multi-functionality and task assignment kind of address the tradeoffs between specialization and having worker’s skilled in all tasks. • Would like to know detail features of contract manufacturing, advantages, things to be considered for effective manufacturing • How did need for automation arise in production? • How was Ford able to cope with the Great Depression? Did MP concept negatively affect Ford during this period? • What are the disadvantages of MP? MP does not work well these days. • Curious as to whether the current economic trends in America will continue, or if our growing emphasis on global information will save us? • Why ASM models are being challenged by Chinese competitors and how they follow to change ideas? • How did the quality of products change as speed increased? It seems hard to keep the quality exactly the same. Today we seem to think of one-off production products as higher quality because they take more time to produce and are more expensive – are they really higher quality?