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Precision a e

Precision a e

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Published by: Viengvilay Xayavongsa on Oct 03, 2012
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05/13/2014

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Page 1 of 10 by
Christopher Dunn
10/8/01 & 3/2/03In this article, I will explain in detail why I believe artifacts that I have studied in Egyptwere the products of an advanced culture, ora culture with a significantly different levelof technology for which we have given themcredit. I will focus on one particular aspectof these artifacts: their precision. I could getinto a long drawn out discussion of whatwas necessary to produce this amazing pre-cision, but I will leave that for another arti-cle. For the purposes of this article, what weneed to understand is what manufacturingprecision is and why we create it.
 
Page 2 of 10
What is precision?
The word comes from “precise” which Webster‘s defines as “sh-arply or exactly limited or defined as to meaning; exact; definite,not loose, vague or equivocal; exact in conduct; strict; formal; nice;punctilious.” Preciseness is “exactness; rigid nicety; excessiveregard to forms or rules; rigid formality.” Precision is “The state of being precise as to meaning; preciseness; exactness; accuracy.”To many people, the application of precision in their lives isrelated to their words and actions. We have precise speech, precisetime keeping and the precision of a military drill. We may have thegood fortune to be invited to a dinner party by a “precisian” andfind the tableware in exact order, with nary a spoon or goblet outof position.The application of precision, as noted above, is part and parcel of being civilized. It is the discipline and order that is necessary forcivilization to function successfully.Beginning in the late 1800s, a different application of precision wasgaining increased importance and seen to be necessary to ensurethe successful outcome of human endeavors. The machines thatwere invented and used as labor-saving devices depended on pre-cision components to function properly. In the 1800s, the cottonindustry and steam power spawned the Industrial Revolution inthe north of England. The demand for more efficient spinningmills and looms gave rise to a greater emphasis on producingcomponents that functioned precisely. To make products that wereconsistent, variables in the manufacturing process had to bereduced or eliminated. To accomplish this, dimensional variablesthat were inherent in the manufacture of critical components need-ed to be reduced to acceptable levels. However, because of theinaccuracies of the machine tools of that day, skilled fitters wereneeded to scrape, chisel and file components to close dimensionsin order for them to fit properly.Wars have accelerated the evolution of standardized measure-ments and the elimination of variables in the manufacturing pro-cess. Put yourself in the place of a soldier during the Civil War.
 
Page 3 of 10Their rifles were precision crafted, but when replacing a compo-nent in the field, they had to hand file the pieces to fit. Obviously,this was time consuming, and in war, timing could make you awinner or a loser. Standards were necessarily instituted and sup-pliers had to meet these standards or lose business.Anyone who has brought home a bicycle or piece of “Ready toassemble” furniture can appreciate the precision that is requiredfor these objects to go together easily. Have you ever found your-self trying to align a bolt in a pre-drilled hole that is off by aneighth of an inch? This is an excellent example of the need for pre-cision, and how the effort to produce precision products can be anexpensive, difficult endeavor.In manufacturing today, components are made throughout theworld and come together in assembly plants. The exacting stan-dards and precision of the product shipped from thousands ofmiles away ensure that when they go to the assembly line, thecomponents fit together without additional work beingperformed.Most people will never actually create objects to a high precision.It is understandable, therefore, that most people overlook thisimportant aspect of a civilization’s infrastructure. To laypersons,precision is an abstract concept. This is not a criticism. If you havenot had precision manufacturing experience, either professionallyor as a hobby, an understanding of the concept of precision is aca-demic.We are end users of powerful precision technologies that fuel ourcivilization and make our lives easier. Without manufacturing pre-cision, cars would not run, planes would not fly and CDs wouldnot play. The precision we create is born out of necessity. We donot create it without good reason, because the costs of producingartifacts today go up exponentially if the demand for accuracy isgreater.An example of close accuracy and precision is the 12-inch straight-edge that I have taken to Egypt in 1999 and 2001. The edge wasfinished on a precision grinder. Its deviation from a perfect

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