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Completed for BS

Completed for BS

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Published by rockerchrist

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Published by: rockerchrist on Apr 04, 2011
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Pre-industrial technology:
The craft method of production was used in Europe prior to 1600 and is still in use in manyagrarian and underdeveloped countries. It is characterized by: intensive use of labor, unitproduction, little division of function, and is demand driven. There is high variability in productsand procedures which are dependent on the craftsman's skills.
Craft based production methods
- a small number of workers perform all tasks requiredto convert materials to a finished form. Little standardization of output. Products are produced onan individual or small batch basis, largely to customer order. Natural or slightly modifiedmaterials are used. There is little use of power in the production process. Training of craftsmen isby apprenticeship. Young people apprentice themselves to master craftsmen, exchanging their services for a period of years to learn the trade.
Low productivity ratio
- Low productivity per worker was tolerable because of lowlabor cost. The agricultural productivity ratio, the total population divided by the number of persons involved in food and raw materials extraction, in pre-industrial societies wasapproximately 2:1. The majority of the population was rural. Fewer than 10% lived in urbanareas.
Control of product quality -
Because products were not standardized, the craftsmanassured that each of his products would function as required by making adjustments to theproduct before delivering it to the buyer. Individual modification or customization was the ruleand the process tolerated a wide range of individual difference in design and productiontechniques. Indeed, it is just this product variation that make crafted items collectibles today.Control of the product implies that all variances in production are corrected at once by a finaladjustment. Example: if a gunsmith makes a rifle that shoots a little to the left, he bends thebarrel a bit to the right until it shoots straight.
The decline of the craft system of production: The Black Death
- The craft systemstarted its long, slow decline following the outbreak of bubonic plague in Europe in 1347. By thetime the "Black Death" had run its course, nearly 50% of the population of Europe had died, atotal of over 25 million. In some areas the death toll reached 70%. As a result of the plague, theChurch lost much of its influence (since priests died just like sinners), intellectualism flourished,social unrest increased, and there were widespread labor shortages. Wages tripled within threeyears and enterprises which depended upon a ready supply of cheap labor suffered. The serf system of agriculture disappeared within a century as farms were consolidated and serfs became"freemen". The wealth of the dead was inherited by the living and the demand for goodsincreased.
The Proto-industrial factory: Power applied to production
- The low productivity of thecraft system was unable to supply the demand for goods and the emerging merchant class beganto seek other forms of manufacture. The first approach was to reduce the labor intensiveness of craftwork by the judicious application of power to the productive process. Water wheels andwindmills had been known since ancient times but their use was uneconomical given a large andcheap labor supply. Powered workshops became more common toward the end of the 16thcentury. Water wheels up to 30 ft. tall were used by mills in Germany in 1500. In order to use thepower of such a large wheel, a number of workers had to be gathered in the same location.Further, only a limited number of streams could provide sufficient water flow on a reliable basis.
Start of specialization -
Craft work was disassembled into those portions which couldconveniently make use of power in the production process and those which could not. Garmentmaking, for example, divided into fabric making, which could use power in the spinning andweaving process, and the tailoring of clothing, largely a manual craft.
Conditions necessary for the development of the factory system were:
- ready access to capital was required for investment in facilities and machines.2.
- higher productivity required more efficient distribution and ready access tomarkets, either domestic or foreign.3.
Raw materials
- ample supplies of raw materials necessary for conversion. Early industialcountries sought colonies both for their materials and as markets for products.4.
- the factory system required concentrated manpower available only in cities.Protofactories were established in centers of population with good access to transportation andattracted more workers from the surrounding farmland by providing stable employment. Thefactory system was a major contributor to the urbanization of society.
Early factory systems -
Early factories were characterized by:1. Use of indivisible
natural power
sources, generally waterwheels.2.
near streams or rivers for both power and transport.3.
Collection of workers
under one roof to make use of machines.4. Simple,
unsophisticated transformation
of natural materials. (Flax to linen, wheat to flour,ore to iron)
The 18th century factory -
About the time of the American Revolution, the factory concept hadevolved to incorporate the steam engine and more sophisticated production technology.Craftwork was fragmented into still smaller units which could be adequately performed on themachines of the time. The labor component was high but the skill level was reduced to the pointthat the apprenticeship system was no longer necessary.
Standardized parts concept
- The use of interchangeable parts in manufactured goodsoriginated in France in the late 1700's. It was observed by Thomas Jefferson while he wasAmbassador to France and was recommended for use in America. The basic concept consists of making all related parts of a series of manufactured goods compatible, i.e. all gun barrels of agiven series of rifles, will fit all gun stocks of the same series. In both the craft system and in theearly factory system, each barrel was fitted to its gun stock individually, by skilled workers. If the stock broke in the field, a new one would have to be made to fit the specific barrel. In France,such standardization was achieved by training highly skilled workers to fit largely handmadeparts to a standard pattern.
The "American system" -
In 1810, Eli Whitney won the Springfield Arsenal contract for 10,000 rifles by demonstrating and agreeing to supply weapons with fully interchangeable parts.Any part selected at random would fit any rifle. In the U.S., a country with labor shortages and aweak craft tradition, standardization was achieved through the design of specialized tools andjigs that enabled lower skilled workers to repetitively produce identical parts. This approach wassoon called the "American System" of manufacture.
Main theme of standardization
- Every unit of production is identical. The tolerance for humanand manufacturing errors is reduced to the point where the total accumulation of error of all partsof a product is lower than the maximum allowable error of the completed product. Minimizationof manufacturing errors requires total control of the manufacturing process. Because the finalproduct is assembled of many components, acceptable quality is achieved by:
1. Standardization
of production processes for each component part.
2. High manufacturing precision
requiring the use of jigs, fixtures and measuring devices toinsure each part is within error limits.
3. Reduction of human variability
in the production process by the specialization of work,selection of personnel minimize differences, training in standardized procedures, and closesupervision to insure low error performance.
Modern factory systems -
The convergence of the two trends in manufacture, application of power to the production process and the standardized parts concept, resulted in the modernfactory system. The system is highly efficient in multiplying human labor by the use of power and minimizing handwork by the use of interchangeable parts. It provides high quality, massproduced products at a reasonable cost.
Characteristics of the modern factory system:
intensive.2. Aimed at
mass or series production
.3. Involves
great division of function
Production driven
.5. Economic production quantities require
increasing demand
.6. Reduction of production variability through
of production.7. Quality through
control of process
Consequences of the factory system -
Most of the concerns of industrial organizations arisefrom the technology of the 19th century factory system. The power sources of the time werelarge and indivisible. It is not practical to use individual steam engines or water wheels at eachmachine. For greatest efficiency, hundreds of workers had to be gathered under one roof to usethe output of a large stationary steam engine. The factory system required the coordination of theefforts of large numbers of workers performing standardized tasks while keeping individualvariation as small as possible. In essence, the worker became an adjunct to a machine, a cog inthe production process. Efficiencies of production permitted lowering prices, and, in the 20th.century, decreasing the length of the work day. Both factors served to increase demand andhastened the conversion to the factory system.

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