American system of manufacturing

The American system of manufacturing was a set of manufacturing methods that evolved in the 19th century. The two notable features were the extensive use of interchangeable parts and mechanization for production, which resulted in more efficient use of labor compared to hand methods. The system was also known as armory practice because it was first fully developed in armories, namely, the United States Armories at Springfield in Massachusetts and Harpers Ferry in Virginia (later West Virginia),[1] inside contractors to supply the United States Armed Forces, and various private armories. The name "American system" came not from any aspect of the system that is unique to the American national character, but simply from the fact that for a time in the 19th century it was strongly associated with the American companies who first successfully implemented it, and how their methods contrasted (at that time) with those of British and continental European companies. In the 1850s, the "American system" was contrasted to the British factory system which had evolved over the previous century. Within a few decades, manufacturing technology had evolved further, and the ideas behind the "American" system were in use worldwide. Therefore, in manufacturing today, which is global in the scope of its methods, there is no longer any such distinction.

The American system involved semi-skilled labor using machine tools and jigs to make standardized, identical, interchangeable parts, manufactured to a tolerance, which could be assembled with a minimum of time and skill, requiring little to no fitting.

Since the parts are interchangeable, it was also possible to separate manufacture from assembly, and assembly could be carried out by semi-skilled labor on an assembly line—an example of the division of labor. The system typically involved substituting specialized machinery to replace hand tools.

Interchangeability of parts was finally achieved by combining a number of innovations and improvements in machining operations and machine tools, which were developed primarily for making textile machinery. These innovations included the invention of new machine tools and jigs (in both cases, for guiding the cutting tool), fixtures for holding the work in the proper position, and blocks and gauges to check the accuracy of the finished parts.[1]

Use of machinery

English machine tool manufacturer Joseph Whitworth was appointed as a British commissioner for the New York International Exhibition. Accompanied by another British commissioner, he traveled around several states visiting various manufacturers, and as a result published a highly influential report on American manufacturing, from which he is quoted:

The laboring classes are comparatively few in number, but this is counterbalanced by, and indeed, may be one of the causes of the eagerness by which they call in the use of machinery in almost every department of industry. Wherever it can be applied as a substitute for manual labor, it is universally and willingly resorted to…. It is this condition of the labor market, and this eager resort to machinery wherever it can be applied, to which, under the guidance of superior education and intelligence, the remarkable prosperity of the United States is due.[2]

— Joseph Whitworth, 1854
Other characteristics

The American system contributed to efficiency gains through division of labor. Division of labor helped manufacturing transition from small artisan's shops to early factories. Key pieces of evidence supporting efficiency gains include increase in firm size, evidence of returns to scale, and an increase in non-specialized labor. The need for firms to train uneducated people to perform only one thing in the productivity chain allowed for the use of non-specialized labor. Women and children were employed more frequently within larger firms, especially those producing furniture and clothing..

History

In the late 18th century, French General Jean Baptiste Vaquette de Gribeauval suggested that muskets could be manufactured faster and more economically if they were made from interchangeable parts. This system would also make field repairs easier to carry out under battle conditions. He provided patronage to Honoré Blanc, who attempted to implement the Système Gribeauval, but never succeeded.[1] Until then, under the British factory system, skilled machinists were required to produce parts from a design. But however skilled the machinist, parts were never identical, and each part had to be manufactured separately to fit its counterpart—almost always by one person who produced each completed item from start to finish.

Mass production using interchangeable parts was first achieved in 1803 by Marc Isambard Brunel in cooperation with Henry Maudslay, and Simon Goodrich, under the management of (with contributions by) Brigadier-General Sir Samuel Bentham, the Inspector General of Naval Works at Portsmouth Block Mills at Portsmouth Dockyard, for the British Royal Navy during the Napoleonic War. By 1808 annual production had reached 130,000 sailing blocks.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12] This method of working did not catch on in general manufacturing in Britain for many decades, and when it did it was imported from America, becoming known as the American System of Manufacturing, even though it originated in England.

The Lowell system is also related to the American system during this time. It emphasized procuring, training, and providing housing and other living necessities for the workforce, as well as using semi-automated machines in a centralized factory building or complex.

Gribeauval’s idea was conveyed to the US by two routes. First, Blanc’s friend Thomas Jefferson championed it, sending copies of Blanc’s memoirs and papers describing his work to Secretary of War Henry Knox. Second, artillery officer Louis de Tousard (who had served with Lafayette) was an enthusiast of Gribeauval's ideas. Tousard wrote two influential documents after the American Revolution; one was used as the blueprint for West Point, and the other became the officer’s training manual.[1]

The War Department, which included officers trained at West Point on Tousard's manual, established the armories at Springfield and Harper's Ferry and tasked them with solving the problem of interchangeability. The task was finally accomplished in the 1820s. Historian David A. Hounshell believes that this was done by Captain John H. Hall, an inside contractor at Harper's Ferry.[1] In a letter dated 1822 Hall makes the claim he achieved interchangeability in 1822.[13] But historian Diana Muir argues that it is more probable that it was Simeon North, a Connecticut arms contractor manufacturing guns for the US Army. North, not Hall, was the inventor of the crucial milling machine in 1816, and had an advantage over Hall in that he worked closely with the first industry that mass-produced complex machines from mass-produced interchangeable parts, the Connecticut clock-making industry.[14] By 1815 the idea of interchangeability was well established in the US government system of procurement; Congressional contracts stipulated this quality in muskets, rifles and pistols ordered after that date.[15] Interchangeability of firearms parts at the U.S. armories was found to have been in use for a number of years by the time of the 1853 British Parliamentary Commissions Committee on Small Arms inquiry.[1]

A critical factor in making interchangeable metal parts was the invention of several machine tools, such as the slide rest lathe, screw cutting lathe, turret lathe, milling machine and metal planer. One of the most important and versatile of these machine tools was David Wilkinson's lathe, for which he received a $10,000 award from the government of the United States.[16]

Eli Whitney is generally credited with the idea and the practical application, but both are incorrect attributions. Based on his reputation as the inventor of the cotton gin, the US government gave him a contract in 1798 for 10,000 muskets to be produced within two years. It actually took eight years to deliver the order, as Whitney perfected and developed new techniques and machines. In a letter to Treasury Secretary Oliver Wolcott apologizing for the delays, Whitney wrote:

One of my primary objectives it to form tools so the tools themselves shall fashion the work and give to every part its just proportion – which when once accomplished, will give expedition, uniformity, and exactness to the whole… In short, the tools which I contemplate are similar to engraving on a copper plate from which may be taken a great number of impressions, perfectly alike.[13]

Whitney did use machinery; however, there is no evidence that he produced any new type of metalworking machinery.[13] After completing the initial contract, Whitney went on to produce another 15,000 muskets within the following two years. Whitney never actually expressed any interest in interchangeability until 1800, when Treasury Secretary Wolcott exposed him to the memoirs of Blanc,[1] but he spent far more time and energy promoting the idea than developing it.

In order to spread knowledge of manufacturing techniques, the War Department made contractors open their shops to other manufacturers and competitors. The armories also openly shared manufacturing techniques with private industry.[16] Additionally, the idea migrated from the armories to industry as machinists trained in the armory system were hired by other manufacturers. Skilled engineers and machinists thus influenced American clockmakers and sewing machine manufacturers Wilcox and Gibbs and Wheeler and Wilson, who used interchangeable parts before 1860.[1][17] Late to adopt the interchangeable system were Singer Corporation sewing machine (1870s), reaper manufacturer McCormick Harvesting Machine Company (1870s–80s)[1] and several large steam engine manufacturers such as Corliss (mid-1880s)[18] as well as locomotive makers. Large scale of production of bicycles in the 1880s used the interchangeable system.[1]

The idea would also help lead to the American "Golden Age" of manufacturing when Henry Ford mass-produced the automobile. Mastering true interchangeability on the assembly line, the Ford plant produced standard model cars. These efficient production strategies allowed these automobiles to be affordable for the middle class.

Pre-Industrial Revolution

The idea of interchangeable parts and the separate assembly line was not new, though it was little used. The idea was first developed in East Asia during the Warring States period and later the Qin Dynasty over 2200 years ago – bronze crossbow triggers and locking mechanisms were mass-produced and made to be interchangeable. Venice during the late Middle Ages had ships that were produced using pre-manufactured parts, assembly lines, and mass production. The Venetian Arsenal apparently produced nearly one ship every day, in what was effectively the world’s first factory.

See also
References
  1. Hounshell, David A. (1984), From the American System to Mass Production, 1800-1932: The Development of Manufacturing Technology in the United States, Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press, ISBN 978-0-8018-2975-8, LCCN 83016269
  2. Roe, Joseph Wickham (1916), English and American Tool Builders, New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, LCCN 16011753. Reprinted by McGraw-Hill, New York and London, 1926 (LCCN 27-24075); and by Lindsay Publications, Inc., Bradley, Illinois, (ISBN 978-0-917914-73-7).. Report of the British Commissioners to the New York Industrial Exhibition, London, 1854.
  3. Enlightenment & measurement, UK: Making the modern world.
  4. Portsmouth dockyard, UK.
  5. "Block", Collections (exhiblet), UK: Science museum.
  6. Gilbert, KR (1965), The Portsmouth Block-making Machinery, London.
  7. Cooper, CC (1982), "The Production Line at Portsmouth Block Mill", Industrial Archaeology Review, VI: 28–44.
  8. Cooper, CC (1984), "The Portsmouth System of Manufacture", Technology and Culture, 25: 182–225.
  9. Coad, Jonathan (1989), The Royal Dockyards 1690–1850, Aldershot.
  10. Coad, Jonathan (2005), The Portsmouth Block Mills : Bentham, Brunel and the start of the Royal Navy’s Industrial Revolution, ISBN 1-873592-87-6.
  11. Wilkin, Susan (1999), The application of emerging new technologies by Portsmouth Dockyard, 1790–1815 (PhD Thesis), The Open University (copies available from the British Thesis service of the British Library).
  12. Cantrell, J; Cookson, G, eds. (2002), Henry Maudslay and the Pioneers of the Machine Age, Stroud.
  13. Cowan, Ruth Schwartz (1997). A Social History of American Technology. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 7–8. ISBN 0-19-504606-4.
  14. Muir, Diana, Reflections in Bullough's Pond, University Press of New England.
  15. Burke, James (1995) [1978], Connections, Little, Brown & Co, p. 151, ISBN 0-316-11672-6.
  16. Thompson, Ross (2009). Structures of Change in the Mechanical Age: Technological Invention in the United States 1790–1865. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-9141-0.
  17. Thomson, Ross (1989). The Path to Mechanized Shoe Production in the United States. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0-80781867-1.
  18. Hunter, Louis C. (1985). A History of Industrial Power in the United States, 1730–1930. 2: Steam Power. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia.
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American system of manufacturing

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American system of manufacturing

The American system of manufacturing was a set of manufacturing methods that evolved in the 19th century. The two notable features were the extensive use of interchangeable parts and mechanization for production, which resulted in more efficient use of labor compared to hand methods. The system was also known as armory practice because it was first fully developed in armories, namely, the United States Armories at Springfield in Massachusetts and Harpers Ferry in Virginia (later West Virginia),[1] inside contractors to supply the United States Armed Forces, and various private armories. The name "American system" came not from any aspect of the system that is unique to the American national character, but simply from the fact that for a time in the 19th century it was strongly associated with the American companies who first successfully implemented it, and how their methods contrasted (at that time) with those of British and continental European companies. In the 1850s, the "American system" was contrasted t ...more...

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The American system of watch manufacturing is a set of manufacturing techniques and best-practices to be used in the manufacture of watches and timepieces. It is derived from the American system of manufacturing techniques (also called "armory practices"), a set of general techniques and guidelines for manufacturing that was developed in the 19th century. The system calls for using interchangeable parts, which is made possible by a strict system of organization, the extensive use of the machine shop, and quality control systems utilizing gauges to ensure precise and uniform dimensions.[1] It was developed by Aaron Lufkin Dennison, a watch repairman who was inspired by the manufacturing techniques of the United States Armory at Springfield, Massachusetts, which manufactured identical parts, allowing rapid assembly of the final products. He proposed using similar techniques for the manufacture of watches. Before the American system of watch manufacturing was developed, watchmaking was primarily a European busin ...more...

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American System (economic plan)

The Monkey System or Every One For Himself Henry Clay says "Walk in and see the new improved grand original American System!" The cages are labeled: "Home, Consumption, Internal, Improv". This 1831 cartoon ridiculing Clay's American System depicts monkeys, labeled as being different parts of a nation's economy, stealing each other's resources (food) with commentators describing it as either great or a humbug. The American System was an economic plan that played an important role in American policy during the first half of the 19th century. Rooted in the "American School" ideas of Alexander Hamilton, the plan "consisted of three mutually reinforcing parts: a tariff to protect and promote American industry; a national bank to foster commerce; and federal subsidies for roads, canals, and other 'internal improvements' to develop profitable markets for agriculture".[1] Congressman Henry Clay was the plan's foremost proponent and the first to refer to it as the "American System". History A plan to strengthen an ...more...

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List of automobiles manufactured in the United States

The following is a list automobiles manufactured in the United States. Ford Motor Company[1] Make / Model State Facility Ford Bronco Michigan Michigan Assembly Plant Ford C-MAX Michigan Michigan Assembly Plant Ford Escape Kentucky Louisville Assembly Plant Ford Expedition Kentucky Kentucky Truck Plant Ford Expedition MAX Kentucky Kentucky Truck Plant Ford Explorer Illinois Chicago Assembly Plant Ford F-150 Michigan Dearborn Truck Plant Missouri Kansas City Assembly Plant Ford Focus Michigan Michigan Assembly Plant Ford Mustang Michigan Flat Rock Assembly Plant Ford Ranger Michigan Michigan Assembly Plant Ford Super Duty Ohio Ohio Assembly Plant Ford Taurus Illinois Chicago Assembly Plant Ford Transit Missouri Kansas City Assembly Plant Lincoln MKC Kentucky Louisville Assembly Plant Lincoln Continental Michigan Flat Rock Assembly Plant Lincoln Navigator Kentucky Kentucky Truck Plant General Motors[2] Make / Model Stat ...more...

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Distributed control system

A distributed control system (DCS) is a computerised control system for a process or plant usually with a large number of control loops, in which autonomous controllers are distributed throughout the system, but there is central operator supervisory control. This is in contrast to non-distributed control systems that use centralised controllers; either discrete controllers located at a central control room or within a central computer. The DCS concept increases reliability and reduces installation costs by localising control functions near the process plant, with remote monitoring and supervision. Distributed control systems first emerged in large, high value, safety critical process industries, and were attractive because the DCS manufacturer would supply both the local control level and central supervisory equipment as an integrated package, thus reducing design integration risk. Today the functionality of SCADA and DCS systems are very similar, but DCS tends to be used on large continuous process plants w ...more...

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Economic history of the United States

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Economic history of the United States

The economic history of the United States is about characteristics of and important developments in the U.S. economy from colonial times to the present. The emphasis is on economic performance and how it was affected by new technologies, especially those that improved productivity, which is the main cause of economic growth. Also covered are the change of size in economic sectors and the effects of legislation and government policy. Specialized business history is covered in American business history. Colonial economy to 1780s Shipping scene in Salem, Massachusetts, a shipping hub, in the 1770s The colonial economy differed significantly from that of most other regions in that land and natural resources were abundant in America but labor was scarce. From 1700 to 1775 the output of the thirteen colonies increased 12 fold, giving the colonies an economy about 30% the size of Britain's at the time of independence. Population growth was responsible for over three-quarters of the economic growth of the Briti ...more...

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Scientific management

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Scientific management

Frederick Taylor (1856–1915), leading proponent of scientific management Scientific management is a theory of management that analyzes and synthesizes workflows. Its main objective is improving economic efficiency, especially labour productivity. It was one of the earliest attempts to apply science to the engineering of processes and to management. Scientific management is sometimes known as Taylorism after its founder, Frederick Winslow Taylor.[1] Taylor began the theory's development in the United States during the 1880s and '90s within manufacturing industries, especially steel. Its peak of influence came in the 1910s;[2] In 1913 Vladimir Lenin wrote that the "most widely discussed topic today in Europe, and to some extent in Russia, is the 'system' of the American engineer, Frederick Taylor"; Lenin decried it initially as a "'scientific' system of sweating" more work from laborers.[3] Taylor died in 1915 and by the 1920s, scientific management was still influential but had entered into competition and s ...more...

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Interchangeable parts

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Interchangeable parts

Interchangeable parts are parts (components) that are, for practical purposes, identical. They are made to specifications that ensure that they are so nearly identical that they will fit into any assembly of the same type. One such part can freely replace another, without any custom fitting, such as filing. This interchangeability allows easy assembly of new devices, and easier repair of existing devices, while minimizing both the time and skill required of the person doing the assembly or repair. The concept of interchangeability was crucial to the introduction of the assembly line at the beginning of the 20th century, and has become an important element of some modern manufacturing but is missing from other important industries. Interchangeability of parts was achieved by combining a number of innovations and improvements in machining operations and the invention of several machine tools, such as the slide rest lathe, screw-cutting lathe, turret lathe, milling machine and metal planer. Additional innovati ...more...

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Outline of production

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Outline of production

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to production: Production – act of creating 'use' value or 'utility' that can satisfy a want or need.[1] The act may or may not include factors of production other than labor. Any effort directed toward the realization of a desired product or service is a "productive" effort and the performance of such act is production. The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to production: Types Industry – production of an economic good or service within an economy.[2] Industry is divided into four sectors, or types of production; they are: Primary sector Primary sector – this involves the extraction of resources directly from the Earth, this includes agricultural and resource extraction industries. In these industries, the product (that is, the focus of production) is a natural resource. Agriculture   (outline) – cultivation of animals, plants, fungi, and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used t ...more...

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Piece work

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Piece work

A family in New York City making dolls' clothes by piecework in 1912 Piece work (or piecework) is any type of employment in which a worker is paid a fixed piece rate for each unit produced or action performed[1] regardless of time. Context When paying a worker, employers can use various methods and combinations of methods.[2] Some of the most prevalent methods are: paid a wage by the hour (known as "time work"); paid an annual salary; salary plus commission (common in sales jobs); base salary or hourly wages plus gratuities (common in service industries); salary plus a possible bonus (used for some managerial or executive positions); salary plus stock options (used for some executives and in start-ups and some high tech firms); salary pool systems; gainsharing (also known as "profit sharing"); paid by the piece – the number of things they make, or tasks they complete (known as ‘output work’); or paid in other ways (known as ‘unmeasured work’[a]).[4] Some industries where piece rate pay jobs are common ar ...more...

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Automation

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Automation

Automation is the technology by which a process or procedure is performed without human assistance.[1] Automation [2] or automatic control is the use of various control systems for operating equipment such as machinery, processes in factories, boilers and heat treating ovens, switching on telephone networks, steering and stabilization of ships, aircraft and other applications and vehicles with minimal or reduced human intervention. Some processes have been completely automated. Automation covers applications ranging from a household thermostat controlling a boiler, to a large industrial control system with tens of thousands of input measurements and output control signals. In control complexity it can range from simple on-off control to multi-variable high level algorithms. In the simplest type of an automatic control loop, a controller compares a measured value of a process with a desired set value, and processes the resulting error signal to change some input to the process, in such a way that the process ...more...

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Colt's Manufacturing Company

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Colt's Manufacturing Company

Colt's Manufacturing Company, LLC (CMC, formerly Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company) is an American firearms manufacturer, founded in 1855 by Samuel Colt. It is the successor corporation to Colt's earlier firearms-making efforts, which started in 1836. Colt is known for the engineering, production, and marketing of firearms, most especially between the 1850s and World War I, when it was a dominating force in its industry and a seminal influence on manufacturing technology. Colt's earliest designs played a major role in the popularization of the revolver and the shift away from earlier single-shot pistols. Although Samuel Colt did not invent the revolver concept, his designs resulted in the first very successful ones. The most famous Colt products include the Colt Walker, made 1847 in the facilities of Eli Whitney Jr., the Single Action Army or Peacemaker, the Colt Python, and the Colt M1911 pistol, which is currently the longest-standing military and law enforcement service handgun in the world and ...more...

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List of automobile manufacturers of the United States

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List of automobile manufacturers of the United States

This is a list of current automobile manufacturers of the United States. Major automakers With their various marques, many of which earlier had been independent companies, some of which are now extinct. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Chalmers-Detroit/Chalmers (1908–1910/1911–1924) Chrysler (1925–present) DeSoto (1928–1961) Dodge (1914–present) Eagle (1988–1999) Fargo (1920–1972) Imperial (1955–1975, 1981–1983) Jeep (1963–present) Maxwell (1905–1925) Plymouth (1928–2001) Ram (2009–present) SRT (2013–2014)[1] Valiant (1960–1966) Ford (1903–present) Continental (1956–1961) Edsel (1958–1960) Lincoln (1920–present) Mercury (1939–2011) General Motors (1908–present) Buick (1903–present) Marquette (1930) Cadillac (1902–present) LaSalle (1927–1940) Cartercar (1906–1916) Chevrolet (1911–present) Geo (1988–1998) Elmore (1893–1912) Ewing (1908–1911) GMC (1912–present) Hummer (1992–2010) Oakland (1907–1931) Pontiac (1926–2009) Oldsmobile ...more...

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Lima Army Tank Plant

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Lima Army Tank Plant

The Joint Systems Manufacturing Center, also known as the Lima Army Tank Plant (LATP) is a tank plant located in Lima, Ohio. It is a government-owned, contractor-operated facility currently operated by General Dynamics Land Systems. Workers at the plant are represented by UAW Local 2147.[2] History 1940s In May 1942 construction began for Lima Army Tank Plant to manufacture centrifugally cast gun tubes in the steel foundry. This manufacturing method was rendered obsolete, so the army converted it to a tank depot for modifying and processing combat vehicles for export and domestic shipping.[3] In November 1942, a GM subsidiary, United Motors Services, took over operation of the plant to process vehicles under government contract. The plant prepared many vehicles for Europe, including the M5 light tank and the M26 Pershing tank. In 2007, UAW Local 2075 Veterans' Committee began construction on the Veterans Freedom Flag Monument adjacent to JSMC. 1950s After World War II, as the Lima Ordnance Depot, t ...more...

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Rust Belt

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Rust Belt

Change in total number of manufacturing jobs in metropolitan areas, 1954–2002. (Figures for New England are from 1958.)   >58% loss   43–56% loss   31–43.2% loss   8.7–29.1% loss [United States average: 8.65% loss]   7.5% loss – 54.4% gain   >62% gain Three metropolitan areas lost more than four fifths of their manufacturing jobs: Steubenville, OH; Johnstown, PA, and Augusta, ME. Change in per capita personal income in metropolitan counties, 1980–2002, relative to the average for U.S. metropolitan areas.   income above average, growth faster than average   income above average, growth average or below average   income above average but decreasing   income below average, growth faster than average   income below average, growth average or below average   income below average and further decreasing The Rust Belt is a region of the United States, made up mostly of places in the Midwest and Great Lakes, though the term may be used to include any location where industry declined starting around ...more...

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List of largest European manufacturing companies by revenue

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List of largest European manufacturing companies by revenue

The following is a list of the largest European manufacturing companies, ordered by revenue in billions of US Dollars. Company Sales Headquarters Industry Volkswagen 254.0  Germany Automotive Daimler 150.8  Germany Automotive BASF 103.9  Germany Chemicals Nestle 100.6   Switzerland Food Siemens  Germany Engineering, various BMW 98.8  Germany Automotive Bosch 85.4  Germany Engineering, various ArcelorMittal 84.2  Luxembourg Metals Airbus 74.5  France Aerospace & Defence Peugeot 73.1  France Automotive Unilever 67.7  United Kingdom Food, Household & Personal Care Saint-Gobain 57.0  France Building materials Novartis 56.7   Switzerland Pharmaceuticals Renault 54.4  France Automotive Bayer 52.5  Germany Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals ThyssenKrupp 51.6  Germany Metals Hoffmann-La Roche 49.7   Switzerland Pharmaceuticals Volvo 46.7  Sweden Automotive LyondellBasell 46.4  Netherlands Chemicals Sanofi 46.1  France Pharmac ...more...

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BMW in the United States

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BMW in the United States

BMW Zentrum Spartanburg (visitor center) BMW cars have been officially sold in the United States since 1956[1] and manufactured in the United States since 1994.[2] The first BMW dealership in the United States opened in 1975.[3] In 2016, BMW was the twelfth highest selling brand in the United States.[4] The manufacturing plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina has the highest production volume of the BMW plants worldwide,[5] currently producing approximately 1,900 vehicles per day.[6] The models produced at the Spartanburg plant are the X3, X4, X5, X6 and X7 SUV models. In addition to the South Carolina manufacturing facility, BMW's North American companies include sales, marketing, design, and financial services operations in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Latin America. Spartanburg manufacturing plant The BMW US Manufacturing Company, also known as BMW Spartanburg, is a vehicle assembly facility for BMW Group and is located in Greer, South Carolina;[9] it is BMW's only assembly plant in the Unite ...more...

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FN Herstal

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FN Herstal

Fabrique Nationale Herstal (French for: National Factory Herstal), self-identified as FN Herstal and often referred to as Fabrique Nationale or simply FN, is a leading firearms manufacturer located in Herstal, Belgium, and is owned by the holding company Herstal Group which is owned by the regional government of Wallonia.[1] It is currently the largest exporter of military small arms in Europe.[2] FN Herstal is a member of the Belgian Herstal Group, which also owns U.S. Repeating Arms Company (Winchester) and Browning Arms Company.[1] FN America is the American subsidiary of FN Herstal; FN America was formed by the merger of FN's previous two American subsidiaries: FN Manufacturing and FNH USA.[3] FN Manufacturing, located in Columbia, South Carolina, was the manufacturing branch of FN Herstal in the United States, producing firearms such as the M249 and M240 machine guns and the M16 rifle, among others.[3] FNH USA, located in McLean, Virginia, was the sales and marketing branch of FN Herstal in the United S ...more...

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SCADA

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SCADA

Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) is a control system architecture that uses computers, networked data communications and graphical user interfaces for high-level process supervisory management, but uses other peripheral devices such as programmable logic controllers and discrete PID controllers to interface with the process plant or machinery. The operator interfaces which enable monitoring and the issuing of process commands, such as controller set point changes, are handled through the SCADA computer system. However, the real-time control logic or controller calculations are performed by networked modules which connect to the field sensors and actuators. The SCADA concept was developed as a universal means of remote access to a variety of local control modules, which could be from different manufacturers allowing access through standard automation protocols. In practice, large SCADA systems have grown to become very similar to distributed control systems in function, but using multiple mean ...more...

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American automobile industry in the 1950s

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American automobile industry in the 1950s

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible, one of the most iconic autos of the era[1] The 1950s were pivotal for the American automobile industry. The post-World War II era brought a wide range of new technologies to the automobile consumer, and a host of problems for the independent automobile manufacturers. The industry was maturing in an era of rapid technological change; mass production and the benefits from economies of scale led to innovative designs and greater profits, but stiff competition between the automakers. By the end of the decade, the industry had reshaped itself into the Big Three, Studebaker, and AMC. The age of small independent automakers was nearly over, as most of them either consolidated or went out of business. A number of innovations were either invented or improved sufficiently to allow for mass production during the decade: air conditioning, automatic transmission, power steering, power brakes, seat belts and arguably the most influential change in automotive history, the overhead-valv ...more...

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Operating system

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Operating system

An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware and software resources and provides common services for computer programs. Time-sharing operating systems schedule tasks for efficient use of the system and may also include accounting software for cost allocation of processor time, mass storage, printing, and other resources. For hardware functions such as input and output and memory allocation, the operating system acts as an intermediary between programs and the computer hardware,[1][2] although the application code is usually executed directly by the hardware and frequently makes system calls to an OS function or is interrupted by it. Operating systems are found on many devices that contain a computer – from cellular phones and video game consoles to web servers and supercomputers. The dominant desktop operating system is Microsoft Windows with a market share of around 82.74%. macOS by Apple Inc. is in second place (13.23%), and the varieties of Linux are collectively in third p ...more...

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SME (society)

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SME (society)

SME (previously the Society of Manufacturing Engineers) is a non-profit student and professional association for educating and advancing the manufacturing industry in North America.[1][2][3] History SME was founded in January 1932 at the height of the Great Depression. Originally named the Society of Tool Engineers, and renamed the American Society of Tool Engineers one year later, it was formed by a group of 33 engineers and mechanics gathered at the Detroit College of Applied Science.[4] By April of that year, just four months after its beginning, membership increased from the original 33 members to 200 members and continued to grow rapidly with new chapters popping up across the country.[5] As the economic troubles of the 1930s pushed the world ever-closer to war, Society members responded by helping to convert America's industries into the primary military supplier for the Allied war effort, or what President Roosevelt referred to as the "arsenal of democracy." The organization also tailored their educa ...more...

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Eli Whitney

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Eli Whitney

Eli Whitney (December 8, 1765 – January 8, 1825) was an American inventor best known for inventing the cotton gin. This was one of the key inventions of the Industrial Revolution and shaped the economy of the Antebellum South.[1] Whitney's invention made upland short cotton into a profitable crop, which strengthened the economic foundation of slavery in the United States. Despite the social and economic impact of his invention, Whitney lost many profits in legal battles over patent infringement for the cotton gin. Thereafter, he turned his attention into securing contracts with the government in the manufacture of muskets for the newly formed United States Army. He continued making arms and inventing until his death in 1825. Early life and education Coat of Arms of Eli Whitney Whitney was born in Westborough, Massachusetts, on December 8, 1765, the eldest child of Eli Whitney Sr., a prosperous farmer, and his wife Elizabeth Fay, also of Westborough. Although the younger Eli, born in 1765, could techni ...more...

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Toyota Production System

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Toyota Production System

The Toyota Production System (TPS) is an integrated socio-technical system, developed by Toyota, that comprises its management philosophy and practices. The TPS organizes manufacturing and logistics for the automobile manufacturer, including interaction with suppliers and customers. The system is a major precursor of the more generic "lean manufacturing". Taiichi Ohno and Eiji Toyoda, Japanese industrial engineers, developed the system between 1948 and 1975.[1] Originally called "just-in-time production", it builds on the approach created by the founder of Toyota, Sakichi Toyoda, his son Kiichiro Toyoda, and the engineer Taiichi Ohno. The principles underlying the TPS are embodied in The Toyota Way. Goals The main objectives of the TPS are to design out overburden (muri) and inconsistency (mura), and to eliminate waste (muda). The most significant effects on process value delivery are achieved by designing a process capable of delivering the required results smoothly; by designing out "mura" (inconsistency ...more...

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Mass production

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Mass production

Mass production of Consolidated B-32 Dominator airplanes at Consolidated Aircraft Plant No. 4, near Fort Worth, Texas, during World War II. A modern automobile assembly line Mass production, also known as flow production or continuous production, is the production of large amounts of standardized products, including and especially on assembly lines. Together with job production and batch production, it is one of the three main production methods.[1] The term mass production was popularized by a 1926 article in the Encyclopædia Britannica supplement that was written based on correspondence with Ford Motor Company. The New York Times used the term in the title of an article that appeared before publication of the Britannica article.[2] The concepts of mass production are applied to various kinds of products, from fluids and particulates handled in bulk (such as food, fuel, chemicals, and mined minerals) to discrete solid parts (such as fasteners) to assemblies of such parts (such as household appliances ...more...

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Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Company

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Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Company

Indian is an American brand of motorcycles[1][2] originally produced from 1901 to 1953 in Springfield, Massachusetts, United States. Hendee Manufacturing Company initially produced the motorcycles, but the name was changed to the Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Company[1][2] in 1928. The Indian factory team took the first three places in the 1911 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy. During the 1910s, Indian became the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world. Indian's most popular models were the Scout, made from 1920 to 1946, and the Chief, made from 1922 until 1953, when the Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Company went bankrupt. Various organizations tried to perpetuate the Indian brand name in subsequent years, with limited success. In 2011, Polaris Industries purchased Indian Motorcycles and moved operations from North Carolina and merged them into their existing facilities in Minnesota and Iowa. Since August 2013, Polaris has marketed multiple modern Indian motorcycles that reflect Indian's traditional st ...more...

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Inside contracting

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Inside contracting

Inside contracting is the practice of hiring contractors who work inside the proprietor's factory. It replaced the putting out system, where contractors worked in their own facilities. Inside contracting was the system favored by the Springfield and Harper's Ferry Armories. Since the manufacturing system developed in the armories also became popular (the American system of manufacturing), manufacturers in the early 19th century tended to hire people trained in the armories as managers. They brought with them the practice of inside contracting. The manufacturer hired inside contractors and provided materials and machinery. Each inside contractor was expected to hire his own employees and meet certain production and quality goals, but everything else was left to him. As a result, the system rewarded ingenuity, but also rewarded local optimization. For example, it was to the inside contractor's benefit to allow machinery to deteriorate toward the end of his contract since maintenance was costly and he might not ...more...

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Habakkuk thesis

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Habakkuk thesis

The Habakkuk thesis (proposed and named after British economist, Sir John Habakkuk,) is a theory that argued land abundance and labor scarcity led to high wages, which resulted in the search for labor-saving innovations in antebellum America. This ultimately stimulated the growth of machinery and the development of the American System of Manufacturing. Initially published in Habakkuk’s 1962 work, American and British Technology in the Nineteenth Century: The Search for Labor-Saving Inventions, the thesis garnered attention as the classical interpretation and explanation of American Industrialization. However, the thesis has undergone attack by many critics who argue that the thesis overlooks high interest rates, lack of machinery as capital, and scarce and expensive factors (e.g. labor and capital). Labor Scarcity and High Wages According to the Habakkuk Thesis, the underlying stimulus of American technological progress was the scarcity of labor in the first half of the 19th century. In American and British ...more...

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History of Connecticut industry

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History of Connecticut industry

The 'history of Connecticut Industry is a major part of the history of Connecticut. Between the birth of the U.S. patent system in 1790 and 1930, Connecticut had more patents issued per capita than any other state; in the 19th century, when the U.S. as a whole was issued one patent per three thousand population, Connecticut inventors were issued one patent for every 700–1000 residents. Connecticut's first recorded invention was a lapidary machine, by Abel Buell of Killingworth, in 1765. Pre-industrialization Connecticut began, as most communities at the time, as a farming economy. It rapidly developed trade and manufacturing as the farmers, and then the merchants and manufacturers themselves, became affluent enough to start buying things. Manufacturing was aided by a plenitude of resources, including water power, wood for fires and building material, and iron ore, while transportation benefited from several excellent natural harbors, and navigable rivers leading all the way to Massachusetts. As in most of N ...more...

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Computer

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Computer

A computer is a device that can be instructed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically via computer programming. Modern computers have the ability to follow generalized sets of operations, called programs. These programs enable computers to perform an extremely wide range of tasks. Computers are used as control systems for a wide variety of industrial and consumer devices. This includes simple special purpose devices like microwave ovens and remote controls, factory devices such as industrial robots and computer-aided design, and also general purpose devices like personal computers and mobile devices such as smartphones. Early computers were only conceived as calculating devices. Since ancient times, simple manual devices like the abacus aided people in doing calculations. Early in the Industrial Revolution, some mechanical devices were built to automate long tedious tasks, such as guiding patterns for looms. More sophisticated electrical machines did specialized analog calcu ...more...

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* IT chronicle *

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KUKA Systems

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KUKA Systems

KUKA Systems GmbH, a division of KUKA Aktiengesellschaft, Augsburg, is an international supplier of engineering services and flexible automated manufacturing solutions with around 3,900 employees in twelve countries globally.[1] KUKA Systems’ plants/equipments are being used by various automotive manufacturers such as BMW, GM, Chrysler, Ford, Volvo, Volkswagen, Daimler AG as well as manufacturers from other industrial sectors such as Airbus, Astrium, Siemens and others. The range includes products and services for task automation in the industrial processing of metallic and non-metallic materials for various industries including automotive, energy, aerospace, rail vehicles, and agricultural machinery.[2] History The acetylene factory Augsburg was founded in 1898 by Johann Josef Keller and Jakob Knappich for the production of low-cost domestic and municipal lighting, household appliances and automobile headlights. In 1905, the production was extended to the innovative autogenous welding equipment. After the ...more...

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Waltham Watch Company

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Waltham Watch Company

The Waltham Watch Company, also known as the American Waltham Watch Co. and the American Watch Co., produced about 40 million watches, clocks, speedometers, compasses, time fuses, and other precision instruments between 1850 and 1957. The company's historic 19th-century manufacturing facilities in Waltham, Massachusetts have been preserved as the American Waltham Watch Company Historic District. History In 1850, at Roxbury, Massachusetts, David Davis, Edward Howard, and Aaron Lufkin Dennison formed the company that would later become the Waltham Watch Company. Their revolutionary business plan was to manufacture the movement parts of watches so precisely that they would become fully interchangeable. Based upon the experience of earlier failed trials, Howard and Dennison eventually perfected and patented their precision watch making machines, creating what has been called the American System of Watch Manufacturing. American Horologe Company (Warren Manufacturing Company) The original name of the company, w ...more...

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List of companies of the United States

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List of companies of the United States

This is a list of notable companies based in the United States. For further information on the types of business entities in this country and their abbreviations, see "Business entities in the United States". Largest firms This list shows firms in the Fortune Global 500, which ranks firms by total revenues reported before 31 March 2017.[1] Only the top five firms (if available) are included as a sample. Rank Image Name 2016 revenues (US$M) Employees Notes 1 Walmart 485,873 2,300,000 Multinational retailer founded by Sam Walton in 1962. The family-controlled business is the largest employer in the world, and the largest form by revenues. Internal branded divisions include Walmart Canada and Walmart de México y Centroamérica. Other retailing subsidiaries are Sam's Club, Jet.com, and Asda. 8 Berkshire Hathaway 223,604 367,700 Nebraska-based multinational conglomerate and investment firm led by Warren Buffett. The holding company includes financials such as GEICO and Gen Re, retai ...more...

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Report on Manufactures

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Report on Manufactures

A portrait of Alexander Hamilton by John Trumbull, 1792 The Report on the Subject of Manufactures, generally referred to by its shortened title Report on Manufactures, is the third major report, and magnum opus, of American founding father and first U.S. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton. It was presented to Congress on December 5, 1791. It laid forth economic principles rooted in both the Mercantilist system of Elizabeth I's England and the practices of Jean-Baptiste Colbert of France. The principal ideas of the Report would later be incorporated into the "American System" program by Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky and his Whig Party. Abraham Lincoln, who called himself a "Henry Clay tariff Whig" during his early years, would later make the principles cornerstones, together with opposition to the institution and expansion of slavery, of the fledgling Republican Party. Hamilton's ideas formed the basis for the American School of economics. Economic plan Hamilton reasoned that to secure American indepe ...more...

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Good automated manufacturing practice

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Good automated manufacturing practice

Good automated manufacturing practice (GAMP) is both a technical subcommittee of the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) and a set of guidelines for manufacturers and users of automated systems in the pharmaceutical industry.[1] More specifically, the ISPE's guide The Good Automated Manufacturing Practice (GAMP) Guide for Validation of Automated Systems in Pharmaceutical Manufacture describes a set of principles and procedures that help ensure that pharmaceutical products have the required quality. One of the core principles of GAMP is that quality cannot be tested into a batch of product but must be built into each stage of the manufacturing process. As a result, GAMP covers all aspects of production; from the raw materials, facility and equipment to the training and hygiene of staff. Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are essential for processes that can affect the quality of the finished product. A group of pharmaceutical professionals have banded together to create the GAMP Foru ...more...

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Aaron Lufkin Dennison

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Aaron Lufkin Dennison

Aaron Lufkin Dennison (March 6, 1812 – January 9, 1895) was an American watchmaker and businessman who founded a number of companies. Early life Aaron Dennison was born in Freeport, Maine, after which the family moved to Brunswick, Maine. He was the son of Andrew Dennison, a boot and shoemaker who was also a music teacher. As a child, Aaron earned pocket money by carrying a builder’s hod, working as a herdsman, and as a clerk to a businessman. Later he cut and sold wood and then worked for his father in the cobbler’s shop until the age of 18. While there, he suggested the making of shoes in batches rather than one by one.[1] Training in watchmaking In 1830, at the age of 18, Aaron was apprenticed to a Brunswick clockmaker, James Cary. During his apprenticeship, he is said to have made an automatic machine for cutting clock wheels, however in his autobiography he merely says he wanted “to cut all the wheels of a corresponding size in each [of a batch of clocks] at once and in other ways facilitate the work ...more...

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