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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 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.


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
  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


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 ), 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...

American system of watch manufacturing


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. 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 busi ...more...



Manufacturing is the production of merchandise for use or sale using labour and machines , tools , chemical and biological processing, or formulation. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech , but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale. Such finished goods may be sold to other manufacturers for the production of other, more complex products, such as aircraft , household appliances , furniture , sports equipment or automobiles , or sold to wholesalers , who in turn sell them to retailers , who then sell them to end users and consumers . Manufacturing engineering or manufacturing process are the steps through which raw materials are transformed into a final product. The manufacturing process begins with the product design, and materials specification from which the product is made. These materials are then modified through manufacturing processes to become the required part. Modern manuf ...more...

Factory system


The factory system is a method of manufacturing using machinery and division of labour . Because of the high capital cost of machinery and factory buildings, factories are typically owned by capitalists who employ the operative labour. Use of machinery with the division of labor reduced the required skill level of workers and also increased the output per worker. The factory system was first adopted in Britain at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century and later spread around the world. It replaced the putting-out system . The main characteristic of the factory system is the use of machinery, originally powered by water or steam and later by electricity. Other characteristics of the system mostly derive from the use of machinery or economies of scale , the centralization of factories , and standardization of interchangeable parts . Characteristics The defining characteristics of the factory system are: The factory system is considered a capitalist form of production. The operative ...more...

Lean manufacturing


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American Axle


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Reconfigurable manufacturing system


A reconfigurable manufacturing system ( RMS ) is one designed at the outset for rapid change in its structure, as well as its hardware and software components, in order to quickly adjust its production capacity and functionality within a part family in response to sudden market changes or intrinsic system change. A schematic diagram of a RMS is shown below (Artist Rod Hill). The RMS, as well as one of its components – the reconfigurable machine tool (RMT) were invented in 1999 in the Engineering Research Center for Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems (ERC/RMS) at the University of Michigan College of Engineering. The RMS goal is summarized by the statement – Exactly the capacity and functionality needed, exactly when needed. Ideal reconfigurable manufacturing mystems possess six core RMS characteristics: modularity, integrability, customized flexibility, scalability, convertibility, and diagnosability. A typical RMS will have several of these characteristics, though not necessarily all. When possessing ...more...

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 ...more...

American System


American System may refer to: American system of manufacturing , a system of manufacturing developed in America American School (economics) , the Hamiltonian American School of which the American System (economic plan) is a part American System (economic plan) , the program of Henry Clay and the Whig Party United States customary units , a system of measurement used in the United States American System may refer to: American system of manufacturing , a system of manufacturing developed in America American School (economics) , the Hamiltonian American School of which the American System (economic plan) is a part American System (economic plan) , the program of Henry Clay and the Whig Party United States customary units , a system of measurement used in the United States ...more...

Industrial engineering


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American automobile industry in the 1950s


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-valve V8 engine . The horsepower race had begun, laying the foundation for the mu ...more...

Manufacturing engineering


Manufacturing Engineering is a branch of professional engineering concerned with the understanding and application of Engineering Procedures in Manufacturing Processes and Production Methods. Manufacturing Engineering requires the ability to plan the practices of manufacturing; to research and to develop tools, processes, machines and equipments; and to integrate the facilities and systems for producing quality product with the optimum expenditure of capital Manufacturing or Production Engineer's primary focus is to turn Raw Material into an Updated product or a New Product in the most effective, efficient & economic way possible. Overview Manufacturing Engineering is based on core industrial engineering and mechanical engineering skills, adding important elements from mechatronics, commerce, economics and business management. This field also deals with the integration of different facilities and systems for producing quality products (with optimal expenditure) by applying the principles of physics and t ...more...

Just-in-time manufacturing


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Industrial and production engineering


Industrial and Production Engineering , (IPE) is a combination of mechanical engineering and industrial engineering and management science . It is a branch of engineering concerned with the development, improvement, implementation and evaluation of integrated systems of people, money, knowledge, information, equipment, energy, materials and processes. It is very necessary for any manufacturing company and service providing enterprise to implement this concept of engineering and principles of management science. In Asia, many universities provide Bachelor, Masters, and PhD degrees in IPE, but in other parts of the world, Industrial Engineering and Production Engineering are taught separately. History of industrial and production engineering This dates back to 1700s. The onset is not very clear but the ideology started developing the pioneers of this field who laid the foundation were Sir Adam Smith, Henry Ford, Eli Whitney, Frank and Lilian Gilbreth, Henry Gantt, F.W. Taylor, etc. Industrial and production eng ...more...

American System (economic plan)


The American System was an economic plan that played a prominent 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". 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 and unify the nation, the American System, was advanced by the Whig Party and a number of leading politicians including Henry Clay , John C. Calhoun and John Quincy Adams . The System ran counter to federalism and included: Support for a high tariff to protect American industries and generate revenue for the federal government Maintenance of high public land prices to generate federal revenue Preservation of the B ...more...

Rust Belt


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 . Rust refers to the deindustrialization , or economic decline, population loss , and urban decay due to the shrinking of its once-powerful industrial sector. The term gained popularity in the U.S. in the 1980s. The Rust Belt begins in western New York and traverses west through Pennsylvania , West Virginia , Ohio , Indiana , and the Lower Peninsula of Michigan , ending in northern Illinois , eastern Iowa , and southeastern Wisconsin . Previously known as the industrial heartland of ...more...



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GDP composition of sector and labour force by occupation in the form of any component to economy. The green, red, and blue components of the colours of the countries represent the percentages for the agriculture , industry, and services sectors , respectively. Industry is the production of goods or related services within an economy . The major source of revenue of a group or company is the indicator of its relevant industry. When a large group has multiple sources of revenue generation, it is considered to be working in different industries. Manufacturing industry became a key sector of production and labour in European and North American countries during the Industrial Revolution , upsetting previous mercantile and feudal economies. This came through many successive rapid advances in technology, such as the production of steel and coal . Following the Industrial Revolution, possibly a third of the world's economic output are derived that is from manufacturing industries. Many developed countries and many ...more...

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 . 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. 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, the plant served as a receiving and long-term storage facility for r ...more...

Education in the United States


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List of automobile manufacturers of the United States


This is a list of current and defunct automobile manufacturers of the United States . There were over 1,800 automobile manufacturers in the United States from 1894 to 1930. Very few survived and only a few were started after that period. Current Major US 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) Valiant (1960–1966) Ford (1903–present) Continental (1956–1958) 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 (1 ...more...

BMW in the United States


BMW cars have been officially sold in the United States since 1956 and manufactured in the United States since 1994. The first BMW dealership in the United States opened in 1975. In 2016, BMW was the twelfth highest selling brand in the United States. The manufacturing plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina has the second-highest production of the BMW plants worldwide, currently producing approximately 1,400 vehicles per day. The models produced at the Spartanburg plant are the X3 , X4 and X5 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 Spartanburg, South Carolina ; it is BMW 's only assembly plant in the United States. The plant is currently BMW's sole global production ...more...

FN Herstal


Fabrique Nationale d'Herstal (French for: National Factory of 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 . It is currently the largest exporter of military small arms in Europe. FN is a subsidiary of the Belgian Herstal Group , which also owns U.S. Repeating Arms Company ( Winchester ) and Browning Arms Company . 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. 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. FNH USA, located in McLean, Virginia , was the sales and marketing branch of FN Herstal in the United ...more...



Engineers , as practitioners of engineering , are people who invent, design, analyse, build and test machines, systems, structures and materials to fulfill objectives and requirements while considering the limitations imposed by practicality, regulation, safety, and cost. The word engineer ( Latin ingeniator ) is derived from the Latin words ingeniare ("to contrive, devise") and ingenium ("cleverness"). The foundational qualifications of an engineer typically include a 4-year bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline, or in some jurisdictions, a master's degree in an engineering discipline plus 4–6 years of peer-reviewed professional practice (culminating in a project report or thesis) and passage of engineering board examinations. The work of engineers forms the link between scientific discoveries and their subsequent applications to human and business needs and quality of life . Definition In 1961 , the Conference of Engineering Societies of Western Europe and the United States of America defined " ...more...

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Automotive industry in the United States


The automotive industry in the United States began in the 1890s and, as a result of the size of the domestic market and the use of mass-production, rapidly evolved into the largest in the world. However, the United States was overtaken as the largest automobile producer by Japan in the 1980s, and subsequently by China in 2008. The U.S. is currently second among the largest manufacturer in the world by volume , with approximately 8-10 million manufactured annually. Notable exceptions were 5.7 million automobiles manufactured in 2009 (due to crisis ), and peak production levels of 13-15 million units during the 1970s and early 2000s. The motor vehicle industry began with hundreds of manufacturers, but by the end of the 1920s it was dominated by three large companies: General Motors , Ford , and Chrysler , all based in Metro Detroit . After the Great Depression and World War II , these companies continued to prosper, and the U.S. produced nearly three quarters of all automobiles in the world by 1950 (8,005,859 o ...more...

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. 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. 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 th ...more...

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 C-MAX Michigan Michigan Assembly Plant Ford Econoline Ohio Ohio 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 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 State Facility Buick Enclave Michigan Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant Buick LaCrosse Michigan Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly Plant Cadillac ATS M ...more...

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. 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" ( ...more...

Computer-aided manufacturing


CAD model and CNC machined part Computer-aided manufacturing ( CAM ) is the use of software to control machine tools and related ones in the manufacturing of workpieces. This is not the only definition for CAM, but it is the most common; CAM may also refer to the use of a computer to assist in all operations of a manufacturing plant, including planning, management, transportation and storage. Its primary purpose is to create a faster production process and components and tooling with more precise dimensions and material consistency, which in some cases, uses only the required amount of raw material (thus minimizing waste), while simultaneously reducing energy consumption. CAM is now a system used in schools and lower educational purposes. CAM is a subsequent computer-aided process after computer-aided design (CAD) and sometimes computer-aided engineering (CAE), as the model generated in CAD and verified in CAE can be input into CAM software, which then controls the machine tool. CAM is used in many sc ...more...

Outline of manufacturing


Factory in 1958, photo by Paolo Monti The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to manufacturing: Manufacturing – use of machines , tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. Includes a range of human activity, from handicraft to high-tech , but most commonly refers to industrial production, where raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale. Overview Factory Heavy industry Light industry Mass production Production line Some manufacturing industries Aerospace industry Automotive industry Chemical industry Computer industry Electronics industry Food processing industry Garment industry Pharmaceutical industry Pulp and paper industry Toy industry History Handicraft History of the factory Origins of manufacturing Industrial Revolution Factory system Emergence of the factory Factory Improvement of industrial processes Industrial process Theories applied to manufacturing Taylorism Fordism Scientific management Operations of manufacturing Organizational contr ...more...

Industrial Revolution in the United States


The Industrial Revolution involved a shift in the United States from manual labor-based industry to more technical and machine-based manufacturing which greatly increased the overall production and economic growth of the United States, signifying a shift from an agrarian to an industrial economy widely accepted to have been a result of Samuel Slater 's introduction of British Industrial methods in textile manufacturing to the United States, and necessitated by the War of 1812 . Samuel Slater - "Father of the American Industrial Revolution" Origins As Western Europe began industrializing in the late 1700s and early 1800s, the United States remained agrarian in nature and resource processing in its few semi-industrial pursuits, however, as demand for U.S. resources increased, canals and railroads became extremely important to economic growth due to sparse population particularly in areas where resources were rich such as in the Western frontier. This made it necessary for the U.S. to expand its technological ...more...

Motherson Sumi Systems


Motherson Sumi Systems , established in 1986 is the flagship company of the Samvardhana Motherson Group . Motherson Sumi Systems is a joint venture between Samvardhana Motherson Group and Sumitomo Wiring Systems of Japan. Motherson Sumi Systems is a leading automotive mirror and wiring harness manufacturer for passenger cars. It also supplies plastic components and modules to the automotive industry. Motherson Sumi Systems has offices and manufacturing units in 24 international & 11 Indian locations. History First group company "Motherson" was established in 1975. However, Motherson Sumi Systems did not come into existence till 1986 when Joint Venture with Sumitomo Wiring Systems (of Japan) was formulated. Following are the key timelines. Year Events 1975 Motherson founded 1977 First Cable factory started 1983 Technical agreement with Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Japan for Wiring Harness 1986 JV with Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Japan 1989 Injection Moulding commencement 1992 Cutting Tool Manufacturing 1999 Firs ...more...

KA2N Gorgon IIA


The KA2N Gorgon IIA – also designated KU2N , CTV-4 , and CTV-N-4 – was an air-to-air missile developed by the United States Navy near the end of World War II . Proving a failure in its designed role, it was repurposed as an experimental testbed for missile technology. Design and development The Gorgon missile program began in July 1943 at the Naval Aircraft Modification Unit in Warminster, Pennsylvania , and was intended to develop a family of small air-launched missiles for air-to-air and air-to-surface roles. The Gorgon IIA, the baseline design of the family, was of canard configuration, a conventional high-mounted monoplane wing providing lift; the structure was largely of laminated wood , while propulsion was by a Reaction Motors CML2N liquid-fuel rocket , fueled with monoethylamine and nitric acid . Intended for use intercepting bombers or transport aircraft , the Gorgon IIA was said to be the first American guided missile to be powered by a liquid-fueled rocket. It was fitted with a television guida ...more...

Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award


The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recognizes U.S. organizations in the business, health care, education, and nonprofit sectors for performance excellence. The Baldrige Award is the only formal recognition of the performance excellence of both public and private U.S. organizations given by the President of the United States . It is administered by the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, which is based at and managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce . Up to 18 awards may be given annually across six eligibility categories—manufacturing, service, small business, education, health care, and nonprofit. As of 2016, 113 awards have been presented to 106 organizations (including seven repeat winners). The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and the associated award were established by the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Improvement Act of 1987 (Public Law 100–107). The program and award were named for Malcolm Baldrige , who ...more...

American Airlines Flight 1


American Airlines Flight 1 is a domestic, scheduled passenger flight from New York International (Idlewild) Airport (now John F. Kennedy International Airport ), to Los Angeles International Airport . On March 1, 1962, a Boeing 707 assigned to the flight rolled over and crashed into a swamp two minutes after takeoff, killing all 87 passengers and eight crew members aboard. A Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) investigation determined that a manufacturing defect in the automatic pilot system led to an uncommanded rudder control system input, causing the accident. A number of notable people died in the crash. It was the fifth fatal Boeing 707 accident and, at the time, the deadliest. Flight and crash The aircraft was a Boeing 707 -123B, U.S. Registry N7506A. It was delivered to American Airlines on February 12, 1959. At the time of the crash, it had accumulated 8,147 flight hours. Its last periodic inspection had occurred on January 18, 1962 at 7,922 hours of air time. The flight crew consisted of Captain James H ...more...

American Manufacturing and Packaging


American Manufacturing & Packaging (AMP), previously ARC Diversified , was a 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation located in Cookeville, Tennessee , mainly concerned with hiring and training the severely disabled in the manufacturing of food products. The company employed over 100 severely disabled people to manufacture and co-pack several private label brands and its own brands - Millstone Traditions, Granny Bunt and Beachhouse Seafood. On average, their brand portfolio reached more than four million people around the world daily. AMP was the first non-profit agency in the country to operate a USDA approved (PL No. 47-011-02) facility for the production of manufactured goods sold to the feeding programs of the US Government and private industry. AMP utilized the manufacture of food items to create opportunities for severely disabled in the development of work skills, vocational services and a better quality of life. It ceased operation in late 2011 following accusations of fraud and lying about the in ...more...

Putting-out system


The putting-out system is a means of subcontracting work. Historically, it was also known as the workshop system and the domestic system . In putting-out, work is contracted by a central agent to subcontractors who complete the work in off-site facilities, either in their own homes or in workshops with multiple craftsmen. It was used in the English and American textile industries, in shoemaking, lock -making trades, and making parts for small firearms from the Industrial Revolution until the mid-19th century; however, after the invention of the sewing machine in 1846, the system lingered on for the making of ready-made men's clothing. The domestic system was suited to pre-urban times because workers did not have to travel from home to work, which was quite impracticable due to the state of roads and footpaths, and members of the household spent many hours in farm or household tasks. Early factory owners sometimes had to build dormitories to house workers, especially girls and women. Putting-out workers had so ...more...

American LaFrance


American LaFrance (ALF) was an American vehicle manufacturer which focused primarily on the production of fire engines , fire aerials , and emergency apparatus such as ambulance and rescue vehicles. The company was located in Summerville, South Carolina . It was announced Friday, January 17, 2014 they would cease operations. History Emblem of the historic 1954 American La France-Foamite 700 Series (California Historical Vehicle 622S). The American LaFrance Fire Engine Company was one of the oldest fire apparatus manufacturers in the United States. With roots that go back to approximately 1832, the companies that went on to become American LaFrance built hand-drawn, horse-drawn, and steam-powered fire engines. Founded in 1873 by Truckson LaFrance and his partners, including Alexander S. Diven as the LaFrance Manufacturing Company selling hand powered equipment. The International Fire Engine Company, corporate predecessor of American LaFrance, built some steam power fire engines between 1903 and 1907. Apparatus ...more...



Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Limited ( TSMC ; Chinese : 台灣積體電路製造公司 ; pinyin : Táiwān Jī Tǐ Diànlù Zhìzào Gōngsī ), also known as Taiwan Semiconductor , is the world's largest dedicated independent ( pure-play ) semiconductor foundry , with its headquarters and main operations located in the Hsinchu Science and Industrial Park in Hsinchu , Taiwan . Overview Founded in Taiwan in 1987, TSMC was the world's first dedicated semiconductor foundry and has long been the leading company in its field. In addition to semiconductors, the company has also begun investing in lighting and solar energy -related industries. It is listed on both the Taiwan Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange . Morris Chang serves as Chairman , while F. C. Tseng serves as Vice Chairman. Mark Liu and C. C. Wei serve as Presidents and co- CEOs . Most of the leading fabless semiconductor companies such as Apple Inc. , Qualcomm , Nvidia , Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), MediaTek , Marvell , STMicroelectronics and Broadcom ...more...

American Tobacco Historic District


The American Tobacco Historic District is a historic tobacco factory complex and national historic district located in Durham , Durham County, North Carolina . The district encompasses 14 contributing buildings and three contributing structures built by the American Tobacco Company and its predecessors and successors from 1874 to the 1950s. Located in the district is the separately listed Italianate style W. T. Blackwell and Company building (1874-1880, c. 1904). Other notable contributing resources are the Romanesque Revival style Hill Warehouse (1900), Washington Warehouse (1902–07), the Lucky Strike Building (1901–02), and Reed Warehouse; Noell Building (c. 1930); Power Plant and Engine House (1929–39); and the Art Moderne style Fowler (1939) Strickland (1946) and Crowe (1953) buildings. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000 as the American Tobacco Company Manufacturing Plant. Redevelopment Nearby, but not part of the multi-use redevelopment district, is the Durham Bulls Athleti ...more...

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, ...more...

Fisker Automotive


Fisker Automotive - originally founded by Henrik Fisker - not to be confused with Fisker Inc. , was a firm which made the Fisker Karma , which was one of the world's first production luxury plug-in hybrid electric vehicles . It debuted at the 2008 North American International Auto Show , and first deliveries were in 2011. Production of the Fisker Karma was suspended in November 2012 due to bankruptcy of its battery supplier A123 Systems , with about 2,450 Karmas built since 2011 and over 2000 cars sold worldwide. In February 2014, Fisker Automotive's Karma vehicle design, tooling and a manufacturing facility in Delaware were purchased by Chinese auto parts conglomerate Wanxiang Group . Henrik Fisker retained the Fisker trademarks and the Fisker brand and relaunched a new, separate company, Fisker Inc , in 2016 and so Wanxiang named its new company Karma Automotive . History Fisker Automotive (2007-2014) Henrik Fisker cofounded Fisker Automotive in 2007 with Fisker Coachbuild partner Bernhard Koehler and Qua ...more...

American System-Built Homes


The American System-Built Homes were modest houses designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright . They were developed between 1912 and 1916 to fulfill his interest in affordable housing . Wright was devoted to the idea of providing beautiful yet affordable homes to the public. His firm produced over 960 drawings for the project, the largest number of drawings for any project in the Wright archives. The designs were standardized, and customers could choose from seven models. Because of this standardization, the lumber could be precut at the factory, thereby cutting down on both waste and the amount of skilled labor needed for construction. The buildings are often termed prefabricated homes , but they were not, since no parts of the homes were constructed off-site. The lumber was cut at the factory, packaged along with all other components, and delivered to the work site for construction. Some are located in a federal historic district in Milwaukee , Wisconsin, and others have been designated Chicago Landmarks i ...more...

Lindsay Manufacturing


Lindsay Corporation ( NYSE :  LNN ), formerly known as Lindsay Manufacturing Co. , is a manufacturer of Zimmatic brand center pivot irrigation systems, based in the U.S. state of Nebraska. It also manufactures farm and construction machinery, as well as road and railroad infrastructure equipment. The company states that it has a market capitalization of $547,584,000. At August 31, 2008, the company had 1,239 employees. History The company was founded in 1955 in Lindsay, Nebraska . Corporate headquarters are in Omaha . In 1992, Gary Parker of Lindsay Manufacturing Co. was named to the National Agri-Marketing Association Agribusiness Leader of the Year honor roll. Parker had started working at Lindsay Manufacturing in 1971, and went on to become the president in 1984 and the CEO in 1989. He retired from the position of CEO in 2000 at the age of 54. On October 21, 1997, the company's shares began to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The company's shares form part of the Palisades Water Index 's US Wa ...more...

Indian Motocycle Manufacturing Company


Indian is an American brand of motorcycles 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 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 styling. Hi ...more...

Bell System


The Bell System was the system of companies, led by the Bell Telephone Company and later by AT&T , which provided telephone services to much of the United States and Canada from 1877 to 1984, at various times as a monopoly . On December 31, 1983, the system was divided into independent companies by a U.S. Justice Department mandate . The general public in the United States often used the colloquial term Ma Bell (as in "Mother Bell") to refer to any aspect of this conglomerate, as it held a near-complete monopoly over telephone service in most areas of the country, and is still used by many to refer to any telephone company. Ma Bell is also used to refer to the various female voices in recordings for the Bell System: Mary Moore , Jane Barbe , and Pat Fleet , the current voice of AT&T. History Logo used from 1889 to 1900 In 1877, the American Bell Telephone Company, named after Alexander Graham Bell , opened the first telephone exchange in New Haven, Connecticut . Within a few years local exchange com ...more...

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This info was more like an advertisement I had worked in the Circuit Provisioning Datakit group. I just wanted to see what's it used for today.

Generac Power Systems


Generac Power Systems is an American manufacturer of backup power generation products for residential, light commercial and industrial markets. Generac’s power systems range in output from 800 watts to 9 megawatts, and are available through independent dealers, retailers and wholesalers. Generac is headquartered in Waukesha, Wisconsin , and has manufacturing facilities in Jefferson, Wisconsin , Eagle and Whitewater, Wisconsin . History Generac SB-375 commercial generator on base fuel tank, Ann Arbor, Michigan A portable Generac generator mounted on a vehicle. Founded in 1959, the company soon began producing portable generators for Sears, Roebuck and Co. under the Craftsman brand. During the 1970s, Generac expanded its offerings in the portable and recreational vehicle markets, and in the 1980s the company entered the commercial and industrial markets with its backup power generation systems. By end of the 1980s, the company was manufacturing residential, commercial and industrial generators, and in 1989 ...more...

Material requirements planning


Material requirements planning ( MRP ) is a production planning , scheduling , and inventory control system used to manage manufacturing processes. Most MRP systems are software -based, but it is possible to conduct MRP by hand as well. An MRP system is intended to simultaneously meet three objectives: Ensure materials are available for production and products are available for delivery to customers. Maintain the lowest possible material and product levels in store Plan manufacturing activities, delivery schedules and purchasing activities. History Prior to MRP, and before computers dominated industry, reorder point (ROP) /reorder-quantity (ROQ) type methods like EOQ (economic order quantity) had been used in manufacturing and inventory management. MRP was created initially to supply the Polaris program then, in 1964, as a response to the Toyota Manufacturing Program , Joseph Orlicky developed material requirements planning (MRP). The first company to use MRP was Black & Decker in 1964, with Dick Alban a ...more...



Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg , Germany A factory (previously manufactory ) or manufacturing plant is an industrial site, usually consisting of buildings and machinery, or more commonly a complex having several buildings, where workers manufacture goods or operate machines processing one product into another. Factories arose with the introduction of machinery during the Industrial Revolution when the capital and space requirements became too great for cottage industry or workshops. Early factories that contained small amounts of machinery, such as one or two spinning mules , and fewer than a dozen workers have been called "glorified workshops". Most modern factories have large warehouses or warehouse -like facilities that contain heavy equipment used for assembly line production. Large factories tend to be located with access to multiple modes of transportation, with some having rail, highway and water loading and unloading facilities. Factories may either make discrete products or some type of material con ...more...



A computer is a device that can be instructed to carry out arbitrary sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. The ability of computers to follow generalized sets of operations, called programs , enables them to perform an extremely wide range of tasks. Such computers are used as control systems for a very 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 assisted design , but also in general purpose devices like personal computers and mobile devices such as smartphones . The Internet is run on computers and it connects millions of other computers. 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 calculati ...more...

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