Industrial Engineering

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OTHER PIONEERS OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING (Part two)

OTHER PIONEERS OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING (Part two)

Gantt’s ideas covered a wider range than some of his predecessors. He was interested not only in standards and costs but also in the proper selection and training of workers and in the development of incentive plans to reward them. Although Gantt was considered by Taylor to be a true disciple, his disagreements with Taylor on several points led to the development of a “task work with bonus” system instead of Taylor’s “differential piece rate” system and explicit procedures for enabling workers to either protest or revise standards. He was also interested in scheduling problems and is best remembered for devising the Gantt chart: a systematic graphical procedure for planning and scheduling activities that is still widely used in project management.

In attendance were also the profession’s first educators including Hugo Diemer, who started the first continuing curriculum in industrial engineering at Pennsylvania State College in 1908; William Kent, who organized an industrial engineering curriculum at Syracuse University in the same year; Dexter Kimball, who presented an academic course in works administration at Cornell University in 1904; and C. Bertrand Thompson, an instructor in industrial organization at Harvard, where the teaching of Taylor’s concepts had been implemented. Consultants and industrial managers at the meeting included Carl Barth, Taylor’s mathematician and developer of special purpose slide rules for metal cutting; John Aldrich of the New England Butt Company, who presented the first public statement and films about micro- motion study; James Dodge, president of the Link-Belt Company; and Henry Kendall, who spoke of experiments in organizing personnel functions as part of scientific management in industry. Two editors present were Charles Going of the Engineering Magazine and Robert Kent, editor of the first magazine with the title of Industrial Engineering. Lillian Gilbreth was perhaps the only pioneer absent since at that time women were not admitted to ASME meetings.

Another early pioneer was Harrington Emerson. Emerson became a champion of efficiency independent of Taylor and summarized his approach in his book, the Twelve Principles of Efficiency. These principles, which somewhat paralleled Taylor’s teachings, were derived primarily through his work in the railroad industry. Emerson, who had reorganized the work shops of the Santa Fe Railroad, testified during the hearings of the Interstate Commerce Commission concerning a proposed railroad rate hike in 1910 to 1911 that scientific management could save “a million dollars a day.” Because he was the only “efficiency engineer” with firsthand experience in the railroad industry, his statement carried enormous weight and served to emblazon scientific management on the national consciousness. Later in his career he became particularly interested in selection and training of employees and is also credited with originating the term dispatching in reference to shop floor control, a phrase that undoubtedly derives from his railroad experience.

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