May 20, 2020

Industrial Engineering - Introduction

Industrial Engineering in Toyota Motors – Production System (TPS)



Industrial Engineering - Introduction

There is a difference between industrial engineering and engineering management. Now both these programs are run by IE departments only in USA. IE is better described as engineering in response to industry data, economic theories, social science theories, and management requirements etc. Engineering has to be core of industrial engineering. It is done in response to industry generated data. Basic engineering is driven by scientific and technical development. Industrial engineering is response to industry data that is generated in using basic engineering output.  Cost data and human factor related data are two important data which find a significant role in industrial engineering. Work measurement and productivity measurement were developed within industrial engineering as useful measurements in industrial engineering design. Industrial engineering is very valuable. That is what Taiichi Ohno and Shigeo Shingo proved in Toyota after a period of IE successes in USA. Japanese practitioners of IE made significant contributions to industrial engineering.

Innovation is the daily activity of industrial engineers. They have to come out with redesigns and convince their colleagues as well as top managers to use them.  Ideas are to be identified or created  and their economic value has to be demonstrated. Solutions are to be implemented and customer satisfaction has to be ensured.

Industrial Engineering - Definitions

Industrial engineering directs the efficient conduct of manufacturing, construction, transportation, or even commercial enterprises of any undertaking, indeed in which human labor is directed to accomplishing any kind of work . Industrial engineering has drawn upon mechanical engineering, upon economics, sociology, psychology, philosophy, accountancy, to fuse from these older sciences a distinct body of science of its own . It is the inclusion of the economic and the human elements especially that differentiates industrial engineering from the older established branches of the profession (Going, 1911) [1].

“Industrial engineering is the engineering approach applied to all factors, including the human factor, involved in the production and distribution of products or services.” (Maynard, 1953) [2]

“Industrial engineering is the design of situations for the useful coordination of men, materials and machines in order to achieve desired results in an optimum manner. The unique characteristics of Industrial Engineering center about the consideration of the human factor as it is related to the technical aspects of a situation, and the integration of all factors that influence the overall situation.” (Lehrer, 1954) [3]

“Industrial engineering is concerned with the design, improvement, and installation of integrated systems of men, materials, and equipment. It draws upon specialized knowledge and skill in the mathematical, physical, and social sciences together with the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design, to specify, predict, and evaluate the results to be obtained from such systems.” (AIIE, 1955). [4]

"Industrial engineering may be defined as the art of utilizing scientific principles, psychological data, and physiological information for designing, improving, and integrating industrial, management, and human operating procedures." (Nadler, 1955) [5]

“Industrial engineering is that branch of engineering knowledge and practice which

1. Analyzes, measures, and improves the method of performing the tasks assigned to individuals,

2. Designs and installs better systems of integrating tasks assigned to a group,

3. Specifies, predicts, and evaluates the results obtained.

It does so by applying to materials, equipment and work specialized knowledge and skill in the mathematical and physical sciences and the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design. Since, however, work has to be carried out by people; engineering knowledge needs to be supplemented by knowledge derived from the biological and social sciences.” (Lyndall Urwick, 1963) [6]

"Industrial engineering is concerned with the design, improvement and installation of integrated systems of people, materials, information, equipment and energy. It draws upon specialized knowledge and skill in the mathematical, physical, and social sciences together with the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design, to specify, predict, and evaluate the results to be obtained from such systems." [7]

"Industrial engineering is an art for creating the most efficient system composed of people, matters, energy, and information, by which a specific goal in industrial, economic, or social activities will be achieved within predetermined probabilities and accuracy. The system may be for a small single work station, a group, a section, a department, an institution or for a whole business enterprise. It may be also be of a regional, national, international, or inter-planetary scope."(Sawada, 1977) [8]

“Industrial Engineering is Human Effort Engineering. It is an engineering discipline that deals with the design of human effort in all occupations: agricultural, manufacturing and service. The objectives of Industrial Engineering are optimization of productivity of work-systems and occupational comfort, health, safety and income of persons involved.” (Narayana Rao, 2006) [9]

"Industrial Engineering is Human Effort Engineering and System Efficiency Engineering. It is an engineering discipline that deals with the design of human effort and system efficiency in all occupations: agricultural, manufacturing and service. The objectives of Industrial Engineering are optimization of productivity of work-systems and occupational comfort, health, safety and income of persons involved."(Narayana Rao, 2009) [10]

Total Industrial Engineering is "a system of methods where the performance of labor is maximized by reducing Muri (unnatural operation), Mura (irregular operation) and Muda (non-value added operation), and then separating labor from machinery through the use of sensor techniques." (Yamashina)

( Source:

"Industrial Engineering is Human Effort Engineering and System Efficiency Engineering. It is an engineering-based management staff-service discipline that deals with the design of human effort and system efficiency in all occupations: agricultural, manufacturing and service. The objectives of Industrial Engineering are optimization of productivity of work-systems and occupational comfort, health, safety and income of persons involved."(Narayana Rao, 2011) [Added to this knol (blog post) on 14.9.2011]


1. Going, Charles Buxton, Principles of Industrial Engineering, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1911, Pages 1,2,3

2. Maynard, H.B., “Industrial Engineering”, Encyclopedia Americana, Americana Corporation, Vol. 15, 1953

3. Lehrer, Robert N., “The Nature of Industrial Engineering,” The Journal of Industrial Engineering, vol.5, No.1, January 1954, Page 4

4. Maynard, H.B., Handbook of Industrial Engineering, 2nd Edition, McGraw Hill, New York, 1963.

5. Nadler, Gerald, Motion and Time Study", McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York, 1955

6. Urwick, Lyndall, F., “Development of Industrial Engineering”, Chapter 1 in Handbook of Industrial Engineering, H.B. Maynard (Ed.), 2nd Edition, McGraw Hill, New York, 1963.


8. Sawada, P.N., "A Concept of Industrial Engineering," International Journal of Production Research, Vol 15, No. 6, 1977, Pp. 511-22.
9. Narayana Rao, K.V.S.S., “Definition of Industrial Engineering: Suggested Modification.” Udyog Pragati, October-December 2006, Pp. 1-4.
10. Narayana Rao K.V.S.S., Industrial Engineering

Industrial Engineering and Supporting Science

Industrial engineering is based on science. It is based scientific theories developed by examining the work of machines and men in practical applications in delivering outputs using engineering processes.

Productivity Science - Principle of Industrial Engineering

Develop a science for each element of a man - machine system's work related to efficiency and productivity.

The productivity science developed is the foundation for industrial engineering in productivity engineering and productivity management phases.

Industrial Engineering is a Management Function

Industrial engineering (IE) discipline emerged out of the involvement of engineers in management of engineering departments. It is management function. Henry Towne in a 1886 paper, presented in ASME called for learning of economics, management, cost accounting and cost reduction by engineers. Frederick Taylor identified the short coming in the shop management that engineers really do not understand how operators are using machines or hand tools. It is not proper management of manufacturing activity. Taylor came with the theory that managers have to know how work is to be done by operators and must have the capability to train them. Managers have to specify standard operating procedures. Taylor used time study as the tool to identify the best practices or methods being used by operators (mechanic arts) at that point in time and based on them developed standard operating procedures for human effort that improved productivity. Along with it, Taylor developed theory of various machine work methods, conducted experiments and came out with improvements in machine work and thus increased man-machine system productivity. Gilbreth came with a different approach of developing micro motions used by operators to carry any activity. He developed optimal methods by removing certain non-value adding micro motions and specifying more optimal micro motions. Harrington Emerson, developed principles of efficiency for manufacturing organizations.

Within the management functions its present focus of industrial engineering is on the improvement of efficiency of products, processes and systems and  design of work done by operators.  

In certain companies, IE department was made a part of management services department which was appropriate. Management accounting, Management controls, Management audit, Industrial engineering and some more such similar functions can be organized under management services departments. Such a departmentation clearly recognizes that these sections or functions are functions of management assisting management in planning, organizing and directing resources. Productivity services department was also in existence in some companies. In the recent days, there was trend to start operational excellence departments and industrial engineers are being employed in them.


Explanation for the Words "Industrial" and "Engineering" in Industrial Engineering

Difference between Pure Engineering and  Industrial Engineering

Pure Engineering creates  technical products and processes that produce them, inspect them, operate them and service them.

Industrial Engineering is engaged in evaluation and further improvement of the technical products and processes created by the pure engineers so that at the price offered by the customers to buy a specified quantity of production, profit is made by the firm through resource use minimization and through further iterations over the life cycle of the product,  profit is further increased.

That is why Taiichi Ohno termed it Profit engineering

Target costing developed in Japan best explains the role of industrial engineering in new product introduction.

IE techniques are primarily used for improving technical processes and managerial processes of technical processes (planning, organizing, resourcing, executing and controlling of technical tasks and processes) for increasing productivity. All IE pioneers worked in engineering concerns. They improved technical processes as well as managerial methods and processes used to manage technical processes.

F.W. Taylor improved metal cutting processes, machines, and management of machine shop. He recommended functional management scheme for the machine shop.

Gilbreth improved bricklaying process by making changes in techniques. Then he proceeded to make fatigue studies to decide the speed at which workers can function without fatigue and also time.

As an augmented activity, IE is applied to business processes and managerial activities related to business processes. With the development of information technology, industrial engineers with focus on information technology have made significant contribution to business process improvement.

The emphasis on engineering tasks is the engineering component of industrial engineering. Emphasis on making products profitable is the explanation for the term "industrial". Technical products are made commercial products or industrial products by IEs by reducing their costs below the prices quoted by potential consumers and still further reducing the costs by eliminating wastes so that profit is maximized through increase in sales (due to lower prices) as well as reduction in unit costs.

The basis for reduction of costs is better explained by value engineering. A potential customer quotes a price for a new product by the services it provides to him and by comparison to the prices that he is paying for current equipment that he is using. So for reducing the costs of a proposed product to bring it in line with customer's quote, industrial engineers have to study the architecture of the current products being used by potential customers. They need to get ideas for redesigning the proposed product by understanding how the required functions are being provided by the existing products being currently used.  In investigating the product, the processes being used for producing them also come into investigation.

Productivity Engineering - Principle of Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineering is concerned with redesign of engineering systems with a view to improve their productivity. Industrial engineers analyze productivity of each  resource used in engineering systems and redesign as necessary to improve productivity.

It has to be ensured that the increase in productivity due to the use of low-cost materials, processes and increasing speed of machines and men, should not lead to any decrease in quality of the output.

1908 – The industrial engineering department at Penn State wa founded by Hugo Diemer, a pioneer in the field. James Gunn coined the term “industrial engineering” in 1900 to describe the fusion of the engineer who understands production costs, analyzes them and reduces them.  Diemer was named the first head of the department.

The fusion created by Taylor, Gilbreth, Emerson, Diemer and Going is the efficiency improvement of engineering systems to make projects viable and prosperous.

Functions and Focus Areas of Industrial Engineering

Functions and focus areas are discussed in the following article and the lists are shown in pictures..

Functions and Focus Areas of Industrial Engineering

What is Industrial Engineering?



Narayana Rao

Principles of Industrial Engineering - Taylor - Narayana Rao

Presentation by Narayana Rao on 23 May 2017 at IISE 2017 Annual Conference - Pittsburgh

Professor Narayana Rao developed Principles of Industrial Engineering in July 2016 and presented them in two conferences. The detailed set of principles were presented in the 2017 IISE Annual Conference held in Pittsburgh, USA. The paper is included in the proceedings of the conference.

Narayana Rao

Basic Principles of Industrial Engineering - Narayana Rao

1. Develop science for each element of a man - machine system's work related to efficiency and productivity.
2. Engineer methods, processes and operations to use the laws related to the work of machines, man, materials and other resources.
3. Select or assign workmen based on predefined aptitudes for various types of man - machine work.
4. Train workmen, supervisors, and engineers in the new methods.
5. Incorporate suggestions of operators, supervisors and engineers in the methods redesign on a continuous basis.
6. Plan and manage productivity at system level.

(Principles developed by Narayana Rao based on principles of scientific management by F.W. Taylor on 4 July 2016.)

Detailed List of Principles - Presented at IISE 2017 Annual Conference at Pittsburgh on 23 May 2017.

1. Productivity science
2. Productivity engineering
3. Ind Engineering is applicable to all branches of engineering
4. Principles of machine utilization economy to be developed for all resources used in engineering systems.
5. Industrial engineering optimization
6. Industrial engineering economics
7. Implementation team membership and leadership
8. Human effort engineering for increasing productivity
9. Principles of motion economy to be used in all IE studies in the area of human effort engineering
10. Operator comfort and health are to be taken care of.
11. Work measurement
12. Selection of operators
13. Training of operators, supervisors and engineers
14. Productivity training and education to all
15. Employee involvement in continuous improvement of processes and products for productivity improvement.
16. Productivity incentives
17. Hearty cooperation
18. Productivity Management
19. System level focus for productivity
20. Productivity measurement
21. Cost measurement

More Detailed Articles on Industrial Engineering

Taylor's Industrial Engineering

Taylor's Industrial Engineering in New Framework - Narayana Rao

Industrial Engineering in Various Functions of a Business/Industrial Organization

Industrial engineering is primarily applied in engineering departments of organizations.  But as productivity is a relevant issues in other departments, application of industrial engineering is available in other departments also.

Product Design Industrial Engineering

Maintenance System Industrial Engineering - Online Book

Information Systems Industrial Engineering - Online Book

Financial System Industrial Engineering - Online Book

Marketing System Industrial Engineering - Online Book

Supply Chain Industrial Engineering - Online Book

Manufacturing System Industrial Engineering - Online Book

Total Cost Industrial Engineering - Industrial Engineering of Enterprise Cost

Quality System Industrial Engineering

Logistical Systems Industrial Engineering (Truck, Rail, Air and Ship Transport related Industrial Engineering) (Suggested B. Venkateswara Rao, FaceBook)

Attributes of Industrial Engineering 

Research Possibilities are there in relation to them.
Think of a sentence that links industrial engineering with each term.

#Activity #adjustment #advantage  #Adoption  #Agreement  #Aptitude #Arrangement
#Best #Big  #Better  #Bound #Benchmarking
#Comfort #care #communication #cooperation  #clear #concept #cost #costreduction #costing #costcontrol #Casestudy #Creativity
#Decision  #Development #Distribution  #Design #Decrease #Dance #Danger #Dream #Dignity #Demonstration #Desire
#Engine #Engineering #Employee #Employment #Effectiveness  #Efficiency  #Engagement #Excitement  #Excellence #Eager #eagerness #Extreme #Extrovert #Extroversion #Extension #Existence #Extra #Estimate
#Fatigue #Forecasting #Finance #Fitness  #Future
#Goal #Game  #Going  #Gain #Guess
#Hope #Heat #Harness #Hard #
#Increase  #Involve #Insure #Improve #Improvement

June First Week - IE Knowledge Revision

Industrial Engineering ONLINE Course

Online Handbook of Industrial Engineering

Updated 20 May 2020,  1 June 2019, 25 May 2019,   4 June 2017,  27 May 2016,  16 Dec 2011


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    1. The books given as references - Some may be available on Please google search. the links I gave as online books may not be available if they are on Knol platform. I shall update them.

    Engineering to improve productivity based on productivity science. Communicated and implemented through people using productivity management.
    Functions of Industrial Engineering YouTube Video

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