December 20, 2011

Moral Standards and Moral Judgments – Approaches

Velasquez discussed four approaches in his chapter “Ethical Principles in Business.”

Approach of Utilitarianism

The action that has highest net social benefit is to be undertaken when we do not have the resources for attaining everyone’s objectives. Jeremy Bentham is its proponent.

Principle of Rights

Any behavior by an individual or a group should respect the basic rights of the individual affected by the action. Special agreements also create rights.

Principle of Justice

Standards of justice indicate how benefits and burdens should be distributed among the members of a group. These standards are to be utilized when activities and benefits different substantially among members in important ways. Capitalism and Socialism differ in the principle of justice regarding duties and rewards of members of a society.

Principle of Care

Every person has some special concrete relationships with others.  He has to take care of them in preference to others or some of his own objectives. A parent has a responsibility to take care of his children even at the expense of his future or career.


Manuel G. Velasquez, Business Ethics: Concepts and Cases, Fourth Edition, Prentice Hall Inc., Upper Saddle River, N.J., 1998, Business Ethis by Manuel G. Velasquez - Book Information and Review

Originally published in 2utb2lsm2k7a/ 1383#

Business System - Free Markets - Ethics

Free market system may have variety of competitive market systems depending on the product life cycle and competitive situation in a product market (industry). Perfect competition, oligopoly, duopoly, and monopoly are some of the types.

Perfect competition

In a perfectly competitiive market, there are numerous buyers and sellers and none of them will have sizeable market share. Entry and exit of buyers and sellers is free. In a perfectly competitive market, prices and quantities always move toward the equilibrium point.

Velasquez wrote, perfectly competitive free market achieves or satisfies three moral criteria: Justice, Utility and Rights.

Capitalist criterion of justice: Benefits and burdens are distributed justly when a person receives in return at least the value of the contribution he or she made to an enterprise. Fairness is getting paid fully, in return for what one contributes. It is this form of justice (capitalist criterion of justice) that is achieved in perfectly free competitive markets.


Unregulated monopoly markets can fall short of the three values - capitalist justice, economic efficiency, and respect for negative rights that perfect competitive markets achieve.


Oligopoly also can result in shortfall of the three values: capitalist justice, economic efficiency, and respect for negative rights that perfect competitive markets achieve. In oligopoly markets price-fixing, manipulation of supply, exclusive dealing arrangements, tying arrangements, retail price maintenance arrangements, price discrimination are identified as unethical practices.


Manuel G. Velasquez, Business Ethics: Concepts and Cases, Fourth Edition, Prentice Hall Inc., Upper Saddle River, N.J., 1998, Business Ethis by Manuel G. Velasquez - Book Information and Review

First published in

December 16, 2011

Motion Study - Human Effort Engineering

Purpose: The goal of motion study is to enhance work performance (quantity and quality of output) through analysis and improvement of body and hand movements. Motion study can be thought of system improvement at a micro level [1] and is a part of human effort engineering.

In the contemporary work environment, motion study also involves reducing the ergonomic stresses associated with a job. This reduces costs (medical treatment and time lost) associated with work injuries. It may also reduce production losses associated with hiring and training replacement workers as well as rehabilitation of persons with work-related injuries.

Principles of motion economy are utilized in motion study. A modified list of principles given by  Mullee and Porter [2] are:

1. Begin each element simultaneously both hands.
2. End each element simultaneously with both hands.
3. Use simultaneous arm motions, in opposite and symmetrical directions.
4. use had motions of lowest classification for satisfactory operations.
5. Keep motion path within normal working area.
6. Avoid share changes of direction. Plan a smoothly curved motion path.
7. Slide small objects. Avoid pickup and carry
8. Locate tools and materials in proper sequence, at fixed work stations.
9. Use fewest elements to obtain shortest time.
10. Use rhythm and automaticity to increase output and lessen fatigue.
11. Relieve both hands with foot pedals where possible.
12. Avoid holding. Use vise or fixture, freeing hands to move pieces.
13. Provide ejectors to remove finished pieces.
14. Use drop deliver where possible.
15. Shorten transports by keeping materials nearby in gravity-feed hoppers.
16. Pre-position tools for quick grasp.
17. Pre-position product for next operation.
18. Locate machine controls nearby for each of operation.
19. Design workplace height of sitting-standing arrangement, and provide proper height chair with comfortable seat and backrest for good posture.
20. Provide pleasant working conditions considering illumination, temperature, humidity, dust, fumes, ventilation, noise level, color scheme, orderliness, and the like.

Right- and Left Hand Chart [2]

In this chart, the activities of the right and left hand are expressed as operations, transportations or moves, holds, and delays and these are represented by the flow-process chart symbols. This chart is also called as a workplace chart or an operator process chart.

The layout of the workplace is indicated by a grid of 1/4 - inch squares, against which the arrangment of bins, fixtures and parts may be shown. The normal working area is indicated by two semicircles described by the operator's forearms when seated at the workplace. The sketch of the part being handled or processed is shown on the chart in the top right hand corner.

The parts and  positions to the left of the operators are shown with the symbols L1, L2 etc. and to the right are shown by the symbols R1,R2 etc.


2. Mullee, William Robert and David B. Porter, "Process Chart Procedure", Chapter 3 in Industrial Engineering Handbook, Ed. H.B.Maynard, 2nd Edition, McGraw Hill, 


Motion study : a method for increasing the efficiency of the workman (1911)
Author: Gilbreth, Frank Bunker, 1868-1924
Subject: Motion study
Publisher: New York : Van Nostrand
Possible copyright status: NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT
The book gives all examples of Bricklaying
Applied motion study; a collection of papers on the efficient method to industrial preparedness (1917)
Fatigue study; the elimination of humanity's greatest unnecessary waste, a first step in motion study (1919)

Films of Frank Gilbreth

Part 1
Part 2
Therblig Analysis
Research Papers

A 36-Hospital Time and Motion Study: How Do Medical-Surgical Nurses Spend Their Time?


Gait and Posture

Journal of Applied Biomechanics

Journal of human movement studies
Journal of motor behavior
MTM journal of methods-time measurement
Motor control: the international journal for the multidisciplinary study of voluntary movement.
Biomechanics: the journal of lower extremity movement


Originally posted at motion-study-human-effort-engineering

Knol Number 1140

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Ergonomics - Introduction

Ergonomics is the study of the interaction between people and machines and the factors that affect the interaction.

The purpose of ergonomics is to enable a work system to function better by improving the interaction between users and machines.

Ergonomics is the study of the interaction between people and machines and the factors that affect the interaction.

The purpose of ergonomics is to enable a work system to function better by improving the interaction between users and machines.



Evolution of Ergonomics

It owes its development to the same historical processes that gave rise to other disciplines such as industrial engineering and occupational medicine.

Scientific management, developed by F.W.Taylor, and motion study, developed by Gilbreth are precursors of ergonomics. Work study and scientific management were the forerunners of human engineering.

In 1857, Jastrzebowski produced a philosophical treatise on 'An Outline of Ergonomics or the Science of Work' but it seems to have remained unknown outside Poland. The name was re-invented by Murrell in 1949.

An important role for ergonomics generally and for the ergonomist working in a large organization is to act as an interface between developments in basic human and biological sciences and organizational needs. Ergonomics has generated many design guidelines and recommendations, which are made available to engineers and designers.

Some of the guidelines are as following;

12 Principles of Ergonomics

1.Work in neutral postures: Maintain the back with its natural “S-curve” intact during work
2.Reduce excessive force: Use minimum mass; use mechanical assists
3.Keep everything in easy reach: Design workplace according to human body dimensions, avoid over stretching of back and shoulder.
4.Work at proper heights: Elbow height (sitting); waist height (standing); avoid repeated bending of back during work.
5.Reduce excessive motions: Let the tool do the work; design for motion efficiency
6.Minimize fatigue and static load: Workload imposed during work is combination of postural load and metabolic load; Rotate with less demanding tasks, Provide frequent, short rest breaks
7.Minimize pressure points: Avoid concentrated pressure on skin areas; provide padding; provide anti-fatigue mats (half inch thick mat with 3-4 % compressibility)
8.Provide clearance: Design for 95th percentile and provide adjustability
9.Move, exercise, and stretch: Take “Energy Breaks”; allow for alternate postures; alternate between sitting and standing; change chair positioning; periodical monitoring of fitness. Introduce stretching exercises before shift
10.Maintain a comfortable environment: Provide appropriate lighting, task lighting, avoid temperature extremes, isolate vibration, reduce sources of noise.
11.Make displays and controls understandable: Design for expectations.
12.Improve work organization: Design task – Plan, Be involved, Communicate, Enlarge jobs, Be part of the team, Be considerate. Be a good manager.

Visit for more details

Rules of Ergonomics

1.Belly button rule: Loads that are held, lifted and carried should be kept closer to the belly button to avoid extended arm posture
2.Straight wrist rule: Avoid bending of the wrist, in jobs requiring frequent pushing or pulling, use thumbs instead of other fingers
3.Eye rule: Displays within visual field, avoid excessive neck tilt
4.Skin rule: Work area free from obstruction; avoid concentrated pressure on small skin areas
5.Straight back rule: Avoid bending of the body, keep your back straight, bend your legs, not your back.

Workers or operators should sit when:

1. They must work at the same task for an extended time period (30 min or more).

2. Task demands steadiness for the operator as well as the devices being used.

3. They need to be restrained to prevent their displacement by dynamic environmental forces.

Operators should not have to sit or stand for long periods with their head, torso, or limb positions skewed; they should be able to keep their heads, necks, torsos, and limbs in a symmetrical relationship as much as possible.

Operators should not be forced to work frequently or for long periods with their hands and arms above normal elbow level.

Avoid positioning operators in supine or prone positions.

Repetitive arm and leg motions should be in the direction that limbs articulate normally about typical shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, or ankle pivot points.

When both hands or both feet are involved simultaneously, create a configuration in which the motions are opposite rather than in the same direction; i.e., the right hand should rotate in the opposite direction to the left, and the right foot should push forward while the left relaxes in the aft direction.

Provide backrests for seated operators.

Provide arm rests.

Provide hand rests, when operators are using a continuously operated controller, such as desk-mounted joy stick or roller-ball control.

For computer data entry, the center of the key board should be at about elbow level. The associated visual display should positioned so that the operator’s line of sight is perpendicular to the face of the CRT.

Computer work station design guidelines are given in the “American National Standard for Human Factors Engineering of Visual Display Terminal Work Stations,” ANSI/HFS 100-1988, February 1988.

When the package (e.g., a suitcase) has smooth sides, it can be carried against the person’s hip or leg without too much stress. The weight should not exceed more than about 20 kg for males and 14 to 18 kg for females. For backpacks also similar weights are recommended.

Video - Introduction to Ergonomics by Prof Debkumar Chakraborty, IIT Guwahati


Uploaded by NPTELHRD

For further reference on design guidelines

Human Factors Design Handbook, Second Edition, McGraw Hill, 1992.

Originally posted at ergonomics-introduction
Knol Number 5

Updated 10 March 2013

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December 15, 2011

Predetermined Motion Time Systems (PMTS)

Predetermined Motion Time System (PMTS) - Introduction

A predetermined motion time system (PMTS) consists of a set of time data for basic human motions and a systematic procedure which analyses and subdivides any manual operation of human task into motions, body movements, or other elements of human performance, and assigns to each the appropriate time value.

Each system of time data was originally developed from extensive studies of all aspects of human performance through measurement, evaluation, and validation procedures.

PMTS in Use

Barnes listed 9 perdetermined motion time systems in his 1980 Edition.

They are:
1. Motion-Time Analysis (MTA) - 1924
2. Body Member Movements - 1938
3. Motion Time Data for Assembly Work - 1938
4. The Work-Factor System 1938
5. Elemental Time Standard for Basic Manual Work 1942
6. Methods-Time Measurement (MTM) 1948
7. Basic Motion Timestudy (BMT) 1950
8. Dimensional Motion Times (DMT) 1952
9. Predetermined HumanWork Times 1952

Source: Barnes, Ralph M., Motion and Time Study: Design and Measurement of Work, Seventh Edition, 1980, Chapter 27.

PMTS - Differences

Predetermined motion time systems can be categorized as motion based, action based and activity based systems.

Motion based systems


Action based systems


Activity based systems


"MTM" stands for Methods-Time Measurement. It is a procedure for improving methods and establishing time standards by recognizing, classifying, and describing the motions used or required to perform a given operation and assigning pre-determined time standards to these motions.

MTM evolved into a dynamic family of systems. It is continuing to grow and meet more needs of its practitioners and users. It has developed from a single system of work measurement and analysis to a family of systems that meets the varied demands of different users.

The basic MTM data was developed by H B Maynard, J L Schwab and G J Stegemerten of the Methods Engineering Council during a consultancy assignment at the Westinghouse Brake and Signal Corporation, USA in the 1940's. This data and the application rules for the MTM system were refined, extended, defined, industrially tested and documented as a result of further work in later years.

In 1948 Maynard, Stegemerten and Schwab published the book "Methods ­Time Measurement" giving full details of the development of the MTM system and its application rules. The use of MTM spread, firstly in the USA, and then to other industrialised countries. In 1951 the US/Canada MTM Association for Standards and Research was formed by MTM users. The system originators then assigned the MTM copyrights to the MTM Association. ( )

In 1963, a new member of MTM family with the name MTM-GPD (General Purpose Data) was introduced. The original MTM of 1948 was termed as MTM-1.


The unit of time used in MTM tables is one hundred-thouandath of an hour (0.00001 hour). The time units of MTM aer referred to as Time Measurement Unit (TMU). One TMU is equal to 0.0006 minute.

The basic motions used in MTM-1 are:

Reach - R
Move - M
Turn - T
Apply Pressure - AP
Grasp - G
Position - P
Release - RL
Disengage - D
Eye Travel - ET and Eye Focus - EF
Leg Foot Motions: FM, FMP, LM_,
Horizontal Motions - Side Step - SS_C1, SS_C2, Turn Body TBC1, TBC2,
Walk: W_FT, W_P, W_PO
Vertical Motion SIT, STD, [B,S,KOK], [AB,AS,AKOK], KBK, AKBK

Source: Barnes, Ralph M., Motion and Time Study: Design and Measurement of Work, Seventh Edition, 1980, Chapter 28.

Generic Systems of MTM

MTM Systems designed to do work measurement in multiple environments.


MTM-1 is the basic system form which all other MTM systems have been developed. This system is used worldwide. It determines the time necessary for performing a given operation by analyzing the manual motions required and assigning a time value to each. MTM-1 is ideally suited to use in high volume production environments.


MTM-UAS represents a second generation of synthesized data, based on the MTM-1 system. It was constructed through use of statistical analysis of basic MTM-1 motion patterns. This system is best-suited for use in environments which exhibit the characteristics of batch production.


MTM-MEK, a third generation system based on statistical analysis of MTM-1 data, is designed for economical measurement of small lot or one-of-a-kind production, with long-cycle times, as well as other infrequently performed tasks previously considered too costly or difficult to measure.


4M is a second level system used to convey MTM-1 level information to the MTM-LINK software for use in methods analysis and standards development. It is suited to long run production.


MTM-B represents a third generation of synthesized data, based on the MTM-UAS system. It was constructed through use of statistical analysis of basic MTM-UAS motion patterns. This system is best-suited for use as an estimating tool where the primary focus is speed of application. MTM-B is offered as a data module of the MTM-LINK Software System. Manual application is not supported.

Functional MTM Systems

MTM Systems applicable to specific work measurement environments.

MTM-HC® (Healthcare)

MTM-HC is a standard database devoted specifically to healthcare activities.

MTM-C® (Clerical Activity)

MTM-C is designed specifically for measuring clerical activity.

MTM-V® (Machine Shop)

MTM-V is a standard data system for measuring difficult-to-time long cycle manual machine shop tasks.

MTM-TE® (Electronic Test)

MTM-TE is a standard data system for measuring mental and manual activity in the electronic test environment.

MTM-M® (Work Under Microscopes)

MTM-M is the only system available which is capable of accurately measuring assembly, wiring, soldering and other work performed under microscopes.

(Source: )

MTM software

The MTM software family of help to industrial engineers consists of:

* TiCon®
* Time Ladders
* PC Graphics®

MTM Association Publications - Books
( )

Books can be ordered through the MTM Association.

MTM - FIRST TIME RIGHT ... A fascinating journey through MTM history, research, and application. By the International MTM Directorate

Basic Motions of MTM ... A clear presentation of MTM-1 motions, their coding, application rules, and TMU values. By William Antis, John Honeycutt and Edward Koch

Standard Data Systems and Their Construction ... The development, verification, maintenance and use of standard data from planning through production. By V. Aulanko, j. Hotanen and A. Salonen


MTM Research reports can be ordered through the MTM Association.

The Research Reports are:

R.R. 101 DISENGAGE ... Preliminary study and theory of disengage.
R.R. 102 READING OPERATIONS ...Synopsis of work done by eleven leading authorities.
R.R.104 MTM ANALYSIS OF PERFORMANCE RATING SYSTEMS ...An analysis of performance rating systems and various rating films from an MTM standpoint.
R.R. 105 A STUDY OF SIMULTANEOUS MOTIONS ... Final report of the Simultaneous Motions project undertaken by the MTM Association. Presents a great deal of new and valuable information which should be of interest to every MTM practitioner.
R.R. 106 SHORT REACHES AND MOVES ... An analysis of the characteristics of Reaches and Moves at very short distances. It develops important conclusions concerning the application of MTM to operations involving short distance elements.
R.R. 107 A RESEARCH METHODS MANUAL ...An effective and comprehensive set of methods for carrying on research in human motions. Major techniques, adequate sources of motion data, film analysis, data recording, and statistical methods of analysis are among the topics discussed.
R.R. 108 A STUDY OF ARM MOVEMENTS INVOLVING WEIGHT ...The effect of weight on the performance times of arm movements is presented, along with a comprehensive discussion of the whole area of weight phenomena.
R.R. 109 A STUDY OF POSITIONING MOVEMENTS ...I. The General Characteristics. II. Appendix - Defines "positioning movements and the inter-relation of component movements". The study is limited to the laboratory analysis.
R.R. 110 A STUDY OF POSITIONING MOVEMENTS III ... Application to Industrial Work Measurement. This report, the second on position, relates the results of the position research to the field of application. This study deals with actual industrial operators, work measurement tools and improving manual activity through better understanding of positioning movements.
R.R. 111 INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH ON THE ELEMENT APPLY PRESSURE ...Examines the element "Apply Pressure" under factory conditions. The report contains a descriptive analysis of the fundamental structure of the element Apply Pressure along with numerical data gathered in the research.
R.R. 112 LEARNING CURVE RESEARCH ON SHORT-CYCLE OPERATION ...A report of the first of a series of experiments which have been performed to determine how people learn the most common MTM motions. This is the preliminary or "laboratory" phase of the project Learning. This phase of the Learning project provided a series of prediction equations for the most frequently used elements.
R.R. 113A LEARNING CURVE RESEARCH ON MANUAL OPERATIONS ...Presents the results of Learning. The report details a method of combining the Learning Curves of R.R. 112 to develop a prediction equation covering an overall learning Curve for a manual operation.
R.R. 114 FACTORS IN MANUAL SKILL TRAINING ...Results of four years' study at the University of Michigan on the various factors involved in the learning process required to attain a manual skill especially the learning that occurs after the person barely knows how to do the operation.
R.R. 115 PREDICTION OF ELEMENTAL MOTION PERFORMANCE USING PERSONNEL SELECTION TESTS ... A general methodology for predicting the level of performance an individual should be able to attain when working on a manual task where a pre-determined time standard is a measure of his performance. The Methods-Time Measurement system is the system used.

Originally posted in

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Product Design Efficiency Engineering

Industrial engineers are system efficiency designers. They evaluate the efficiency of various functional system designs proposed by functional designers and managers and wherever inefficiencies are found, will facilitate removal of them.
Product design efficiency engineering is an activity of industrial engineers.

Industrial engineers are system efficiency designers. They evaluate the efficiency of various functional system designs proposed by functional designers and managers and wherever inefficiencies are found, will facilitate removal of them.

Product design efficiency engineering is an activity of industrial engineers. As a part of the method study, the techniques of methods efficiency engineering, industrial engineers examined the efficiency of design. The development of value engineering systematized the product design efficiency engineering process. L.D. Miles started the value engineering process and did an immense service to the society.

Efficiency of the designs is analyzed with respect to its functions, its features, subassembly design, component specifications including tolerances and fits, material specifications, use of standard boughtout parts, and manufacturing processes employed in value engineering. Value engineering practice has given immense savings in the product costs in various industrial sectors.

Knol: Part of Industrial Engineering Course Page -

Introduction to Industrial Engineering - Course at NITIE
Web Page Related to Design Efficiency

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By Eberhard E. Bischoff
Journal: OR Spectrum, Issue Volume 19, Number 2 / April, 1997, Pages:139-145

Design Efficiency of Market Seeker Strategy and Marker Leader Strategy

Bob Jensen, Technical Support Team Engineer, Sauer-Danfoss
December 14, 2009

Article originally posted in

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December 14, 2011

Statistical Quality Control – Industrial Engineering

SQC is an Efficiency Improvement Technique

SQC is brought into industrial engineering practice as an efficiency improvement technique.

In a narrow sense, some companies refer to their product inspection activity as quality control. In such companies inspection is the sole quality assurance activity. In many companies, now, a more elaborate quality assurance process is installed. In these organizations, quality control encompasses not only inspection but also quality planning, process controls, incoming material control, analysis and correction action in respect of defects, and quality reporting. An appropriate definition for quality control is “quality control is a system for verification and maintenance of a desired level of quality in a product or process by careful planning, the use of proper equipment, continuing inspection, and corrective action where required.”

Is industrial engineering department responsible for quality control? Some scholars in the IE discipline think so. But according to me, IE curriculums had only “Statistical quality control (SQC)” as a subject. Statistical quality control alone does not cover the entire scope of quality engineering and quality management.

Why only SQC? Because Statistical quality control is an efficient improvement innovation for quality engineering. Statistical quality control text books generally provide the explanation on the following lines (Halpern[1]).

Inspection of finished production on a 100% basis is a technique, which, with proper controls, theoretically should be one of the surest ways to eliminate defective products from being supplied to the next stage in production or ultimately to the customer. In practice, the 100% inspection is not as fool proof as may be expected. Experience has shown that the monotony and repetition inherent in 100% inspection tends to create boredom and fatigue with the result that not all defective units are eliminated. Thus in inspection activity, a behavioral dimension is brought in.

Statistical quality control technique of acceptance sampling, is relatively inexpensive as it inspects only a small percentage of items from a production lot or shipping lot, less time consuming, not fatiguing for inspectors, and it is based on well-established principles of probability theory.

The underlying idea is that SQC provides as good a quality assurance as 100% inspection provides and the cost involved in very low compared to 100% inspection. Industrial engineers as efficiency designers accepted SQC and promoted its use in practice. For introducing SQC, industrial engineers need not functional quality system designers. The functional quality specialists still decide what characteristics of the product or item is to be inspected and how it is to be inspected. Industrial engineers design acceptance plans and install the SQC systems and demonstrate its utility and maintain the system. Thus industrial engineers collaborate with the quality specialists and play their role in the design of quality control system.

Types of sampling plans



MIL-STD-105D is for inspection by attributes. This means the inspected item is classified as either acceptable or defective. It has the following features:

1. Plans

MIL-STD-105D provides two types of plans which protect lot quality.

i). AQL plans

ii). LTPD plans

2. Level of inspection

Three general inspection levels. I, II, and III.

For small sample sizes, four levels, S1, S2, S3, and S$.

3. Inspection severity

i) Normal

ii) Tightened inspection

iii) Reduced inspection

4. Sampling types

Three basic sampling methods: simple, double and multiple

MIL:-STD-414 is for inspection by variable.


Sigmund Halpern, The Assurance Sciences, Prentice Hall, 1978

Originally posted in

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Engineering Economics is an Efficiency Improvement Tool for Industrial Engineers

An Article to Note

The Role of IE in Engineering Economics.

By Riel, Philippe F.
IIE Solutions, April 1998

Industrial engineering (IE) plays a significant role in engineering economics. IE promotes investment justification processes that determine the appropriateness and value of projects. It also supports investment analyses correlated with the overall corporate strategy. Moreover, IE advocates evaluation processes that advance interdisciplinary thinking among company employees who design cost models and evaluation frameworks that are utilized in decision support systems for a variety of technological projects.


The idea that I advocate in this article is that the set of evaluation methods of Engineering Economics is an efficiency improvement tool in the hands of industrial engineer. Industrial engineering is human effort engineering and system efficiency engineering.

The system functional designers come out with an effective system design that produces an output acceptable to the customer and may also be profitable with reference to the rate of return prescribed by the organization. That does not mean that it is the most efficient solution. In the system engineering process, there is a step in which the proposed basic system is evaluated in various dimensions and further optimization is done. Industrial engineers make efficiency evaluation in various dimensions and further improve the efficiency. Engineering economics is one such area. Engineering economics indicates that search for economic efficiency has to take place on either side of currently proposed engineering equipment. Industrial engineers have to consider various engineering alternatives to the one currently proposed by the system synthesizer to evaluate the current efficiency and if needed propose alternatives that improve the system efficiency using engineering economics methods.

A Quote

Engineering Economics is applicable to all the fields of engineering since engineers design and make things that people buy. However, it is especially significant to Industrial Engineering, Systems Engineering, and Management Engineering, since these disciplines often are involved in the cost management of engineering systems.


Engineering Economic Appraisal - A Special Role for Industrial Engineers

Engineering economic analysis is to be carried out by all engineers. These analysis reports must be appraised by IE department engineers. IEs can evaluate whether sufficient technical alternatives were considered in proposing the technical solution now recommended and then check the data and calculations of the economic analysis. From IE department, the proposal can go the project appraisal committee.

Engineering Economics is part of Industrial Engineering Tool Kit

Industrial Engineering Tool Kit



Engineering Economics, John M.Watts, Jr., and Robert E. Chapman


Related Knols

Engineering Economy or Engineering Economics: Economic Decision Making by Engineers
Engineering Economics - Knol Book
ngineering Economy or Engineering Economics - Videos

Article originally posted at 2utb2lsm2k7a/ 2270

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Industrial Engineering and Scientific Management in Japan

Japanese scholars and business men embraced scientific management, efficiency movement, and industrial engineering right from the inception and excelled in implementing it and reaped great rewards in economic as well as academic spheres. In the process there were many innovations in the subject on the Japanese soil.

Early Adoption of Scientific Management by Japan

Late nineteenth century Japan was a rational shopper for products, technology and organizational models[1]. Scientific management of F.W. Taylor was quickly spotted by Japanese and was translated into Japanese in 1912, within one year of its publication in USA in 1911 [1]. It is an astonishing fact that one million copies were sold to workers in a special edition for workers. Yoichi Ueno and Araki Toichiro were enthusiastic supporters. Yoichi Ueno was responsible for organizing the Industrial Efficiency Research Institute (Sngyo Noritsu Kenkyujo) in 1921.

Motion analysis techniques were used in Japanese companies in starting in 1913. Firms like Mitsubishi Electric and Nippon Electric took the lead. In the area of textiles, Kannebo and Toyobo took the initiative.

Industrial engineering was organized as a subject that increases the education and skills of workmen in Japan. Improving the education and skill of a workman is a dominant concept in Japanese industrial set up compared to the slogan of deskilling in US systems. Also, the Efficiency Research Institute was an initiative of Harmony and Cooperation Society (Kyochokai) formed in 1919 by the state and leading corporations of Japan. Industrial engineering has a more welcome environment in Japan to deliver its scientific potential.

Zenjiro Imaoka [3]  explained Industrial Engineering as a concept for improving the efficiency of production and is the driving force that brings success in mass production today. OR (Operations Research) is an approach to explore optimization using statistical figures and linear programming. Both of them are included in supply chain flow [2].  IE (industrial engineering) is a concept that was first structured as a concept to enable the improvement of production efficiency. Various scientific approaches started by Taylor were tried out to improve production efficiency by various companies. During the Civil War, the U.S. promoted the standardization of firearms and parts of munitions. As a result, the U.S. succeeded in the mass production of parts by realizing low-cost and short-lead time production. The engine of the further success of mass production was the concept of IE. IE was employed by Henry Ford for producing the Model T Ford and that was a starting point of growth for auto industry.  The base of business administration and management consulting methodology of today started with IE. We can also say that IE is a technology that combines manufacturing techniques and product technologies or it synchronizes management resources. If IT (information technology) can be used together with IE (manufacturing technologies), information and communication will be combined with production systems, leading to the efficient flow in supply chain management which resulted in supply chain innovations such as CALS, BPR, ECR, and QR.

Contribution of JMA in Promoting and Using IE and Scientific Management in Japan

Scientific Management began in 1880s and spread quickly around the world. In Japan, this concept evolved into the pursuit of efficiency, and in 1942 the Japan Management Association (JMA) was established as an organization to promote that concept, based on IE and other management methods.

JMA set three basic principles to govern all its activities.

1. Japan-oriented strategy toward efficiency.
2. Execution than vacuous theory
3. Priority basis than all-round policy

Contribution of Taiichi Ohno and Shigeo Shingo

An interesting point is that Taiichi Ohno did not accept the present method as the best method. He advocated that it can be improved today or tomorrow. It is only a present standard operating procedure subject to improvement today or tomorrow. He wanted every body to believe in progress and improvement of methods.



1. Oxford handbook of work and organization, OUP 2005
3. Zenjiro Imaoka, Understand Supply Chain Management through 100 words,



Manufacturing Ideology: Scientific Management in Twentieth-Century Japan
By William M. Tsutsui, Princeton University Press, 2001

Manufacturing Ideology: Scientific Management in Twentieth-Century Japan - A Review

Related Articles

Industrial Engineering

Industrial Engineering - Articles of Narayana Rao K V S S

Total Industrial Engineering - H. Yamashina

Reviewed 3.3.2011

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Shigeo Shingo - The Japanese Industrial Engineer


Regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of manufacturing of Japan for his contributions to improving manufacturing processes, Shigeo Shingo has been described as an “engineering genius.” He has authored several books including, A Study of the Toyota Production System; A Revolution in Manufacturing: The SMED System; Zero Quality Control: Source Inspection and the Poka-yoke System; The Sayings of Shigeo Shingo: Key Strategies for Plant Improvement; and Non-Stock Production: The Shingo System for Continuous Improvement.

I studied his book The Sayings of Shigeo Shingo: Key Strategies for Plant Improvement first. This book is full of short stories that explain the strategies for plant improvement.


Shigeo Shingo was born in 1909 at Saga City, Japan. He attended the Saga Technical High School and graduated from Yamanashi Technical College. In 1930 he went to work for the Taipei Railway Company.
In 1943 shingo was transferred to the Amano Manufacturing Plant in Yokohama. As Manufacturing Section Chief, he raised productivity 100% [strategosinc].

Shigeo Shingo's Association with JMA

Shigeo Shingo joined the Japan Management Association (JMA) as a management consultant in 1945.

One of his first projects was at Hitachi Ltd.’s vehicle manufacturing plant in Kasado, Japan. Here he clarified that the objective of industrial engineering was to improve the process, not the individual operations in isolation, and that any improvement to the operations must be measured by its contribution to the improvement of the process.

In 1950, while working at Toyo Kogyo, Shingo came out with idea that setup operation is composed of “internal setup” (IED) and “external setup” (OED). Seven years later at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding’s Hiroshima shipyards he further developed exchange of dies process with the concept of shifting IED to OED.

In 1954, Morita Masanobu of Toyota Motor Co. attended one of Shingo’s courses. When he returned to Toyota, he applied some of the concepts he had learned and achieved great results. One year later, Shingo was invited to Toyota and began industrial engineering and factory improvement training at Toyota for both its employees and parts suppliers. At that point, at just short of 10 years with JMA, he had worked with over 300 companies to improve manufacturing process and had taught his innovative concepts to hundreds of manufacturing professionals in Japan.

Shingo began his association with Taichi Ohno of Toyota in 1956, a relationship that would last for over twenty years. Shingo was regarded as a teacher who could solve problems and develop new techniques while Ohno was the passionate visionary. Shingo created and wrote about many aspects of the revolutionary manufacturing practices which became components of the renowned Toyota Production System. When asked whether it was he or Ohno that created the Toyota Production System, Shingo took full credit, saying, "I did, for I was Ohno's teacher." (JMA) Ohno successfully applied many of Shingo’s concepts such as SMED and Poka-yoke which led to great success for Toyota. But Shingo wrote in his book that he was challenged by Taichi Ohno to come out with SMED and Shingo could come out with SMED. Shingo used his expertise with die changing process under the challenge put forward by Ohno to come out with the SMED process.

Shingeo Shingo left the Japan Management Association in 1959 to found the Institute of Management Improvement.

Recognition and Awards

Utah State University recognized Dr. Shingo for his lifetime accomplishments with an Honorary Doctorate in Business in 1988 and began awarding the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing to companies that demonstrate excellence in manufacturing practices which translate into excellent customer satisfaction and business results.



JMA, Shingo with Japan Management Association,



Shingo's Contribution to Toyota Production System's%20influence%20on%20TPS.pdf

Shingo with Japan Management Association

Shingo - Some Resources

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Systems Improvement

Productivity Improvement Idea Bank
Resource for Industrial Engineers


March 2011
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Design-build model can increase productivity in construction industry compared to design-bid-build model.


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Systems Installation - Installing Proposed Methods

Industrial Engineering
Installation of design is the biggest stumbling block said, Nadler [Nadler, 1955]. In many cases everyone contacted in step 6 and step 7 of method study process will approve of a method, yet there are some difficulties in installing new the method and getting the required changes made.

Steps in Method Study

1. Goal determination

2. Analysis of work

3. Application of principles of methods design

4. Selection of feasible solution

5. Formulation of recommended method/design

6. Review of design

7. Test of design

8. Installation of method

9. Standards setting

Installation of design is the biggest stumbling block said, Nadler [Nadler, 1955]. In many cases everyone contacted in step 6 and step 7 of method study process will approve of a method, yet there are some difficulties in installing new the method and getting the required changes made.

Steps in Installation of New Method

In general, installation of method calls for the following steps.

Approach to Foreman and Operator

If the analyst has reviewed the method and tested the method in cooperation with the foreman and the operator concerned, then the installation proper does not require selling the method. Otherwise, the first thing to do is to explain the foreman and the worker the details of the method and rationale for it.

Any approach to the worker should be made with and through the foreman or supervisor. Basic human relations principles are to be kept in mind in conversation with the worker. The worker needs to be explained the shortcoming of the earlier method from productivity/efficiency point of view so that he understands why the problem needs to be solved and cooperates. The suggestions of the worker are to be welcomed and incorporated into the proposed method at every stage. Even at this stage of preparing for installation of the method, the worker must be encouraged to give suggestions or ideas, so that the operator feels that he is contributing to the proposed method.

Economic fears of workers play an important role at the time installation of new methods. The industrial engineer should check the policies and procedures established by management in relation to these fear and use the information to gain the cooperation of operators. Especially important in some of the these situations is he policy regarding employees who are not required to be in the new method

Changes in product/production equipment/work place layout

This part involves obtaining authorization to complete the suggested changes in design of the product, material, equipment etc. After obtaining the authorization from the Committee or Executive responsible for authorizing such changes, they have to be sent to design department for incorporation in drawings. Orders are to be placed for various items required on the basis of new drawings. After the materials, parts, tools and equipment arrive, the proper department in organization has to install them in the work place.

An important problem during the installation of a new method is how to avoid excessive losses in production. In some situations, this problem can be solved by dong the changes after working hours and on holidays. Planning has to be done to minimize loss of production.

Training of operators and other staff including foremen/supervisors

Since the new method will usually a change in hand patterns, the operators should be give some opportunity to learn the new method. Training in some cases may be an oral explanation for few hours. In some cases it could be extensive training off the job and on the job [Barnes, 1980].


Follow-up of the method is to be done after some time subsequent to the start of regular production under the new method. Foreman has the primary responsibility to ensure that the new method is followed and also to solve any difficulties that crop up in the new method. But the industrial engineer, who has played a key role in the development of the new method, has a responsibility to make sure that the new method is contributing up to the expectations through a review exercise.

Follow-up is probably most important for operations which are not continually running but are performed according to orders. In these cases the operator may forget much of what was learned of the new method. Foreman has greater responsibility to make sure that new methods are used in such circumstances. But checking by the industrial engineer or IE department technician occasionally is not unwarranted. It is like insurance on the investment of time and effort spent on the developing new method.


Barnes, Ralph (1980), Motion and time Study: Design and Measurement of Work, John Wiley, New York.

Nadler, Gerald (1955), Motion and Time Study, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Originally posted in
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Human Resource Management - Introduction - A Revision Article

Human Resource Management Revision Article Series

The human resources of an organization consist of all people who perform its activities.

Human resource management (HRM) is concerned with the personnel policies and managerial practices and systems that influence the workforce. In broader terms, all decisions that affect the workforce of the organization concern the HRM function.


Summary of Chapter 1. Strategic Human Resource Management in a Changing Environment in

H John Bernardin, Human Resource Management, Fourth Edition, McGraw Hill, 2007


The human resources of an organization consist of all people who perform its activities.

Human resource management (HRM) is concerned with the personnel policies and managerial practices and systems that influence the workforce. In broader terms, all decisions that affect the workforce of the organization concern the HRM function.

The activities involved in HRM function are pervasive throughout the organization. Line managers, typically spend more than 50 percent of their time for human resource activities such hiring, evaluating, disciplining, and scheduling employees. Human resource management specialists in the HRM department help organizations with all activities related to staffing and maintaining an effective workforce. Major HRM responsibilities include work design and job analysis, training and development, recruiting, compensation, team-building, performance management and appraisal, worker health and safety issues, as well as identifying or developing valid methods for selecting staff. HRM department provides the tools, data and processes that are used by line managers in their human resource management component of their job.

What is the focus of HRM department?

“The HRM focus should always be maintaining and, ideally, expanding the customer base while maintaining, and ideally, maximizing profit. HRM has a whole lot to do with this focus regardless of the size of the business, or the products or services you are trying to sell.” (Dr. James Spina, former head of Executive Development at the Tribune Company). HRM is involved in managing the human resources with a focus on expanding customer base that gives profit to the company. The bottom line of the company is the focus of the HRM department as well as the function.

Contributing to the Bottom-line of the Company through HR Top-line Activities

A growing body research shows that progressive HRM practices have a significant effect on corporate bottom-line and middle-line performance. The positive effect on financial performance, productivity, product and service quality, and cost control are documented by researchers.

High-performance work systems (HPWS) is a term used to describe a collection of HR practices or characteristics of HR systems designed to enhance employees’ competencies so that employees can be a reliable source of competitive advantage. A summary of the research on HPWS indicated that a one standard deviation of improved assessment on a HPWS measurement tool increased sales per employee in excess of $15,000 per employee, an 8 percent gain in labor productivity.

The Activities of Human Resources Management

The activities performed by HRM professionals fall under five major domains:

(1) Organizational design,

(2) Staffing,

(3) Performance Management and Appraisal,

(4) Employee and Organizational Development, and

(5) Reward Systems, Benefits and Compliance

Acquiring human resource capability should begin with organizational design and analysis. Organizational design involves the arrangement of work tasks based on the interaction of people, technology and the tasks to be performed in the context of the objectives, goals and the strategic plan of the organization. HRM activities such as human resources planning, job and work analysis, organizational restructuring, job design, team building, computerization, and worker-machine interfaces fall under this domain.

Recruitment, employee orientation, selection, promotion, and termination are among the activities that fit into the staffing domain. The performance management domain includes assessments of individuals and teams to measure, and to improve work performance. Employee training and development programs are concerned with establishing, fostering, and maintaining employee skills based on organizational and employee needs.

Reward systems, benefits and compliance have to do with any type of reward or benefit that may be available to employees. Labor law, health and safety issues and unemployment policy fall under compliance component.

Major Trends Affecting HRM

The following trends have an effect on human resource management function and department. The importance of HRM increases due to some of them and the practices of HRM are affected to some extent due to some of them.

1. Increased globalization of the economy.

2. Technological changes and environmental changes.

3. The need to be flexible in response to business changes.

4. Increase in litigation related to HRM.

5. Changing characteristics of the workforce.

The Importance of HRM Measurement

Many HRM systems and activities are not subjected to systematic measurement. Many organizations do not assess either the short- or long-term consequences of their HRM programs or activities. A recurring theme of the book is that measurement and accountability are key components to organizational effectiveness and competitive advantage. Good measurement, allied with business strategies, will help organizations select and improve all of their HRM activities and provide a much stronger connection between HRM activities and organizational effectiveness.

Stanford University professor Jeffrey Pfeffer considers measurement to be one of the keys to competitive advantage. His book Competitive Advantage Through People cites measurement as one of the 16 HRM practices that contribute the most to competitive advantage.

A new book entitled The Workforce Scorecard by Professors Mark Huselid, Brian Becker, and Dick Beatty extends research on the "balanced scorecard" to a comprehensive management and measurement system to maximize workforce potential.

Competitive Advantage and HRM

Competitive Advantage refers to the ability of an organization to formulate strategies that place it at favorable position relative to other companies in the industry. Two major principles, namely customer value and uniqueness, are relevant for gaining competitive advantage.

Competitive advantage occurs if customers perceive that they receive more value form their transaction or relationship with an organization than from its competitors. HRM needs to make efforts to ensure that all employees are focused on understanding customer needs and expectations.

The second principle of competitive advantage derives from offering a product or service that your competitor cannot easily imitate or copy.

The status of HRM is improving relative to other potential sources of competitive advantage for an organization. Professor Pfeffer notes that "traditional sources of success (e.g., speed to market, financial, technological) can still provide competitive leverage, but to a lesser degree now than in the past, leaving organizational culture and capabilities, derived from how people are managed, as comparatively more vital."

For success in 21st century, HRM activities must be (1) responsive to a highly competitive marketplace and global business structures, (2) closely linked to business strategic plans, (3) jointly conceived and implemented by line and HR managers, and (4) focused on quality, customer service, productivity, employee involvement, teamwork, and workforce flexibility.

Importance of Study of HRM for Students Specializing in Other Functional Areas of Management

Even as line managers in any functional department, management students are likely to manage people at some point in their career. Research shows that the manner in which one conducts the human resource responsibilities of the management job will be the key for effectiveness and growth in one’s career.


H John Bernardin, Human Resource Management, Fourth Edition, McGraw Hill, 2007

Review notes  for all chapters of the book

Full Chapters of the Book Human Resource Management by Laura Dias

Originally posted at

Updated 8 June 2014

The Role of Globalization in HR Policy and Practice - Review Notes

Human Resource Management Revision Article Series

More and more large companies, as well as companies that account for a significant amount of business in the world or in any single country are globalizing. Hence the demand for employees, leaders and managers with global skills is increasing. HR managers are on one side expected to find staff with global skills, train them for global skills and do all other HR activities with focus on globalization and regional and national cultural and economic differences and also they themselves need to have global skills as HR managers.

1. Describe the different ways companies may engage in international commerce.

Contract manufacturing
Management contracts
Foreign direct investment
- Joint ventures
- Strategic alliance
- Sole ownership

Approaches to International HRM - A Paper

Paper by Dr. Hilary Harris

The different IHRM strategies.

Four general internationa human resource strategies are identified.

1. Ethnocentric appoach

Parent-country nationals (PCNs) are sent for top and middle level management positions. Rank-and-file workers are often locals. Pay for the locals will tend to be based on the local market place. Pay for the PCNs will tend to be related to the home country.

2. Polycentric philosophy

In this approach, during the early stages host-country nationals (HCNs) tend to fill middle- and lower-level positions in management. As time progresses, key management positions are also filled by HCNs. This approach believes the foreign subsidiaries are best managed by locals having successful track record in local markets.

3. Geocentric approach

In this approach, organizations begin considering themselves as having global workforce that can be deployed throughout the world based on the requirement of skill sets. Talent is identified and ranked and nationality is not an issue in talent identification for any post or job, role or position in these organizations. The compensation is also based on a global policy and the contribution of the individual to the organization on a global basis.

4. Regiocentric approach

In this approach, regions are emphasized and workforce is considered as region workforce that can be deployed within that region irrespective of the nationality of the person in the region. The compensation patters differ from region to region.

Global Mindset and Skills of Global Managers

One expert describes three key skills: Integration that can take care of country and cultural differences. Ability to influence locals to accept world standards and commonalities in work practices. Cross-fertilization ability to recognize the best from various places and adapt it at other places.

Another description is: Global managers have an in-depth understanding world markets (demand side). They master all elements of the global supply chain and distribution channels (supply side). Third they skillfully embrace cultural diversity.

Global mindset

Global mindset has requires knowledge about the demand side and supply side of the market and strategies to create a successful and profitable business out of them. It also needs cross cultural mindset that respects and understands other cultures. It requires willingness to learn some foreign languages, nonverbal communication symbols of other cultures, and a spirit of generosity, magnanimity and tolerance to give the opportunity to others to proceed and define own directions in the context of their cultural background.
(Reference: Jean-Pierret Jeannet, Managing with a Global Mindset (London: Pearson Education, 2000))


Chapter Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should be able to

Describe the different ways companies may engage in international commerce.

Explain the different international business strategies.

Explain how international human resource management (IHRM) differs from traditional, domestic HRM.

Understand the different IHRM strategies.

Describe the trends relating to international job assignments.

Understand the issues and trends relating to the development of globally competent business leaders.


How to become global organization

2010 video


Updated 10.1.2012