Manufacturing Education Resource

Check out this great resource site created by the Alliance for Innovative Manufacturing at Stanford University. There are videos for viewing plant tours, book links and other resources that are great for sharing with engineers, managers and students alike.

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What is older than TWI? Apprenticeships!

A quick article at Oregon Manufacturing that highlights the success of revitalizing apprenticeship programs in the lumber industry. The exodus of baby boomers from industry is the primary driver behind this movement. You may be facing a similar problem. Most surprising is that an apprentice can be making up to $50K in their early 20's by end of the program with a company paid associates degree. A most impressive and altruistic approach in this economic downturn.

Interestingly enough, apprenticeship programs were around far longer than programmed on-the-job training approaches such as those like Job Instruction. However, the TWI-JI borrowed elements from the master-apprentice/teacher-student style relationships which are a hallmark feature of apprenticeships. I wonder if these apprenticeship programs employ Job Instruction skills as a means to train the apprentice?

More importantly, if apprenticeships can make a comeback, why can't TWI? I think the fast answer is, good solutions require from us to do the right things over the long haul (develop our people) vs. doing a half-ass job in the short term to get quick satisfaction and results (use our people).




Modern Origins of Mass Manufacturing

I picked up a book on the recommendation of fellow bibliophile geek and co-author, Mark Warren. The book is VERY obscure, and it escapes me where Mark stumbled across this little gem. Secrets of Industry, by Lewis C. Ord was first published in 1944. The book, in a nutshell is about the evolution of industry in western societies, with a focus comparing Britain and America. For those of you who have an interest in economics, history, industry and politics, its a little gold mine of information from the perspective of a career industrialist. Not full of anything new, but full of tidbits - many of them recognized by leansters.

I'm trying to figure out how to either republish this or just get it posted online since it is still technically within copyright. In the meantime, here are two chapters that I found interesting: Chapter II - Origin and Principles of Mass Production and Chapter III - Later Developments in Mass Production.

Enjoy! I'm curious to hear your comments about the content in Ord's chapters...

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