Late to adopt the interchangeable system wereSinger Corporation sewing machine , reaper manufacturer McCormick Harvesting Machine Company (1870s–1880s) and several large steam engine manufacturers such as Corliss (mid-1880s) as well as locomotive makers. Then large scale production of bicycles in the 1880s began to use the interchangeable system.
By 1853, there was evidence that interchangeable parts, then perfected by the Federal Armories, led to savings. The Ordnance Department freely shared the techniques used with outside suppliers.
Terry’s Clocks: Success In Wood
The most common mode of assembly is to design and manufacture such that, as long as each part that reaches assembly is within tolerance, the mating of parts can be totally random. This has value for all the reasons already discussed earlier. Gribeauval provided patronage to Honoré Blanc, who attempted to implement the Système Gribeauval at the musket level. By around 1778, Honoré Blanc began producing some of the first firearms with interchangeable flint locks, although they were carefully made by craftsmen. Blanc demonstrated in front of a committee of scientists that his muskets could be fitted with flint locks picked at random from a pile of parts. Ford was responsible for cutting the workday from nine hours to eight hours so that the factory could convert to a three-shift workday and operate 24 hours a day.
The muskets his workmen made by methods comparable to those of modern mass industrial production were the first to have standardized, interchangeable parts. An example of a product that might benefit from this approach could be a car transmission where there is no expectation that the field service person will repair the old transmission; instead, he will simply swap in a new one. Therefore, total interchangeability was not absolutely required for the assemblies inside the transmissions. Money could be saved by saving many shafts from the scrap bin. Eli Terry was using interchangeable parts using a milling machine as early as 1800. Ward Francillon, a horologist concluded in a study that Terry had already accomplished interchangeable parts as early as 1800. The study examined several of Terry’s clocks produced between 1800–1807.
Unlike other cars of the time, his Ford Model T used the same identical parts in each vehicle. Before the 18th century, devices such as guns were made one at a time by gunsmiths in a unique manner. If one single component of a firearm needed a replacement, the entire firearm either had to be sent to an expert gunsmith for custom repairs, or discarded and replaced by another firearm. During the 18th and early 19th centuries, the idea of replacing these methods with a system of interchangeable manufacture was gradually developed. In response to growing demand, Ford built a new factory using standardized interchangeable parts and a conveyor-belt based assembly line. The factory was able to build a car in just 93 minutes, producing roughly 1 million vehicles a year .
Examples like the one above are not as common in real commerce as they conceivably could be, mostly because of separation of concerns, where each part of a complex system is expected to give performance that does not make any limiting assumptions about other parts of the system. In the car transmission example, the separation of concerns is that individual firms and customers accept no lack of freedom or options from others in the supply chain. For example, in the car buyer’s view, the car manufacturer is “not within its rights” to assume that no field-service mechanic will ever repair the old transmission instead of replacing it. The customer expects that that decision will be preserved for him to make later, at the repair shop, based on which option is less expensive for him at that time . But commerce is generally too chaotically multivariate for this logic to prevail, so total interchangeability ends up being specified and achieved even when it adds expense that was “needless” from a holistic view of the commercial system. But this may be avoided to the extent that customers experience the overall value without having to understand its logical analysis. Thus buyers of an amazingly affordable car will probably never complain that the transmission was not field-serviceable as long as they themselves never had to pay for transmission service in the lifespan of their ownership.
What Is Interchangeable Assembly?
Inherent in this example is that for this product’s application, the 12 mm dimension does not require extreme accuracy, but the desired fit between the parts does require good precision . This allows the makers to “cheat a little” on total interchangeability in order to get more value out of the manufacturing effort by reducing the rejection rate . This is a sound engineering decision as long as the application and context support it. For example, for machines for which there is no intention for any future field service of a parts-replacing nature , this makes good economic sense. It lowers the unit cost of the products, and it does not impede future service work.
This interchangeability allows easy assembly of new devices, and easier repair of existing devices, while minimizing both the time and skill required of the person doing the assembly or repair. After making major improvements in steam engine design in 1765, Watt continued his development and refinement of the engine until, in 1785, he successfully used one in a cotton mill. Once human, animal, and water power could be replaced with a reliable low-cost source of motive energy, the Industrial Revolution was clearly established, and the subsequent centuries would witness invention and innovation the likes of which could never have been imagined. Mass production is the manufacture of large quantities of standardized products often using assembly lines or automation technology. Mass production refers to the efficient production of a large number of similar products.
While Eli Whitney, with his cotton gin, may have been the first person to make interchangeable, standardized parts an integral part of design, he was not the initiator. That honor most often goes to French gunsmith Honoré Blanc, who developed the basic idea but was met with an uniform lack of interest from his countrymen in making it reality. No less than Thomas Jefferson invited Blanc to migrate to the United States to be able to carry out his innovation, but to no avail. Henry Maudslay, who has been called the father of the machine tool industry. Maudslay recognized the importance of precision tools that could produce identical parts; he and his student, Joseph Whitworth, also manufactured interchangeable, standardized metal bolts and nuts.
The Congress was captivated and ordered a standard for all United States equipment. The use of interchangeable parts removed the problems of earlier eras concerning the difficulty or impossibility of producing new parts for old equipment. If one firearm part failed, another could be ordered, and the firearm would not need to be discarded.
Using the then new technology of motion pictures, the Gilbreths analyzed the design of motion patterns and work areas with a view to achieving maximum economy of effort. The “time-and-motion” studies of Taylor and the Gilbreths provided important tools for the design of contemporary manufacturing systems. And that’s not an exaggeration either about numbers or about shipbuilding methods; Carthaginian warships were built up of standard interchangeable parts. Skilled engineers and machinists, many with armory experience, spread interchangeable manufacturing techniques to other American industries including clockmakers and sewing machine manufacturers Wilcox and Gibbs and Wheeler and Wilson, who used interchangeable parts before 1860.
Jefferson tried to persuade Blanc to move to America, but was not successful, so he wrote to the American Secretary of War with the idea, and when he returned to the USA he worked to fund its development. President George Washington approved of the idea, and by 1798 a contract was issued to Eli Whitney for 12,000 muskets built under the new system. The concept of interchangeability was crucial to the introduction of the assembly line at the beginning of the 20th century, and has become an important element of some modern manufacturing but is missing from other important industries. All organizations, including service firms such as banks and hospitals, have a production function.
When Was Interchangeable Parts Made?
Methods for industrial production of interchangeable parts in the United States were first developed in the nineteenth century. The term American system of manufacturing was sometimes applied to them at the time, in distinction from earlier methods. Within a few decades such methods were in use in various countries, so American system is now a term of historical reference rather than current industrial nomenclature. Interchangeable parts are parts that are, for practical purposes, identical. They are made to specifications that ensure that they are so nearly identical that they will fit into any assembly of the same type. One such part can freely replace another, without any custom fitting, such as filing.
- Maudslay recognized the importance of precision tools that could produce identical parts; he and his student, Joseph Whitworth, also manufactured interchangeable, standardized metal bolts and nuts.
- For example, in the car buyer’s view, the car manufacturer is “not within its rights” to assume that no field-service mechanic will ever repair the old transmission instead of replacing it.
- Henry Maudslay, who has been called the father of the machine tool industry.
- With the introduction of the assembly line at the beginning of the 20th century, interchangeable parts became ubiquitous elements of manufacturing.
- The last three inventions improved the speed and quality of thread-spinning operations.
- So how is it that 200 years later that some engines are incompatible?
They produced only three cars a day and had up to three men working on each. In 1908 the company produced the famous Model T, a reliable and affordable vehicle for the mass market. Ford drove and raced this vehicle at every opportunity to prove how reliable it was.
This analysis can be important for the manufacturer to understand , because he can carve for himself a competitive advantage in the marketplace if he can accurately predict where to “cut corners” in ways that the customer will never have to pay for. However, he must be sure when he does so that the transmissions he’s using are reliable, because their replacement, being covered under a long warranty, will be at his expense. The principle of interchangeable parts flourished and developed throughout the 19th century, and led to mass production in many industries. It was based on the use of templates and other jigs and fixtures, applied by semi-skilled labor using machine tools to augment the traditional hand tools. Throughout this century there was much development work to be done in creating gauges, measuring tools , standards , and processes , but the principle of interchangeability remained constant. With the introduction of the assembly line at the beginning of the 20th century, interchangeable parts became ubiquitous elements of manufacturing.
Why Did Interchangeable Parts Make Products Cheaper?
The person who introduced standardized, interchangeable parts was a. Eli Whitney was the person who introduced the interchangeable parts. He is also an inventor of the cotton gin that was the key in Industrial Revolution it became famous because of strengthening the economic foundation in slavery in the country. An interchangeable part is one which can be substituted for similar part manufactured to the same drawing.
Are Car Engines Interchangeable?
Evidence of the use of interchangeable parts can be traced back over two thousand years to Carthage in the First Punic War. Carthaginian ships had standardized, interchangeable parts that even came with assembly instructions akin to “tab A into slot B” marked on them. “A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.” Ford was born on July 30, 1863, the first of six children to prosperous farmers in Dearborn, Michigan.
In the US, Eli Whitney saw the potential benefit of developing “interchangeable parts” for the firearms of the United States military. In July 1801 he built ten guns, all containing the same exact parts and mechanisms, then disassembled them before the United States Congress. He placed the parts in a mixed pile and, with help, reassembled all of the firearms in front of Congress, much as Blanc had done some years before. Muskets with interchangeable locks caught the attention of Thomas Jefferson through the efforts of Honoré Blanc when Jefferson was Ambassador to France in 1785.
A modern skyscraper is, at its essence, a collection of standardized, interchangeable parts, assembled into modules that in themselves are repeated to the compose the pre-defined extent of the building. Henri Fayol, who for many years had managed a large coal mining company in France, began publishing his ideas about the organization and supervision of work, and by 1925 he had enunciated several principles and functions of management. His idea of unity of command, which stated that an employee should receive orders from only one supervisor, helped to clarify the organizational structure of many manufacturing operations. The cotton gin made production of cotton increase, made it cheaper, and made it easier. This led to mass production where things could be made easier, cheaper, and faster. Interchangeability relies on parts’ dimensions falling within the tolerance range.