Manufacturing Systems: Foundations of World-Class Practice
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Manufacturing Systems:
Foundations of World-Class Practice
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Some 70 percent of U.S. manufacturing output currently faces direct foreign competition. While American firms understand the individual components of their manufacturing processes, they must begin to work with manufacturing systems to develop world-class capabilities.

This new book identifies principles--termed foundations--that have proved effective in improving manufacturing systems. Authored by an expert panel, including manufacturing executives, the book provides recommendations for manufacturers, leading to specific action in three areas:

  • Management philosophy and practice.
  • Methods used to measure and predict the performance of systems.
  • Organizational learning and improving system performance through technology.

The volume includes in-depth studies of several key issues in manufacturing, including employee involvement and empowerment, using learning curves to improve quality, measuring performance against that of the competition, focusing on customer satisfaction, and factory modernization. It includes a unique paper on jazz music as a metaphor for participative manufacturing management.

Executives, managers, engineers, researchers, faculty, and students will find this book an essential tool for guiding this nation's businesses toward developing more competitive manufacturing systems.


  • Industry and Labor — Industrial and Manufacturing Technologies

Publication Info

288 pages | 6 x 9
  • Paperback: 978-0-309-04678-7
  • Hardcover: 978-0-309-04588-9

Table of Contents

skim chapter
Front Matter i-x
Report of the Committee on Foundations of Manufacturing 1-2
Executive Summary 3-8
Introduction 9-13
Overview 14-26
Management Practice 27-42
Measuring, Describing, and Predicting System Performance 43-60
Organizational Learning and Improving System Performance 61-77
Educational and Technological Challenges 78-82
Globally Competitive Manufacturing Practices 83-84
Involvement and Empowerment: The Modern Paradigm for Management Success 85-92
Implementation Projects: Decisions and Expenditures 93-99
Benchmarking 100-106
Improving Quality Through the Concept of Learning Curves 107-115
Organizing Manufacturing Enterprises for Customer Satisfaction 116-127
Customer Satisfaction 128-136
The Interface Between Manufacturing Executives and Wall Street Visitors--Why Security Analysts Ask Some of the Questions That They Do 137-148
Taylorism and Professional Education 149-157
The Integrated Enterprise 158-165
Time as a Primary System Metric 166-172
Communication Barriers to Effective Manufacturing 173-179
Are There 'Laws' of Manufacturing? 180-188
Taking Risks in Manufacturing 189-195
Constant Change, Constant Challenge 196-203
Manufacturing Capacity Management Through Modeling and Simulation 204-214
The Power of Simple Models in Manufacturing 215-223
Improving Manufacturing Competitiveness Through Strategic Analysis 224-232
Going to the Gemba 233-237
Jazz: A Metaphor for High-Performance Teams 238-244
Consolidated Bibliography 245-253
Committee Membership 254-255
Biohgraphies of Contributing Authors 256-262
Index 263-273
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Suggested Citation

National Academy of Engineering. Manufacturing Systems: Foundations of World-Class Practice. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1992.

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