Monthly Archives: May 2016

My heroes and examples (3)

Production systems and their founding fathers: Frank … Gilbreth (1868 – 1924)

Gilbreth is one of most remarkable in this group. Gilbreth was born in Fairfield (Maine) in 1868. He had no formal education beyond high school. His father ran a hardware store, but he died when Frank was just 3. His family moved to Boston (Massachusetts) at that time. After high school, Gilbreth attained a job as a mason apprentice and then became a building contractor. Then he turned into an inventor with several patents. Afterward he became a management engineer. He became an occasional lecturer at Purdue University eventually.

Industrial Engineer

He was the pioneer of the time motion studies. First by taking pictures, later by film recordings. Herewith, a clock and sometimes small lights were characteristic (see picture). Depending on the detail of the work he filmed accelerated or in slow motion. This way he tried to map the nature and nature of movements during task performance as accurately as possible. Gilbreth came to the realisation that depends on the execution time for a sequence – same exercise (skill) – same suitability (ability) and – same power bills (effort), the work executing people within reasonable limits of the applied method.

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