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Having thus carried forward the construction of the machine shop buildings of the model plant to completion, and having them adequately provided with power, light, heat, and ventilation, and thus ready for the next step in the process of making them ready for active and effective work, we will proceed with the duty of describing and illustrating their equipment with the proper machinery, tools, and appliances for accomplishing the contemplated work to be done. Machines should be so arranged in groups or departments as to best subserve the purpose intended, and to manufacture the product with the least cost for handling the materials in the various stages of their progress toward the completed product, and with the most efficient arrangement for supervising the work, and still to insure the desired standard of accuracy, finish, and thoroughness of the completed output.
In considering the question of the proper equipment of a machine shop a great deal depends upon the character of the product which is to be turned out. It may be that of heavy machinery requiring little or no machining except of surfaces in contact, as is the case with such work as sugar mill machinery, rolling mill work and similar product which will necessitate heavy castings and consequently a large proportion of machines for heavy planing, boring, drilling, tapping, and so on, as well as large erecting space and much use of the traveling crane and other forms of lifting devices.
Again, it may be of a generally lighter kind of work, as for instance, steam engines of various sizes and similar work where much more finish as well as very accurate fitting is required. Or, it may be of machine tools, the larger of which will be similar to the engine work in many respects, while the smaller machines will require a large variety of machines both for general and special work and such as are capable of producing a large quantity of very accurate work even on rather large parts.
The design and aim of this portion of our work is not to arrange and specify such an equipment as may be required for any certain kind or class of manufacture, or for any special line of sizes of machines, for that is manifestly impractical, but rather to suggest the proper selection and arrangement of the machines for a medium kind of work, on a practical plan which may be useful to those having charge of this class of mechanical engineering and be helpful in pointing out such machines as will be most economical in the production of certain classes of work in the more modern and up-to-date methods, and so grouping and arranging them as to make their management easy, practical, and profitable.
In this connection it will not only be proper to offer some suggestions as to the class or type of machines best adapted for certain kinds of work, but also as to the methods of testing such machines to ascertain their fitness for the work to be done on them.
These requirements become all the more imperative since the demand is more and more pronounced for machines of higher speed, greater strength, and consequently capable of a largely increased output, as well as for machines whose parts may be rapidly changed to adapt them to a large variety of work. To this is added the demand for greater accuracy, better fitting, a superior quality of stock in their make-up, a more carefully considered design, and a generally finer finish.
In all the operations of manufacturing, from the very conception of the idea that we will manufacture, to the final marketing of the product, if we are to expect success, either in the building, the equipping, or the management of the manufacturing operations of such a varied and complex nature, we must first of all have a well-conceived, well-matured, definite and comprehensive plan. If this is not so we shall find the various component parts of our fabric disproportioned to each other. One will be of too great capacity and another of too little; one portion will be an unnecessary expense which will absorb the profits of another; one will be pushed while another is neglected; and so on until the whole establishment is in such a disjointed, disproportioned, and inefficient condition that success either mechanically or financially is impossible.
This is very forcibly shown in cases where a business that “ought to pay” seems to drift along from year to year with scarcely any advance in methods or profits to its owners. Another man takes charge and perhaps astonishes every one by his seeming extravagance, but gradually order comes out of chaos, the expenses which at first staggered the good old conservative directors begins to tell, and in due time everything is in proper condition, every portion of the concern does its allotted part, each in harmony with the others, everybody is cheerful and satisfied, better work is produced, and the stockholders are getting their dividends. Why? Simply that the man is master of the business and works with a well-conceived plan. He knew from the beginning just what would be the result; he was not afraid to make radical changes; there was no patchwork about it. Every portion of his plan was carried out in its entirety. Two different parts do not make a complete whole, and to have several plans in mind and then attempt to carry out a portion of each is but to invite failure. And the invitation is usually accepted.
This is also true even in regard to minor operations in the same line. We must get
of the complete idea and plan in all its details that “from the beginning we can see the end.”
One of our most successful designers of machinery always seemed to be a good deal of a laggard during the first stages of a new design and would draw and sketch and measure in what seemed a very desultory sort of a way. When remonstrated with for what “the boss” thought was wasting time, he
such a grasp
used to say, "I don't want to make my drawing until I can shut my eyes and see the machine working.” The complete conception of the design as it gradually forms in the mind is what is needed. And when the man had the ability to thus “see through” the whole design, the "working up” of the various component parts was to a great extent a matter of mechanical detail only.
Sɔ it is, or should be, in planning manufacturing operations. We must see the end from the beginning. This applies with peculiar force in the alterations of, or additions to plants already in existence, whether it be the changing on account of a different product to be manufactured, or of enlarging so as to increase the product. The plan should be comprehensive and provide for possible enlargements in the future, so that as each successive change is made we get nearer and nearer to the ideal of a completed structure that will be a credit and not a continual "eye-sore.” Not only in appearance is this the proper method, but in the utility of the improvements made, and this again in proportion to the expense incurred.
If any “piecemeal" plan is adopted from time to time the result will be not only a failure to get the greatest accommodation out of the improvement, but to do so at an expense which is frequently lost by subsequent alterations of such a nature as to compel us to tear down a portion of the former work.
And this process is repeated again and again until the expense of successive changes, additions, and alterations will have cost more than to have built the whole structure new. Beside this we have a mongrel structure in which “the last state is worse than the first.” It is frequently better to make new things than to patch up old ones; ofttimes it is cheaper also. And this lesson may be followed through all the operations of manufacturing with good results to the reputation of the man who is responsible for the plans as well as the success of the establishment and the dividends to the stockholders.
It was from considerations such as these that in the second chapter, on Construction, it was pointed out how the capacity of our manufacturing plant might be economically increased and at the same time work along the same general lines so that the enlarged structure would be but an extension or expansion of the original plan and the whole structure become as complete and symmetrical in all its proportions as if it were built at one time and from a complete set of plans from one well considered design.
PLANNING THE DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS
Location and arrangement of the departments. The routine of passing the work through
the several departments. The planing department. The drilling and boring department. The heavy turning department. The milling and gear-cutting department. The small parts department. The grinding department. The polishing department. The small parts assembling department. The small parts storeroom. The experimental department. The foremen's offices.
Let us next proceed to lay out and plan for the different departments that may be necessary to carry out our manufacturing work, bearing in mind that much will depend on their proper location with reference to the buildings outside the machine shop proper, particularly the iron foundry, as well as their proper relation to each other.
In planning the relative location of the different departments of our machine shop in which are placed the several classes of machines it is necessary to so arrange them that when once the material, as iron castings or other heavy stock, comes into the shop, it shall pass in as nearly as may be a continuous line through the shop from its rough state to its place in the erection of the machines to be built, with little or no “retrograde movement” or other unnecessary handling or similar expense. Light and easily handled stock is not subject to these conditions to such an extent, and may be handled on the upper floors as its transportation from place to place is easily effected by the tram cars, trucks, etc., on the level, and these run upon elevators, and carried to the various floors where they are needed for the different operations upon them, or to a finished parts storeroom, where they may be kept until they are wanted for the assembling of a complete machine. In our case, however, having but two floors, quantities of small work may be packed in trucks, cars, or boxes and from the front gallery lowered to the ground floor by the traveling crane. In the same way stock or finished parts may be brought up to the gallery floors.
The plans accompanying this article, Fig. 79 show the ground floor and Fig. 80 the gallery floors, with the location of all the machines selected to equip the shop arranged as is thought best for the easy handling of the stock and the