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North American Operations began a coordinated conversion to the metric system starting with the model vehicles. New vehicle systems and component designs were to be metricated Every opportunity should be taken for using metrication to simplify and commonize products Employee satisfaction at john deere harvester specifications Metrication is to be achieved at minimum incremental cost Future metrication needs should be anticipated in the specification of equipment, gages, tooling, materials, technical references, and supplies Exceptions to this policy must be justified on the basis that a future metrication will be less expensive than the scheduled metrication According to Ford officials, anticipated problems in metric production did not materialize.
The chief problem was educating suppliers, and to do that they prepared a manual of specifications on tools such as taps, dies, etc. No new training was required for semi-skilled workers on the line.
The skilled tradesmen, jobsetters, and engineers had no problem with metric working. Ford worked with Chrysler and General Motors to set new standards for stamping design, specification, and construction in the car industry.
NAAMS commonized and reduced the number of components and tools used by the auto industry. This resulted in suppliers not having to maintain as large an inventory compared to what had been required in the past. Auto industry use of the new standards allowed interchange of components from different suppliers, and eliminated the need for the buyer to have to re-machine components bought from different suppliers.
A British toolmaking company recently completed its conversion to the metric system. A detailed account by the managing director appears in BSI News and the following summary may be of interest to South African industrialists.
The firm is a medium sized engineering company that manufactures fairly large tools like moulds and press tools. Of the people employed, about are direct producers. The turnover of the company is just over R1,8 million and the utilized capital is of the order of R1,3 million, which includes about items of plan worth more than R1 How it decided on metrication In the firm had to consider replacing their expensive jig-boring machine, which normally had a life of 12 to 14 years.
In view of the fact that British Industry was expected to be fully metricated within that period they had to give serious consideration to the purchase of a metric machine.
To formulate a policy regarding new plant buying they conducted a survey amongst their customers, some of whom are very influential companies, and concluded that by over half of their work would be metric.
At that stage a complete conversion to the metric system would be justified, but they realized that the sooner they converted the less it would cost. Investigating the cost In a young graduate engineer with metric training was given the task of considering the implications of metrication and estimating the total cost.
After two months of investigation he recommended total conversion to be completed by at a total cost in the region of R Furthermore, he suggested that costs would be reduced if the program could be completed more quickly. The first estimate of R was made up as follows — stock R45 ; plant R72 ; trials R16 ; service R34 ; reserve R13 The stock figure arose from the fact that, during conversion, both imperial and metric stocks would have to be held, which would tie up capital to the extent of R45 The expense of double-stocking could be reduced by shortening the change-over period as much as possible thereby keeping minimum capital tied up for minimum extra time.
Other economies could be made by speeding up the whole metrication process, and in his second report the engineer calculated that the total cost of R for the date could be reduced to R if the change-over were completed by February Machinery conversion — the largest element of cost — is high at first.
Stocks start high because a short program means a lot of redundant stock, but the figure comes down fairly rapidly. The cost of service, or the team of people carrying out the metrication program, can be more rigidly controlled over a short program. These considerations, and many others like them, all show that there is an optimum period of time, which any company can work out for itself, within which the metrication process can be completed with maximum economy.
This particular firm calculated that the ideal period was 2,5 years, but this does not necessarily apply to other firms. It is interesting to compare the actual cost of conversion with the initial estimate. The conversion program A detailed calendar was produced, showing the proposed activities month by month with an estimate of the cost.
The program was rewritten every three months to keep it completely up to date. Drawing up this diary unearthed many unexpected problems and helped them in some surprising ways. For example, they took an early decision to buy only metric drills.
It is surprising how quickly metric dimensions in engineering can be established by these somewhat brutal methods. The firm decided to adopt the Continental convention o fusing only the millimetre for all measurements. Obviously this practice is only suitable where few dimensions exceed a metre, but they found that using only one unit made things much easier.
What generally happened was that new metric equipment was acquired and the staff were given a few days to experiment and familiarize themselves with it, and in next to no time they were thoroughly at home with it. In other words, practically no formal metrication training was required at all.
Progress to date Twenty months previously the firm had no metric machines; now there are no imperial or dual facilities available on machines in the factory at all.Full time RN to work overnights 8 and 12 hour shifts on the Med-Surg-Peds floor along with View job.
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