Effective working relationships

develop effective working relationships with colleagues in logistics operations develop procedures for effective working relationships with others
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GregDeamons,New Zealand,Professional
Published Date:03-08-2017
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2 Establishing effective working relationships When you have read this chapter you should understand how to: • Create and maintain effective working relationships with supervisory staff. • Create and maintain working relationships with other people, members of the same working groups and other employees in the same organization. 2.1 Basic relationships Even the smallest businesses have to communicate with, and relate to, a surprising number of people either through necessity or because it is the law. This is shown in Fig. 2.1. Figure 2.1 Structure of relationships In the first group (necessity) are your suppliers of raw materials and tools and equipment used in production. Also you have to deal with theEstablishing effective working relationships 39 customers who buy your products and the transport organizations who deliver your products to your customers. You also need a bank and since, from time to time, you may need an overdraft, it’s as well to maintain good relationships with your bank manager. There is no law that says you have to have suppliers, customers and bankers but you would not get far in business without them. There is no law that says you need a solicitor or an accountant. How- ever, you will require a solicitor to draw up all the documents required when setting up the business and when problems arise with customers, suppliers and the local authority (e.g. noise complaints from the neigh- bours). You will require an accountant to audit your accounts, advise on financial matters, sort out your tax returns, make sure that you avoid over- payment of tax, and to deal with the Customs and Excise officials over your VAT payments and returns. Therefore it is a necessity that you make every effort to maintain good working relationships with them. In the second group (law) you have to communicate with such persons as local authority inspectors (planning officers, etc.), tax inspectors, VAT inspectors, and health and safety inspectors. These people have the power of the legal system behind them so it pays to maintain good working relationships with them. In our working lives we have constantly to relate to and communicate with other people. For example, we have to exchange technical data, implement management decisions and safety policy, and relate to other people within the company and also to people such as customers and buyers who work outside the company. In this section we are concerned mainly with the people with whom you will work on a daily basis; not only your workmates but also your immediate supervisors and managers. Having made the point that no one can work in isolation even if they are the sole proprietor of a one person firm, let’s consider the situation if you are an employer or an employee in a small, medium or large company. Like it or not, you are going to be one of a team. Like it or not, you are going to have to communicate, participate and co-operate. You are going to have to maintain good working relationships. When dealing with other people, you can adopt one of two possible attitudes. You can either confront them or you can co-operate with them. 2.1.1 Confrontation Confrontation is how the aggressive, bullying person works. A confronta- tional person demands and threatens to get his or her own way. It may work in the short term as long as the aggressor has the whip hand. How- ever, such aggressive bullies never win the respect of the people with whom they work. They can never rely upon the loyalty of the people they have continually confronted when a favour is required. It would be no good expecting ‘goodwill’ co-operation when an extra effort is required to complete an urgent order on time. 2.1.2 Co-operation This is how sensible, civilized people work. They collaborate and help each other. In this way they gain respect for each other. This results in40 Engineering Fundamentals the development of efficient working relationships and efficient work- ing practices. In an emergency everyone can be relied upon to make a maximum effort and to help each other. 2.1.3 ‘Reading’ people As you become more experienced in dealing with people, you will realize that the most important skill is learning to ‘read’ their moods. You must be able to realize with whom you can have a joke and with whom you can’t. You need to know who only wants a ‘yes or no’ answer and who prefers to discuss a problem. You need to know when to be friendly and when to be aloof, when to offer a word of sympathy or advice, and when to leave somebody alone to get over a bad mood. 2.2 Relationships with You are employed by the firm for whom you work, but you are responsible managers, supervisors and to your immediate superior. Depending on the structure of the company instructors your immediate superior may be an instructor, a charge-hand, a foreman or forewoman, a supervisor, a manager or, in a very small firm, the ‘Boss’ himself. Figure 2.2 shows the structure of a training department for a large company. The structure will vary from firm to firm but, whatever the size of the company and the structure of its training facilities, it is always Figure 2.2 Training personnel structureEstablishing effective working relationships 41 a good idea to find out what the structure is. You need to know who influences your training package, who trains you and who is responsible for your welfare, discipline and assessment. The change from the school environment to the adult working environment often poses unforeseen problems. It is essential to know who you should turn to when you need advice. First and foremost, it is most important that you get on well with your instructor, your supervisor and your training manager. Each of them will require a different approach. This is not only because they are different people, but also because they have a different status and a different level of importance in the company. Let’s now see how you can make a ‘good impression’ on these people and establish good working relationships with them. For example: • Develop a habit of good time-keeping and regular attendance, even under difficult conditions. • Be neat and tidy in your appearance. • Keep your work area neat and tidy and your tools and instruments in good condition. • Keep your paperwork up to date, fill it in neatly and keep it clean in a plastic folder. • File your paperwork systematically so that you can produce it for your instructor or your training manager on demand. ‘Attention to detail’ always makes a good impression. • Be reliable so that people quickly find that they can depend upon you. • Be conscientious: always try your hardest and do your best. • Reasonable requests for information should be dealt with promptly, accurately and in a co-operative manner providing they do not unduly interfere with or interrupt your work. • If responding to any request is going to take time and interrupt your work, or if it requires you to leave your working area, always seek permission from your supervisor or instructor before carrying out the request. Always turn your machine off before leaving it. • If you are in the middle of an intricate piece of work that requires your full concentration, don’t just down tools, but ask politely if you may complete your task before responding to the request. • No matter how tired you are or how inconvenient, trivial and un- necessary the request may seem to you, always try to be cheerful, help- ful and efficient. NEVER answer in a surly, unco-operative, couldn’t care less, any old time will do, manner. Your relationships with other people, particularly your instructor, must be a dialogue of instruction and advice. If you are in doubt you must always discuss your problem with your instructor until you are certain that you fully understand what you have to do. Your instructor is also there to help you with any personal problems you may have or problems with other42 Engineering Fundamentals people with whom you have to work. He or she wants to get to know you as a person so that they can get the best from you and help you to make a success of your training. Should your instructor be talking to another trainee or his supervisor or manager, don’t just barge in, either get on with another job and come back later or wait to one side, respectfully, until it is your turn. Be patient, on no account should you try and start work on a job or on a machine without instruction just because your instructor is busy and you are tired of waiting for him or her. 2.3 Attitude and 2.3.1 Attitude behaviour When you enter the world of industry you are a very new, very unim- portant and very expendable member of the workforce. You know little or nothing about the skills of engineering so, if you are going to complete your training successfully and become a useful member of the company and of society as a whole, you’ve got a great deal to learn. Your training is a major investment for your employer. Therefore employers need to train and employ reliable people who they can rely upon and who will give them a reasonable return for their investment in time and money. Those who demonstrate good attitudes are the most likely to succeed. It is no good being the most skilful apprentice or trainee if you are also the most temperamental. Whilst high levels of skill are important, so is consistency, reliability, loyalty and the ability to work in a team. The greatest incentive to learning a trade is the earning power it gives you. To learn a trade you need the skilled help and advice of a lot of people. You must respect their skill and experience if you are to get their help and advice in return. Apart from the advice already given, here are some further suggestions. • Dress in the way recommended by your company. Many firms provide smart overalls bearing the company logo. Do not turn up to work looking scruffy. For example, a long hairstyle not only gives a bad impression it can also be very dangerous (see 1.9). • For hygiene reasons change into clean overalls daily if possible. Dirty, oily overalls can cause serious hygiene and health problems. A tidy person has a tidy and receptive mind. • Listen carefully to the instructions your instructor gives to you, par- ticularly safety instructions. Never operate a machine or carry out a process if you are in doubt; always check again with your instructor. • Keep a log of the operations you are taught and the work you do because your practical skill training has to be assessed in order for you to obtain your certification. Since you may have to present your logbook at a future job interview it is worthwhile spending some time on it. Keep it neat and clean in a plastic folder.Establishing effective working relationships 43 • Show consistency, commitment and dedication in carrying out the tasks set you. Work to as high a standard as you can and always be trying to improve your standards. Have pride in your work, you never know who is going to look at it. This applies not only to the production of components and assemblies but equally to organizational tasks. 2.3.2 Behaviour In an industrial environment horseplay and fooling around infers reckless and boisterous behaviour such as pushing, shouting, throwing things and practical joking by a person or a group of persons. Engineering equipment is potentially very dangerous and this sort of behaviour cannot be tolerated in an industrial environment. As well as the negative attitude to behaviour just described, there are positive attitudes to be taken as well. For example, keep your workstation clean and tidy, also clean up any spillages immediately and keep the area where you are working swept clear of swarf and other rubbish. Use the waste bins provided. 2.4 Implementing Company policy may be dictated by the ‘Boss’ in a small company or it company policy may be set by the board of directors in a large company. These people are not free agents and they have to abide by national and international laws and guidelines in setting out a strategy for the company. They have to consider the demands of the shareholders, and they are also responsible for the success, profitability and growth of the company upon which the job security and rewards of all who work for the company depend. For these reasons company policy should be understood and obeyed. In successful companies this is not an entirely autocratic process and there are various committee structures through which ideas from the shop floor can be fed back up the command chain to the senior management. This is particularly true for safety issues. 2.4.1 Health, safety and personal hygiene Health, safety and personal hygiene were dealt with in detail in Chapter 1. These issues were given a whole chapter to themselves because they are so important. All engineering and manufacturing companies are legally bound by the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act of 1974, and other related legislation. The safety policy of your company must take on board all the requirements of such legislation. Instructors and training managers have a vital part to play in fulfil- ling their obligations under such safety legislation and in anticipating and averting dangerous situations. Equally, by their manner in handling equipment and tools they must set a good example to their trainees and encourage attitudes of care and confidence. Personal hygiene is most important. There is nothing to be embarrassed about in rubbing a barrier cream into your hands before work. There is nothing to be embarrassed about in washing thoroughly with soap and hot44 Engineering Fundamentals water after work, or about changing your overalls regularly so that they can be cleaned, or about wearing protective plastic or rubber gloves to protect your hands from chemicals and solvents. Personal hygiene can go a long way towards preventing skin diseases, both irritant and infectious. 2.4.2 Communications No company can exist without lines of communications both internal and external. Without internal lines of communication the company policy could not be communicated to the workforce, nor would the senior man- agement know if their policies were being carried out. Figure 2.3 shows a typical management structure for a company. Figure 2.3 Management structure This structure not only represents the lines of communication by which the senior management can ensure that decisions are passed down the line, it represents a route by which messages and requests are sent back up to the various levels of management. These channels of communication areEstablishing effective working relationships 45 part of company policy and, to bypass them, can lead to confusion and friction between the parties concerned. Wherever possible, always use the standard forms provided when com- municating within your company. This will result in your requests being treated seriously. Such forms may range from the stores requisition forms that you fill in daily, to job application forms and internal promotion application forms. Always follow laid down procedures. External lines of communication are equally important so that the com- pany can communicate with its customers and suppliers. Market research, public relations and advertising are essential to the success of a company and depend upon the use of suitable means of communication. This is why many companies employ firms of consultants specializing in these fields. Verbal communications can take place via the telephone on a ‘one to one’ basis or via meetings when information has to be given to a number of people at the same time. The advantage of verbal communication is that an instant response can be received and a discussion can take place. The disadvantage of verbal communication is its lack of integrity. Mess- ages can be forgotten, they can be repeated inaccurately, or they can be misinterpreted. All verbal messages should be backed up by written confirmation. For accuracy, send a letter, fax, e-mail or a written memorandum in the first place. All firms of any standing use pro-forma documents such as letter paper with printed headings, official memorandum forms, official order forms, official invoice forms and despatch notes, and many other pre-printed documents. This ensures consistency of communication policy and saves time since only the details and an approved signature need to be added. Nowadays electronics has speeded up internal and external communi- cations and many firms are heading towards so-called ‘paperless offices’. Increasingly, communications will be sent digitally. Files saved on disk instead of on paper remove the need for bulky filing cabinets. 2.4.3 Recording and filing The need for keeping a training log and the need for using the standard forms supplied by your company has already been introduced. Nowadays most companies need their quality control system to be BS EN 9000 approved. This is because most of their customers will be so approved and will only be able to purchase their supplies from companies who are similarly approved. To trace the progress of all goods from supplier to customer records must be kept and filed. The principles of quality control will be outlined in Chapter 3. It is no use completing forms and keeping records unless they are properly filed. The success of any filing system depends upon the ease with which any documents can be retrieved on demand. If any file is removed from a filing system, a card must be inserted in its place stating who has borrowed the file and when. The file must be returned as soon as possible so that it does not become lost.46 Engineering Fundamentals 2.5 Creating and As has been stated previously, you cannot work in isolation. Sooner or maintaining effective later you have to relate to other people. In fact, most working situations working relationships with rely upon teamwork. other people 2.5.1 Positive attitudes At work you should always try to adopt a positive and constructive attitude to other people. This can be difficult when you are tired or the person you are relating to is off-hand, aggressive, demanding, and asking for the near impossible. However, they are often under pressure themselves and allowances have to be made. Sometimes people are just out to annoy and provoke a confrontation. Try not to become involved. It is better to walk away from a quarrel than let it get out of hand. Always try to cool the aggressor down. Sooner or later you are bound to come up against someone with whom you cannot get on. This may be a workmate, or an instructor. Often, there is no apparent reason for this problem, it is simply a clash of incompatible personalities. If you cannot resolve the matter amicably yourself, don’t leave the situation to deteriorate, but seek advice from the appropriate member of staff such as your supervisor or manager. He or she may be able to solve the problem even if it may involve you being moved to another section. Remember that, during your training, your personal attitudes and your ability to work as a team member is as much under scrutiny as the engineering products that you produce. 2.5.2 Teamwork Quite often you will have to work as a member of a team. This requires quite different skills in interpersonal relationships than when you are working on your own or under the guidance of your instructor. For example, consider the lifting of a large and heavy packing case when mechanical lifting gear is not available. Like any team, the lifting party has to have a team leader (captain). That person must have the respect and confidence of all the other members of the team because of his or her experience and expertise. The team should be picked from people who it is known can work together amicably and constructively. One oddball going his or her own way at a crucial moment could cause an accident and injury to other members of the team. Although the team leader is solely responsible for the safe and satis- factory completion of the task, he or she should be sensible enough to consider comments and contributions from other members of the team. If you are a member of such a team and you think you have spotted a potential hazard in the job to be done, then it is your duty to draw it to the attention of the team leader. Eventually, however, discussion has to cease and the job has to be done. At this point the team leader has to make up his or her mind about how the job is to be done. The team leader should not take an active part in the exercise, but should stand back where he or she can see everything that is going on. So, in the event of a potentially hazardous situation developing, the teamEstablishing effective working relationships 47 leader is free to step in and correct the situation in order to prevent an accident. 2.5.3 Personal property During a working lifetime most engineers acquire an extensive set of personal tools. Some may be bought and some may be made personally. You will be mightily unpopular in any workshop if you borrow any of these tools without the owner’s consent. The same applies to overalls or any other personal belongings. Although we have considered company policy, each and every workshop has a code of conduct all of its own. This is not written down, it is not company policy, it is a code of behaviour that has grown up over the years amongst the people working in that shop. Woe betide anyone who disregards this code of conduct. However, respect it, obey it, and you will find that your relationships with your workmates and supervisors will be much more pleasant. You will receive more useful help and wise advice and will establish worthwhile friendships that can stand you in good stead throughout your working life. Exercises 2.1 Effective working relationships (a) You are engaged in an intricate machining operation when a colleague asks for your assistance. Explain how you would deal with this situation. (b) You are having difficulty in understanding an engineering draw- ing and you want advice. Your instructor is engaged in con- versation with the training manager. Explain what you should do in this situation. (c) Your supervisor has directed you to help with a team activity in another department. Explain how you would introduce yourself to the team leader and how you would try to relate to the other members of the team. 2.2 Dress, presentation and behaviour (a) Describe the dress code at your place of work or your training centre and explain why the dress code should be adhered to. (b) Explain THREE possible consequences of ‘fooling about’ in an engineering workshop. (c) Explain why you, as an engineering trainee, should: (i) adopt a short, neat hair style; (ii) not wear dirty overalls; (iii) write up your logbook carefully and neatly, keep it in a plastic folder, and make sure it is available on demand for examination by your supervisor. 2.3 Instructions (a) Draw an organization chart to show the chain of command in your training centre or in a company with which you are familiar. (b) Upon receiving a verbal instruction, describe what you would do to ensure that you have understood it correctly.48 Engineering Fundamentals (c) If a written instruction is unclear or badly printed, describe what you would do to avoid making a mistake in carrying out the instruction. 2.4 How to ask for help (a) Describe a situation where your instructor might have sent you to another person, such as a more senior colleague, for advice. Explain who that person might be in your training centre or company. (b) To avoid bothering your instructor when he or she is busy, describe: (i) the sort of practical assistance you might seek from a colleague; (ii) the sort of information you might seek from a colleague. (c) State whom you would approach for advice, and why you have chosen that person, in the following circumstances: (i) clarification of instructions or unclear advice from a col- league; (ii) safe working practice concerning a new material that has been introduced into the workshop; (iii) assistance in completing forms; (iv) reporting personal injuries and accidents; (v) discussing personal problems. (d) Give ONE example of the correct approach to another person when seeking that person’s help or advice, and ONE inappro- priate approach to another person when seeking that person’s help or advice. 2.5 How to give help when asked (a) List FIVE important criteria that you must remember when giving help or advice to another person. (b) Describe THREE situations when you should refuse to offer help or advice. (c) Explain how you would try to make such a refusal without giving offence. 2.6 Reporting deficiencies in tools, equipment and materials (a) Give FIVE reasons why it is necessary to report deficiencies in tools, equipment and materials. (b) Briefly describe the procedures used in your training centre or company for reporting defective tools, equipment and materials. 2.7 Respect for other people’s opinions and property (a) You may have to work with people whose values on work and life in general disagree with your own. Should you: (i) argue aggressively with them? OR (ii) respect their views despite your personal reservations? (b) You are in a hurry and a long way from the stores. You know that your workmate has the equipment you need in his or her personal toolkit. Describe the correct procedure for borrowing and returning such equipment.Establishing effective working relationships 49 (c) You are in a hurry to get home at the end of your shift. You are returning the tools you have been using to the stores. Should you clean them and check them or leave that to the stores personnel to save yourself time? Give reasons for your answer. 2.8 Teamwork and co-operation (a) Why is it necessary to take the time and trouble to gain some knowledge and understanding of what other people do in your training centre or company, both within your department and in other departments? How could this lead to improved co- operation and teamwork? (b) How do some companies expand their trainees’ and appren- tices’ insight into the work of other departments in the organ- ization? (c) Give reasons for your answers to the following. When working as a team: (i) should you take part in discussions concerning the work to be done? (ii) should you ask for clarification of matters you do not understand? (iii) from whom should you take instructions? 2.9 Difficulties in working relationships (a) State FIVE possible causes of difficulty that may arise in your relationships with your workmates and more senior staff. (b) With whom should you discuss such problems in the first place? (c) Describe the procedures that exist for formally reporting such difficulties in your training centre or company if you can get no satisfaction from (b) above.3 Handling engineering information When you have read this chapter you should understand how to: • Select information sources to undertake work tasks. • Extract, interpret and evaluate engineering information. • Record and process engineering information. 3.1 Selection of The need for clear communications that cannot be misinterpreted was information sources introduced in Chapter 2. It is necessary therefore to select means of communication and information sources that ensure that the correct infor- mation is provided and used. Engineering drawings are used to trans- mit and receive information concerning components to be manufactured and assembled. Engineering drawings will be considered in detail in Chapter 5. However, some information has to be given in writing. For example: • Manufacturing instructions such as the name of the parts to be made, the number required, any special finishes required and the date by which they are required. • Technical data such as screw thread sizes, and manufacturers’ rec- ommended cutting speeds and feeds. • Stock lists such as material sizes, standard ‘bought-in parts’, and stan- dard cutting tools. • Training logbooks. Verbal instructions and telephone messages should be confirmed in writing or by fax. The latter is particularly useful if illustrations are involved. In industry and commerce all information must be produced in a way that is: • Easy to understand with no risk of errors. • Complete, with no essential details missing. • Quick and easy to complete. These goals are best achieved by the use of standardized forms. By pro- viding much of the information in the form of boxes that can be ticked, even the interpretation of hand writing that is difficult to read is overcome. Manufacturing organizations are concerned with making the goods required by their customers at a price their customers are prepared toHandling engineering information 51 pay, and in delivering those goods in the correct quantities at the correct time. This involves teamwork within the organizations and close liaison with their customers and suppliers, and can only be achieved by the selec- tion of efficient communication and the efficient handling of engineering information. 3.2 Interpretation of There are many ways in which information can be presented and it is information (graphical) essential to select the most appropriate method. This will depend upon such factors as: • The information itself. • The accuracy of interpretation required. • The expertise of the audience to whom the information is to be pre- sented. Much of the information required for the manufacture of engineering products is numerical. This can be presented in the form of tables where precise information is required concerning an individual item. Sometimes, all that is required is a general overview of a situation that can be seen at a glance. In this case the numerical data is most clearly presented by means of graphs and diagrams. There are many different types of graph depending upon the relationship between the quantities involved and the numerical skills of the user group at which the graph is aimed. Let’s look at some graphs in common use. 3.2.1 Line graphs Figure 3.1(a) shows a graph for the relationship drill speed and drill diam- eter for a cutting speed of 15 m/min. In this instance it is in order to use a continuous curve flowing through the points plotted. This is because the points plotted on the graph are related by a mathematical expression and any value of drill speed or drill diameter calculated from that expression will lie on the curve. Figure 3.1 Line graphs: (a) points connected by a smooth curve (point related mathematically); (b) points connected by straight lines52 Engineering Fundamentals This is not true in every instance as shown by Fig. 3.1(b). This graph connects time and distance travelled for a vehicle. • From A to B the distance travelled is proportional to the time taken. That is, the straight line indicates that the vehicle is travelling with a constant speed. • The curved bit at the beginning of the line shows that the vehicle was accelerating from a standing start. The curved bit at the end shows that the vehicle slowed down smoothly to a stop. • From C to D there is no increase in distance with time. The vehicle is stationary. • From E to F the vehicle recommences its journey at a reduced speed since the line slopes less steeply. In this graph it is correct for the points to be connected by separate lines since each stage of the journey is unrelated to the previous stage or to the next stage. It would have been totally incorrect to draw a flowing curve through the points in this instance. 3.2.2 Histograms Figure 3.2 shows the number of notifiable accidents which occur each year in a factory over a number of years. The points cannot be connected by a smooth, continuous curve as this would imply that the statistics follow some mathematical equation. Neither can they be connected by a series of straight lines. This would imply that, although the graph does not represent a mathematical equation, the number of accidents increased or decreased continuously and at a steady rate from one year to the next. In reality the number of accidents is scattered throughout the year in a random manner and the total for one year is independent of the total for the previous year or the next year. The correct way to present this information is by a histogram as shown. Figure 3.2 HistogramHandling engineering information 53 3.2.3 Bar charts These are frequently used for indicating the work in progress and they are used in production planning. An example is shown in Fig. 3.3. Figure 3.3 Bar chart:×= scheduled completion date;◦= actual completion date;•= start delayed; shaded area = work completed to date 3.2.4 Ideographs (pictograms) These are frequently used for presenting statistical information to the general public. In Fig. 3.4 each symbol represents 1000 cars. Therefore in 1990, the number of cars using the visitors’ car park at a company was 3000 (1000 cars for each of three symbols). Similarly, in 1991 the number of cars using the car park was 4000 and in 1992 the number had risen to 6000. Figure 3.4 Ideograph (pictogram): number of cars using a car park each month54 Engineering Fundamentals 3.2.5 Pie charts These are used to show how a total quantity is divided into its individual ◦ parts. Since a complete circle is 360 , and this represents the total, then ◦ a60 sector would represent 60/360 = 1/6 of the total. This is shown in Fig. 3.5(a). The total number of castings produced by a machine com- pany’s foundry divided up between the various machines manufactured can be represented by a pie chart as shown in Fig. 3.5(b). 1 6 of the total (16.67%) Lathes 25% Drilling 60° machines 41.7% Milling Shaping machines machines 25% 8.3% (a) (b) Figure 3.5 Pie chart 3.3 Interpretation of 3.3.1 Manufacturers’ catalogues information (tables, charts Manufacturers’ catalogues and technical manuals are an essential means and schedules) of keeping up to date with suppliers’ product lines. Also such catalogues and technical manuals usually include performance data and instructions for the correct and most efficient use for the products shown. 3.3.2 British and European Standards At the start of the industrial revolution there was no standardization of components. Every nut and bolt was made as a fitted pair and was not interchangeable with any other nut and bolt. Imagine finding a box full of nuts and bolts of seemingly the same size and having to try every nut on every bolt until you found which nuts fitted which bolts. No wonder that screwed fasteners were the first manufactured goods to be standardized, although initially only on a national basis. Modern industry requires a vast range of standardized materials and components to provide the interchangeability required for international trading and uniformity of quality. Initially this work was carried out by such organizations as the British Standards Institute (BSI) in the UK, by DIN in Germany, and by ANSI in America. Since 1947, the Inter- national Standards Organization (ISO) has been steadily harmonizing national standards and changing them into international standards in order to promote international trading in manufactured goods. The aims of standardization as defined by the BSI are:Handling engineering information 55 • The provision of efficient communication amongst all interested par- ties. The promotion of economy in human effort, materials and energy in the production and exchange of goods through the mass production of standardized components and assemblies. • The protection of consumer interests through adequate and consistent high quality of goods and consumer services. • The promotion of international trade by the removal of barriers caused by differences in national practices. 3.3.3 Production schedules These are usually in the form of bar charts or computer listings. The former will show the planned start and finish dates for various jobs and the machines onto which they are to be loaded. The actual progress of the jobs is superimposed on the ideal schedule so that any ‘slippage’ in production and the reason can be seen at a glance so that remedial action can be taken and, if necessary, the customer advised of possible delay. An example was shown in Fig. 3.3. Computer listings of production schedules and stock balances are updated regularly (on a daily basis) so that the sales staff of a company know what components and assemblies are in stock, and how soon new stock should be available if a particular item has sold out. 3.3.4 Product specifications In addition to scheduling the work that is to be done, it is also necessary to issue full instructions to the works concerning the product to be made. That is, a production specification must be issued. For example, let’s consider a car production line. It is set up to produce a continuous flow of a particular type of car. However, within that basic work pattern there are many variations. For example, some will have one colour and others will be different. Some will have one trim, others will have another. Some will have power steering, others will not, and so on. Therefore each car built will have a product specification, so that the customer will get the car he or she has chosen. On a simpler basis is the works order issued in a batch production or in a jobbing workshop. This provides the information needed to manufacture a batch of components. An example of such a works order form is shown in Fig. 3.6. The example shown provides the following information: • It identifies the component to be made. • It identifies the drawings to be used. • It states the quantity of the product to be made. • It specifies the material that is to be used. • It specifies any special jigs, fixtures, tools and cutters that will be needed and their location in the stores.56 Engineering Fundamentals Figure 3.6 Typical works order form • It specifies any heat treatment and finishing process that may be required. • It specifies the issue date for the order and the date by which it is required. • It specifies the destination of the job (stores, inspection department, etc.). • It includes any special variations required by a particular customer. • It identifies the personnel employed in the manufacture and the inspec- tion of the job. • It carries the signature that gives the managerial authority for the work to be done. • It provides room for the actual dates to be inserted when the job was commenced, and when it finished. You will notice that all this information is entered on a standard form. This saves time in issuing the information. It is much easier to fill in the blanks than to have to write out all the information from scratch. It isHandling engineering information 57 also easy to see if a ‘box’ is blank. This would indicate that a vital piece of information is missing. It is also easier for the person doing the job to see exactly what is required since the same sort of information always appears in the same place on the form every time. 3.3.5 Reference tables and charts There are a number of ‘pocketbooks’ published for the different branches of engineering. A typical ‘pocketbook’ for use in manufacturing work- shops would contain tables of information such as: • Conversion tables for fractional to decimal dimensions in inch units, and conversion tables for inch to metric dimensions. • Conversion tables for fractional (inch), letter, number and metric twist drill sizes. • Standard screw thread and threaded fastener data tables. • Tables for spacing holes around pitch circles as an aid to marking out. • Speeds and feeds for typical cutting tool and workpiece material com- binations for different processes. This list is by no means exhaustive but just a brief indication of the sort of useful data provided. In addition, many manufacturers produce wall charts of similar data as it affects their particular products. These are not only more convenient for the user than having to open and thumb through a book with oily hands, but they are also good publicity for the manufacturers who issue them. 3.3.6 Drawings and diagrams Engineers use drawings and diagrams to communicate with each other and with the public at large. The type of drawing or diagram will depend upon the audience it is aimed at and their ability to correctly interpret such information. The creation and interpretation of engineering drawings is considered in detail in Chapter 5. 3.4 Evaluating Keep alert for errors in the information given. Suppose you have made engineering information several batches of a component from stainless steel and suddenly the works order form specifies silver steel. Is this a genuine change or a clerical error? So, the manager has signed it, but he is a very busy person and he may have missed the error. Therefore check with your supervisor before starting the job. Better to be sure than sorry. If standards are referred to check that the issue on the shop floor is up to date. Standard specifications and EU regulations change rapidly these days. Out of date editions should be withdrawn immediately and the latest edition issued. However, it is surprising how long an out of date copy can keep circulating before someone spots it and destroys it.

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