login
You are not logged in.
search:
AMSER logo



Title: From Art to Science in Manufacturing: The Evolution of Technological Knowledge PDF
Url: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/6z6703z5
Creator: Bohn, Roger
Publisher: University of California, San Diego
Description: Making goods evolved over several centuries from craft production to complex and highly automated manufacturing processes. A companion paper by R. Jaikumar documents the transformation of firearms manufacture through six distinct epochs, each accompanied by radical changes in the nature of work. These shifts were enabled by corresponding changes in technological knowledge.

This paper models knowledge about manufacturing methods as a directed graph of causeeffect relationships. Increasing knowledge corresponds to more numerous variables (nodes) and relationships (arcs). The more dense the graph, the more variables can be monitored and controlled, with greater precision. This enables higher production speeds, tighter tolerances, and higher quality. Changes in knowledge from epoch to epoch tend to follow consistent patterns. More is learned about key classes of phenomena, including measurement methods, feedback control methods, and disturbances. As knowledge increases, control becomes more formal, and operator discretion is reduced or shifted to other types of activity. Increasing knowledge and control are two dimensions of a shift from art toward science. Evolution from art to science is not monotonic. The knowledge graphs of new processes are riddled with holes; dozens of new variables must be identified, understood, and controlled. Frederick Taylor pioneered three key methods of developing causal knowledge in such situations: reductionism, using systems of quantitative equations to express knowledge, and learning by systematic experimentation. Using causal networks to formally model knowledge appears to also fit other kinds of technology. But even as vital aspects of manufacturing verge on "full science," other technological activities will remain nearer to art, as for them complete knowledge is unapproachable.

MERC Online Reviewer Comments: Highly innovative, advanced. Material might be difficult for manufacturing educators to implement.
LC Classification: Technology -- Manufactures -- Production management. Operations management
Technology -- Manufactures -- Production management. Operations management -- Manufacturing engineering. Process engineering -- Manufacturing processes
GEM Subject: Science -- Engineering
Vocational Education -- Trade and industrial
Key Concept: Mechanical engineering -- Automation
Manufacturing
Key Concepts Complete: Yes
Resource Type: Instructional Materials
Reading Materials
Science Materials
Teaching Guides
Format: pdf
Audience: College/University Instructors
Higher Education
Secondary Education
Students
Teachers
Technical School First Cycle
Technical School Second Cycle
University First Cycle
University Second Cycle
Vocational Training
Language: English
Rights: R.E. Bohn
Access Rights: Free access
Date Of Record Release: 2009-10-22 03:00:02 (W3C-DTF)
Date Last Modified: 2011-09-06 14:19:32 (W3C-DTF)
Source Type: ATE Center
Source: National Center for Manufacturing Education
Full Record Views: 118
Resource URL Clicks: 22
Cumulative Rating: NOT YET RATED
Report a Problem with this Resource Record

Resource Comments

(no comments available yet for this resource)

user login
Username:
Password:
why log in?
Manage your resources
Save, organize, and share resources that you find.

Subscribe to bulletins
Automatically be notified about new resources that match your interests.

It's easy, fast, and FREE!
AMSER =
FREE ONLINE
RESOURCES
for the
CLASSROOM

Copyright 2014 Internet Scout Resource Metadata
Copyright 2014 Internet Scout
NSF NSDL University of Wisconsin Internet Scout
Leave Feedback
http://amser.org/