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Historical survey of manufacturing control practices from a production research perspective

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Manufacturing control is concerned with what is done where, when and why in manufacturing. Over time, methods and practices have developed for efficient and effective inventory control, resource utilization and ensuring customer delivery. A limited review of the production research literature from the past two centuries was undertaken to determine the prior existence and awareness of a number of present practices. Rather than focus on one particular practice and explore it exhaustively, 22 practices were researched, five of which are described at greater depth. It is clear from this limited review of the historical literature that many of the same or similar manufacturing problems have been consciously recognized and dealt with in the past, often with the same concepts and philosophies. The elegant and sophisticated mathematical modelling and justification of the present might have been absent in the past, but the common sense basis of the solutions can be observed.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Faculty of Business Administration, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John's, NF, Canada A1B 3X5. e-mail:

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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