There is a general consensus among historians that the roots of the industrial engineering profession date back to the Industrial Revolution. The technologies that helped mechanize traditional manual operations in the textile industry including the flying shuttle, the spinning jenny, and perhaps most importantly the steam engine generated economies of scale that made Mass production in centralized locations attractive for the first time. The concept of the production system had its genesis in the factories created by these innovations.
Specialization of labor
Adam Smith's concepts of Division of Labour and the "Invisible Hand" of capitalism introduced in his treatise "The Wealth of Nations" motivated many of the technological innovators of the Industrial revolution to establish and implement factory systems. The efforts of James Watt and Matthew Boulton led to the first integrated machine manufacturing facility in the world, including the implementation of concepts such as cost control systems to reduce waste and increase productivity and the institution of skills training for craftsmen.
Charles Babbage became associated with Industrial engineering because of the concepts he introduced in his book "On the Economy of Machinery and Manufacturers" which he wrote as a result of his visits to factories in England and the United States in the early 1800s. The book includes subjects such as the time required to perform a specific task, the effects of subdividing tasks into smaller and less detailed elements, and the advantages to be gained from repetitive tasks.
Eli Whitney and Simeon North proved the feasibility of the notion of Interchangeable parts in the manufacture of muskets and pistols for the US Government. Under this system, individual parts were mass-produced to tolerances to enable their use in any finished product. The result was a significant reduction in the need for skill from specialized workers, which eventually led to the industrial environment to be studied later.
Frederick Taylor (1856 – 1915) is generally credited as being the father of the Industrial Engineering discipline. He earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Steven's University and earned several patents from his inventions. His books, Shop Management and The Principles of Scientific Management which were published in the early 1900s, were the beginning of Industrial Engineering. Improvements in work efficiency under his methods was based on improving work methods, developing of work standards, and reduction in time required to carry out the work. With an abiding faith in the scientific method, Taylor's contribution to "Time Study" sought a high level of precision and predictability for manual tasks.
The husband-and-wife team of Frank Gilbreth (1868 – 1924) and Lillian Gilbreth (1878 – 1972) was the other cornerstone of the Industrial Engineering movement whose work is housed at Purdue University School of Industrial Engineering. They categorized the elements of human motion into 18 basic elements called therbligs. This development permitted analysts to design jobs without knowledge of the time required to do a job. These developments were the beginning of a much broader field known as human factors or ergonomics.
In 1908, the first course on Industrial Engineering was offered as an elective at Pennsylvania State University, which became a separate program in 1909 through the efforts of Hugo Diemer. The first doctoral degree in industrial engineering was awarded in 1933 by Cornell University.
In 1912 Henry Laurence Gantt developed the Gantt chart which outlines actions the organization along with their relationships. This chart opens later form familiar to us today by Wallace Clark.
With the development of assembly lines, the factory of Henry Ford (1913) accounted for a significant leap forward in the field. Ford reduced the assembly time of a car more than 700 hours to 1.5 hours. In addition, he was a pioneer of the economy of the capitalist welfare ("welfare capitalism") and the flag of providing financial incentives for employees to increase productivity.
Comprehensive quality management system (Total quality management or TQM) developed in the forties was gaining momentum after World War II and was part of the recovery of Japan after the war.
The American Institute of Industrial Engineering was formed in 1948. The early work by F. W. Taylor and the Gilbreths was documented in papers presented to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers as interest grew from merely improving machine performance to the performance of the overall manufacturing process; most notably starting with the presentation by Henry R. Towne (1844 - 1924) of his paper The Engineer as An Economist (1186).
In 1960 to 1975, with the development of decision support systems in supply such as the Material requirements planning (MRP), you can emphasize the timing issue (inventory, production, compounding, transportation, etc.) of industrial organization. Israeli scientist Dr. Jacob Rubinovitz installed the CMMS program developed in IAI and Control-Data (Israel) in 1976 in South Africa and worldwide.
In the seventies, with the penetration of Japanese management theories such as Kaizen and Kanban, Japan realized very high levels of quality and productivity. These theories improved issues of quality, delivery time, and flexibility. Companies in the west realized the great impact of Kaizen and started implementing their own Continuous improvement programs.
In the nineties, following the global industry globalization process, the emphasis was on supply chain management and customer-oriented business process design. Theory of constraints developed by an Israeli scientist Eliyahu M. Goldratt (1985) is also a significant milestone in the field.
Compared to other engineering disciplines
Engineering is traditionally decompositional. To understand the whole, it is first broken into its parts. One then masters the parts and puts them back together, becoming the master of the whole.
Industrial and systems engineering's (ISE) approach is the opposite; any one part cannot be understood without the context of the whole. Changes in one part affect the whole, and the role of a part is a projection into the whole. In traditional engineering, people understand the parts first, then they can understand the whole. In ISE, they understand the whole first, and then they can understand the role of each part.
Also, Industrial engineering considers the human factor and its relation to the technical aspect of the situation and the all of the other factors that influence the entire situation, while other engineering disciplines focus on the design of inanimate objects.
"Industrial Engineers integrate combinations of people, information, materials, and equipment that produce innovative and efficient organizations. In addition to manufacturing, Industrial Engineers work and consult in every industry, including hospitals, communications, e-commerce, entertainment, government, finance, food, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, sports, insurance, sales, accounting, banking, travel, and transportation."
"Industrial Engineering is the branch of Engineering most closely related to human resources in that we apply social skills to work with all types of employees, from engineers to salespeople to top management. One of the main focuses of an Industrial Engineer is to improve the working environments of people – not to change the worker, but to change the workplace."
"All engineers, including Industrial Engineers, take mathematics through calculus and differential equations. Industrial Engineering is different in that it is based on discrete variable math, whereas all other engineering is based on continuous variable math. We emphasize the use of linear algebra and difference equations, as opposed to the use of differential equations which are so prevalent in other engineering disciplines. This emphasis becomes evident in optimization of production systems in which we are sequencing orders, scheduling batches, determining the number of materials handling units, arranging factory layouts, finding sequences of motions, etc. As, Industrial Engineers, we deal almost exclusively with systems of discrete components."