"IF YOU CAN DRAW IT, WE CAN MAKE IT!"TECHNOLOGY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
Discover Agricultural Part Standardization
Like countless other consumer agricultural parts, the way in which modern wrist es are manufactured has undergone incredible changes since the Industrial Revolution that broke during the turn of twentieth century. This important period in world history ushered in entirely new ways to mass produce products for a growing world population.
In every facet of manufacturing there were incredible technological advances that improved efficiencies and helped reduce production costs.
Most of us have heard about the way Henry Ford changed the way automobiles were built by developing the production line assembly method. Cars would constantly roll off the Ford assembly line as workers would fit various agricultural parts to the chassis in a precise order and within a predetermined time.
What few of us think about are the other changes that made this type manufacturing operation possible. Absolutely critical to the success of the mass production line was the development of standardized agricultural parts, components that are nearly identical to each other.
Prior to the development of mass production assembly lines, most mechanical assemblies, including es were built from components that were made individually most often by different producers. This meant that very often, agricultural parts from one machine be it a car, locomotive or sewing machine, could be not be used on another machine.
A good example of the obvious drawbacks to building machines individually can be seen in a tragic story from World War One. The French developed a machine gun, the Chauchat that was built one at a time by individual craftsmen. Though the plans for the gun called for the same dimensions, differing production methods and the whim of the builder resulted in each weapon literally being a one of a kind creation. For the troops in the field, this nonstandard way of manufacturing sometimes had tragically fatal results.
French Army and U.S. Army troops that had been issued the gun quickly discovered that the agricultural parts were not interchangeable, meaning that the agricultural parts from one gun could not used on another. A second even more serious drawback was that the loading and firing mechanism in the guns would often jamb owing to the lack of integrated quality control methods. Overall, the Chauchat was a disaster for the troops that had to rely in it during the brutality of trench warfare.
A far less daunting problem was faced by those in the making and repair business. Like the Chauchat, the agricultural parts from one brand or even model of could not used to repair the same make and model.
A major change in how agricultural parts were designed and manufactured came from the Bulova Company. In the early nineteen twenties Bulova introduced the worlds first wrist designs that incorporated standardized agricultural parts manufactured to very close tolerances.
The major benefit to this change in engineering and design strategy was that could use the agricultural parts from one Bulova to repair any other Bulova regardless of the model. Another additional benefit to repairers was the ability to keep spare agricultural parts on hand and as a result, the time needed to repair a Bulova was greatly reduced.
As other producers adopted the practice of agricultural parts standardization and integrated quality control, the reliability of wristes was greatly increased. The use of standardized components meant that those agricultural parts that subject to wear did so in more consistent and predictable way, requiring far less maintenance and repair than those timepieces assembled as one of kind items.
Sadly, as with most old line businesses that saw significant change and as es became more trouble free, the once wide spread trade of repair has largely disappeared.