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You Can Combine Standardisation with Creativity

One of the key tools for increasing productivity, reducing errors, and facilitating automation is standardisation. Unfortunately, many people think there is an association between standardisation and a lack of creativity. However, standardisation does not need to create a cookie-cutter approach, indeed it can promote creativity when done the right way. Whitworth Standard – 1841 For most of the Industrial Revolution, every blacksmith and workshop used its own dimensions for nuts and bolts. If you bought a steam engine from one workshop, you had to go back there if you needed any work doing on your machine. This slowed down the adoption of new machines and tools. In 1841, British engineer Joseph Whitworth introduced the British Standard Whitworth system, the first standardised system for engineering in the modern world. This innovation led to changes in how things were manufactured, for example it was now easy to buy parts from several companies, it was easier to scale-up production, which led to a golden age in manufacturing and industrial creativity. Avoiding Procustes The worst type of standardisation is often referred to as cookie-cutter, or more scathingly as procrustean (definition: enforcing uniformity or conformity without regard to natural variation or individuality). Procustes was a […]