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PSE IA Textbook General Information

To be available in Fall 2016

PSE IA textbook is intended to “translate” the PSE theory for factory personnel: plant and shop managers, production and industrial engineers, production systems designers. Therefore, we use the title Production Systems Engineering for Factory Floor Management (PSE FFM). Here, we use the terms PSE FFM and PSE IA interchangeably. Similarly, we use interchangeably the terms FFM Toolbox and PSE IA Toolbox.

There are many other books on production systems management available on the market. What differentiates this book is the following:

  • It is based on rigorous engineering principles and methods, rather than on “common sense” arguments. While common sense is necessary, it is hardly sufficient for designing and managing modern production systems. Indeed, nobody would claim that common sense is sufficient to design and operate a modern aircraft. Modern production systems are not less complex than aircraft and, likewise, cannot be designed and managed efficiently using only common sense. Experience shows that “common sense” in production systems is often wrong (but its proponents seem never to be in doubt)!

  • It offers measurement-based methods for managing production systems, rather than recipes. Similar to a physician who cannot treat a patient without taking vital signs, a manager cannot “treat” a production system without appropriate measurements. We show in this book that “vital signs” of a production system are, in most cases, frequencies and durations of machine blockages and starvations. Based on these measurements, one can efficiently determine daily managerial decisions and design continuous improvement projects with predictable and guaranteed results.

  • Instead of the celebrated Toyota production system and, in particular, “just-in-time operation”, it offers what we call “just-right operation”. Within this operation, no protective resources, such as work-in-process and finished goods inventories, are eliminated but, instead, maintained at a “just-right” level, i.e., a minimum level, which is necessary and sufficient to ensure the desired performance from the point of view of throughput, customer demand satisfaction, etc.

  • It provides a software package – FFM Toolbox – intended to enable applications of the methods developed on the factory floor.

  • Finally, it is written as a textbook (with problems sets) directed explicitly to the industrial audience.

Thus, quantitative engineering principles and methods, measurement-based management, just-right operation, the toolbox and a textbook style are distinguishing features of this volume.

This book is not an “easy read”: it requires concentration and practice (problem solving). The benefits, however, are that you would not have to manage your production system by “gut feelings” or argue your opinion “by persuasion” – hard engineering facts will be your ally.

The first edition of this textbook is expected to be released in Fall 2016. For a preliminary version, please contact the authors.