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Quality Standards 1944

I wonder if this film was made in response to the epidemic of poor quality products from Americas wartime factories?

War manufacturing was a case of, "just make lots and ship them". The idea was, its better to make four fast-built widgets, and if one fails, just forget about it. Four fast widgets were quicker to make than three carefully built good ones.

Unfortunately after the was this 'new' production method didn't stop, mostly because the public would buy almost anything since they didn't get any new products since early '42.

Not all post-war products were affected, but many were. It depended a lot on the greed of the companies. The scourge continues literally for decades, and then the Japanese came in when they saw the opportunity.
 
Couldn’t finish watching that one, just too sexist.
A woman can see the quality in a beautiful hat? Seriously.

Yeah, I know it’s a document of it’s time, BUT, at that time (44) it would Have been just as likely a woman was the operator of that cylindrical grinder or radial drill or lathe.
 
I think this film was aimed at an audience who, up until the outbreak of WWII, was assumed to consist of people who were not familiar with manufacturing and production work. It tries to relate the concept of quality workmanship by using examples of women's hats and mens' suits. A man buying a suit is more likely a businessman or office worker of some sort, and the women in that era were assumed to know even less about manufacturing work. Hats and suits were examples that people in cities who never picked up tools could relate to.

Once into the content of the film, it is a theme or message that has cropped up many times in what has come to be known as "Supervisory Skills Training" or similar. Been there, been through a few courses put on by consultants hired by corporate. The message is simple enough, but learning to supervise and lead is a whole other matter. Presenting information without talking down to a person, and presenting enough information so they can successfully do a job without being overwhelmed by the information or instruction is a skill in itself. The film touched on this very lightly when it examined why the supervisor or foreman failed to have the new grinder operator turning out bushings that passed the gauge inspection. If the grinder operator had a plug gauge, he would presumably have been using it on each bushing. If he cranked out the first couple of bushings that did not pass the gauge test, a "normal person" would have stopped right there and gotten the foreman. On the other hand, in the real world of a production shop, let alone during WWII, the foreman may have been running around like a chicken with its head cut off and hollering at the machine hands- if that grinder operator could even find the foreman in that type of environment. Learning to break in a person new to a job so they are comfortable with it and knowing there is a learning curve are all skills that come with being in supervision. The message in WWII shops was often to the effect that the production was vital to victory, or "the enemy is listening". On the other hand, there were also messages through posters and the like, stressing quality and how it would win battles and bring the armed forces home safely.

Possibly the worst examples of "get it done any way you can" during WWII production work were in the shipyards. With the relatively new technology of building ships with welded construction, and with new people who had never worked in shipbuilding (or similar industries for that matter), and the push to get hulls into the water, the factors were in place for some of the worst examples of bad workmanship. This was the practice of "slugging welds". On hull welds, if the fitup was sloppy, welders or their lead people would resort to putting anything handy into the open weld joint. Lengths of welding rod with the flux beaten off, bolts, steel tie wire, or any other handily sized scrap went into the weld joint. The belief was it would be "burned in" using the heavy production electrodes (known at the time as "baseball bats"). The result was ships that developed cracks in seams on the hulls and some which broke in two at sea. Some of this was attributed to weld stresses due to the length of the weld seams and riveted bands to "break the stress line" were designed as a fix. The reality was that people who were ignorant of the consequences of slugging welds often did it to meet production deadlines or because the management wanted to set a record for the fastest built hull, or because management had a bonus riding on beating a scheduled launch date. I heard about this firsthand from a fellow who, while in High School in Portland, Maine during WWII, had welded on a split shift in a shipyard. He said they routinely slugged the welds as they were paid some kind of inch-rate for weld put down, and the quickest way to get a weld apparently finished was to slug it. For parts like aircraft and engines and ordinance, I would think there were many inspections and special gauges and inspection fixtures so that the reject rate was low, and the failure rate in service was correspondingly low.
 








 
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