Date of Award

Spring 1954

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Hirthe, Walter M.


Industry in these United States is generally thought or by laymen in terms of large corporations, sprawling manufacturing empires and octupus-like holding companies. In conformity with this thinking the publishing houses and industrial periodicals annually pour out millions of words in print on manufacturing problems and processes, the vast majority of which are directed to or based on the experience of the corporation employing in the range or eight hundred to ten thousand personnel. However, the Department or Commerce statistics indicate that only twenty per cent of the American Workers are employed in these large organizations while eighty per cent are to be found in the plants with personnel ranging from fifty to four hundred in number. The problems of the small plant are as real and as pressing as are those of the largest corporation. But where the latter has a battery of experts for each phase of its operations and specialists to handle specific problems, the owner of a small manufacturing establishment must rely on his ingenuity and that of a small staff to find answers to problems in a multitude of related and unrelated fields. Few publications give his problems serious notice, and, therefore, he must abstract from reams of literature the few essential facts that are applicable to his special activities. To crystallize some of these problems peculiar to the small plant and to summarize their solutions is the intent of this thesis. The conclusions and data it contains are the result of many years of research and experiment on the part of the writer, his staff and his many friends and business associates operating small plants, who supplied much of the information and data needed to complete the studies contained in this thesis.



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