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亨利·福特和流水线

2006-07-16 12:27

    It is hard for modern people to imagine the life one hundred years ago. No television, no plastic, no ATMs, no DVDs. Illnesses like tuberculosis, diphtheria, pneumonia meant only death. Of course, cloning appeared only in science fiction. Not to mention, computer and Internet.

    对于一百年前的生活,今天的人们是很难想象的。没有电视、没有塑料、没有自动提款机、没有DVD.一些像肺结核、白喉和肺炎这样的病是死亡的代名词。当然,人们只在有科幻小说里才会见得到克隆。更不用说电脑和互联网了。

    Today, our workplace are equipped with assembly lines, fax machines, computers. Our daily life is cushioned by air conditioners, cell phones. Antiobitics helped created a long list of miracle drugs. The bypass operation saved millions. The discovery of DNA has revolutionized the way scientists think about new therapies. Man finally stepped on the magical and mysterious Moon. With the rapid changes we have been experiencing, the anticipation for the future is higher than ever.

    一百年以后的今天,在上班时,我们有装配流水线、传真机、电脑。空调、手机使我们的日常生活变得安逸。抗生素的发现使一大批能创造生命奇迹的药得以面世;心脏搭摄手术救活了数以百万计的生命;DNA的发现使科学家对治疗方法的认识发生了翻天覆地的变化。人类终于登上了魅力无穷、神秘莫测的月球。随着科学技术的迅猛发展,人类对未来怀有前所未有的憧憬。

    A revoluntionary manufacturing process made it possible for anyone to own a car. Henry Ford, the man who put the world on wheels.

    一种革命性的制造程序使几乎每个人都能拥有一辆小汽车。亨利。福特给世界装上了轮子。

    When it comes to singling out those who have made a difference in all our lives, you cannot overlook Henry Ford. A historian a century from now might well conclude that it was Henry Ford who most influenced all manufacturing. Everywhere, even to this day, by introducing a new way to make cars – one, strange to say, that originated in slaughter-houses.

    如果要挑选出那些对我们所有人的生活都产生过影响的人物来,就不能忽略亨利。福特。从现在起100年后的一位历史学家很可能会得出这样的结论:对各个地方一切制造业产生影响最大的是福特,甚至直到今天依然如此,因为他开始采用了一种新的制造汽车的方法——奇怪的是这种方法起源于屠宰场。

    Back in the early 1900s, slaughterhouses used what could have been called a “dis-assembly line.” That is. The carcass of a slain steer or a pig was moved past various meat-cutters, each of whom cut off only a certain portion. Ford reversed this process to see if it would speed up production of a part of an automobile engine called a magneto. Rather than have each worker completely assemble a magneto, one of its elements was placed on a conveyer, and each worker, as it passed, added another component to it. The same one each time. Professor David Hounshell, of The University of Delaware , an expert on industrial development tells what happened:

    在本世纪初,屠宰场所使用的可以称为“拆卸线”,即将一头宰好的牛体或猪体从很多切肉工人面前移动经过,每一个切肉工人只割下特定的某个部分。福特将这一过程颠倒过来,试试是否会加速汽车上一个叫做磁石发电机的部件的生产。不让每个工人组装一台完整的磁石发电机,而是将发电机的一个部件放在传送带上,在它经过时,每个工人都给它添装上一个部件,每次都装配同样的一个部件。特拉华大学教授戴维。亨谢尔是工业发展专家,他谈起当时的情况:

    “The previous day, workers carrying out the entire process had averaged one assembly every 20 minutes. But on that day, on the line, the assembly team averaged one every 13 minutes and 10 seconds per person.”

    “前一天,完成整个组装过程的工人,平均每人每20分钟组装一台磁石发电机。可是那一天,在这条装配线上的装配组,每人平均每13分10秒钟就组装一台。”

    Within a year, the time had been reduced to five minutes. In 1913, Ford went all the way. Hooked together by ropes, partially assembled vehicles were towed past workers who completed them one piece at a time. It wasn't long before. Ford was turning out several hundred thousand cars a year, a remarkable achievement then. And so efficient and economical was this new system that he cut the price of his cars in half, to '260, putting them within reach of all those who, up until that time, could not afford them. Soon, auto makers the world over copied him. In fact, he encouraged them to do so by writing a book about all of his innovations, entitled Today and Tomorrow. The Age of the Automobile had arrived. Today, aided by robots and other forms of automation, everything from toasters to perfumes are made on assembly lines.

    不到一年,装配时间便减到5分钟。1913年福特改革了装配汽车的全过程。用绳子钩住的部分组装好的车辆被拖着从工人身旁经过,工人们一次只组装上一个部件。不久,福特公司一年就生产出几十万辆汽车,在当时是一项极出色的成就。这一新的系统如此有效而且经济合算以致他将自己生产出来的汽车削价一半,降至每辆260美元,使那些在此之前一直买不起汽车的人都有能力买了。不久全世界的汽车制造商都仿效起他来。事实是,他写了一本名为《今天和明天》的书介绍他的革新,来鼓励他们这样做。汽车的时代到来了。今天,在机器人和其他形式的自动化推动下,从烤面包机到香水,一切的一切,全都是在装配线上生产出来的。

    Edsel Ford, Henry's great-grandson, and a Ford vice president: “I think that my great-grandfather would just be amazed at how far technology has come. ”

    埃德索尔。福特是亨利的曾孙,也是福特公司的副总裁之一。他说:“我想曾祖父对于今天制造工艺取得了如此长足的进步是会惊叹不已的。”

    Many of today's innovations come from Japan. Norman Bodek, who publishes books about manufacturing processes, finds this ironic. On a recent trip to Japan he talked to two of the top officials of Toyota.

    今天的许多项革新都来自日本,出版过很多关于制造流程的书籍的诺曼。博德克认为这一点具有讽刺意味。不久前他在访问日本时曾同丰田 两位最高官员谈过话。

    “When I asked them where these secrets came from, where their ideas came from to manufacture in a totally different way, they laughed, and they said. 'Well. we just read it in Henry Ford's book from 1926. Today and Tomorrow.'”

    “当我问他们这些秘密来自何处,他们从什么地方获得这些想法以采用完全不同的制造方法时,他们笑了并且说,'唤,我们只不过是从亨利。福特在1926年写的那本书《今夫和明天》里读到的。'”

    His company has reissued the book because, he says, manufacturers everywhere can still learn from Henry Ford.

    他说他的公司已再次发行了这本书,因为各地的制造商今天仍然可以向亨利。福特学习。

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