Before Deming, Ohno, and Toyota, there was Woollard.
Principles of Mass and Flow Production is a 55th Anniversary Special Reprint Edition of Frank G. Woollard’s long forgotten book published in 1954, and includes Woollard’s amazing 1925 paper “Some Notes on British Methods of Continuous Production.” Both are presented as unabridged digitized images of the original works, and include detailed commentary and analysis by noted progressive management practitioner, author, and educator, Bob Emiliani.
Frank George Woollard (1883-1957) made major contributions to progressive manufacturing management practices in the British automobile industry of the 1920s and was also the first to develop and implement mechanical materials handling equipment known as automatic transfer machines while working at Morris Motors Ltd., Engines Branch, in Coventry, U.K. His work is comparable, if not superior, to that of the legendary Taiichi Ohno, a principal architect of Toyota Motor Corporation’s production system, and suggests that the timeline for discoveries and attributions of key accomplishments must be revised.
In 1925, Woollard advocated for the application of progressive management to the entire life cycle of a product: “The ideal of continuous flow must be present from the design and raw material stages up to and even beyond the sales stage.” This remarkable insight is, at last, being re-discovered today by forward-thinking leaders.
Woollard deserves widespread recognition for his own ground breaking achievements, which lie between the time of Henry Ford and Kiichiro Toyoda, the founder of Toyota Motor Corporation. His work is highly relevant to current-day Lean management in that he understood the idea and practice of continuous improvement in a flow environment. Woollard also recognized that flow production will not work properly if used by management in a zero-sum manner, which is an insightful and distinctive feature of Woollard’s flow production system, and shows he understood the importance of what is today called the “Respect for People” principle in TPS and the Toyota Way.
Woollard’s remarkable work in flow production and his prescient innovations in industrial automation ensure him a prominent place in the history of production engineering, automation, and industrial management. Readers interested in TPS and Lean management, the evolution of flow production, and the history of industrial management and automation will find this book to be entertaining, informative, and a valuable resource for future reference.
Your book on Woollard is a revelation to me. I will read it carefully and I am sure it will weave into my talks and writings. This is a great piece of digging.
Daniel T. Jones, Lean Enterprise Academy
Bob Emiliani makes a good case for Woollard’s work and writing being the direct inspiration for Kiichiro Toyoda and others. This could be the most controversial bit of news to hit the TPS community since… ever!
Jon Miller, CEO, Kaizen Institute
You did an excellent job of analysis and summarizing Woollard’s and Morris’ very significant contribution to flow and industry overall. Woollard’s work and writing is tremendous. There is lots of valuable information in this book.
Jim Huntzinger, President, Lean Frontiers LLC
I am truly amazed with the amount of research you have done into Frank Woollard’s life and work. The Preface, Foreword, Introduction, Summary Biography etc., that you have added to the book are a real credit to you. Let us hope that Woollard is now remembered in his proper place in the history of flow production in the automobile industry.”
Peter Seymour, author of Morris Light Vans
Click here to read the backstory on this book.
55th Anniversary Special Reprint Edition
Principles of Mass and Flow Production
with commentary and analysis by Bob Emiliani, Ph.D.
by Frank G. Woollard, with Bob Emiliani
The CLBM, LLC Wethersfield, Conn., USA
340 pages • ISBN 978-0-9722591-8-7 • January 2009
Table of Contents
By Bob Emiliani, Ph.D.
Preface to the Reprint Edition
Foreword to the Reprint Edition
Introduction to the Reprint Edition
Summary Biography of Frank G. Woollard
List of Publications by Frank G. Woollard
Selected Bibliography of Morris Motors Ltd.
By Frank G. Woollard, M.B.E.
Principles of Mass and Flow Production, 1954
Appendix – “Some Notes on British Methods of Continuous Production,” 1925