Early Days of Automobiles
In the early days of the auto industry, a team of mechanics would put together a car in a week. This was no mean feat of engineering. In many cases, the car would have “custom parts”. There would be “user” preferences. And there was the inevitable unintended variation. To achieve efficiencies (and thereby profits which was the ultimate goal), the engineers would create a template (a master design) with instructions to be “manually” completed by the engineers. Further efficiencies were achieved by laying out the workspace; adding labeled shelves with all the key auto parts. Some items were “pre-assembled” or partially assembled, leaving a few remaining steps that could be used for customization. Nevertheless, it required a team of skilled engineers to put together a car. Quality control was a matter of “experience” and not something that could be measured. Each car had a unique character. And of course, cars were expensive; in fact, too expensive for most people to afford.