This section is from the "Modern Machine Shop Construction, Equipment, And Management" book, by Oscar E. Perrigo. Also see Amazon: Modern Machine Shop Construction, Equipment, And Management.
These cards should be kept in small, plain drawers, each holding the cards for one machine, the letter and name of which will be marked on its front. As cardboard stock may be had in twelve or more colors and shades, these should be utilized for machines of the same general type, as a matter of convenience.
Or, if desired, cards of different colors may indicate the material used in the castings. For instance, a gray card for gray iron castings; a brown card for malleable iron castings; a blue card for steel castings; a yellow one for brass castings; and an orange one for bronze castings.
When the patterns are in the pattern loft the cards remain in the usual card drawers. When the patterns are sent to the foundry the cards representing them are moved from their accustomed drawer to one or more large drawers marked "At the Foundry," and are replaced when the patterns are returned. If the dates when these changes are made should be required the cards may be made a little larger, and the dates of the issue and return of the patterns be entered on them with a rubber dating stamp.
By this system the backs of the cards as well as the fronts may be thus used. When all available space has been utilized a new card may be made out. There appears to be only one objection to the use of cards and that can be easily overcome by a reasonable degree of care and attention. This is the liability to put a card in the wrong place, thus causing considerable loss of time to again locate it.
To avoid trouble by the misplacing of cards in the card drawer it is always desirable that only one person shall handle the cards, except in special cases.
When a scheme of different colored cards is used the liability of this error is much lessened. The card system still remains the quickest and least complicated, as well as the most flexible one in use at present.
The time of all employees should be kept on cards in a time recording clock, a day time card being registered for the use of the time keeper, and also on job time cards, each of which represents the time spent by a single employee on a single job, or order number, these aggregating, at the end of the week, the same number of hours as the day time cards.
In addition to these cards there is a material and cost card, kept by the foreman, which contains on one side an account of all time spent on the job by all who have worked on it, and on the other side an account of all material used and properly chargeable to that order number. This card is turned in to the cost clerk when the job has been completed These cards should be 5×7 inches and of thick card, ruled and printed similarly to that used for the same purpose in the machine shop departments, except that the articles enumerated will be white pine lumber, cherry lumber, wood screws, wire nails, wood fillets, leather fillets, wood dowels, brass dowels, rapping plates, pattern letters, etc.
The cost of gum shellac, alcohol, glue, dry colors, etc., will be charged upon a percentage plan, the amount used in a month being kept once or twice a year and its relative value to the value of patterns made in the same period being sufficiently accurate for the purpose.
If the system herein described is faithfully, consistently, and carefully carried out it will be found to exercise a good effect upon the employees by interesting them in its methodical and orderly management; it will save much time usually lost in this class of work; it will produce more good work with the same number of men, or the same expense; every man will know his duties and responsibilities; the daily routine of the shop will run smoothly and without friction; and there will be a prevalent air of economy and efficiency in the department that is seldom found where the usual methods, with their wasteful disregard for time and material, are in vogue.
Properly managed, the pattern shop may be one of the best and most economical departments of the entire plant, but carelessly managed it is no small factor in reducing the profits on manufacturing operations.