Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 6

UPTIME

True Story:
Continuous Improvement

Bob Williamson
Contributing Editor

W

hile sitting at my 1905 roll-top
desk, pondering the subject for
this month's column, my gaze fell
upon a cherished, albeit small,
antique item-something from my grandfather's
old office. It had sparked my imagination when,
as a young boy, I first saw it, and I still find it
intriguing. Let's look at how this elegantly simple,
yet complex, 100+-yr.-old tool evolved. It's a good
example of continuous improvement.

The story of this 100+-yr.-old
Bump Paper Fastener and how,
in its time, it revolutionized the
way business documents were
assembled (see inset), is a classic
tale of making new ideas work and
then continuously improving them.

Time marches on
The Second Industrial Revolution, from 1870
through 1914 and leading up to World War I,
reflected heady times for industrial development.
The United States had become the creative hub
of the world and was generating thousands of
new inventions and patents. Sometimes referred
to as The Age of Synergy, this period's increased
manufacturing productivity helped usher in the
concept of mass production.
Among other things, the Second Industrial
Revolution led to methods for large-scale business

6|

MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY

organizations operating in larger regional,
national, and global geographies. Along the way,
office communications became increasingly
important. From 1910 to 1914, with countless
improved business practices taking hold, the U.S.
economy was booming. Inventors and entrepreneurs worked feverishly to capitalize on the era's
many opportunities.
As office communications improved, so did
the use of office paper. Typewriters began to see
widespread use in businesses in the mid-to-late
1880s. By 1910, office clerks were cranking out
sheaves of letters, contracts, and other business
documents, along with carbon copies. These
documents were held together by various
temporary attachments: string being the most
common for the largest multi-page documents
and pins the most common for smaller ones (two
to 10 pages). Unfortunately, pins often pricked
the fingers of those who prepared the documents
and those who read them, adding tiny blood spots
to previously pristine pages. Pins also left
holes surrounded by rusty iron stains on
the paper. There had to be a better way.
There was. New, inexpensive processes
could produce steel with a variety of ingredients that led to low-cost wire. That wire,
in turn, could be rust-proofed and used
for a wide range of applications, including
safety pins and thumb tacks.
In the late 1800s, the ability to clip
papers together with bent steel wires and
spring-like devices had become a reality.
Paper clips largely came into being after
inventor William Middlebrook patented a
machine for making them in 1899. (Amazingly
simple, these familiar, double-looped wire devices
have endured, relatively unchanged, for nearly
120 years.) But, paper clips have a disadvantage.
They can fall off and turn stacks of well-ordered
papers into disordered heaps. While paper clips
represented a better alternative to string and pins,
a more permanent, yet removable, method of
organizing paper documents was needed.
A small handful of inventors took up the
challenge. The first one to succeed in a major way
SEPTEMBER 2017



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology September 2017

Editorial
Uptime
On The Floor
Bionics Will Drive Future Factories
Filling The Skills Gap
Virtual Simulation and Plant Safety
Update Grounding Knowledge
Don't Overlook STF Hazards
Alternative LOTO Measures
SAP: Tips and Tricks
Compressed Air Filters
IR Inspections
Crack The Lube-Fault Code
DCIM Drives Efficiencies
Products
Ad Index
Showcase
Final Thought
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Ad
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Cover1
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Cover2
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 1
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 2
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 3
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Editorial
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 5
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Uptime
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 7
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - On The Floor
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 9
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Bionics Will Drive Future Factories
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 11
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 12
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 13
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 14
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 15
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Filling The Skills Gap
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 17
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 18
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 19
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Virtual Simulation and Plant Safety
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 21
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 22
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Update Grounding Knowledge
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 24
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 25
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Don't Overlook STF Hazards
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 27
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 28
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Alternative LOTO Measures
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 30
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 31
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 32
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - SAP: Tips and Tricks
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Compressed Air Filters
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 35
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - IR Inspections
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 37
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Crack The Lube-Fault Code
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 39
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 40
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - DCIM Drives Efficiencies
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 42
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Products
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 44
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - 45
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Ad Index
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Showcase
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Final Thought
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Cover3
Maintenance Technology September 2017 - Cover4
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