Factory Automation During WWII

U676289AACMEI was watching Ken Burns’ “The War” the other night, episode three I think. They were talking about how all of the factories in the US retooled to fuel the war effort.

A striking fact, and I had to back up the DVD to make sure I heard it correctly: There were 3 million automobiles produced in the US in 1941. For the rest of the war, there were less than 400 new consumer automobiles manufactured, as the plants were converted to tank, aircraft and military vehicle production. The Ford plant, perhaps the No. 1 automation wonder of history, eventually geared up to roll 600 B-24 bombers off its line in a month, with pilots often sleeping on cots waiting to fly the planes away from the production line as they rolled off.

If you consider yourself a student of factory automation, you should delve into the history of factory production, ‘war towns’, ship building and other production and raw material challenges during WWII. It’s an amazing triumph.

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