Place the right tool in the hands of the right engineer

If you’re an engineer, you are trained to evaluate problems. You see ways to improve things and detest poor design. Frequently, you’re called upon to exceed where others have failed. Placing the right tools in your hands can literally change the world. 

SPC Software in the hands of a Quality Engineer

Henry Ford, not long after creating the River Rouge complex, had a problem with one of that plant’s larger generators. All of his best engineers looked at it and yet none of them could figure out what was wrong.

Tired of dealing with the decreased output in his factory, Ford called in General Electric engineer and mathematician Charles Steinmetz to take a look at it. Steinmetz arrived and asked only for a notebook, pencil, and something to sleep on. After two straight days of observing the generator, listening to it, and writing notes, he asked one of Ford’s engineers if he would bring Steinmetz a ladder and a ball-peen hammer. He leaned the ladder against the generator, climbed up, and lightly tapped on the side of the machine with the hammer. It began working perfectly.

Afterwards, Ford received a bill from Steinmetz for $10,000. Shocked at this figure, Ford asked the engineer to itemize the invoice. Steinmetz was happy to send it to Ford:


Tapping on generator: $1

Knowing which hammer to use, how hard to hit, and where to hit: $9,999


Get the right tool for the job

While you can draw several morals from this story, we’re concerned with the simplest one. Since most problems are not one size fits all, expecting solutions to be one size fits all is ridiculous. Having the right tool for the job is just as important as knowing which tool is the right one and how to use it.

If Steinmetz had chosen a sledgehammer instead of a ball-peen hammer, the results might  have been completely different. Could he have made a sledgehammer work just as well? Maybe. Engineers are incredibly smart people and he was one of the smartest. Was it the best way to accomplish that task though? Certainly not.



We’re here to help

Zontec is proud to offer the broadest suite of SPC software on the market. Our SynergySPC statistical process control software (SPC) products are able to meet the needs of any size organization from small shops all the way up to multi-national organizations. They are completely customizable to your individual needs.

Our team has helped companies all over the world, probably similar to yours, decide which SPC software product is the right one to help you reduce waste, improve quality, and boost profitability. With our 100% Investment Retention program, we are able to grow with you so you’ll always have a solution that delivers results for your company.

Contact us today about getting the right tool for the job when it comes to improving your processes.

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