Frank Bunker Gilbreth (July 7, 1868 – June 14, 1924) was an American engineer, consultant, inventor, and author known as an early advocate of scientific management.
He discovered his interest in efficiency when we started out as a construction worker, looking for ways to make bricklaying faster and easier. He next worked as a general contractor constructing buildings. He was the first to propose the idea of a “caddy” to hand surgical instruments to a surgeon. He also devised the standard techniques used by armies around the world to teach recruits how to rapidly disassemble and reassemble their weapons.
Later, he started to collaborate with Lillian and they studied manufacturing and clerical employees in all sorts of industries to find ways to increase output. They later founded a management consulting firm, Gilbreth, Inc.
The Gilbreths did research on fatigue study, the forerunner to ergonomics, and they developed a term called Therbligs (based on their name spelled backwards), which are 18 kinds of elemental motions that should be studied.
He is credited with introducing the flow process chart to members of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in 1921 in a presentation titled “Process Charts—First Steps in Finding the One Best Way.” It was later integrated into the industrial engineering curricula along with other approaches and techniques.
Cheaper by the Dozen (1948) and Belles on Their Toes (1950), written by two of their children (Ernestine and Frank Jr.), tell the story of their family life and describe how time-and-motion studies were applied to the organization and daily activities of their large family. Both books were later made into feature films.
- Lillian Gilbreth
- Allan Mogensen
- Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE)
- American Society of Manufacturing Engineers (ASME)
- Cheaper by the Dozen
- Belles on Their Toes
- Primer of Scientific Management
- Fatigue study; the elimination of humanity’s greatest unnecessary waste, a first step in motion study
- Frank and Lillian Gilbreth: Standardization, Ergonomics, and Lean Manufacturing– creativesafetysupply.com
- Six Sigma Belts– iecieeechallenge.org
- Which Six Sigma belt do you have?– blog.creativesafetysupply.com
- Six Sigma Belts and Their Meaning– blog.5stoday.com
- Six Sigma Certification Belts – Is it Worth It?– lean-news.com
- OSHA vs. ANSI Pipe Marking – What You Need to Know– safetyblognews.com
- 5 Things You should Know about Six Sigma Belts– 5snews.com
- Jim Womack’s Top Misconceptions of the Lean Movement– kaizen-news.com