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Full text of "Modern Mechanical Engineering Vol-I"

THE   DETAIL OFFICE                            17

nient of the estimating and design offices, it will be observed that much lati-
tude must be given to the highly skilled men employed in them, in regard to
freedom of movement, opportunity for observation in shop or on site, and
time taken to particular portions of work. This does not mean that discipline
need be more lax in these offices; only that it must be of a different kind.
It is very probable that the administrative head, whether he be a chief over
the whole of the offices or a manager, will spend a considerable proportion
of his time in these offices. It pays to staff, and even slightly overstaff,
these departments and give them the maximum facilities for carrying on
their duties. Heating and lighting are by no means negligible factors, as
also satisfactory arrangement of the offices, lavatory accommodation, record-
ing and special instruments, &c. These remarks apply also, in degree, to
the detail offices, which it is now proposed to describe. Much of what will
be described in the next section applies to these offices, and has simply been
omitted so that what is common to them may be treated all at one time.

The Detail Office
Organization.—Whether or not the firm be large enough to support
separate estimating and design offices, it is-certain that the detail office must
always exist. In size, it is generally reckoned as the main office, and it is
always responsible for the issue of directions to the various shops in the
shape of drawings, order-sheets, standards, &c.
The detail office itself is generally split up, in certain classes of work,
into two or three more or less well-defined departments. In an electrical
establishment, it may possibly be that one portion will deal with the mechani-
cal design of the motors, dynamos, commutators, transformers, &c., whilst
another portion with the general installation, placing of switch-
boards, wiring, &c. In a ship office, we may have a section devoted to the
steelwork, another to piping arrangements, and yet a third dealing with
accommodation, including shipwright work, upholstery, &c. In a land or
marine engineering establishment, the sections will probably be a turbine
department, reciprocating-engine department, pipe and machinery arrange-
ment department, and a boiler department. The usual procedure is to
have a chief over the whole office, with an internal office with clear windows
looking out on to the main office. Under him, and working near him, will
be the assistant chief, who will generally look after the discipline of the
office, give out work to the section leaders, and correlate their work and gener-
ally approve of the finished drawing, discussing points of peculiar importance
or difficulty with the chief. All the correspondence will come through
him to the section leaders. It will perhaps help to make our meaning clearer
VOL. I.                                                                                                                 2