Preliminary work that must be done before announcement of a policy to convert to the metric system is briefly reviewed, and steps that could be taken by a manufacturing organization which intends to convert to that system are recommended. The principal features of General Motors (GM) guidelines include: new developments will be metric from the start; service parts and non-production will remain as is; supplier coordination will be implemented as required; in the interim period before complete metrication, some capital equipments with dual measuring capability will be required; coordination of the program will be handled by the engineering staff. The decision to convert must be taken by top management and announced through executive order. Metrication should be under local management control with central coordination. A clear path of management communication during metrication should be set. At GM a system of coordinators has been organized at all levels. The coordinator reports directly to the General Manager of Staff Head in all matters of metric concern. To answer questions concerning corporate decision, a Metric Council has been established, which is responsible to the Engineering Policy Group of the corporation. The importance of continuing complete support from top management is emphasized. It is recommended that training be limited only to those who need to know; training be given only in those aspects which are essential to job performance; and training be done shortly before they will use their knowledge. The basic principal of the GM training program is that metrication is primarily a language change. Some pitfalls that should be avoided relate to the following: dual dimensioning of drawings; unnecessary conversion of production machines; and lack of acceptable policy on personal tools.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Report of a symposium conducted by Standing Subcommittee No. 5, International Activities of the U.S. National Committee on Tunneling Technology, held on May 21-22, 1974 in Washington, D.C.
  • Corporate Authors:

    National Research Council

    National Committee on Tunneling Technology
    Washington, DC  United States  20418
  • Authors:
    • Baugh, E L
  • Publication Date: 1975

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00127934
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 21 1976 12:00AM