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Standardization and Quality Management in Mechanical Engineering in Ancient China

Yang Qing (Yangling, China)

This paper, based on the Kaogongji which is the first important book recording the official handcraft industry and technical standard in ancient China, the Laws of Qin Dynasty unearthed from Hunan Yunmeng and a number of unearthed cultural relics, is to make a textual research on the formulation of standardization and quality management in ancient China and also the main characteristics of standardization in mechanical engineering have been analyzed. From Shang Dynasty to Qin Dynasty, the individual perfect technical procedures of the products had been formed gradually and were being perfected with the development of specifies in handicraft's production. Thereby it brought about the generation and development of the original standardization in mechanical engineering to meet the needs of production development and the commodity exchanges. There were two main representative forms to be sprung up in that time. One was an actual material form which involved the emergence of standard tools and instruments, another was an abstract form which included the formulation of some standard system about quality testing and production supervising and implementing them in production unified all of China as well. After Qin Shihuang united whole country (221 B.C.), a series of reform measures including the standardization were adopted and a vireos kind of laws were made and implemented over country in order to consolidate the state power and development economy, which played a promoting rule in further developing standardization. The results of the verification show that the standardization in mechanical engineering in ancient China had been formed basically and were being perfected by Qin Dynasty. Their main characteristics are as following:

  1. Standardization of geometrical parameters of mechanical components;

  2. Interchangeability of parts and components;

  3. Seriation of the product specification;

  4. Standardization of manufacture procedure;

  5. Quality supervision and management of products.

According to the investigation, it also can be concluded that the application of the original series of preferred numbers in China is more earlier two thousand years than in Europe when the French engineer Charles Renard put forward the series of preferred numbers firstly in A.D. 1877 year.

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