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Process Cleaning for Healthy Schools and Henry Ford - Process Cleaning for Healthy Facilities™
Healthy Facilities™

Process Cleaning for Healthy Schools and Henry Ford

By PC4HS Staff

The basis for Process Cleaning for Healthy Schools® (PC4HS) and the principles upon which the Ford Motor Company was built have more than a few things in common. How so?

According to Henry Ford, founder of Ford and inventor of the modern automobile production line in the early 1900s: "In our first assembling [of Fords] we simply started to put a car together at a spot on the floor and workmen brought to it the parts as they were needed in exactly the same way that one builds a house ... [but the] rapid press of production made it necessary to devise plans of production that would avoid having the workers falling over one another."¯ (Henry Ford, My Life and Work, 1922)


While Henry Ford's words were penned near the turn of the twentieth century, they remain timely today. Note his additional insights here and below, also from his book, My Life and Work (1922):


"The undirected worker spends more of his time walking about for materials and tools than he does in working; he gets small pay because pedestrianism is not a highly paid line."


According to Rex Morrison, founder of the Process Cleaning for Healthy Schools (PC4HS) Consortium and PC4HS system: "When I first became a custodial supervisor at Washoe County School District in Reno NV, there was chaos and confusion among the 100 schools and 450 custodians. We had 450 ways we cleaned a classroom and 450 ways we cleaned a restroom. In classrooms, walking back and forth to empty trash cans into a central trash barrel on a remote cart was time-wasting. We developed a production method that standardized cleaning processes and tools, and eliminated most of the walking back and forth by taking the tool to the job rather than the job to the tool - in particular, a rolling trash barrel enables moving rapidly and in sequence through classrooms to empty smaller receptacles in a single trip."

Finding Better Ways to Work

Ford ultimately developed modern methods of automobile assembly which both improved quality and reduced time and effort on the part of workers by streamlining, orchestrating and simplifying tasks.

Ford (1922): "The principles of assembly are [to place] the tools and the men in the sequence of the operation so that each component part shall travel the least possible distance [and] must always be the most convenient place to [the worker's] hand."

Morrison: "Process cleaning is the study of time and motion applied to cleaning schools. Tasks are stacked like a row of dominos and every cleaning function builds into the next or future cleaning responsibility."

Ford (1922): "The assembling of the motor, formerly done by one man, is now divided into eighty-four [simple] operations - those men do the work that three times their number formerly did ... The net result of the application of these principles is the reduction of the necessity for thought on the part of the worker and the reduction of his movements to a minimum. He does only one thing with only one movement."

Morrison: "We strive to simplify the work enabling workers to enter a state of flow that makes the work automatic and very consistent. Workers can turn off their brains once the right habits are in place, because the work is simpler and easier."

Results are Telling

It originally "required nine hours and fifty-four minutes of labor time to assemble one motor; six months later, by the moving assembly method, this time had been reduced to five hours and fifty-six minutes," noted Ford (1922).

According to Ford, a process that formerly required twenty minutes per component was reduced to thirteen minutes, ten seconds. Then, Ford raised the height of the assembly line eight inches and cut the time to seven minutes. Further experimenting cut the time down to five minutes. In short, the result, said Ford, is "by the aid of scientific study one man is now able to do somewhat more than four did only a comparatively few years ago." (Henry Ford, My Life and Work, 1922)

Morrison notes: "We have now entered into a new age of developing standardized cleaning processes for health. It is based on continuous improvement of time, motion and workloading, scientific testing and evaluation."