Richard Muther (industrial engineer)

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Richard Muther is a consultant who developed the fundamental techniques used in plant layout, material handling, and other aspects of industrial engineering.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Born 1913 in Newton, Massachusetts, he earned his B.S. and M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He later received an honorary doctorate ScD(hc) from Lund University in Sweden and is a registered Professional Engineer.

Contributions to engineering[edit]

He was the original developer of relationship chart (REL-CHART) and its companion space-relationship diagram. This tool is the basis for many other techniques which are used to optimize the proximity of related functions and minimize unnecessary transportation in industrial facilities. He also created the Mag Count method of measuring the difficulty of handling (transporting) any solid material prior to knowing how it will be moved. He developed the industry-standard color code used to classify industrial space and the related type-of-work symbols. Corresponding black-and-white hatch patterns based on the heraldic tincture code are also part of his methodology. He is considered the "Father of Systematic Planning".

He has just completed his 17th book, Planning by Design.

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • Gilbreth Medal (outstanding contributions to Industrial Engineering)
  • Materials Handling Award (SAM)
  • Engineering Citation Award (SME)
  • Honor Award (IMMS)
  • Reed-Apple Award (MHIA)
  • Donald Francis Award (for outstanding contributions to international material handling.)

Books published[edit]

  • Planning By Design (2010)
  • Systematic Planning of Industrial Facilities (SPIF) (1979; 1980; 1999)
  • Systematic Handling Analysis (SHA) (Kansas City, Missouri: Management and Industrial research Publications, 1969). ISBN 978-0-933684-03-4
  • Systematic Layout Planning (SLP) (1st edition. 1961; 2nd edition. Boston: Cahners Books, 1974, ISBN 9780843608144; Re-printed by Management & Industrial Research Publications, 1987, ISBN 978-0-933684-06-5).
  • Practical Plant Layout (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1955). ISBN 0-933684-03-7
  • Production Line Technique (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1944). ISBN 1114273023

External links[edit]