Manufacturing is such a gigantic process. The fact that all advancements and innovations are originated by a unique individual is often forgotten. The success of the Modern Manufacturing Establishment often seems devoid of any individual personalities to the extent that all innovation appears to come out of a nameless, faceless committee. In recent years Japan has revolutionized modern manufacturing process, but few people can point to the individuals that created that innovation. I have come across a website (http://www.public.iastate.edu/~vardeman/IE361/f02mini/bumblauskas.pdf) which explains the contributions of Dr. Shigeo Shingo to the advancements of Modern Manufacturing. His ideas have been so successful they have been incorporated into the manufacturing process throughout the world.
If you have heard the terms; Just in Time (JIT), Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) or Zero Quality Control this article tells you were the ideas came from. Surprising as it may seem, they came from a single individual.