In the late 1940s it was becoming increasingly clear that the development of new production techniques was being hampered by the lack of appropriate analysis methods. There was evidently an urgent need for fundamental research to be undertaken in this area.
It was realized that, in view of the importance and scale of the problems to be tackled, only international cooperative action would be effective.

A meeting was held to discuss these problems, which was attended by Messrs E. Bickel (Switzerland), D.F. Galloway (UK), P. Nicolau (France) and O. Peters (Belgium). It was decided that efforts should be made to bring together research workers studying the application of scientific methods to production technology.

This initiative led to the foundation of the International Institution for Production Engineering Research (CIRP former English name) in 1951. Mr. Albert Portevin (France) was appointed founding President.

Today, CIRP is increasingly turning its attention to the use of computerized methods for manufacturing control. In particular, automation, robotics, interfacing and the computer integrated factory of the future are all subjects which are receiving detailed consideration. Much of CIRP's work is now concerned with applying a systems approach to manufacturing, with the communication requirements of the CIM environment, with the role of people in future manufacturing processes. More and more attention is reserved to problems like sustainable production, environmental impact of new technologies and manufacturing aspects of globalization.

A book has been published, relating the story of CIRP between 1951 and 1991. To know how to get it, please click on this link.