|Building Needed||Steam Engine Factory|
|Stream||Metal Industry, Industry|
Uniformity in the parts of any machine or device means that it can be assembled easily or broken items can be replaced quickly.
Many devices are hand-built by craftsmen to extremely high standards, but this brings its own problems. If a designed component doesn't fit into a machine, it can be carefully worked until it does; in itself, this is no bad thing, but the altered piece may not now fit into an appropriately identical mechanism.
By making identical parts within a fine tolerance, identical machines can be built from any mixture of those parts. Work can be developed amongst craftsmen, and broken parts can be replaced easily, even by a user! This is particularly useful for the military, as muskets and other equipment can be quickly repaired in the field rather than being thrown away or expensively rebuilt.
This advance became widely known about thanks to American inventor Eli Whitney (1765-1825). He built ten muskets in front of a US Congressional committee, took them to pieces, mixed up the parts, and rebuilt the muskets. The act was impressive, but he had cheated by having all his demonstrations pieces carefully handcrafted to extremely exacting standards. He was largely copying the idea of Frenchmen Honore Blane.
Especially considering how late in which they can be researched, Interchangeable Parts can significantly reduce upkeep costs.
Interchangeable Parts are sometimes subject to a glitch in which they may be researched without completing any prerequisites first.