The following passage provides some evidence of the importance of information from science (viz., chemistry) in process improvement. Speaking of chemists:
(p. 247) . . ., with their aid, the life of a rail increased from two years to ten, and the car weight it could bear from eight tons to seventy in the forty years between the Civil War and 1905. Only a very few new technologies have had equal significance.
Rosenberg, Nathan, and L.E. Birdzell, Jr. How the West Grew Rich: The Economic Transformation of the Industrial World. New York: Basic Books, 1986.
(Note: ellipsis added.)