Once plagued by error-prone production, worker apathy and dwindling profits, this Dallas-based label maker turned around with a vengeance after almost losing its largest customer a decade ago. Here's how the company went on to win multiple awards, including the Malcolm Baldrige in 1998, and continues to raise the bar for itself.
The Japanese term for 'continuous improvement' has come to represent a new culture for many U.S. manufacturers, as well as a new opportunity to compete. 'Kaizen' - the term may send at least a subliminal shiver up the spines of those of a certain generation. Japanese for "continuous improvement," the term is usually applied to manufacturing processes.
Proctor and Gamble, Inc. (P&G), is one of the world's most successful manufacturers of consumer goods, with processing operations in more than 70 countries. Its products, including those in beauty care, food, beverage, health care, laundry and cleaning markets, are sold in more than 140 countries. P&G's Iowa City, IA, plant, which produces shampoo, conditioner and mouthwash, operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"Our goal is to predict bearing failure before it adversely affects the quality of our product," says Jackie Walker, a 17-year veteran and associate supervisor, preventive maintenance, at the Belden Electronics division in Tomkinsville, KY. "Ultrasonics technology in conjunction with vibration analysis are the troubleshooting tools we use to help us achieve this goal.
The science has produced volumes of information about workers, productivity, behavior, motivation and other issues. Here's a look at the effect it has had and continues to have on industrial human relations. In 1945 there were a grand total of 130 participants in a newly-formed division of the Washington, D.
The push for supply chain efficiency has driven changes in over-the-road trucks and how they're loaded. The changes have a direct impact at the loading dock - an essential yet often overlooked link in the supply chain. Innovative dock design and properly applied equipment can help companies keep material flowing smoothly across their docks, keeping production lines supplied and ensuring reliable deliveries.
In the metal stamping industry, one of the most critical operations is the removal of post-production scrap metal from the die. Scrap metal that is not removed can affect part quality and ruin the die, costing companies valuable resources to repair or replace dies. In the past, metal-stamping companies removed scrap by pushing it out of the way with a broom, a laborious, tedious process.
"For more than 19 years we have been using motorized pulleys to drive a rotating brush on our Automatic Defect Removal (ADR®) system" says Pete Smith, a product manager for Key Technology, Inc., Walla Walla, WA. A leading manufacturer of process automation and electro-optical inspection systems for the food-processing and pharmaceutical industries, Key Technology makes the ADR® 4, a unit that detects and eliminates blemished areas from raw potato strips, improving quality for makers of frozen french-fried potatoes.
High-tech automated equipment supports today's automakers, but requires its own high-tech support from skilled maintenance teams to do the job. An automobile manufacturing plant is a technological site to behold. Orange sparks light up the factory as robotic welders swiftly perform their duty and smoothly send product down the line.
The zinc/air fuel cell is a new technology that will make it possible to run an electric lift truck for three shifts at a time, then be refueled as quickly and easily as pumping gasoline. No extra batteries, battery-hoisting equipment, or slow battery recharge and cooldown procedures are needed.
COPPER GIANT CERRO COPPER CONTINUES ITS TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE WITH CONVEYORS FROM MATHEWS CONVEYORFebruary 1, 2001 5:33 am
Though copper pipe has been used to carry water since the days of the Egyptians, it was not until the late 1920's that practical and economical thin-walled copper plumbing tube was developed to compete with iron pipe. Once developed, it did not take long for copper - an easily worked, corrosion-resistant product - to replace threaded iron pipe as the standard for many residential and industrial uses.
The first placement of Caterpillar's 250 kVA Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system at a plastic extrusion plant in Charlotte, NC, proved to be a powerful success. In November 1999, Shaw Industries' Plant 25 installed the new UPS system on one of its four extrusion lines. The first power interruption occurred on Jan.
Fisher Tank Co. president Leo Pasini describes tank building as "a tough business, a basic, U.S., old industry." In the 52 years Fisher Tank has been in the business of maintaining and building steel tanks for water, chemical and petrochemical-product storage, construction advances have been few. The most notable was the invention of automatic arc welders that travel around a tank to make horizontal welds.
How a respected, old-school tank builder with near-crippling insurance costs was turned around by a new president and his vision for safety-based excellence.January 30, 2001 8:01 am | by Rick Carter Editor-in-Chief
Of the many cost-saving options used by modern manufacturers, cutting workers' compensation insurance premiums is not usually on the short list. And that's too bad because U.S. businesses spend plenty in this area. According to the National Academy of Social Insurance, a Washington, D.C-based research group, all U.