In 1939 – and inspired by a plastic toothbrush – L.A. Blackwellhad a simple dream: To be able to produce a well-made, standard, plastic product. He built his first injection molding machine by hand and Houston, TX became home to a leader in custom plastics injection molding and extrusion: Blackwell Plastics, Inc.
While the survey showed that customers cared about some aspects of a manufacturer’s capabilities more than other, there wasn’t a wide disparity between their highest and lowest ranked attributes. For example, survey takers gave the top-ranked attribute, “Quality,” a 4.73 out of a possible 5 rating. The lowest ranked attribute, “Sales Process,” still received a rating of 3.08 out of a possible 5.
The Game, a Phenix City, Ala.-based manufacturer of sporting apparel for nearly a thousand collegiate baseball teams, recently announced a new line of American-made products — American Threads — to be manufactured in North Carolina. Amid a noticeable demand for a home-grown product, they decided to reconsider the cost picture of producing goods locally.
DEWALT’s lead design engineer for drills was tasked with designing a high power right angle drill that is lightweight, compact, and portable. As is common with hand power tools, the goal with the design was to maximize performance while minimizing the size of the tool.
In today’s modern assembly facilities, the design and flexibility of the workstation is critical to maintain quality, workflow, and ergonomics. Unlike the old, static, welded frame workbenches of the past, modern workstations incorporate a modular, flexible, adaptable design, with a wide variety of options that allows the end user tremendous flexibility in reconfiguring the furniture to meet an ever changing production environment.
If you are involved in quality and operations decisions for manufacturing or supply-chain management, one of your most important responsibilities is to ensure that the final output of your plant is in compliance with internal and external quality standards.This is not as easy as it sounds.
“It’s a great way to start the second half of 2013,” says Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the ISM Business Survey Committee. “I think it’s a very positive and well-balanced report in terms of all of the underlying metrics. Things are pointing in a very favorable direction right now.”
Manufacturing intelligence captures events (both good and bad) and transfers them via integration to a central place for viewing and actions. So, as a machine starts producing bad parts, the quicker these events are captured, moved and analyzed the less impact of rework or scrap occurs. This is called the “feedback loop.”
A sudden chemical release or unexpected machine movement can injure or kill an employee who is servicing, maintaining or repairing process equipment. OSHA’s lockout/tagout standard (1910.147) requires employers to authorize the employees who do this work and provide them with the instructions and equipment they need to completely deenergize the machinery.
We all know about the cost savings generated when we eliminate waste from manufacturing processes. How many of us consider the savings available when we address another source of waste: the waste that occurs in our workplace interactions?
If you’ve been in the manufacturing industry for any length of time, you may have experienced challenges that come along with siloed operating functions. Hopefully, you’ve also seen the value that can be found when we break down the barriers between silos.
Among a select group of adrenaline enthusiasts, Kawasaki is tantamount to sheer fun, speed, and quality. Many think that "toys" like motorcycles sell themselves, but that's true only if they bring everything to the table. Naturally, the company wasn't able to make the kinds of products it does, and with such a large following, without effective management on the plant floor.
Compressed air dryers and filters are designed and rated to treat specified volumes of air at specific conditions. A refrigerated dryer, for example, is rated to achieve a specified dew point at a particular volume (scfm), pressure (100 psig), compressed air temperature (100 degrees F), and ambient temperature (100 degrees F). These are typically referred to as “standard conditions.”
With reporting requirements for the SEC’s Dodd-Frank mandated Conflict Minerals Rule coming due on May 31, 2014, companies are scrambling to determine their next steps in providing transparency required under the new rule, according to PwC. A survey found that almost half of the nearly 900 executives surveyed are still in the initial stages of their compliance efforts, while 32 percent are determining if the rule applies to them.
In the manufacturing arena, four out of five materials handling injuries affect the back and require a median of ten days for workers to recuperate. A strain can have indirect costs in excess of $33K and requires an additional $672K in sales to recoup those costs. Anytime organizations can eliminate the possibility of back injuries, injury costs should be taken into consideration when determining ROI.
Workplace injuries in any organization take a bite out of profits. The statistics regarding the number of injuries and illnesses that occur on the job and purported annual costs of $250B is astronomical. In the goods producing industry, which accounts for account for 35 percent of all occupational illness and injury cases, “manual materials handling is the principal source of compensable injuries,” according to OSHA.
Land Rover extended its Lean manufacturing to cover vehicles rolling off the production line at its Solihull, England production facility by implementing Zebra Solutions Vehicle Tracking & Management Solution. Newly assembled vehicles move around the site as they are prepared for dealer orders, so it was a manually intensive process to establish their precise location and identify and direct each vehicle to the next process.
GETRAG FORD is one of the largest manufacturers of automotive transmissions in the world. As part of its Lean manufacturing initiative, the company implemented Zebra Material Flow Replenishment system to automate parts processes throughout its 2 million square foot assembly plant in Cologne, Germany.
In difficult economic times, Lean thinking strikes a chord for manufacturers as it promises to reduce costs, improve quality, and transform the bottom line by eliminating waste in every area of the value stream. Its goal is to eliminate non-value added processing from the customers’ perspective, enabling less inventory, less space, less resource, less time and less cost to produce more – and all highly responsive to customer demand.
Our fourth annual Energy Intelligence Report has been designed to spark some ideas for cost savings measures, as manufacturers continue to face tightening budgets and competitive pressures. We hope you can find something of value as you look at your own plant floor and try to determine where to start.