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.
Asset management, at its core, is all about profitability. If a manufacturer can gain a clear picture of how and where assets are being used, they can account for overuse, underuse, lost items, bottlenecks, theft, and more. And in doing so, there is an endless list of tools to consider.
The Institute for Supply Chain Management held their 98th Annual International Supply Management Conference & Educational Exhibit April 28th through May 1st in Grapevine, TX. More than 2,000 professionals attended the conference and several “instant” digital polls were held, taking a look at reshoring and tax concerns. Thomas Derry, CEO of ISM, discusses the results of those polls and how they are affecting business and the economy.
Not too long ago, an article outlined some major reasons why reshoring, for all its business viability and value to the American economy, faces real problems with aging machinery and a workforce in need of new, well-trained people. Naturally, these concerns stem from a variety of flaws in the educational and training systems, and from a lack of foresight from manufacturers, who were not prepared for such a wide skills gap.
Pro Weld Inc., a Michigan manufacturer of material handling containers, set goals to improve the quality of their product, eliminate re-work, and reduce energy costs in their welding and painting operation that runs three shifts per day. A key improvement in the final painting and inspection portion of the building was increasing the levels and quality of light so the employees could clearly see their work.
Southeast Packaging has been on the fast track to lead its industry in energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly, “green” programs. So when management began investigating ways to improve the efficiency of lighting at its packaging facility in Concord, NC, they turned to OEO’s “BIG LIGHT.”
With more than 15,000 people working at 58 manufacturing sites worldwide, the Saint-Gobain brand Verallia is a worldwide leader, specializing in high quality glass containers. When the time came to renovate a quality control and packing hall at its Neuburg glass packaging plant in Germany, Verallia was looking for a more efficient lighting solution to replace its 250W HPS high bays that were actually drawing 300W.
Industrial manufacturers across the world need to stay efficient, productive, and safe in an ever-increasing competitive global market. They turn to industrial cleaners and degreasers to quickly and effectively sanitize and disinfect, improve the appearance of their facility, prepare surfaces for plating or adhesive bonding, eliminate the potential for contamination, and more.
Before the world began clamoring for “big data,” there were industrial companies who pioneered via systems like CMMS or EAM in order to better structure their maintenance programs. Having an opportunity to make truly informed decisions due to better tracking of maintenance procedures, asset usage, breakdown costs, and efficiency of resources meant a competitive advantage.
Suburban Manufacturing has been in business more than 33 years and has a gleaming, state-of-the-art 30,000 square foot CNC machine shop. According to vice president Brian Nuibe, Suburban is a “true job shop. We have vertical machining centers and horizontal machining centers, single- and multi-spindle CNC lathe machines, saws, hones, sand blasting, part marking — a huge array of operations.”