Monthly Archives: September 2012

Staying on The Path of Operational Excellence.

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There was a time, not very long ago, when mass production of standard goods was the goal of all manufacturing organizations, achieving economies of scale was imperative and the final customer had no choice or say in the process or product attributes. Those days are long gone now, today customers are the focus of every organization, their demands and views are given importance over the product and process, Customer Delight and Operational Excellence are the main objectives now. TQM is a theory widely adopted globally for process improvement. According to TQM two things are most important if an organization has … Continue reading

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Optimize Your Factory Performance.

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Optimizing your factory performance, is it needed? If yes, is it possible? So let us consider the first question, the goal of every organization is to achieve profit maximization and accomplish its fiduciary responsibilities towards its stakeholders. Optimizing performance no longer means achieving highest possible level of production, rather it means reaching highest possible profitability. If your factory is able to achieve highest possible profitability, it is implied that your operations are functioning optimally. Factory Operations today need to be able to achieve high quality production faster than ever before. So an operation that is flexible and can react quickly … Continue reading

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Is MES Integration an Easy Task?

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MES or Manufacturing Execution System is a very popular integration tool among Organizations around the world, especially in the USA. So what is MES? Is MES application and Integration possible for your factory? Who is the right partner to ensure that your MES is effective for you? Let me answer these questions one by one, MES is a solution that helps you integrate your entire factory operations on a single platform and gives you a more comprehensive view of what is happening on your factory floor. MES has proved to be an effective tool for Organizations that are striving for … Continue reading

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Safety First, Everything Else Second.

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Safety first, everything else second, is that something you really believe in? It is seen that many organizations have fancy policies and documents portraying the concern they have for the safety of their workforce, but the reality is very different. Safety is a prime concern for any individual, as per Maslow’s theory about ‘Hierarchy of needs’, Safety, at the workplace is the most basic need for any worker. So when we say Safety First, we should mean it and work towards achieving it, because no one would like to work in an unsafe working environment. Today there are various industrial … Continue reading

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The Power of an Integrated SPC in Your MES.

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Statistical Process Control or SPC is one of the most reliable methods to measure and control Quality in a manufacturing environment. TQM advocates the use of SPC rather than purely judgment based decisions, especially to determine variations in Quality and Equipment performance. It enables accurate process control and ensures quality parameters are achieved. SPC can be applied universally to any process where the required output can be measured. Some key tools used in SPC include control charts; a focus on continuous improvement; and the design of experiments. In simpler words SPC is a tool for Quality control that aims to … Continue reading

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Emerge as a Leader in Manufacturing.

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Every industry has a leader, which achieves high market share. People have deep seated respect for it and its best practices and operations procedures become the industry bench mark. How do companies like Toyota, Intel, Coca-Cola, Apple etc. remain on top even in the face of adverse market conditions and limited operational resources? The reason these companies stay on top is because of their ability to reinvent and reposition themselves more effectively and faster than their competition. So is it a miracle or some hidden attribute that allows these companies to achieve their Market Leader status? The answer is No, … Continue reading

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Doesn’t It Feel Good to Have A Factory Running at Optimum Efficiency.

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Is your factory operation the best in your industry? Is it operating at optimum efficiency? Are the operational efforts well-coordinated, well communicated and well documented? Do you have the ability to monitor each and every activity in real-time and make cost saving decisions? Today these are the questions that are critical for an Organization that believes in achieving the highest possible Quality at the lowest possible cost. Manufacturing organizations today are constantly under pressure to develop newer, better products much faster than ever before. This means that the factory operation needs to be achieving optimum efficiency just to be able … Continue reading

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A Tool to Reduce Production Scrap Rates.

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For Organizations world-wide Scrap Rate reduction is a major pain point. Scrap Rate is defined as- Percentage of failed assemblies or materials that can neither be repaired nor restored and is thus discarded. In high volume manufacturing or HVM, the scrap rate is a critical issue; it reflects the quality of production and also reflects the control that is being exercised to prevent excess scrap. Ideally in a perfect production system the scrap rate would be zero, as all inventory items would be used optimally to generate value added final products, effective maintenance would insure that all tools and equipments … Continue reading

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The Benefits of a Manufacturing Execution System.

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Have you ever noticed the sea change that is taking place every day in the market, ever wondered what is driving these rapid changes and how does your Organization keep abreast with the rest of the industry? Well, let’s take it from the top, Markets today are changing rapidly because of four major factors, these are- 1) Technology, 2) Customer Demands 3) Globalization and Trade Agreements and 4) Market Forces (Competition, Suppliers etc.). These factors are the major driving forces behind the extremely dynamic and volatile nature of the present day market. Customer demands have made companies realize the importance … Continue reading

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The Importance of Vendor Engagement during Equipment Selection.

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Vendors are as important as customers in the Value Chain of any Organization. Supply Chain Management advocates strongly the involvement of Vendors in the Planning process of the Organization. Having a strong and long term relationship with all Vendors is a requisite for maintaining the competitive edge in today’s cut-throat market conditions; vendor-engagement is highly desired if the Organization is to achieve the Quality Standards required. Most companies today focus on vendor-relationship building as it allows them to concentrate on their core competencies and dedicated vendors ensure that the Operations of the Organization remains flexible to accommodate things like- New … Continue reading

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Are you missing granularity in your MES Data?

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Manufacturing Organizations of the modern industrial era have realized the importance of Automation and Integration of their operation is vital for survival and growth. The quality standards have evolved and become highly specific, Quality is no more an order winner but has become an order qualifier. Automation and Integration play a vital role in achieving the high Quality Standards set by the market leaders or required by the Laws of the State. Manufacturing Execution Systems are helping Organizations the required automation and integration, to achieve the desired quality. An MES system is supposed to provide a seamless and smooth integration … Continue reading

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Are you striving for a Best-In-Class Factory?

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Every CEO in the world strives to make his/her organization the best in its class. If you read the Vision or Mission statement of any organization in the world this desire to be the best and even better, will become very evident. Irrespective of the line of business every company strives to be labeled the best in business, today we will talk about achieving this dream and making it a reality for manufacturing organizations, for whom their factories are the main source of revenue. So how can you become the best company around? Is it by having a strong leadership? … Continue reading

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Complete Transactional History of Equipment Issues in Your Factory.

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What are the major cost centers in a manufacturing environment? According to me the two main cost centers are Inventory and Operational Expenses. Inventory expenses can be minimized if managed effectively; it’s comparatively easier than cutting costs on Operational Expenses. Why so? Will be you next question, the answer is- Inventory is easier to track than many operational expenses specially the ones that are related to your equipments and occur in no particular sequence. Most factories today who follow a Preventive maintenance schedule would want to disagree with my statement above, their argument would be- Our maintenance is well scheduled … Continue reading

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Reduce Paper and Manual Entry Efforts in Your Production Line.

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Manufacturing has been drastically transformed over the last century. Today operations world-wide have become completely automated and competitive priorities have changed from direct labor cost, to quality conformance and raw material cost. The way Organizations used to look at Manufacturing and Factory operations has changed dramatically and will continue to change because of three major driving forces, namely- Market Conditions, Technological conditions and Political Conditions. Today we will reflect of Technology and why should you worry about its influence on your operation. Technology is defined as- The making, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, methods of … Continue reading

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Improve Accuracy of Inventory Management.

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Inventory Management is it really a concern for your Organization? I bet it is and always will be. Inventory is one of the three major factors that influence and shape the operation of any Manufacturing Organization. There are many ideas regarding inventory from very simple ones to highly complex ones, for me inventory is- ‘Any material that enters a production plant and is either transformed or helps transform other material to finished goods, which are then sold to earn revenue.’ Now think about your own unit for a second keeping the above mentioned definition in perspective, you will get a … Continue reading

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The Ideal Solution for Any Startup Company.

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History has it that great businesses have had very humble backgrounds, every company that became a global giant initially was just a great idea conceived at the right time and then that idea was turned into a reality by Visionary Leadership, Teamwork, Planning and Control. Every new company wishes to become a big company, from a big company to a huge company and finally from a huge company to a global conglomerate, employing thousands of people world-wide, with a business of 500 Million dollars plus. Its good to have high hopes, but just high hopes will not get you there. … Continue reading

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Do You Have A Handle on Your Day-to-Day Factory Performance?

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Ever since Industrial Revolution changed the way the world looks at production, Factories have been pivotal parts of our daily life, as an Operations professional I can’t imagine a day without visiting a factory. Factories around the world produce everything that we can possibly think of right from Chewing Gums to Parachutes to Jet Engines. What remains common in such diverse manufacturing processes is the ‘Goal’, the goal of any manufacturing organization, no matter what it produces, is Profit-Maximization. Profit-Maximization can only be achieved by improving the process performance by cutting costs and increasing output. However, it’s easier said than … Continue reading

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A Complete IT Outsourcing Solution.

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Information is considered the most important resource for decision making in any Organization. To be able to achieve an efficient and effective Operation the right information needs to be available at the right time for the right person. Ever since the advent of Information Technology or IT as we all know it, many companies have been trying to provide means for better data management, smoother and error free operations. IT has transformed the way organizations do business around the world. But a major concern that remains is whether we need to develop an IT department in-house or outsource the IT … Continue reading

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What does Operational Efficiency Mean To You?

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Efficiency when described in the most simplest terms is the ratio of output obtained to the input applied, expressed in percentage. In operational terms Efficiency refers to the accomplishment of or the ability to accomplish, a task or tasks with a minimum expenditure of time and effort. The efficiency of any organization is determined by its ability to minimize costs, ability to adapt to changing market conditions and the ability to maintain Quality and customer satisfaction. Every Organization today faces immense pressures on its operations such as high market pressure, low cycle time, smarter-more demanding customers, supplier pressure and the … Continue reading

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Does Time-To-Market Matter in your organization?

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There are two universal variables each organization deals with and it is these variables that determine the shape, size and future of the operations. These variables are Market Forces and Internal Capabilities. Both these factors are constantly changing and interdependent, this means that every organization in the world keeps changing as per changes in these factors. In present day and age most operations in the world have become customer centric and Quality of products have become the most important deliverable. The above statement implies that now the market forces are stronger than ever and most successful organizations have realized this … Continue reading

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How important is your Safety and Quality Performance in your factory?

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Safety and Quality; why is it important in my organization? Why are these the key issues in modern day manufacturing? Is my Factory well equipped to handle each and every issue related with safety and quality on a daily basis? How can I be sure that my workers are safe and my product is of optimum quality? Well these are the questions each responsible Factory Manager asks himself every day. Today I will try and answer these questions and shed some light on how I2DS has been able to put the anxious minds of Factory Managers around the world at … Continue reading

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Are you in need of a factory tool integration solutions and services?

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Factory is the pivot around which the business of any manufacturing organization revolves, it is the major source of revenue as it produces the goods sold by the company, but it is also a major cost center. Today we will try and establish an understanding of factory automation, tool integration, optimizing factory operations etc. But first let us try and understand the need of factory automation. During and much after the Industrial Revolution many factories were labor intensive and production process was purely manual; this led to various errors and variations in production. As each Individual has his/her own limitations … Continue reading

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Streamlined Data Reports – Raise the Bar for Operational Efficiency

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What is the most important requirement of effective operations management? I believe there may be many answers to this question, but after asking it to a lot of colleagues, managers etc. I came to a conclusion that it’s Information. Yes, Information is absolutely vital for effective management and efficient operations & not just any information, for the information to be of any use it has to be relevant, accurate, streamlined and available when required. Information that has above mentioned features aids effective decision making which in turn helps improve the bottom line. Having established the need of information the next … Continue reading

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Do you have trouble managing your data?

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Data is such a simple four letter word, but without this ‘data’ we could be thrust back to the Stone Age. It is the ability to store, process and manipulate data that makes us superior and faster than our ancestors. Data when presented in a meaningful form is considered Information. Gathering and maintaining this Information is a major challenge for every organization doing any business in any part of the world. Today’s blog is aimed at understanding the problems related to Data and Data Management. So Lets first consider the importance of Data, its management and why is it so … Continue reading

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A One-Stop-Shop for Data Management, Factory Automation, Factory MES, Manufacturing Excellence and IT/Software Services.

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The IT needs for every Organization is unique and the functionality required by them is diverse and multifaceted. Time has come to look beyond the generalized packages available today and focus on individual needs. Tailor made products for Data Management, Factory Management, Factory MES etc. are changing the way Organizations are doing business today. We at I2DS are dedicated to provide complete Information Solutions to Organizations that want to optimize their operations. I2DS is a one stop shop for every IT need of your Organization, as we make products focused on your operations. Our products focus on not just sustaining … Continue reading

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The Ideal Inventory Mangement System – From Warehouse to End-of-Line

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Inventory is one of the major cost-centers that industries deal with, it has been the center of many studies and theories, for example Just In Time Manufacturing Theory revolves around the reduction of inventory costs. Inventory is considered to be one of the three major pillars of any successful organization along with Operational Expense and Throughput. So is it vital to manage inventory effectively? Obviously the answer is Yes. But the more valid questions here are – Is my inventory Management System effective? Does it save money? Can it be improved? Let us discuss these questions in detail but first … Continue reading

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