Monthly Archives: November 2012

How to Reach World Class Safety and Quality Performance Levels

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Do you really consider Safety and Quality vital parameters for your Organization? Continue reading if your answer is, Yes. I believe that both Safety and Quality are major contributors to an Organization’s long term success and profitability. Both these parameters should not be considered mutually exclusive, I will tell you why. A safe work environment enables workers to better concentrate on their tasks, which would improve work Quality and Productivity. A boost in work Quality and Productivity will contribute to the over all Quality of the end product. Given a fixed process, an improvement in overall safety of the factory … Continue reading

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Advance Your Organization to World Class Safety & Quality Performance Levels

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Safety of the working environment and Quality of the final product/service are the most important contributors to the overall performance and profitability of an Organization. Safe working conditions have been known to boost productivity of the work force; it is considered the most basic work need by Maslow. The importance of Quality can never be overemphasized it is the most important order winner/qualifier in almost every industry. For some industries maintaining high standards of quality conformance is mandatory just to be able to ship the products. Even if such strict compliance standards are not present the need to maintain a … Continue reading

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What are You Waiting for, Improve Your Manufacturing Productivity!

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The major goal of all commercial organizations is to achieve profit maximization. Achieving profits can be looked at from various perspectives, such as reduction in operational cost, reduction in inventory/work in progress and increasing productivity/throughput. Let’s assume that the demand for an organization’s products is bullish, costs are consistent and the pressure of competition is high. In such circumstances profit maximization can be achieved only when all the three factors mentioned above contribute equally. In organizations that are applying Lean production, cutting inventory and operational costs further can be a challenge; however, productivity can be increased considerably, by application of … Continue reading

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What are You Waiting for, Improve Your Manufacturing Productivity!

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Quality, Speed, Dependability, Flexibility and Cost, these are the vital competitive priorities that are considered most crucial for Organizations today. All these parameters are dependant on the availability of relevant and potent information. It is the acquisition and manipulation of the right information that has helped market leaders get the no. 1 spot in their respective industries. To acquire correct information, data collection, database management and data processing is mandatory. Organizations today lay a great emphasis on collection of data generated both inside the organization and outside. Let’s first consider the importance of Data, its management and why is it … Continue reading

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Manage Your Data Today That Helps You Tomorrow

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We live in a highly technology driven world, information is what brings us together and it is information that has become the difference between success and failure in business today. An Organization that does not have the information about the external environment, that constitutes the customers, competitors and the market on the whole, and its internal environment that constitutes process capabilities, suppliers and personnel, is destined to fail in the future. Leading organizations around the world have realized the importance of data management and knowledge development, they have used Information Technology as a weapon to fight competition and attain a … Continue reading

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Best In Class Companies Use MES to Improve Manufacturing Capability

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What separates an ordinary company from an extraordinary one? Why are some Organizations able to adapt faster to changes and achieve higher market shares? What makes Organizations like Intel, Samsung, Boeing and Toyota, the Best-In-Class companies? The answers to these questions are similar to some extent. Every Organization that has been able to understand their customers and successfully convert their needs, into products and services has been able to become Best-In-Class. An extraordinary Organization does not aim at doing different things, but doing things differently, by understanding their capabilities and market requirements better than their competition. Companies that have been … Continue reading

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Lab Information Management System – Manage Your Samples In Your Lab

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How do you think Organizations that are market leaders get to the position they are at? I have wondered about this question myself and realized that there is one major common factor, Evolution. Yes, the organizations that have made it big have all kept evolving, just like human beings, only faster. Organizations that have been proactive in their efforts to understand the needs of their customers and change their products and services accordingly, have been able to capture a larger portion of the market share than those who decided to stick to their old ways of doing things. Companies that … Continue reading

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Asset Management: Advancing Your Plant Floor to the Next Level

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Any process is as strong as its weakest operation. Bottlenecks are the reality of all production processes and all experienced managers understand that the bottlenecks keep changing over time. Bottlenecks can be dealt with more effectively if the management has the capability to track them and understand the reason for the said bottleneck. In today’s highly competitive environment achieving a high throughput is considered mandatory, while keeping the inventory and operational expenses low. This makes Asset Management extremely important, especially in a manufacturing environment where assets such as Machinery, Equipment, Tools and Resources are procured at a high capital cost. … Continue reading

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I2DS Achieves Continued Customer Satisfaction Through Excellence In Mfg Information Solutions

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I2DS, a provider of Manufacturing and R&D Factory Automation, Data Management, Factory MES, and Manufacturing Excellence software and IT, Factory Operations, Supply Chain, & Engineering Services serves various organizations and industries such as solar, semiconductor, automotive, and biotech is being touted as the next big thing in MES and Automation industry. Highlights: • Factory MES products being developed by I2DS are being called the best-in-class solutions by their users, other packages such as Manufacturing Excellence, LIMS and FIS are receiving high praise from the industry on the whole. • The company has announced exceptional growth in the 3rd quarter results. … Continue reading

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“Empower Your Factory Floor with Decision Making Tools At Your Fingertips “

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Decision making is an ongoing, day-to-day activity, for every Organization. Every Factory Manager makes numerous decisions related to the operations and production process on a daily basis. Every decision that affects the final product is crucial and should be taken with utmost care, because even the smallest error can cause massive damage to the company’s reputation and market performance. Decision making is affected by the presence or absence of specific information, it is this information that helps make a decision more precise. The gurus of Quality Management have emphasized the importance of fact based management, especially for organizations that manufacture … Continue reading

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Boost Quality With a Powerful SPC System

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Quality has become the most sought after competitive priority to excel at, for organizations around the world. Consumers are willing to pay top dollar for products that claim to be of superior quality and can prove to be the quality leader in their category. There are nine facets of quality, 1) Aesthetics, 2) Conformance, 3) Durability, 4) Features, 5) Response, 6) Reliability, 7) Service, 8) Performance and 9) Reputation. Most of these facets depend on the process of production and to the extent the process can be controlled and modified. When a process can be controlled, its Quality can be … Continue reading

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“Is Your Organization on the Leading Edge of Automation?”

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Frederick Winslow Taylor, the father of Scientific Management emphasized the use of assembly lines in production and Henry Ford made assembly lines the most popular means of production. The times have changed ever since and there has been a massive proliferation in the products that are available in the market. The market itself has become a Consumer’s market and not a Buyer’s market like it was in the early part of the last century. Assembly lines are much more flexible and highly automated today. This has made the process flow more complicated and more difficult to manage. Modern management methods … Continue reading

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Reduce Manufacturing Complexity and Improve Operational Efficiency

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I believe that a higher degree of Process complexity is desired today, as it becomes difficult for the competitors to copy the process. But I can’t say the same about manufacturing complexity. A process can become complex in various ways, using state-of-the-art machinery or use of protected or difficult to obtain resources, all this makes the process complex and thereby makes it harder to imitate. But manufacturing complexity is the level of difficulty one faces in the execution of the process. It is desirable to keep the manufacturing complexity at a minimal level as it would result in less variance … Continue reading

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Speed, Productivity, & Cost – A Mantra that helps Your Organization Succeed

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Given the same set of Organizational resources and External Environmental conditions, why are some organizations exceptionally successful, while others struggle to survive? Organizations that are successful lay stress on three major factors besides Quality, they are Speed- speed of delivery and speed of process, Productivity- productivity of the process and productivity of the personnel employed and last but certainly not the least Cost- cost of the entire value chain and operating cost. A concentration on increasing Speed and Productivity while reducing the Cost makes some organizations much more successful than their competition. Successful organizations include these factors in their vision/mission … Continue reading

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Cycle Time Reduction – Your Key to A Quicker Time To Market

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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 has 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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Unleash Information and Unlock Your Plant’s Hidden Potential

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No Organization can survive without information. Yes, information from within the Organization and information from the surrounding environment that consists of customers, competitors, suppliers and the government are vital for the very existence of an organization. Organizations lay a lot of emphasis on monitoring the information that lies outside their realm of control and often neglect the importance of internal process related information. Neglecting internal information can be a deadly mistake because without a proper understanding of its own process an Organization can never fully utilize the information obtained from the external environment. Process capability depends on the effective utilization … Continue reading

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Knock, Knock…. Open The Door To Manufacturing Excellence

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Quality, Cost, Speed, Dependability and Flexibility are the top five competitive priorities for any Organization. It was always thought that to achieve excellence in one of the above priorities another one has to be traded off. This school of thought still exists, but another theory advocates that achieving process excellence can help attain excellence in most of the priorities above mentioned. For Organizations that rely heavily on manufacturing, discreet or process, achieving manufacturing excellence is the only way to be more competitive and gain a larger market share. Excellence can be achieved when simplicity in decision making and the subsequent … Continue reading

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Is it Time to Upgrade My Automation, Not So Fast!

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The process of automating a manufacturing plant in terms of equipment and information systems is a complex, time consuming and costly process. The risks hurrying the process of automation can be improper automation, the use of obsolete technology in automation and a chance of overspending on automation technology. Managers feel the constant urge to upgrade their automation to keep abreast with their competitors or for other reasons that have different motivations like being the technology leader or becoming best-in-class. But they often fail to understand the need of their process and the trade off between cost of upgrading automation and … Continue reading

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Mom, Dad, Don’t Leave Me Behind – Managing Complex Material Movement

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It is argued that Process Complexity is desirable in most manufacturing operations today because the more complex a process the more difficult it becomes to imitate and thereby gives a competitive advantage. However process complexity is a function of Site Competence. Site competence is the ability of any manufacturing site to handle complex processes and material flows in terms of qualified workforce and equipment. The higher the site competence the easier it is to adapt to a complex process flow. To achieve a higher Site competence it is desirable to automate the process in terms of equipment and information systems. … Continue reading

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Excursion Prevention – A Critical Piece In Manufacturing Operations

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Almost every Doctor I have ever met has told me a cliché “Prevention is better than cure”. I believe that this statement although it might be a cliché, holds true for every man made process as well. All Operations professionals know this and would agree that the sooner an excursion is detected the easier and cheaper it is to deal with. Theories like Total Productive Maintenance or TPM greatly emphasize the need for excursion prevention rather than the standard practice of excursion detection and subsequent corrective action. Most manufacturing processes in the world have become highly complex, to make it … Continue reading

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A Boost In Productivity Is a Boost In Profit

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Process efficiency is a function of process capability, external and internal environment factors that directly or indirectly affect the process. The external environment factors that are directly under the organization’s control such as supplier material quality, 3PL service provider’s performance can be controlled to some extent. But most external factors remain out of control for any organization. When there is bullish demand for our products we can safely say that the profitability is directly proportional to productivity and thus also to process capability. Also when I say directly proportional it’s just a figure of speech and not a mathematical deduction. … Continue reading

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My Data Is Trapped In My Tool and I want it Now!

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Data is the life blood of any manufacturing operation; it is required at every stage and across all stages of the process. Data collection and analysis have come a long way since the first CNC machine ever came into existence. The need for equipment and tool data has been increasing due to the emphasis on SPC and automation place by much modern management and manufacturing theories. TQM and Lean Gurus such as Deming, Taguchi, Juran and Shingo have placed great emphasis on management by facts and prevention by better process control. This emphasis on management by facts has further intensified … Continue reading

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Seeking Real-Time Information ? Then Excel is Not Your Friend!

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Spread Sheet applications have made an impact on how Managers operate around the world, but are they really as efficient and effective as required? Today the manufacturing industry has become drastically different from what it was maybe 10 years ago and real time decision making is the need of the hour. Although spreadsheet applications have their plus points in terms of the ease of storing data and performing complex calculations, they are certainly not the panacea for management problems evident today. Today Global Organizations have factories making different components around the world and having access to real time data is … Continue reading

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