Monthly Archives: February 2013

Manufacturing Excellence Solutions, Are They Really Effective?

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What are the true metrics of Manufacturing Excellence? Is it merely a phrase or has a deeper more palpable meaning? Why is excellence in Manufacturing desired? Are the Manufacturing Excellence packages available today capable of achieving their namesake? Let’s try and understand and answer these questions from an organizational and operations point of view. 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 … Continue reading

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Manufacturing Execution Systems, The Future Of Modern Manufacturing

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Technological advancements have drastically transformed the way manufacturing industry functions today; it has become the major differentiating factor and is helping the top companies maintain their competitive supremacy in the market. Technology has become a potent weapon for the Best-In-Class organizations and has helped them achieve monopolistic positions in their respective markets. Since the advent of mass customization and delayed differentiation, technology has been used very differently by different companies of the same industry. This means every process has become unique in a bid to achieve differentiation and technology is the main driver behind this subtle differentiation. Thus whenever an … Continue reading

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TQM, Lean, 6 Sigma Implementation Is Possible With IT Applications

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TQM, Lean, Lean-Six-Sigma and Six Sigma are various theories of Operations Management or management on the whole that are helping organizations become more efficient and profitable around the world. I believe that these theories or management philosophies have a lot in common and should be pursued in spirit. We should try and understand the end goal of these theories rather than trying to implement them blindly without proper consideration. These theories should be treated more like guidelines rather than a set of rules or do’s and don’ts. What all these theories tend to stress on is the reduction of operational … Continue reading

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R&D Laboratories Work Much More Efficiently With LIMS!

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What helps the Organizations that are market leaders get to the position they are at? After wondering about this question myself, I 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, but only much 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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Control Costs, Improve Inventory Turnover, Improve Sales, Apply MES

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In his famous novel the Goal, Eliyahu Goldratt explains the importance of understanding the three most important aspects of a manufacturing plant or a business for that matter. These most crucial facets of business are- Inventory, Operational Expense and Throughput. Yes, Inventory Operational Expense and Throughput, and the real Goal is to reduce the first two and increase the third. Simply said, cut costs; produce efficiently and sell faster. This theory has a universal appeal and encompasses all sorts of businesses. Irrespective of the method or theory you apply to improve your process, i.e. TQM, Lean, Six Sigma etc. the … Continue reading

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Work In Progress, Difficult To Manage? Think Again!

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I have noticed through my experience and that of my peers that managing the WIP or Work In Progress, is considered a difficult task. Operations Managers often complaint of many issues, such as, being unable to track the material, the shifting of bottlenecks, higher machine downtime, higher cycle time, higher material consumption and the list can go on and on. The reason why some of these issues exist or are perceived to exist is because of the inability to properly track the material on the production line, the inability to know the machine status in real-time and the glitches that … Continue reading

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Factory Information System, Does My Factory Need It?

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For Organizations that manufacture any kind of product, the Factory is the heart of that Organization. Factories are places where a product or a product sub-assembly is manufactured or assembled. It is in these factories that raw materials become value added products that provide the desired utility to the end user. Information that flows to and from the factories is crucial and plays a massive role in the operational efficiency and effectiveness. Traditionally solutions have been developed to help functions like Finance, Purchase, HR and Marketing. Factories and Operations, have had limited solutions aimed specifically to improve the information processing … Continue reading

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Safety And Quality Management Applications, Meet Tomorrow’s Needs Today

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Before you begin reading this Blog, please stop and think for a moment how much do you value work place Safety and product Quality? I know these are two separate issues but they are interrelated in many ways, you will gain clarity as you continue reading. Work place Safety is considered the most basic need of any worker or employee, it is considered essential for being able to perform any kind of task/work. Imagine worrying about something falling on your head while you are preparing the production schedule or writing a report for your big-boss. Quality on the other hand … Continue reading

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Any MES Application Is Considered Incomplete Without An SPC Tool

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MES applications are transforming the way production units operate, they are making factories more integrated, efficient and quality oriented. MES applications are basically software solutions that have the capability to provide seamless integration for a manufacturing facility, right from warehouse to the EOL or end of production line. An MES app helps you manage production in real-time and prevent formation of bottle-necks, monitor and control your process and above all improve the overall efficiency of production. The major advantage of having an MES app is the clarity you have about your process and how fast and accurate decision making becomes. … Continue reading

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Database Management Is Vital For A Successful Production Unit

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Technology and efficient management of data are the major drivers of operational excellence in the current industrial scenario. It is through harnessing and better application of modern technology that companies have been able to achieve Economies of Scale/Scope and develop more flexible, quality oriented production lines. Today the perception of technology has had a paradigm shift from process improvement to process integration and continuous improvement. Data Management has become a critical issue in the strategic planning of Organizations, Information processing and knowledge management are now the prime concerns. Effective Data-Management forms the back bone of the Technological Development efforts in … Continue reading

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Yes, You Really Need End-To-End Integration Of Your Production Facility!

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Integration of production facilities, does it mean the physical integration or is there more to it? Well, not necessarily, today due to the miracle of technology, the end-to-end integration of a production facility is possible even if the entire process is not executed under a single roof. It is now possible to monitor and control subsequent operations taking place at varied physical locations. Even when the entire process is executed at the same location can it be considered integrated if there is a delay in decision making and process control? A process becomes integrated only when it can be monitored, … Continue reading

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What To Expect From An SPC Application In Your MES system?

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All modern management theories and systems such as TQM, Six Sigma, Lean and JIT, lay a lot of stress on management by facts. Many management theorists have stated and concurred the belief that what can be measured can be managed. The school of thought that advocates the use of facts and figures in management makes a very strong case, this is because it gives a factual and analysis based perspective to management and does away with managerial whims and fancies. But to be able to manage any process by facts and figures, it is imperative to have these facts and … Continue reading

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Factory Automation The Future Is Here And Now !

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Factories have transformed drastically in the last 100 years or so, the main reason behind this is the advancement in Process Technology and the revolution called Information Technology. Yes, long gone are the days when every production step was executed manually and the entire process was subject to a myriad of non-conformities and issues. Today the standards for production have become stringent and some details are impossible to achieve without having a total or partial automation. Factories of tomorrow are the ones that realize this need for automation and work towards becoming more advanced using better process and information technology. … Continue reading

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“Operational Excellence, Is It Really Out Of Reach? “

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Operational excellence is highly desirable, and organizations strive to achieve it. But is it a static state of being or is it dynamic? Once operational excellence is achieved is it easy to sustain? Is the pursuit of operational excellence even worth the effort? Well let’s answer these questions one by one and try to gain clarity, achieving operational excellence and maintaining it is a dynamic process, you have attained operational excellence when your process is capable of meeting the requirements of external forces dynamically. Your operations has achieved excellence when your process knowledge is refined to state where you are … Continue reading

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Is Your Factory Making As Much Money As It Should?

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Factory performance is often neglected by even the most diligent of management professionals and top bosses. There is a high attention paid to Sales, Marketing, Customer Service and Finance, these verticals are given extra attention as they are considered to be direct contributors to the bottom line. Well, I think this is the first place where Organizations go wrong, factories should be given ample attention and production/operation should be considered one of the most important verticals if not the most important. Production function directly affects costs, inventory and throughput; if all these parameters are not managed properly your factory is … Continue reading

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Cycle Time Reduction Is Possible With MES!

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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 in every Organization. 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 … Continue reading

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“Time To Market, Does It Matter To You? “

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Organizations today are facing high pressure to develop products faster and put them for sale in the market. Order lead times have become very short and instant fulfillment of orders has become the name of the game. Now more than ever the market forces are stronger and influence the entire operation of Organizations and most successful ones have realized this and have been able to able alter their internal capabilities accordingly to meet market pressures. Due to smarter consumers and their short attention span the cycle time for product development and market it has become shorter than ever. The total … Continue reading

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For A More Productive R&D Lab Apply LIMS Today!

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As consumers we owe a lot to R&D labs, these labs provide us with novel products that add value to our lives and in case of medical miracles; they add more life to our lives. Yes, R&D labs help us by improving the products we use in our day to day lives; they also improve the quality of our lives. I sincerely applaud the organizations, governments and individuals who help run R&D labs that work for the greater good of the human race. Being an operation professional I have always wondered how these labs are run, can they become more … Continue reading

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