Monthly Archives: October 2013

How Well Equipped Is Your FAB for a Lean Or TQM Implementation?

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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 and in action. 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 … Continue reading

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Safety Management Systems, Show Your Plant Personnel That You Care!

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Is Safety the first priority in your Organization? Is worker safety and a hazard free working environment really what you strive for? 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. These protocols and procedures that organizations claim to have in place are generally to achieve documentary compliance for various certifications and audits, with the end-goal remaining a boost in profits. Safety, however remain neglected and procedures become a joke if they are not practiced as is, any leeway that occurs … Continue reading

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Factory Information System, A Necessity For Effective Operations Management!

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FIS stands for Factory Information System; it is an application which is considered crucial by automation experts. There are many versions and variants in which an FIS can be applied in a factory but we will look into that part a bit later in the article. Right now let’s focus on what an FIS really is and what makes it so necessary for modern factories. To begin with let us focus on the value of information, and the need to have real time info about the factory floor. Every manager irrespective of position or function will agree with me when … Continue reading

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Manufacturing Excellence Applications & Their Impact On Effective Operations Management!

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Operations Management is often the most neglected area in all Organizations, it is considered to be a firefighting tool only to be called upon in the event of any problem or mishap. I believe Operations Management should be considered a vital part of management and should be used to attain competitive advantage for the Organization. Operations Management affects all five competitive priorities, namely, Quality, Speed, Dependability, Flexibility and Cost. Rather than trying to manipulate the external environment to gain a competitive edge, organizations can gain a lot by concentrating on setting their house in order by laying stress on Operations … Continue reading

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MES- Is It Better To Buy Off The Shelf Or Customized?

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Information Technology is one of the most important areas of strategic planning and decision making for modern day organizations. IT decisions become even more critical because the top management of most organizations have limited knowledge of IT applications and relevant costs. All organizations feel the need to implement better IT infrastructure, but how to go about it, remains a crucial question. In most organizations IT services are outsourced, this makes sense considering the need to concentrate on core competencies. But while outsourcing IT services and applications it is important to understand the implications involved and take a decision after weighing … Continue reading

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Root Cause Analysis & The Role of MES In Its Effective Execution!

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Over the years Manufacturing has become more precise and process dependent, any deviation from the set procedures and norms can have dire consequences for the factory. In operations like Semiconductor manufacturing a spec of dust can destroy an entire production lot, such controlled and highly automated environments call for much tighter and fool proof production and process control, than ever required in older more manual processes. Modern manufacturers rely on early detection and prevention of any deviations and excursions in their fabs, generally the burden of such activities is borne by an IT application, which in most cases is the … Continue reading

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Defect Management Is Essential For Improved Uptime and Waste Reduction

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Mura, Muri and Muda are the three types of wastes we see in Japanese management theories. Mura corresponds to unevenness in production, Muri is overburdening the workers and production process and Muda is non value adding work which attributes to waste. We often forget the importance of detecting the defects that cause these wastes. Finding the root cause of a particular waste type may prove helpful in eliminating the waste from the process, or at least lead to a considerable reduction in the waste being produced. All three wastes mentioned above can be witnessed in any typical manufacturing operation; these … Continue reading

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Is A Generic MES Application An Ideal Vehicle For Process Improvement?

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Information Technology is one of the most important areas of strategic planning and decision making for modern day organizations. IT decisions become even more critical because the top management of most organizations have limited knowledge of IT applications and relevant costs. All organizations feel the need to implement better IT infrastructure, but how to go about it, remains a crucial question. In most organizations IT services are outsourced, this makes sense considering the need to concentrate on core competencies. But while outsourcing IT services and applications it is important to understand the implications involved and take a decision after weighing … Continue reading

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Dimensions of Quality & The Importance Of Quality Management Systems

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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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Excursion Detection & Prevention- Possible With The Modern MES Solutions

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All Operations professionals know and would agree that no matter how fool proof a production process might be there is always a possibility of an excursion, due to the contingent nature of day-to-day operations. The later an excursion is detected the more loss it causes. Detecting an excursion becomes even more important in discreet manufacturing as every product is different and tailor made. Even in an HMV production line an excursion can cause a massive loss if it remains undetected, thereby causing both financial and non financial loss. The financial loss caused by an excursion can be calculated, but the … Continue reading

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