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Manufacturing

A Supply Chain Case Study – Socks Manufacturing: Part 2 of 2

A socks manufacturing company in India turned to TQM to improve its supply chain. In Part One, the case study describes the process of elminating a significant cost for the company – delivery delays. This week, Part Two of the case study looks at the broadening of the application of process improvement beyond deliveries. The…

A Supply Chain Case Study – Socks Manufacturing: Part 1 of 2

A socks manufacturing company in India turned to TQM to improve its supply chain. In Part One, the case study elminates a significant cost for the company – delivery delays. Part Two of the case study looks at the broadening of the application of process improvement beyond deliveries. A fledgling socks manufacturing company in India was working to…

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FLEXcon: Lean for the Long Run

The following are selected highlights of a corporate leadership profile of FLEXcon. The complete article – with more details about Lean application and how the company avoided layoffs during the recession – is available for purchase on the iSixSigma Marketplace. FLEXcon positions itself for growth by embracing Lean at every level More than 50 years…

Scotland's Six Sigma Efforts Pay Off with Manufacturing Savings

A recent report by the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS), a business advisory group sponsored by the government of Scotland, found that continuous improvement efforts, including Six Sigma, have resulted in more than £21 million worth of productivity benefits across the region over a 12-month period in 2010-11.

Team Teachings: Improving Process Operator Competency

Polymer chip manufacturing is a multi-step, large-volume process that makes hundreds of millions of pounds of products annually at a typical plant. Unlike fiber extrusion, which requires the use of multiple units of specialized equipment, chip manufacturing involves fewer machines operated in either continuous or batch modes. Chip manufacturing is often driven by operator decisions,…

Japan Disaster Rattles Manufacturers Worldwide

According to a March 24 report from Objective Analysis, nearly 25 percent of the world’s semiconductor production capacity is in Japan, as well as more than 60 percent of the silicon wafers from which semiconductor chips are created. In 2010, industry analysis firm iSuppli determined that Japan held about 35 percent of the $31.5 billion…

Car Makers Struggle with Supply Chains One Month After Japan Quake

Honda is only the latest of several automobile manufacturers to report production slowdowns in the wake of last month’s Japan earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis – triple catastrophes that have crippled global car production supply chains and reduced overall capacity by as much as 30 per cent, according to the British newspaper The Independent.

No Cause for Alarm: Avoiding Control Room Overload with 5S

The typical plant control room has changed dramatically over the years. Alarm management – which once was simply a sound or flashing light designed to get the control room operator’s attention – has changed dramatically, too. Many control rooms have replaced analog panel boards with multiple screens of bright and colorful representations of plant equipment….

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Streamlining the Ordering Process for U.K. Book Publisher

The publishing industry is on the threshold of major structural changes. The arrival of e-books is only the first threat, and it is having an impact sooner than expected. For example, Amazon.com sold more e-books than paper books in the first quarter of 2010. The credit crunch also has reinforced retailers’ demands for smaller, more…

Lean Revamp of 767 Line Helped Boeing Win Tanker Bid

After a contentious 10-year competition with European rival EADS, the Boeing Co. won a hard-fought $35 billion contract to supply the U.S. Air Force with new refueling tanker aircraft, due in part to the Lean methods the aerospace manufacturer recently adopted for its 767 line.

Piggybacking Air Filters to Save Shipping Costs

Cummins operates three plants San Luis Potosi, Mexico, which produce and ship products daily to distribution centers in the United States. These plants produce systems such as reconditioned engines, alternators, and filtration and exhaust systems. Two of the three plants were looking for ways to reduce the high costs of trucking the products, so Rebecca…

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Wind Turbine Firm Vestas Adds Gels to Quality Team

Vestas, the Danish wind-turbine manufacturer, has hired David Gels as its new vice president of quality and process excellence. The company also hired two other executives to its North American operations: Ramon Mendoza as warranty management chief specialist and David Sword as government relations director for Canada.

European Wind Project Embraces Lean

With assistance from Spanish wind-turbine manufacturer Gamesa, nonprofit foundation Tekniker and several other European technology firms, COSMOS seeks increases in turbine quality, as well as lower costs and faster manufacturing times, according to a release from Ibermática. According to the COSMOS consortium, many European turbine assembly operations involve both manual labor and work done by…

U.K. Packaging Firm Celebrates First Year of Lean Six Sigma

Based in Bardon, Leicestershire, U.K., Benson Group is one of the country’s largest carton suppliers, producing packaging for both the food and pharmaceutical industries at its 130,000-square-foot facility. The Bardon plant produces sheets of printed cardboard that is then cut and glued for use in the food industry as containers. With the adoption of Lean…

The Customer Talks Back: Musings on Call Center Efficiency

Running a call center is like handling a job interview: First impressions are critical. Good intentions do not make up for tardiness, ill-fitting clothing, dirty shoes, the inability to reasonably pronounce the interviewer’s name or ignorance about what the company does. The primary purpose of a call center is to increase the profitability of the…

Dueco Hires Six Sigma-trained Supply Chain Manager

Utlility vehicle and crane manufacturer Dueco Inc. has appointed Michael Johnson as its new materials manager. With more than 17 years of experience in the materials and operations field, Johnson has had extensive training in the Lean and Six Sigma methodologies.

Lean Techniques Help Boeing Production Take Flight

In December 2010, the company announced that it would be ramping up production of its popular 777-series wide-body jet from 5 airplanes a month to 7 per month in 2011, and again to an average of 8.3 a month in 2013. Earlier in the year, Boeing also said it would be boosting production of its…

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