manufacturing articles business management businesses Marketing sales Technology Business finance Lean Manufacturing small business Investing articles employee health
Search This Site
Custom Search

Utilizing manufacturing resource planning

portfolio37472854.jpgManufacturing resource planning is used to combine database accuracy, employee skills, and computer resources. It is a combination of everything that makes up your manufacturing company. Manufacturing resource planning is referred to as MRP II. Utilizing MRP II your business will be able to develop a concept as to how you can make better products and do it in a timely manner.

Continue reading "Utilizing manufacturing resource planning"

The Job of a Manufacturing Technician

contractor30905267.jpgThe job of a manufacturing technician requires the use of machines, tools and labor to create products for sale or to use. A manufacturing technician may do his work with just his hands and raw materials to create a product for sale. High tech machinery may be used to create finished goods. The specific requirements of a manufacturing technician depend on the products the company produces or the research being conducted by the company. A technician is usually under the supervision of an engineer. An engineer may just be around to supervise the work of the technician, or he may be the one who designed the process the technician is following. An engineer may only be around to check the materials being used or check as results are produced.

Continue reading "The Job of a Manufacturing Technician"

Important principles of lean manufacturing

machinery19192168.jpgLean manufacturing is one of the most-popular business improvement strategies. It is used by companies like Boeing, Toyota, General Motors, and a handful of other companies. When it comes to learning and implementing lean manufacturing, your company is best advised to pay a consultant to come in and train everyone.

When you are hiring a consultant, look for one that has a lot of experience in lean manufacturing. Far too often consultants only have experience with one or two aspects of lean manufacturing and they are unable to teach you multiple principles. You may find that you only get information about the 5 "S" method or kaizen. Unfortunately many of the consultants do not have a lot of experience with the implementation of the strategies and they fail to influence your company to become a lean environment.

Continue reading "Important principles of lean manufacturing"

ERP

blueprints23266599.jpg
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is an information system designed to coordinate all the resources, information, and activities needed to complete business processes. This information system is meant to be used across the entire enterprise (as such it is named) including steps reaching from filling orders to billing for a finished product. The ERP information system supports a variety of functions in the business. These functions include manufacturing, supply chain management, financials, projects, human resources and customer relationship management from a shared data store.

An ERP system is based on what is called a common database and a modular software design. This design makes the ERP system useful to all departments of the business because each department is able to store and retrieve information in real-time. With ERP the information needed to effectively run the business is reliable, accessible, and easily shared. Modular software design refers to the ability that those benefiting from the design have to make various aspects of the system move around and adjust to fit their own specific needs. The business can select the modules they need and eliminate the modules that they do not need. The modules chosen within the system can be mixed and matched or added to new modules. The goal is to improve business performance so whatever design best facilitates that is the one that should ultimately be created.

Continue reading "ERP"

What is a control chart, and how is it used

assemblyline19192148.jpg
A control chart, also called a Shewart or process behavior chart, is a tool that is used in manufacturing and other businesses to monitor processes and to assure that the processes remain stable. Walter Shewart discovered control charts in 1924 when he worked for Bell Labs. They were discovered because of Bell Labs need to reduce the frequency of failures and repairs to their equipment that was buried underground. Control charts are most often used in Six Sigma as a statistical tool. In Six Sigma the control chart is intended to assess the nature variation in a process, but it is also used to facilitate forecasting and management.

Control charts are actually one of the seven basic tools of quality control. They are used in conjunction with the histogram, Pareto chart, check sheet, cause and effect diagram, flowchart, and the scatter diagram. A control chart is used to help distinguish process variation due to assignable causes from those that are caused by causes that are out of their control.

Continue reading "What is a control chart, and how is it used"

Project based manufacturing

meltedmetal34878780.jpg
Project based manufacturing is different from other types of manufacturing, specifically engineer-to-order and manufacturing-to-stock. Unlike other forms of manufacturing, project-based manufacturing designs a product to be a product, before the needs of the consumer are considered. Manufacturing-to-stock and engineer-to-order both focus on putting the needs of the customer first.

Similar to other manufacturing, project-based manufacturing also keeps an inventory on hand. Typically the items are sub-assembled and then built on site. The main factor that drives project-based manufacturing is the revenue and profit stream. Companies that implement project-based manufacturing are normally looking for ways to increase their efficiency. Some of the common aspects of project based manufacturing include the following:

Continue reading "Project based manufacturing"

Oracle and PLM integration

controlpannel67964742.jpg There are so many different things that you can implement into manufacturing. One thing that manufacturing is always trying to do is to improve their manufacturing profits. One way that manufacturing has succeeded in doing this is by using Oracle and PLM integration. If you are part of the manufacturing industry and want to know more about Oracle and PLM integration here is some information that can help you.

Continue reading "Oracle and PLM integration"

Learning to make necessary changes to improve efficiency

Change has never been easy for anyone, but it is inevitable and usually necessary to progress in any and every part of life. Learning to make necessary changes to improve efficiency in your manufacturing plant will help reach the goals you have set for it. It is necessary for you to make sure that as you implement these changes, that all upper management is involved, as well as employees. This will make it easier to implement the new programs and techniques. One such program that can help your manufacturing plant in make some necessary changes is called Six Sigma. It is a method used in Lean manufacturing that utilizes data and statistical analysis to measure and improve the efficiency of a company's performance, practice and systems. The goal is to prevent defects from occurring and in essence try to create perfection in the manufacturing business. Let's take a look at how making this change can improve efficiency within your manufacturing plant.

Continue reading "Learning to make necessary changes to improve efficiency"

Setting up a manufacturing strategic plan


Strategic planning is a process that any successful business must go through if they are to work towards innovation and development for the future. The strategic planning process involves key members of the organization. These individuals gather together to discuss the procedures that must take place if the manufacturing company is to remain competitive and successful. Strategic plans do not have clear ending points as a company should be ever planning. Strategic plans are designed to envision and create an action plan for the future of the organization.

As you set up a manufacturing plan keep the following points in mind. Having a well organized strategic plan set-up is the key to the successful future planning of the organization's goals. Setting up a manufacturing strategic plan should be focused on optimizing organizational systems and on providing a frame work or an action plan for improvement efforts in each sector of the manufacturing organization. Planners should brainstorm and decide on procedures that will guide day-to-day decision making. Management is not excluded from training as learning opportunities are not only for the entry level worker. And lastly, there must be a means by which progress can be assessed. If there is no way to measure improvement then there is no point to having a strategic plan.

Continue reading "Setting up a manufacturing strategic plan"

Risk management for your manufacturing

In today's complex world of manufacturing it is the prudent owner or operator of a manufacturing company that integrates risk management into his production process. By integrating risk management in the design and development process the successful business owner takes a proactive step in minimizing all loss. Yet a note of caution should be extended here for the risk management process to be successful it should be introduced early in the design process and diligently managed throughout a product's life cycle. This risk management process can become extremely crucial in some industries. For example, successful risk management is critical to the design and development of safe and effective medical devices. To many manufacturers view risk management as an isolated activity that must be performed merely to fulfill a regulatory requirement. This is often due to a misunderstanding or confusion as to what risk management really does.

By educating manufacturers about the methods of risk management this provides manufacturers with tools that will improve their design and development efforts. The end results include device designs that are safe and effective, a shorter and more-efficient design and development timeline, and fewer post launch problems. Risk management when it is done correctly can involve the development and transfer of safe, reliable and effective devices in the manufacturing process. This in turn reduces costs and monitors risk through a device's life cycle. It is extremely important that some fundamental principles be applied to the risk management process for the most successful and thereby most profitable design to be achieved. These need to be closely integrated with the total design and development effort. Some of this are-

Continue reading "Risk management for your manufacturing"

What is a control chart and how is it used in Six Sigma?

Control charting is a tool used to monitor processes and to assure that they remain stable. The control chart is also known as the 'Shewhart chart' or the 'process-behavior chart'. It is a statistical tool often used in Six Sigma and is intended to assess the nature of variation in a process and to facilitate forecasting and management. The control chart is one of the seven basic tools of quality control, which also include the histogram, Pareto chart, check sheet, cause-and-effect diagram, flowchart, and scatter diagram.
Control charts were proposed by Walter A. Shewhart in 1924 while working for Bell Labs. They recognized the need to reduce the frequency of failures and repairs because their telephony transmission systems’ amplifiers and other equipment had to be buried underground. Shewhart stressed that bringing a production process into a state of statistical control, where there is only common-cause variation and keeping it in control, is necessary to predict future output and to manage a process economically. Dr. Shewhart concluded that while every process displays variation, some processes display controlled variation that is natural to the process, while others display uncontrolled variation that is not present in the process causal system at all times.

Continue reading "What is a control chart and how is it used in Six Sigma?"

What is a cause-and-effect diagram and how is it used in Six Sigma?

The Cause and Effect Diagram is also commonly known as a fishbone because of its fishbone appearance. The box and lines can be thought of as the head and spine of the fish. The box represents the effect and the lines are the causes.
One of the most difficult problems when it comes to implementing Six Sigma is that it is difficult to determine which processes are the most problematic. This is especially true when you have a team of problem solvers all trying to decide where the focus should be. Using a Cause and Effect diagram is one great way to encourage brainstorming among team members. Cause and Effect analysis helps you to think through causes of a problem thoroughly. Their major benefit is that they push you to consider all possible causes of the problem and not just the ones that are most obvious.

Continue reading "What is a cause-and-effect diagram and how is it used in Six Sigma?"

What are the criteria for choosing projects in Six Sigma?

Six Sigma projects fail or are abandoned for several different reasons. One reason is that participants don’t value the project and can’t see the importance it holds. Along the same lines, if a sponsor doesn’t push for project completion, there is no real connection to the project and no desire to make it successful. Another reason is that the process is performing inadequately. In other words, the project problem is not what it was initially thought to be. Also, projects are often abandoned when it is discovered that the process being worked on is also being addressed by another team. Another factor contributing to abandonment is that the team finds it too difficult to measure the process.
Lack of pre-work and adequate prioritizing are huge factors in leading to project abandonment. It is difficult to identify projects, but by following certain criteria, you can bypass some of these difficulties. Properly defined Six Sigma projects meet these criteria:

Continue reading "What are the criteria for choosing projects in Six Sigma?"

What is value-added work? Non-value added work?

The concept of value-added work and non-value added work is important for anyone in the world of manufacturing to understand. The success of your business, as well as the satisfaction of your customers, is dependant upon the amount of value-added work versus the non-value added work.

Value-Added Work
Value-added work is the work that is actually valuable and results in a finished product. Keep in mind that a customer is only going to want to pay for value; if they feel that their money is being wasted as a result of insufficient processes, the customer will take his business elsewhere.

Continue reading "What is value-added work? Non-value added work?"

Tracking process flow to improve production speed

Whether you are a business manager, owner, or just a worker, you have most likely been concerned with your production speed at some point in your career. All businesses are always striving to improve their production speed, because a higher production speed yields a higher profit. And every business man and woman knows that a higher profit is good for everyone. So perhaps you’re looking for new ways to improve your production speed, but you’re not sure where to begin. Well this article is here to tell you that in tracking your process flow you can improve your production speed. And here is how to do just that.

Let’s start with an explanation of process flow. Process flow is the steps of a procedure used in making, delivering, or accomplishing a product or service, and how it impacts the layout of your facility and your decisions about technology, as well as how your company works together. Process flow is an important aspect to building a strong company with a competitive edge. A given procedure can be classified as job shop or flow shop when applying the concept of “process flow.” Flow shop is not a flexible procedure and uses specialized resources. Job shop is very flexible and uses general resources.

Continue reading "Tracking process flow to improve production speed"

Six Sigma Laws – The Law of Velocity

Lean Six Sigma works to increase speed while at the same time reducing waste, and this is accomplished by combining two very effective means – six sigma and lean manufacturing.

Six sigma is a method used to provide business with the necessary tools to increase their overall performance and customer satisfaction. This is done by statistically analyzing various forms of data and information, then using it to anticipate the needs of their customers. The overall goal of Six Sigma is to increase a company’s profits by identifying and then eliminating factors that contribute to waste and customer dissatisfaction.

Continue reading "Six Sigma Laws – The Law of Velocity"

Six Sigma Laws – The Law of the Market

While the overall goal of six sigma is to increase a company’s profits by identifying and then eliminating factors that contribute to waste and customer dissatisfaction, there are different ways to come to this goal. Lean Six Sigma focuses more on improving process flow and speed than on improving quality by combining the laws of six sigma with that of lean manufacturing. The concept of lean Six Sigma utilizes five different “laws” in order to make the process successful.

In order to fully understand the laws of lean six sigma, it’s important to become familiar with the concept of six sigma as well as lean manufacturing. In a nutshell, six sigma is a method used to provide business with the necessary tools to increase their overall performance and customer satisfaction. This is done by statistically analyzing various forms of data and information, then using it to anticipate the needs of their customers. The overall goal of Six Sigma is to increase a company’s profits by identifying and then eliminating factors that contribute to waste and customer dissatisfaction.

Continue reading "Six Sigma Laws – The Law of the Market"

Six Sigma Laws – the Law of Focus

What is Six Sigma?
Six sigma is a method used to provide business with the necessary tools to increase their overall performance and customer satisfaction. This is done by statistically analyzing various forms of data and information, then using it to anticipate the needs of their customers. The overall goal of Six Sigma is to increase a company’s profits by identifying and then eliminating factors that contribute to waste and customer dissatisfaction.

What is Lean Manufacturing ?
Where six sigma works to improve quality via customer satisfaction and processes, lean manufacturing works to eliminate waste. The first step to eliminating waste, according to lean manufacturing, is to identify what causes the waste. As a general rule, waste is categorized in the following ways:

Continue reading "Six Sigma Laws – the Law of Focus"

Six Sigma Laws – The Law of Flexibility

Flexibility is an important trait in any business or organization. Employers like people who are flexible and willing to learn and implement various tasks. This results in increased productivity and the ability to eliminate waste.

This is where Lean Six Sigma comes into play. Lean Six Sigma focuses more on improving process flow and speed than on improving quality by combining the laws of six sigma with that of lean manufacturing. The concept of lean Six Sigma utilizes five different “laws” in order to make the process successful. The Law of Flexibility is the second law of lean six sigma. It states that the speed of a process is dependant upon the workers’ ability to switch back and forth among tasks. This is important because the overall goal of six sigma is to increase a company’s profits by identifying and then eliminating factors that contribute to waste and customer dissatisfaction.

Continue reading " Six Sigma Laws – The Law of Flexibility"

Six Sigma Laws – The Law of Complexity and Cost

The Law of Complexity and Cost is the last of the five laws of lean six sigma. In order to properly explain this law, however, it’s useful to know what exactly lean six sigma is.

Lean Six Sigma, which combines six sigma with lean manufacturing in order to increase overall speed and customer satisfaction. It does so by focusing more on improving process flow and speed than on improving quality by combining the laws of six sigma with that of lean manufacturing. The concept of lean Six Sigma utilizes five different “laws” in order to make the process successful. The Law of Flexibility is the second law of lean six sigma. It states that the speed of a process is dependant upon the workers’ ability to switch back and forth among tasks. This is important because the overall goal of six sigma is to increase a company’s profits by identifying and then eliminating factors that contribute to waste and customer dissatisfaction.

Continue reading "Six Sigma Laws – The Law of Complexity and Cost"

Improving processes through process flow

Whether you own a business yourself, are a high level executive in a national company, or just an aspiring manager, it’s likely that at some point you will find yourself wanting to improve some aspect of your business. Maybe you want to increase the amount of product you put out onto the market. Maybe you want to improve the quality of your product. Or maybe you want to revamp your entire business. Regardless of what you’d like to improve in your business, one way to achieve the necessary progress is through process flow. Almost any kind of process can be improved through this method.

And what is process flow, you ask?

Continue reading "Improving processes through process flow"

How to gather data to make six sigma decisions

Let's imagine that you work for a company that manufactures a product. You may be the owner, the manager, or just a regular, but valuable, employee. As a holder of any of these positions, you will need to make decisions based on your desire to improve your company and make it more profitable. One way to do this is to learn and follow the six sigma. Another necessary part of this is to gather data about what your customers are looking for in a product. This article will discuss exactly what six sigma is and how to gather this data to make six sigma decisions.

First, what is six sigma? Since you may not be an expert of six sigma, let us review. Six sigma was created by Motorola and is a system of practices to improve your company and eliminate defects. By defects, we mean anything outside of customer specifications, or the parts of a product or service that is not part of the intended population. A defect could be a product that you marketed to the public, thinking that it would do well, and then for some reason did not sell.

Continue reading "How to gather data to make six sigma decisions"

Should you use an overseas manufacturer

One important question when it comes to manufacturing has to do with who's actually going to do the work for you. Manufacturing, that is, the assembling of raw materials into a finished product, is complicated and dangerous work and requires highly skilled employees for its successful execution. Manufacturing requires highly skilled employees from top to bottom. The engineers that design the tools and machines that run the manufacturing process and the laborers that run the machines must be equally good at what they do. Manufacturing requires a lot of organization, leadership, and attention to detail. When you think about an even relatively simple machine, say, a toaster oven, and then think about its multifarious different intricate parts, you get a sense of the complexities of manufacturing. In most cases, manufacturing requires the skills, strength and patience of thousands of people as they assemble thousands of products for distribution all over the world.
Many manufacturers eventually come to the question of using an overseas work force. They want to know the pros and cons of overseas manufacturing. They want to know the new things they'll need to be aware of if they decide to try overseas manufacturing. They want to know about any surprises they might face, possible setbacks, disappointments, and so forth. Sure, labor may be cheaper in China than it is in the United States, but how are you going to find and train a host of skilled workers in time to keep your operation running smoothly and efficiently? This is the sort of question that looms up when you begin considering using an overseas manufacturer.

Continue reading "Should you use an overseas manufacturer"

What is a Pareto chart and how is it used in Six Sigma?

A Pareto chart is a type of bar chart where the values being plotted are arranged in descending order. It is one of the key tools used in total quality control and Six Sigma. The purpose of a Pareto chart is to graphically summarize and display the importance of the differences between different groups of data.
The Pareto chart was named after Vilfredo Pareto and is based on the Pareto principle. Pareto was an Italian economist who is credited for discovering what we know as the Pareto principle or 80/20 rule. It also is known as the law of the vital few and the principle of factor sparsity. What he observed was that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by only 20% of the population. He soon discovered that this phenomenon was evident in other aspects of his life as well. For example, 80% of the peas in his garden were produced by 20% of the peapods. This expanded to become the 80/20 rule: that 80% of the consequences stem from 20% of the causes. The assumption is that most of the results in any situation are determined by a small number of causes. Some examples of 80/20 rule applications are:

Continue reading "What is a Pareto chart and how is it used in Six Sigma?"

What is a Pick chart and how is it used in Six Sigma?


A Pick chart is a tool used that can be used in any process evaluations when trying to pre-process raw data. It is a method used to narrow down a large quantity of raw data to get to the root problems. It is often used in the pre-processing stages of Six Sigma after data collection.
There are many useful ways for processing data. One of these is to focus on a sample and distilling the data for particular purposes. This is very valuable in the early stages of processing when the volume of raw material is great and you need to glean out the most useful information.

Continue reading "What is a Pick chart and how is it used in Six Sigma?"

What is a scatter plot and how is it used in Six Sigma?

A scatter plot is also known as a scatter diagram or scatter graph. It is a graph used to visually display and compare a possible relationship between two or more sets of related data by displaying points, each having a coordinate on a horizontal and a vertical axis. A dot in the body of the chart represents the intersection of the data on the x and y axis.
One advantage of a scatter plot is that it does not require a user to specify dependent or independent variables. Either type of variable can be plotted on either axis. Scatter plots do not imply any causation, but rather an association between two variables. Your scatter plot may show that a relationship exists, but it does not and cannot prove that one variable is causing the other. There could be a third factor involved which is causing both, some other systemic cause, or the apparent relationship could just be a fluke. Nevertheless, the scatter plot can give you a clue that two things might be related, and if so, how they move together. The two axis can generally be displayed as:

Continue reading "What is a scatter plot and how is it used in Six Sigma?"

What is a SIPOC diagram (high level process map) and how is it used in Six Sigma?

A SIPOC diagram, also known as a high level process map is a tool used in the Six Sigma methodology. In order for your company to receive a Six Sigma certification, you must first complete a project that demonstrates your ability to follow the Six Sigma process and show that you understand how to use the tools.

The reason you would want to map your company's current process is so that you can put yourself in a position to be able to quickly define, document, analyze, prioritize and recommend solutions and follow-up plans to move the company toward its financial and customer-focused goals.

Continue reading "What is a SIPOC diagram (high level process map) and how is it used in Six Sigma?"

What is a six sigma master black belt?

If you’re looking to get ahead in the world of manufacturing, one way to do so is to become a six sigma master black belt. While it may sound like this has something to do with karate, it’s actually a term coined by Motorola and used to identify someone who has received the highest level of technical and organizational proficiency – and it doesn’t involve and kicking or punching!

What is Six Sigma?
In order to fully understand what a six sigma master black belt is, it’s important to become familiar with the concept of six sigma. In a nutshell, six sigma is a method used to provide business with the necessary tools to increase their overall performance and customer satisfaction. This is done by statistically analyzing various forms of data and information, then using it to anticipate the needs of their customers. The overall goal of Six Sigma is to increase a company’s profits by identifying and then eliminating factors that contribute to waste and customer dissatisfaction.

Continue reading "What is a six sigma master black belt?"

What is a time series plot and how is it used in Six Sigma?

A time series plot is a graph showing a set of observations taken at different points in time and charted in a time series. These observations are usually successive and equally spaced in time intervals. A time series plot is a tool used in Six Sigma to depict an orderly sequence of values of a variable that frequently occur when looking at process or product monitoring and control. To better understand what this means, we must first gain a better understanding of what Six Sigma is.

Six Sigma is a methodology used in process improvement. It uses data and statistical analysis to identify and fix problem areas for any particular company. To do so, a problem or process is first identified and defined objectively. The process’s output performance is then measured. Next, the problem is analyzed in all phases of the process in order to identify causes of variation.

Continue reading "What is a time series plot and how is it used in Six Sigma?"

What is a time value map and how is it used in Six Sigma?


A Time Value Map is a tool used in Lean and Six Sigma methodology. It tracks a work item through its process and tracks where it spends its time. It follows the product from raw material to output into the customer's hands to determine where it spends valuable time and where waste time can be eliminated. To better understand what this means, we must first explore both Lean and Six Sigma a little.

Six Sigma methodology is a process improvement methodology using data and statistical analysis to identify and fix problem/opportunity areas for any particular company. A problem or process is identified, and defined objectively. The process's output performance is measured. The problem is analyzed in all phases of the process in order to identify causes of variation. By doing so, output processes can be improved by reducing that variation. This improvement program can affect everyone involved in all processes from production/manufacturing processes to service processes to business processes.

Continue reading "What is a time value map and how is it used in Six Sigma?"

What is a value stream map and how is it used in Six Sigma?

Value stream mapping (VSM) is a tool that helps you to see and understand the flow of material and information as a product or service moves through the value stream. This is defined as all of the activities, both value adding and non-value adding (wastes) that are required to bring a product from raw materials into the hands of the customer. A future state map is then created which leads to the creation of an implementation plan.
VSM is sometimes referred to as an end-to-end system map because it takes into account the activity of the product in all phases of production, including the management and information systems that support the basic process. It covers all aspects of production from receiving of raw material to delivery of finished goods. You are able to gain insight into the decision making flow as well as the process flow.

Continue reading "What is a value stream map and how is it used in Six Sigma?"

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) - what it is and how to use it.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness is the overall performance of one piece of equipment or an entire factory measured through availability, performance rate, and quality rate. OEE can be used to prevent wasteful spending on unnecessary equipment. Instead the business owner can focus on improving the performance of the machinery that he already has. Another common remedy involves reducing fixed cost and the cost of making goods or the cost of goods sold (COGS).

In other words OEE is the result of dividing actual output by theoretical maximum output. Many see Overall Equipment Effectiveness as a mathematical way to evaluate process improvements. Another OEE equation would look something like this:

Continue reading "Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) - what it is and how to use it."

Is Lean (Manufacturing) Right for My Company?

Are you looking to increase the efficiency of your business operation?
Do you like making money rather than wasting it?
Are you looking for methods that can help you create wealth?
Is Lean Manufacturing right for your company?
Do you even know what Lean Manufacturing is?

Although cutting waste in your company dramatically and seeing an increase in available money because of it sounds elementary, there are business owners who do not implement an effective lean manufacturing plan. In fact, some are unsure that methods of lean manufacturing are even right for their company.

Continue reading "Is Lean (Manufacturing) Right for My Company?"

Buying Corrogate Effectively

There are many corrogate suppliers that would be happy to make the corrogate that is right for the needs of your company. Unfortunately, defining the needs of your company or discovering the advantages of buying corrogate may be a little more difficult.

First, lets start with a definition of what "Corrogate" is. The word "Corrogate" or "Corrugate" as it is more commonly known, means to shape into at parallel angles and in alternating ridges to create a series of grooves. "Corrogate" is the common noun use and "Corrugate" is the common verb or adjective use. The two spellings are often used interchangeably.

Continue reading "Buying Corrogate Effectively"

Orbital Welding

Orbital welding is Automatic Tunguston inert gas welding. It eliminates chances of manual errors in welding. It produces identical welds for hundred of times hence accuracy in welding. Orbital welding was first used in the 1960's when the aerospace industry recognized the need for a superior joining technique for aerospace hydraulic lines. A mechanism was developed in which the arc from a tungsten electrode was rotated around the tubing weld joint. The arc welding current was regulated with a control system thus automating the entire process. The result was a more precision and reliable method than the manual welding method it replaced Orbital welding became practical for many industries in the early 1980's when combination power supply / control systems were developed that operated from 110 V AC and were physically small enough to be carried from place to place on a construction site for multiple in-place welds. Modern day orbital welding systems offer computer control where welding parameters for a variety of applications can be stored in memory and called up when needed for a specific application. The skills of a certified welder are thus built into the welding system, producing enormous numbers of identical welds and leaving significantly less room for error or defects.

Continue reading "Orbital Welding"

Innovation Blitz: Using Your Strengths to Your Advantage

Contracts are going to Asia, customers have fallen on hard times and sales have taken a hit. Now, more than ever, you need to change the way you look at doing business ask hard questions and get good answers. Simply, its time to innovate.

Today production of goods overseas is easier, cheaper and more profitable than it was even a few years ago. Everything is changing rapidly. For any company, taking a long, hard look in the mirror can be revealing. You may find that you have undervalued a particular strength. Or perhaps your outlook is firmly lodged in the glory days of the past.

Innovation can take your company to a new level. But how can a company innovate and look at itself differently when its difficult to pull yourself out of the day-to-day grind? WMEP has created a way through its Strategic Repositioning Process.

Continue reading "Innovation Blitz: Using Your Strengths to Your Advantage"

Monroe Truck Equipment Maps

When Chris Holverson first heard about continuous improvement in manufacturing, he thought it was only for repetitive manufacturing and didnt apply to the job shop where he worked as a production supervisor.

But he had some ideas for improving efficiency in the shop, Monroe Snow & Ice Control, which is a division of Monroe Truck Equipment (MTE), located in Monroe, Wisconsin. Monroe Snow & Ice is a modified job shop, manufacturing and installing both standard and build-to-order snow and ice removal equipment, such as plows, scrapers, sanders, tailgate spreaders, and hitches, plus the computers that run the equipment.

"We were having problems with lead times and maintaining on-time delivery," Holverson explains. One major cause was the difficulty in tracking the large numbers of parts that were going through the shop. All of the shops orders or "jobs" are set up using a manufacturing system that requires a "job card" to be printed for every part used for a job.

Continue reading "Monroe Truck Equipment Maps"

Trump Your Competition Through Strategic Repositioning

It is difficult to imagine that the worlds largest cell phone manufacturer started in the late 1800s as a wood pulp manufacturer. Despite early external threats, by the beginning of the 1900s the business grew to include wire cables and rubber. A hundred years later, Nokia took a long hard look at its core competencies and determined which ones would take them into the future. It was during this time that Nokia made a strategic decision to enter the cellular phone market and today one is hard-pressed not to hear that familiar ring tone from a nearby cell phone.

What allows one company to survive, change and thrive while other similar companies with seemingly the same challenges do not? How does a manufacturer successfully cope with global competition and still maintain a competitive advantage in the market place?

Continue reading "Trump Your Competition Through Strategic Repositioning"

To Survive and Prosper: Know Your Customers

Keith Peterson spends 60 percent of his time on the road, visiting customers and attending nearly 20 trade shows a year. Is Peterson a high-powered salesperson? No, hes the owner and president of a small manufacturing company looking to enhance his companys position and future in the marketplace.

Companies such as Petersons Humane Manufacturing have found themselves facing tough challenges foreign competition, pricing and delivery pressures, and a declining market share.

Recently, WMEP assembled a group of CEOs of successful small manufacturing firms to find out how they had repositioned their companies to overcome these challenges and thrive. Each company had this in common the CEOs learned that they needed to stay close to their customers in order to be successful. This included developing systems to continually learn about customer needs and develop solutions to better meet those needs.

Continue reading "To Survive and Prosper: Know Your Customers"

Creative Solutions in Healthcare Cost Management

With the average annual health benefit payout in Wisconsin at $6,940 per employee and 18-25% annual increases in health insurance rates, its not surprising that health insurance costs are at the top of the "concern list" for many Wisconsin manufacturers. The health insurance cost crisis is having a disturbing effect on the ability of companies to compete and remain profitable in todays marketplace. In a recent survey by the National Association of Manufacturers, respondents said that health care costs are the top "major threat to the future of U.S. manufacturing."

In todays economic uncertainty and competitive environment, boosting the bottom line is critical to long-term success. One way to do this is through health care cost management initiatives.

A ray of hope

In most employee populations, 10-15% of participants in the health plan create 80% of the expenses. Not surprisingly, these expenses impact your annual premium increases and your annual increases impact your ability to provide good benefits for your employees.

Continue reading "Creative Solutions in Healthcare Cost Management"

Alliance Network Provides Full Range of Expertise

In a perfect world, there would be an expert on staff to handle every situation that arises in the course of running your manufacturing business.

An employee issue? Call the HR department. A concern about hazardous materials? Talk to the person in charge of environmental matters.

But alas, we live in the real world. And the reality for many of Wisconsins small manufacturers is that they dont always have access to the resources they need to respond to a fast-growing number of business issues, challenges and opportunities.

To help companies find the resources and expertise they need, the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) has created an alliance network of firms that provide services to small and mid-size manufacturers. These firms address a full range of business issues, including human resources, information technology, marketing, mergers and acquisitions, family business planning and Internet strategy.

Continue reading "Alliance Network Provides Full Range of Expertise"

Strategic Planning Fuels Growth, Profits

The strategic planning process that would guide Avista, Inc. through the next five years didnt begin in an executive conference room. It began on a warm summer day on the backwaters of the Mississippi River.

One beautiful Friday afternoon we took some of our people out on a boat and threw out an anchor, recalls Avista president Jim Schneller. We wanted to make a determination about the future of our company, where we wanted to be in five years.

The Platteville-based company, which manufactures aeronautical and medical engineering software, decided to pursue a major growth strategy. The question was how to get there.

Most businesses today run with a fairly lean management team, Schneller said. All your energy is focused on peddling the bicycle, but not necessarily steering it where you want to go.

Continue reading "Strategic Planning Fuels Growth, Profits"

Job Shops: Custom Solutions for Custom Shops

Long lead times, missed delivery times, demanding or nonpaying customers, too many unsuccessful quotes, too much shop overtimelife isnt always smooth for job shops.

The term "job shop" refers to custom manufacturing and make-to-order businesses. These firms share some common characteristics that differ from repetitive manufacturing settings, for example using a quoting process to secure work, and producing work on an order-to-order basis to meet customer specifications. While some job shops do purely custom work, many manufacturing firms have a mix of custom and repeat orders.

"Job shops are distinct from repetitive manufacturers," says Larry Baker, a WMEP manufacturing specialist. "Because there is variation in what they do, job shops think there is no systematic approach thats going to help them see patterns in their operations and improve their processes. However there are tools that job shops can use to achieve sustainable improvement.

Continue reading "Job Shops: Custom Solutions for Custom Shops"

Drewco Finds Relief with New Health Care Program

Two years ago, a custom machining shop in Franksville, Wisconsin was experiencing what companies of all sizes are now struggling with. Drewcos healthcare costs were increasing at a rate of 19 to 28 percent annually. So, they sought relief. What they found was an innovative healthcare demand management program through Corporate Health Concepts (CHC), a WMEP Resource Network Partner.

Putting the brakes on inaction

Increases in healthcare costs can often single-handedly cause a company to lose so much money that it is no longer profitable. CHC helped Drewco analyze what CHC affectionately calls "The Train Wreck" to show the impact of healthcare costs on the companys future bottom line. In this exercise, they analyzed what would happen financially, based on healthcare costs alone, if Drewco did nothing about its current healthcare situation.

Continue reading "Drewco Finds Relief with New Health Care Program"

Manufacturers Use NASA Technology to Compete

NASAs cutting-edge technology does more than power rockets into outer space. Applying results from their research, theyre working with U.S. manufacturers to enhance processes and solve problems manufacturers have with new products. It might sound like rocket science, but working with NASA through WMEP is an easy process.

WMEP recently was chosen by Great Lakes Industrial Technology Center (GLITeC) to serve as GLITeCs Wisconsin affiliate. GLITeC is one of six regional technology transfer centers. Battelle, the worlds largest not-for-profit R&D organization, operates GLITeC. In its role, WMEP helps Wisconsin manufacturers access and acquire technologies for commercial and industrial applications.

As an example of how effortlessly GLITeC helps manufacturers, Moen, Inc. turned to GLITeC when they identified a market need for polished brass kitchen faucets. At that time, polished brass wasnt used in kitchens because it lacked durability and was expensive. Chrome was widely used instead. GLITeC hooked Moen up with NASA Glenn Research Center, which has expertise in protective coatings. The result was significant savings in research costs to develop Moens "Life-Shine" coating. NASA Glenn helped Moen avoid some dead ends by evaluating technologies and visualizing the transition from lab to commercial production. Moen launched Life-Shine in 1997.

Continue reading "Manufacturers Use NASA Technology to Compete"
FREE: Get More Leads!
How To Get More LeadsSubscribe to our free newsletter and get our "How To Get More Leads" course free via email. Just enter your first name and email address below to subscribe.
First Name *
Email *


Get More Business Info
Business Info
Marketing and Sales
Technology
Finance
Manufacturing
Small Business
Investing


Sponsored Links
Recent Articles


Search This Site
Search This Site
Custom Search

Syndicate This Information
Syndicate This Site!   Syndicate This Site!   Syndicate This Site!

Sponsored Links


Copyright © 2003-2010 by BusinessKnowledgeSource.com - All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy, Terms of Use