Archives : Technology in Manufacturing

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    Talent Spotting in 2018 and Beyond

    Claudio Fernández-Aráoz –a regulatory recruiter with more than 30 years of experience tells a story about looking for a CEO for a small company. While working with the outgoing  CEO he learned a great deal and believed that the man he had helped to hire had all the right stuff.

     

    He was a well thought of professional with the right schools and the right background. What’s more, he had worked for all the right companies. He’d scored remarkably well in every avenue. In spite of all of those things, he simply did not adjust well to the massive changes going on in regulatory and after three years of sub-par performance, he was asked to leave the company.

     

    Why did he do so poorly?  He lacked one thing that simply couldn’t be tested—the ability to adapt to new and changing situations. He did not have that ability and as such was unable to fulfill the role for which the company had hired him and for which they needed him so badly.

     

    The recruiters who have spent the most time tracking and finding the best executives in marketing, in regulatory and in food manufacturing agree on one thing—nothing is quite as important today as the potential and adaptability of the candidate. It is the harbinger of success at nearly every level, from the most junior executive to the C-suite and beyond.

     

    Learning how to identify that potential and use it to find the right person for the job is imperative to your success as a recruiter. It is a new era of talent spotting. Intelligence, experience and performance in the past are only a part of the equation.

     

    Potential is a fair amount of it but it’s also the part that may be the most difficult to ascertain and to discern than how competent they are. Not only is it hard to find but you’re looking for it in a marketplace that is the most difficult in the past ten years.

     

    Senior talent is scarcer than ever before due to the vast changes in the marketplace in the past few years. Due to globalization, to age demographics and to the companies who are not properly developing a pipeline of future company leaders, it is more difficult than ever before for companies to have the leadership they need when they need it.

     

    This problem is not confined to small companies or to large ones but seems to be universal. In 2014, Price Waterhouse did a survey of CEOs. The survey encompassed more than 65 countries and over 60 percent of those companies said that they were “concerned about the future availability of key skills at all levels.” In addition, The Boston Consulting Group cited research that showed that more than 56% of executives can see where they have critical problems in their ability to fill senior roles in the years ahead.

     

    That makes recognizing potential more important than ever before. How then, do you accomplish that?  What is the best way to recognize the potential for a given job and to take the new method of talent spotting into account when you evaluate candidates?

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    Improving Manufacturing Cycle Times and Resourcing Manufacturing Jobs

    Improving Manufacturing Cycle Times

    Machining center manufacturers are all looking for and touting the ability to reduce part cycle times by offering faster and more efficient machines. That is what the job shop and part production customers of these products demand, because their end-product customers are driving a purchasing philosophy of lower costs per part.

    While the choice of a high-speed machining center makes a major difference in operational productivity and part cost, the tooling utilized on that machine can be another dominant factor. The efficiency of such new, special purpose proprietary tooling can even further enhance the output of a horizontal machining center. It can provide a wide degree of flexibility in compressing several machining processes, especially in parts production.

    As an example, there are a number of unique, special tools that can reduce the initial capital investment and drive out substantial process time in the machining of engine blocks. Cylinder bores can be finished and honed with a precise closed-loop boring system that automatically compensates for tool wear or thermal distortion and produces exceptional repeatability.

    You can also grind bimetallic surfaces utilizing a cubic boron nitrite super-abrasive grinding wheel all on a standard machining center.

    Machines incorporated with this special, multi-functional tooling will outperform a number of individual specialty-purpose machines when used in an integrated system. Mid- to high-volume parts manufacturers often invest in state-of-the-art machine tool technology, and can further enhance their flexibility and productivity with the use of such special-purpose tooling.

    With more and more demand to streamline processes and production cycle times, especially from original equipment manufacturer outsourcing operations, there is a growing need for more valuable and cost-effective solutions for jobs shops and production facilities. And, the solutions exist to allow them to “work smarter.” It is also important to note that the reason so many of the manufacturing jobs have been re-sourced to the US is that technologies like these have eliminated the price gap. It is now possible to manufacture in the United States what was once outsourced.

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    Part 7 B Intelligent Manufacturing: Manu-Services Part II

    Intelligent Manufacturing – Part 2: Manu-Services–Something New or Something You’ve Always Known?

    We’ve taken a hard look at every aspect of manufacturing, including the items that are part and parcel of modern manufacturing and how those services have changed. The new label, Manu-services, however is something with which many of us are not familiar. It’s a mysterious new concept, but it really shouldn’t be.

    In reality, Manu-Services is one of those new buzz words that is applied to something ages old in order to make it all seem new and much more mystery-filled than it was.

    What are Manu-services? Is this all something new that you’re going to have to study and work at to apply it to your company? The answer to that is “not at all.” You’ve probably been offering Manu-Services since time out of time if you were a smaller and more budget conscious company.
    Manu-Services is a new name for the services that the smaller business offered with products or services every day.
    What are Manu-services? The answer is, anything that really combines the manufacturing process and the services that support it. Some Manu-Services involve the design and planning or even the project oversight in a given process.

    Some of the Manu-Services might be after care, such as warranty considerations. Your version of Manu-Services might concern packaging or warranties or even proactive calling to ensure that your customers know how to use their products and are using them safely or effectively.
    What makes the biggest impression, what is the most important aspect of the Manu-Services is not the services that you offer, but the way in which they will benefit those who are using your services and products–your customer.
    In some cases, Manu-Services is nothing new at all. The nomenclature is changed. For other companies, Manu-Services is not only a new market, it’s a whole new model for the way in which they will do business.

    Companies today don’t sell just goods. They sell entire packages. They provide the advertising, the interaction, the packaging, the aftercare and the interaction with their customers. They build a relationship with the customers and sometimes that relationship lasts generations.

    Is Manu-Services something new and different or is it something that we’ve gotten away from and are migrating back to in a more modern and more diverse way?
    Manu-Services seem to, at least according to the experts, have replaced manufacturing. In some cases, companies who began as larger groups very specialized and offering only a product and not the services that go along with it will find themselves having to implement an entirely new group of employees and to implement an entirely new and perhaps a very foreign business model. In this instance, smaller companies, who have done this all along, forced to do so by budget constraints, may, at least for a time, be playing on a more level field due to their experience and expertise in Manu-Services.
    It’s a movement toward an older way of doing things as much as it is a movement forward in some cases. The small businesses at one time did their own marketing, their own selling and their own packaging. They also handled the disgruntled customer and they dealt with the causative agents of their distress. They had no choice, lacking the funding in many cases to do it any other way. It is for this reason that they may be less prone to the damages that the Manu-Services model can cause in larger companies.
    The larger companies may have a much more difficult time switching to this type of a business model and in fact, finding the experienced personnel who can help them to accomplish the switch. This new set of issues may actually cause real issues in the economy as well as to the businesses.
    The single biggest problem that exists with the Manu-Services model seems to be that those companies who are not accustomed to the business model and who are inexperienced in the Manu-Services aspects seem to be the companies which are most likely to end up going out of business. Oddly, these seem to be the larger companies, not the smaller ones.

    Where government as a whole may be able to help and to make inroads into the changes is by offering supportive policies that will make it easier and more cost effective for larger companies–which are the most vulnerable in this instance– to make the changes necessary to move into a Manu-Services type of atmosphere in their own company.

    James Kemper is the president of W. H. Meanor & Associates, an executive placement & training company specializing in engineering & manufacturing careers. He can be reached at: jms@whmeanor.com or 704-372-7640 #102 or visit at www.whmeanor.com

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    Intelligent Manufacturing, Part 3: The Factories of the Future

    The Factories of the Future-Already Operational and Making a Difference

    The factory of the future appears to be making its way into the here and now. Just as Captain Kirk and the trusty team of the Enterprise had their own method of recording and analyzing all of the data that was available to them, the factory floor of today has the same capabilities and they are growing by leaps and bounds.

    The Factory floor of an intelligent manufacturing factory may look a good deal different than what many of us are accustomed to seeing. Personnel moving here and there, machine noise, shouts for assistance on a given machine may all be factors that are missing in the near future. The shop floor of yesterday, replete with dozens of personnel necessary to operate the machinery required may be gone in the very near future, replaced by just one or two people who are carrying a tablet computer or a small hand held device that can offer them all that they need to know about what’s happening on the factory floor.

    Software today assists many more modern factories to cut the need for more than half the personnel, making the factory able to be run more efficiently, manufacture better products and provide for a far lower space than is currently necessary to accommodate many human workers.

    The tablet or pad computing systems today can provide for a full representation of every machine and every process and product taking shape on the factory floor. The different areas on the tablet can help to you to efficiently and immediately determine if the factory is humming along as scheduled and allow you to review alarms that may be warning you of imminent problems or machines not functioning to capacity. It may even tell you how to correct those problems, lowering your need for troubleshooting in the factory to get it back to peak efficiency operations. With one or two taps of the screen you can lower the speed of a machine, evaluate the estimated time to completion of a given process and even halt the process if necessary to correct a problem in the machinery.

    You can determine down time, temperatures, pressure and many other aspects of the operating machinery without being anywhere near the area in which they are located.

    In short, the factory floor of the future is something directly out of a Star Trek movie and it’s closer to being reality than you might think. Imagine being able to control it all from where you stand in your office, to protect people and products from injury and from unnecessary labor, all while cutting costs and providing a better product due to machine diagnosing machine. Imagine operating machinery more rapidly, more precisely and more cheaply than you can today.

    The factory floor that you’ve just seen in your mind is the factory floor that is rapidly approaching, thanks to intelligent manufacturing and new software designs that let us do more with less effort and less money.
    James Kemper is the president of W. H. Meanor & Associates, an executive placement & training company specializing in engineering & manufacturing careers. He can be reached at: jms@whmeanor.com or 704-372-7640 #102 or visit at www.whmeanor.com

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    Intelligent Manufacturing, Part 2

    Intelligent Manufacturing: Machine to Machine (M2M) Communication

    The manufacturing industry has been changing dramatically over just the past few years. Advancements in technology have been rampant and the newest machines being built require absolute precision. The only way that we can get that today is by the use of intelligent manufacturing.

    Absolute accuracy and efficiency are required by many of today’s factories. The existence of the automotive industry as an example is dependent on their ability to provide for safety and accuracy in their automotive manufacturing and building. Who is, after all, going to buy an automobile that isn’t guaranteed to be safe and well built? The electrical systems and many other components need to be–in some cases– a level of perfection that cannot always be achieved by human hands. Enter the use of intelligent manufacturing & Machine to Machine (M2M) communication.

    One great example of intelligent machines in current use is the Machine to Machine communication platform used by CNC machinery that is used today to create high end machines & products for use in the aerospace, power generation & automotive industries. Another would be the automotive and the programmable logic controller manufacture. These intelligent machines in use today can not only manufacture more cheaply, but they can manufacture machinery in a far smaller space and can save money by telling you when or if the machine is liable to breakage or is having some problems that could lead to down time. Applications and software being used in the factories today can offer dramatic savings in time, in money and in headaches.

    Companies in this economic climate are under increased pressure to have their machinery running to capacity yet to provide for and produce increased number of nearly perfect goods. Due to that pressure

    the machinery that is running is usually running at peak capacity and as such can be prone to breakdown.

    Mechanical breakdown can cost a company plenty. Not just in the financial losses that take place when the company is experiencing down time, but also from lost contracts or orders due to that down time.

    The challenge then is to ensure that there is a nominal amount of down time and minimal breakage. Today a wide range of applications are being used in manufacturing that can help to lower stoppage or breakage as well as to provide nearly personalized information sent to the operator to assist them in diagnosing the issues that may be taking place. The machines are being diagnosed by other machines or applications that can help to keep them operational and to warn the operations manager when there is a problem and prevent the breakdowns by suggesting fixes before the breakage or down time even takes place.

    Machine to Machine (M2M) provides for the means for machines to operate at peak capacity.

    Today, companies who have embraced this type of manufacturing include the CNC industries, Ford Motor Company and multiple other automotive manufacturers and, surprisingly the oil and gas industry. The refineries for a wide range of different oil and gas companies have embraced intelligent manufacturing wholeheartedly.

    Machine to Machine (M2M) has given the oil and gas industry the ability to improve their planning, their overall operations and improved the maintenance taking place in refineries today preventing a wide range of problems such as mechanical failure that might have led to spillage and other issues, saving both the companies and the public as a whole from the problems to which refinery errors can lead.

    Machine to Machine (M2M) communication is not just limited to manufacturing but also the power generation and smart grid energy sectors. In this report the Carbon War Room goes into great detail on the 1 trillion dollar market that M2M technology will provide not only to manufacturing but transportation, energy and even agriculture. The report is detailed and interesting: Machine to Machine technology

    The wave of the future, the way in which to arrive at precision, cost effective manufacturing is intelligent technology and it is transforming a wide range of businesses and industries now. Some of it is even diagnosing problems and telling the machinist or machine operator how to correct the fault to prevent the down time or to prevent disasters from taking place. Intelligent manufacturing may be a key player in the not too distant future in preventing oil refinery fires, oil spills and preventing environmental problems from taking place.

    James Kemper is the president of W. H. Meanor & Associates, an executive placement & training company specializing in engineering & manufacturing careers. He can be reached at: jms@whmeanor.com or 704-372-7640 #102 or visit at www.whmeanor.com

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    The Internet of Things in 50 Years

    It used to be that the only electronics that were networked together and able to communicate were computers – and they only were able to connect with each other over a wired connection. But now, not only do we have wireless internet everywhere, we also have the Internet of Things – the network of devices that make up our world, sharing information, gathering data and learning from us so that they can serve us better. But what will this network look like in 50 years?

    Where exactly is the Internet of Things going?

    The Internet in 50 Years

    In 50 years, some experts think that the internet itself is going to be completely different than what we are used to. In the future, there will be internet much farther advanced than our current technology and it will literally be everywhere. Rather than finding “hotspots” with internet, people will very likely have a unique login of some kind that is the same across all of their devices to access the wide array of internet spanning the globe. You’ll probably have to pay every month for access, but maybe not. After all, you can find Wi-Fi that is free to use in my places even right now.

    The Communication in 50 Years

    Most people don’t have any idea just how fast the internet will be in 50 years. Right now, data centers or “nodes” that provide internet service communicate with each other at lightning speeds at least 10 times faster than the average home download speed. That will change. In 50 years, we’ll be connecting to each other at speeds that will probably be 100X faster than what currently passes for internet speed at these data centers, and rather than having home internet and Wi-Fi speeds that are optimized for download, both the upload and the download will be mega-fast. Fast enough that you could stream or upload a huge HD movie in seconds.

    The Network of “Things” in 50 Years

    Finally, the Internet of Things will literally be everywhere. From the clothing that we wear to the appliances, electronics and furniture in our homes, everything will be connected to the internet, gathering data, learning how to improve and sharing information with each other. When you sit down on your couch, your entertainment system will come on. When you get sick or injured, your clothing will not only have your medical information – they will also be able to call 911. Everything will be networked and it truly will be an Internet of Things.

    If you’re looking for the right manufacturing team, you have to start with the right recruiting team. Let WH Meanor put our experience to work for you. Register now for a free ten minute assessment of your search efforts by clicking the link https://whmeanorassociates.as.me/ WH Meanor can help. Call today.

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    The Advantages Of Lean Manufacturing

    Lean manufacturing is the processes, techniques, strategies and initiatives being implemented by companies around the world that aim to reduce unnecessary and unproductive tasks, activities and behaviors in the work environment.

    Because the times have really gone hard, demanding and intense due to political and turbulent concerns affecting all nations, firms are currently facing challenges to be able to keep their profitability and efficiency.

    Lean manufacturing not only reduces operational costs but also targets to boost, restore and significantly raise the competitiveness of a company.

    There are seven identified ‘forms of waste’ within the work environment and systems that lean manufacturing principally aims to alleviate, if not totally eliminate. These are over production, over processing, transportation, motion, inventory, waiting and scrap and defects.

    Several advantages of adopting lean manufacturing principles

    The first advantage identified by experts from implementing lean manufacturing techniques and strategies is the reduction of manufacturing time.

    When the manufacturing lead time is significantly lowered, it follows that the operational costs incurred from the use of energy, utilities and wages from laborers’ time will also be significantly reduced.

    Thus, lean manufacturing helps companies retain, maintain and significantly increase their earnings, widen their margins and help them generate savings from lower costs.

    Space is another area where lean manufacturing advantages are clearly and effectively exhibited. Working space, it is understood, is one of the primary and basic factors that keep operations of businesses going.

    Labor and human resource experts estimate that adoption of good and effective lean manufacturing techniques and strategies will likely help companies reduce their physical floor space requirements by as much as 5% to 30%.

    The figures involved could be small and miniscule for your eyes, but, actually, that will significantly contribute to much more efficiency and savings. That would be an advantage almost all businesses will surely look after.

    The advantage in productivity

    It is found that in general, companies implementing and adhering to lean manufacturing practices significantly boost and increase their manufacturing productivity by as much as 75% to 125%.

    It is because time and efforts are principally targeted by lean manufacturing processes. Thus, elimination of wastes, practices, behaviors and unnecessary and disturbing objects in the work place will surely and practically help workers get on to their tasks with much smooth pacing and comfort.

    You know how it is when workers work without any distractions and interruptions. Productivity is very much maximized. Thus, lean manufacturing becomes a necessity for companies to be able to achieve that goal.

    The advantages in terms of waste to profit relationships

    It follows that elimination and reduction of wastes will gradually and efficiently help boost and raise up earnings and profits in companies.

    Thus, elimination of wastes and unproductive activities, objects, tasks and behaviors in the work place will surely help the company and its personnel focus on the requirements and demands of the customer.

    The advantage of that, above all is that, when customer satisfaction is achieved, sales will surely rise. The best way to establish a good relationship with customers is to improve the products and services offered to them.

    Lean manufacturing would be of great help to achieve a good customer or client relations.

    Another advantage brought about by lean manufacturing techniques among various companies and firms adopting it worldwide is streamlined, rationalized or lean structuring of the organization.

    You should know that elimination of excess and unnecessary job positions and tasks in a company is a sure way to help that firm reduce labor costs and eventually lead to generate savings.

    Lean manufacturing without a doubt brings that advantage of leanness upon organizations and companies practicing and adopting it.

    Advantage on culture improvement

    Various companies around the world are practicing and implementing different cultures. It is usually a cause of problems, conflicts and issues around and within the organization.

    In lean manufacturing, the cultures are standardized, thus, unfavorable practices and behaviors of both the employees and the management are reduced, if not eliminated.

    The greatest advantage of lean manufacturing in terms of cultures adopted by companies is that lean manufacturing makes the differences between management and personnel reach to a verging point.

    Lean manufacturing principles should really be implemented by companies. It is high time to reap its advantages.

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    The Philosophy of Lean Manufacturing

    In the field of management, there are various approaches that principally aim to accelerate and boost corporate firms’ revenues and operational efficiencies.

    Progressive companies from around the world have been coming up with different strategies for corporate improvement. Some of these schemes have been so effective that other firms have recognized and even adopted them. One of these efficiency-focused philosophies is what is termed ‘lean manufacturing.’

    What is lean manufacturing?

    Lean manufacturing is a holistic and strategic approach that aims to enable businesses and companies to improve and boost competitiveness and profitability. Leaning–at least in part these days on IoT and Artificial intelligence, lean manufacturing aims to set in desired improvements through identification and elimination of wasteful or unproductive behavior and practices among employees and management.

    Lean manufacturing is a program or methodology that could prove to be fitting and appropriate for all types of businesses or organizations. Lean manufacturing would be effective whether adopted by companies in the manufacturing, service, trading or other sectors.

    Lean manufacturing is focused at helping companies get the right things, to the right and appropriate places, at the perfect or right time and in the right amount or quantity while at the same time, reducing waste and promoting productivity and flexibility among workers.

    Lean manufacturing and waste

    It does not take a successful manager to assert that businesses and companies carry unnecessary and unlikely burden of wastes.

    Lean manufacturing as a philosophy focuses on reducing the seven wastes commonly identified among global firms. Lean manufacturing attempts to help companies eliminate these unnecessary wastes to improve output quality, to maximize production and the time needed for it and mostly, to significantly save on costs.

    The seven wastes lean manufacturing aims to slash and eliminate in the workplace are the following:

    1. Over production
    2. Over processing
    3. Transportation
    4. Motion
    5. Inventory
    6. Waiting
    7. Scrap and defects

    Over production, over processing and inventory

    While some companies view over production in the positive way, most, especially those in the service and manufacturing sectors, take it as a manufacturing liability.

    Over production will create a piling of inventory that would eventually create a problem in distribution because most warehouses have capacity limits.

    What is worse is that over production and piling of inventories are the usual causes of price drops, which are deemed bad for the business by most firms.

    The fundamental law of supply and demand will attest that if supplies are exceeding or too much, then demand tries to settle down or decline. Demands going down will mean prices rolling back or dropping as well.

    Over production is unnecessary because it takes away productive time from employees and managers. There are many disadvantage of over processing and most of them seem pretty obvious to you. Over processing increases cost.

    Transportation, motion and waiting

    Because time is an important element of productivity, lean manufacturing values it the most. Thus, lean manufacturing philosophy aims to boost efficiency.

    Transportation is an essential element of manufacturing because through it commodities and merchandise are distributed to retailers, down to the consumers.

    However, lean manufacturing mandates that firms maximize the use of transportation especially nowadays when oil prices are high.

    Because energy prices are rising, and energy is what keeps companies rolling, motion should be controlled. Lean manufacturing will have companies slash procrastination and unproductive hours among employees so as to increase and meet sufficient production targets.

    If motion is made efficient, then waiting could be reduced if not eliminated. In lean manufacturing, waiting makes people idle and it kills time that should have been used in more productive endeavors and activities.

    Scrap and defects

    Lean manufacturing have it that if employees are efficient and if they are motivated, the quality of production would be greatly boosted. That means, the company will not have to spend costs on wages, energies and other capital just to produce defective items that would eventually be rejected upon distribution.

    While scraps and defects in production items are inevitable, companies adhering to lean manufacturing principles could always do something about it. Basic management principles have it that motivation is the most effective incentive to get workers doing the right and proper procedures in the work place.

    All the seven wastes that are targeted by lean manufacturing strategies are interconnected with the elimination of one leading to the elimination of the others.

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    What the Heck is a Co-bot?

    The bogeyman of manufacturing is automation & robotics. You either love them or you really hate them. About half of the manufacturing employees in the world have heard how robots are going to take over the business and they will be out of a job. Nothing could be further from the truth. While some very dangerous or very difficult jobs may be taken over by robotics, for the most part the use of robotics in manufacturing is taking place alongside and with the help of their flesh & blood counterparts.

    Those interactions with co-bots, or robots working in cooperation with humanity, are providing some of the biggest improvements in manufacturing that we’ve seen in decades.

    Co-bots got their start about 20 years ago but they have only been commercially available for about 10 years.  They were invented originally in the 90s and some of the grants that went into researching them came from giant motor companies such as General Motors. They wanted robots that would work in collaboration with humans, helping them with lifting and other things.

    In the latter part of 1996, two people at Northwestern University came up with the cobots of today. GM called them IAD or intelligent Assist Device, but the Cobot term stuck and was more rapidly accepted.

    What are the Benefits of Co-bots?

    It’s a whole new world so far as the competition in manufacturing. With AI and Machine learning and many other things, falling behind your competition simply isn’t an option. It’s the fast and easy way to be out of business. Co-bots can help you to do more and do it more quickly. Simply stated they are the way to get ahead of the competition and stay there.

    They are suitable for small to midscale production and they offer you a far improved return on your initial investment. Co-bots also offer you a much safer work environment because they can do much of the difficult and dangerous work that you require completed.

    The other added benefit of co-bots is they still require engineering and tech support.  Many engineering jobs that seemed obsolete are now back in play so don’t neglect hardware engineering specialization. It’s back in vogue.

    Co-bots, no matter how you slice it, are the wave of the future. Companies need to take a hard look at what they have to offer. In manufacturing as in any other technology driven arena… you either ride the wave, or you sink.

    James Kemper is the president of W. H. Meanor & Associates, an executive placement & training company specializing in engineering & manufacturing careers.  Register to receive regular blog posts and industry specific articles at: http://eepurl.com/dtKsDL or visit at www.whmeanor.com

     

     

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    A Sustainability Problem in Manufacturing.

    If you work in an industrial capacity, especially if you work in manufacturing, there are a few things that you should worry about. Sustainability is a huge worry in any type of manufacturing these days, though IoT is helping a lot. Sustainability can be a difficult task for any manufacturing company due to operating challenges. However, it is still something that should try to be achieved. Different aspects of the business can affect sustainability such as energy efficiency, the role of the equipment, and even saving water. It doesn’t matter how well you are planning from an equipment standpoint, everything can be undone by bad operations and conversely, good operations and bad planning can also cause all your efforts to go awry.

    Whether you are a facilities manager or a backroom employee, there are plenty of instances of operations messing with the sustainability goals. There are times when this is unavoidable, for instance if production has to be ramped-up because of a spike or demand. Unfortunately, in a situation like that, it is unavoidable. You can be doing everything right and still have your sustainability efforts take a hit.

    Normally, the issue will have something to do with people taking shortcuts or changing things that they shouldn’t be changing. While these may seem obligatory on the surface, they can influence the underlined part of the process. For instance, they might affect your water bill or the electric bill. That can cause you an issue. It would be nice if there was an easy answer, but sustainability is an ongoing fight and in a lot of cases, it is a knock-out blow that puts them down for the count.

    You should never just throw up your hands because of sustainability as a challenge. You must ask yourself the hard questions; What caused the problem? When did it start? Who could have prevented this? Why did this happen? What can I do to fix it? Once you have answered these questions, you need to try to fix the issue. Sustainability can’t just be something that is ingrained in the culture of a company. If you are not consciously trying to improve, you will get left behind and that is not what anyone wants. Most people can also do amazing things if they have the proper training and techniques.

    James Kemper is the president of W. H. Meanor & Associates, an executive placement & training company specializing in engineering & manufacturing careers. Register to receive regular blog posts and industry specific articles at: http://eepurl.com/dtKsDL or visit at www.whmeanor.com

     

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