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Manufacturing Improvement : Industrial Engineering Overview

Industrial engineering is also known as operations management, management science, systems engineering, or manufacturing engineering; a distinction that seems to depend on the viewpoint or motives of the user. Recruiters or educational establishments use the names to differentiate themselves from others. In healthcare, for example, industrial engineers are more commonly known as management engineers or health systems engineers.
One of the central principles in industrial engineering is the "system" concept. A system is any organization or business process in which people, materials, information, equipment, processes or energy interact in an integrated fashion. This high-level view of business operations enables industrial engineers to manage various industries. Therefore, industrial engineers apply their skills across a diverse set of sectors such as financial, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, logistics, aviation and education.
The term "industrial" in industrial engineering can be misleading. While the term originally applied to manufacturing, it has grown to encompass virtually all other industries and services as well. The various topics of concern to industrial engineers include management science, financial engineering, engineering management, supply chain management, process engineering, operations research, systems engineering, ergonomics, value engineering and quality engineering.
Whereas most engineering disciplines apply skills to very specific areas, industrial engineering is applied in virtually every industry (hence the term "industrial"). Examples of where industrial engineering might be used include designing a new loan system for a bank, streamlining operation and emergency rooms in a hospital, distributing products worldwide (referred to as Supply Chain Management), manufacturing cheaper and more reliable automobiles, and shortening lines (or queues) at a bank, hospital, or a theme park. Industrial engineers typically use computer simulation, especially discrete event simulation, for system analysis and evaluation.

Manufacturing Improvement : How DMAIC Can Improve Your Process

If you are looking into six sigma and what it can do for your company, you have run across a lot of rather confusing and bizarre terms and acronyms, like DMAIC. This article will answer the following question: what is DMAIC and what does it have to do with lean six sigma?
DMAIC (pronounced duh-may-ick) is one of the tools used in lean six sigma. It stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control. DMAIC is a quality control strategy that is driven by data gathered from analysis of products and processes. It is a central part of Six Sigma quality processes. Each stage of DMAIC is interconnected, each leads to the other, and they are all dependent upon each other.
Let's go through what each step of DMAIC means and what it can do. The important thing to remember while we are going through DMAIC is that it is a cycle-you will constantly be running through the process so that you can always be on top of the quality of your processes and products.
The first step is define. In this step, you will define the customer, define customer Critical to Quality issues, and define the Core Business Process that is involved. Who is your customer? What are the boundaries of your project? Where does the process start and where does it stop? You also define the process by producing a map of the process flow.
The second step is measure. In this step, you measure the performance of the Core Business Process that you are analyzing. First, you will develop a data collection plan, you collect data from all different sources, and then you compare that data to the results of customer surveys.
The third step of DMAIC is analyze. In this step, you will analyze the data that you have collected so that you can discern and find the root causes of defects and problems in your processes. You will also find the places where processes can be improved.While you are going through this process, you will identify the gaps between your performance goals and how you are currently performing. Then you make a priority list of different opportunities that you have to improve your process. Finally, you will find and identify what is causing variation in your processes.
The fourth step of DMAIC is improve. In this step, you work to improve the process through coming up with creatively designed solutions. You will also use this step to prevent problems in your processes. The way that you come up with these solutions is through the use of technology, discipline, and data. This step also includes the deployment of your plan.
Finally, you come to the control step of DMAIC. This step is what will help you from going back to the way that things were. To keep from going back to old problems and mess ups, you will have to keep documents and design and keep on top of a plan to monitor your processes. You also need to make DMAIC part of your ongoing structure and the way that you always work within your company.
Lean six sigma is a management and a quality control and improvement process that is not just a one time event. It is something that you will continually be going through and working on so that you can make sure that you don't slip into the old problems that have been impeding your development as a company. The DMAIC steps are a central part of improving the quality of your processes and your products.

Manufacturing Improvement : How Sixsigma Help You To Save Money

If you have been at all involved in business during the last two decades, then you've heard a whole lot about Motorola's development of the Six Sigma methodology. Six Sigma has been hailed as one of the most powerful quality management systems to have ever been developed, promising incredible results as you use Six Sigma techniques and tools to statistically analyze your processes in an effort to locate where you can improve the value of your processes and increase customer satisfaction and perceived value.
But can Six Sigma really improve your business that much? Is it really worth the cost that you have to invest in receiving all of the training, revising your processes, changing your methodology? Is Six Sigma a waste of money, or can you actually save money by improving your processes and increasing their value?
Six Sigma is different from a lot of other quality management systems because of its financial benefits and how it can improve the finances of your business, as long as you implement the system correctly, hire the right people, and make Six Sigma the way that you do business all the time. Six Sigma will also analyze the financial benefit of the process improvements that you are considering, to help you decide whether or not the process will be both financially viable and beneficial for your company. The financial benefits are then re evaluated when you analyze the process to make sure that the amount of money that you spend on improving the process will be offset by how much the project will benefit your company. With this idea in mind, Six Sigma is supposed to increase the productivity of your process, thus increasing your cost savings and also increasing your incremental revenue. Six Sigma is also geared towards ensuring that you can tell the difference between serious process improvements and improvements that actually give you little value over the long term.
The cost savings that you will receive from Six Sigma will depend on how much you implement the system. The cost savings that are available from Six Sigma are also dependent upon your processes, and really how bad they are to start with and how much you can improve them. Lean six sigma can also bring about even more cost savings and benefits as you work to cut waste in your processes.
If you work in manufacturing, and you apply six sigma or lean six sigma to your manufacturing processes, then the cost savings that you receive will be pretty easy to see. For example, let's look at the case study of Celestica. Celestica implemented lean six sigma, and ended up reducing equipment setup time by 85%, reduced the time between receiving and shipment by 71%, cut down on the floor space used by 34%, and also reduced scrap produced by 66%. You can see where cost savings would be found, obviously. And these cost savings are based simply upon eliminating wasteful movements and other things that you might not initially notice are costing you time and money, but are sucking up a lot of your time. The question, of course, is whether or not implementing lean six sigma or six sigma will translate into an increase in your revenue. It's obvious that you can save money, but will that increase how much revenue you get? Well, that's up in the air. For example, Xerox has not seen a revenue increase after implementing Six Sigma. However, if you think about it, you're still better off because of the amount of money that you are saving by increasing the productivity and the value of your processes. As long as you implement six sigma the way that you are supposed to, and you hire people who are really trained in six sigma.

Manufacturing Improvement : How To Success : Worker View

Activity is the application of all that we knowand all that we feel, combined with our desire tohave more than we have and become more than we are.'
LIFE is not designed to give rewards in proportion to our needs but to the level we deserve. Whatever life has handed to us, it is our responsibility to
DO something daily at work with what we have been given. That is how we change obstacles into opportunities - by taking all that we have and all that we are and putting them into work on a daily basis. Sooner or later we must convert knowledge and good feelings (PMA) into activity at work. The better we feel about ourselves and our opportunities, the greater our chances for success at work (and at home).
But by just knowing and having a positive attitude will not bring results at our work place, as knowing and doing are poles apart! They merely determine our potential for achievement. Whether we actually achieve our goals at work (a promotion, a better job, a bonus, etc.) is ultimately determined by our daily activity. Completing the picture of your dream requires action. If we have a sincere desire to go for our goal, than we are compelled to find every possible means to implement all that we know and feel on a daily basis at work.
Every single day of our life at our work place, we need to do a little bit more that we already know. We must find ways to demonstrate on the outside all that we possess on the inside. Otherwise, our dreams will die inside of us and the desires of our hearts remain unfulfilled. Why some people fail and others succeed at a similar work place can sometimes seem unfair. Some seem to receive so much and yet merit so little.
Some good people seem to have so little while the dishonest seem to have so much. The answer might well be that we do not work at achieving our goals...and they do. We do not take all that we are and put them into our work daily. They do. We do not stay up late at night developing new plans to achieve our dreams and work hard day after day to make those dreams a reality. They do. We do not learn all that we possibly can about our industry and our markets. They do. We do not make every effort to get around the right sources of influence, to associate with those people who can help us to achieve our goals. They do.
While we are dreaming about the promise of the future, they are doing something about it. And they are doing it consistently and with an intensity and a level of commitment that would put many of us to shame. And so if life does not seem fair sometimes, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Imagine how different our world would be if we make a commitment right now to put into daily action at our work place all that we currently are, wherever we currently are and with whatever we currently have. What if, starting right now, we convert our dreams into plans and our plans into refined activities that would lead toward the achievement of our goals?
What an incredible difference we could make! What a life we could then share with our families and what an inheritance we could leave to the next generation - all because we cared enough to do something with our lives and to put all our skills and talents into our work. If we want to succeed, sooner or later our level of daily activity at work must equal our level of intent. Talking about achievement is one thing; making it happen is something altogether different. If we seem to take more joy in talking about success than we do in achieving it, then all the things that we should be doing and could be doing on any given day at work never seem to get done.
We already know more than we need to know at workto achieve our goals, to succeed. All we need todo now is begin to DO what we already KNOW! Finally, we must discipline ourselves daily at work to convert dreams into plans, plans into goals and goals into small daily activities that will lead us, one sure step at a time, towards a better future. Remember to ponder all that is possible, that to do what is possible we must sometimes challenge ourselves with the impossible. As said the ancient warrior: "It is better to aim the spear at the moon and strike the eagle, than to aim at the eagle and strike only a rock!"
WHAT?We must first decide what we want to achieve and be.
WHY?Our mind must have order which is specific images of what we want to achieve and be. HOW?We must decide on our Goals, and align them to our Life Purpose
WHAT?We must plant the images of our Success into our Unconscious Mind.
WHY?We have to integrate our thoughts, feelings and actions in order to move our images into reality.
HOW?We have to internalise the images through the technique of Spaced Repetition, Affirmations, Visualisation and Emotionalisation (S.A.V.E.) in a Relaxed and Emotional state.
WHEN?S.A.V.E. daily
WHAT?Planning is the tool that outlines: What to do? When to do? Who to do? WHY?People do not plan to fail but fail to plan.
HOW?Define goal and deadline. Break down and list activities or work plan. Prioritise to do the hard things first. Work backwards from end to start. Block time. Delegate or contract out.
WHEN?Plan daily.
WHAT?Steps 1-3 are useless if not done.
WHY?Only the doing gets things done.
HOW?We do/move into action only if we are motivated.
WHAT?Daily Activity level/daily activity deviations.
WHY?To provide information to make modifications/corrections.
HOW?If all planned activities are completed, seek new ways to further improve. If not, identify the cause and provide solutions.
WHAT?Learn form mistakes/successes.
WHY?Learning from mistakes makes us wiser; learning from success makes us confident and competent.
HOW?List down mistakes/successes and ask: how it happened, why it happened, what can I learn?

Manufacturing Improvement : Pareto Analysis

Pareto analysis is a statistical technique in decision making that is used for selection of a limited number of tasks that produce significant overall effect. It uses the Pareto principle - the idea that by doing 20% of work you can generate 80% of the advantage of doing the entire job. Or in terms of quality improvement, a large majority of problems (80%) are produced by a few key causes (20%).
Pareto analysis is a formal technique useful where many possible courses of action are competing for your attention. In essence, the problem-solver estimates the benefit delivered by each action, then selects a number of the most effective actions that deliver a total benefit reasonably close to the maximal possible one.
Pareto analysis is a creative way of looking at causes of problems. It helps stimulate thinking and organize thoughts.
Steps to identify the important causes using Pareto analysis
Step 1: Form a table listing the causes and their frequency as a percentage.
Step 2: Arrange the rows in the decreasing order of importance of the causes (i.e, the most important cause first)
Step 3: Add a cumulative percentage column to the table
Step 4: Plot with causes on x- and cumulative percentage on y-axis
Step 5: Join the above points to form a curve
Step 6: Plot (on the same graph) a bar graph with causes on x- and percent frequency on y-axis Step 7: Draw line at 80% on y-axis parallel to x-axis. Then drop the line at the point of intersection with the curve on x-axis. This point on the x-axis separates the important causes (on the left) and trivial causes (on the right) .