Operations Features

Patrick Runkel's picture
Patrick Runkel
It’s been called a “demographic watershed.” During the next 15 years alone, the worldwide population of individuals aged 65 and older is projected to increase more than 60 percent, from...
Loic Sadoulet's picture
Loic Sadoulet
It’s a tragic irony that the day before the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil well disaster, executives from BP and the rig’s operators, Transocean, visited the platform on a “management tour” that...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
I wrote a piece a little more than five years ago about a variety reduction program (VRP), an amazing but little-known product-design optimization tool. At the time I referred to VRP as an idea...
Donald J. Wheeler's picture
Donald J. Wheeler
The simple process behavior chart may be used in several ways. Many articles and some textbooks describe process behavior charts as tools for process monitoring. In Norway the words used for SPC...
Frank Townsend's picture
Frank Townsend
World shipping changed forever when the Panama Canal opened on Aug. 15, 1914. It was an engineering marvel of its day, cutting the distance required to get from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic by...
Gillian Groom's picture
Gillian Groom
You often hear the data being blamed when an analysis does not deliver the expected answers. I was recently reminded that the data chosen or collected for a specific analysis is determined by the...
Henry Zumbrun's picture
Henry Zumbrun
There has been some misunderstanding about the intent of ASTM E74—“Standard practice of calibration of force-measuring instruments for verifying the force indication of testing machines.” When it was...
Stanford News Service's picture
Stanford News Service
For Melissa Valentine and her colleagues at Stanford, the future of work is here: “flash teams” of skilled professionals who have probably never met before and may work on different continents, but...
Knowledge at Wharton's picture
Knowledge at Wharton
I t wasn’t that long ago that GM ran commercials advertising that its Oldsmobile division didn’t just produce cars for your grandfather, but also for everyone else. It was an attempt to...
Jon Speer's picture
Jon Speer
Design controls and risk management processes should be tools to ensure that medical devices are designed, developed, and manufactured to be safe and effective, and to address indications for use,...
Ken Levine's picture
Ken Levine
How do you determine the “worst case” scenario for a process? Is it by assuming the worst case for each process task or step? No. The reason is that the probability of every step having its worst...
Fred Schenkelberg's picture
Fred Schenkelberg
A fault tree analysis (FTA) is a logical, graphical diagram that starts with an unwanted, undesirable, or anomalous state of a system. The diagram then lays out the many possible faults, and...
Michelle LaBrosse's picture
Michelle LaBrosse
Ihave studied systems dynamics modeling for three decades. What I’ve experienced first-hand is that when you establish several key core values, you can create an entire self-replicating system for...
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Todd Hohn
More than 313 million global work-related accidents occur each year, according to the International Labour Organization, with a high percentage of those accidents resulting in significant time away...
Debby Newslow's picture
Debby Newslow
Standard operating procedures, or SOPs, are critical to quality assurance. Frequently, in an operation with many associates, each one does his or her job as well as possible (because no one wants...
Ryan E. Day's picture
Ryan E. Day
Sponsored Content In the most basic terms of engine exhaust theory, more flow equates to more performance. The aim is to improve the efficiency of your vehicle’s engine, boost performance, and...
Davis Balestracci's picture
Davis Balestracci
In my last column I explained how many situations have an inherent response surface, which is the “truth.” However, any experimental result represents this true response, which is unfortunately...
Jason Furness's picture
Jason Furness
Here’s a “tales from the real world” extract from our book, Manufacturing Money (Amazon Digital, 2015). It offers an example of the “five focusing steps” to improvement, with a particular focus on...
Annelise Orleck's picture
Annelise Orleck
Pico Rivera is a dusty working-class Latino suburb of Los Angeles. After the school district, Walmart is the city’s largest employer and the source of 10 percent of its tax revenue. More than 500...
Harish Jose's picture
Harish Jose
In this article I want to look at the concept of equifinality in relation to the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle. In systems theory, equifinality is defined as reaching the same end, no matter what...