Operations Features

Jess Scheer's picture
Jess Scheer
T he world’s worst-kept business secret is that most acquisitions fail. Depending on what metric you use to evaluate success, mergers miss their intended goals by as much as 85 percent of the time...
Michelle LaBrosse's picture
Michelle LaBrosse
When project managers establish effective routines for their daily work as well as for managing their teams, they develop healthy project management (PM) “hygiene.” This metaphor relates to...
Kevin Meyer's picture
Kevin Meyer
Awhile ago I discussed the value created by writing by hand. By writing on whiteboards or scribbling in a notebook, ownership, learning, and understanding is created. Similarly, truly understanding...
Bob Emiliani's picture
Bob Emiliani
There are many ways to improve your thinking skills. One way is by practicing critical thinking. Teachers require their students, from elementary school on through college and graduate school, to...
Bruce Hamilton's picture
Bruce Hamilton
A favorite Twilight Zone episode that played during Labor Day weekend put me in mind of the stressful “push production” environment that many organizations still endure today. In a technical...
Andrew Hughes's picture
Andrew Hughes
So much has been written about the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) that separating the wheat from the chaff is becoming an ever more gargantuan task. The problem is complicated by the fact...
Tim Healey's picture
Tim Healey
Visual management is increasingly common in offices implementing lean. Yet even though signs, large LCD displays, whiteboards, and charts dominate the wall space, these tools often become part of...
Kelly Graves's picture
Kelly Graves
Three months ago I sat in a meeting with seven talented executives whom I’ve worked with on and off for five years. For the past two, there have been major undercurrents of friction between them...
Thomas R. Cutler's picture
Thomas R. Cutler
Established in 1982, the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) is a nonprofit association with a diverse group of stakeholders—including retailers, suppliers of all sizes, automakers,...
Nero Haralalka's picture
Nero Haralalka
Double-digit productivity improvements resulting from workflow redesigns and new-capital equipment investments always get a lot of attention. But over time the returns from many smaller, more...
Barbara A. Cleary's picture
Barbara A. Cleary
Last year’s Gallup poll of worker satisfaction revealed that almost 90 percent of workers were either “not engaged” with or “actively disengaged” from the work at their jobs—a shocking revelation...
Will Huggett's picture
Will Huggett
My client, a leader in innovative rail-friction management, was recently preparing for an integrated ISO 14001/OHSAS 18001 audit, and I was asked to provide on-site training to help prepare...
Darin Marcuz's picture
Darin Marcuz
This article describes a novel approach to calculating the financial aspect of overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), with the result referred to as $EE (as in monetary units). By using $EE, a...
Alan Nicol's picture
Alan Nicol
A good friend and mentor of mine said, “We should eat the bread that we make.” He is James Wardlaw, now of Summit Engineering Solutions, and he reminded me of this piece of wisdom during a recent...
NIST's picture
NIST
In today’s increasingly complex manufacturing operations, Murphy’s Law is only an unexpected hiccup away—anything from a data error to an errant vibration to a dulled cutting tool can undermine...
Mike Richman's picture
Mike Richman
Of all the tools in the lean toolkit, 5S is the one that has proven to be the most effective—and also the most elusive. It’s effective because the actions needed to sort, set in order, shine,...
Matt Kelland's picture
Matt Kelland
In part one of this article, we looked at ways automation can increase quality and output while saving manufacturers money. Part two considers the ways engineers are developing production systems...
Matt Kelland's picture
Matt Kelland
In the world’s largest ketchup processing plant, a robot fires a continuous stream of freshly picked tomatoes across the factory floor using compressed air. A plethora of cameras make minute...
Chip Johns's picture
Chip Johns
Reducing waste, implementing efficiency-promoting practices, and continuously improving operations are the main goals of lean manufacturing ideology. These tasks may seem daunting for a...
Jon Speer's picture
Jon Speer
When people talk about U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) design controls, they often place a lot of emphasis on inputs and outputs, verification, transfer, and the design history file. All...