Content By Thomas R. Cutler

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Magline is a leading manufacturer of route distribution solutions. Back in 1947, the company was founded to “make things out of magnesium” because such products offered unrivaled strength and lightness. Magline’s first product was a modular magnesium hand truck that caught on rapidly. That was a pretty forward-thinking idea back then, and paved the way to help people do their jobs more safely and productively. Since then, the biggest change in the company has been in the role of women. 

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Much has been written about the different styles of management between the genders. Although there are still few women in top leadership, particularly in manufacturing, learning from them, even anecdotally, can provide insight into the current state of leadership and a future where more women are seated as C-level executives.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

In November 2014, Quality Digest Daily published the first in a series about companywide lean cultures and how a lean journey affects people and companies. Jonesboro, Arkansas-based Hytrol Conveyors, a designer and manufacturer of advanced conveyor systems, allowed an in-depth examination of why lean manufacturing drives its entire culture. This is the second interview in the series.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

It’s rare to find a company where the lean manufacturing culture is companywide, ingrained in every employee. But such is the case of Jonesboro, Arkansas-based Hytrol Conveyors, a designer and manufacturer of advanced conveyor systems. As a longtime contributor to Quality Digest Daily, I wanted to dig a little deeper and explore what makes Hytrol the exception to the rule.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Within the retail industry, it’s impossible to look at the quality of material handling processes without looking at delivery to retail outlets. Nearly three-fourths of the total costs of direct store delivery (DSD) rest with warehouse, order assembly, and delivery to retail customers. The remaining 30 percent of costs come from demand and supply planning, manufacturing, order generation, dispatch planning, and transportation.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

How materials are transported throughout a production system can affect not only a company’s lean implementation but also on product quality itself. In many industries the material handling system helps ensure that part damage—cosmetic or functional—doesn’t occur while a part or subassembly makes its way through the production process. If you’ve ever seen parts or kit trays move along a conveyor, jostling against other parts or the conveyor structure itself, you understand the issue.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

R ecently more than 194 manufacturing IT managers and directors were asked to identify what would facilitate collaboration and productivity improvements across their organizations. More than 150 people completed a multiple-choice email survey, which contained both open-ended and multiple-choice responses. Of those who responded, 95 percent identified quality assurance management as a critical area that needed to improve technological collaboration.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

Lift trucks are one of the most important transport vehicles for goods at almost all companies. Automating the functions of a manned lift truck to positioning, monitoring, tracking, and identification enables fewer accidents, less material damage, higher productivity, and best-practice standard operating procedures.

Thomas R. Cutler’s picture

By: Thomas R. Cutler

In an unforgiving and increasingly competitive marketplace, manufacturers struggle to squeeze 5 percent to 7 percent from operational cost reductions. Those who fail often don’t survive, and more than 1,000 North American plants closed last year because continued improvement to the bottom line came at the expense of critical quality controls and quality assurance.