Content By Ryan E. Day

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By: Ryan E. Day

One of the technologies driving Industry 4.0 is artificial intelligence (AI), and AI is enabling massive change in manufacturing. It is also revolutionizing the smart manufacturing supply chain as well.

It seems that for every benefit technology provides, it also spawns an associated challenge. For instance:
AI benefit: AI enables manufacturers to provide customization in a much more compressed time frame than ever before. So much so that consumers are beginning to see customization—including instant delivery—as a standard service.
Associated challenge: Forecasting for supply, demand, and price is the supply chain’s bread and butter. And all stakeholders—suppliers, manufacturers, and fulfillment partners—now face an exponential challenge in providing customer satisfaction.

Jason Tham, CEO of Nulogy, believes that AI can leverage real-time operational data to unlock greater visibility and collaboration for supply chain ecosystems. Tham maintains this is the difference between old-school forecasting and what he calls “true agility.”

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By: Ryan E. Day

In an article published by Quality Digest, Julias DeSilva addresses recent declines in ISO certification and poses the question, “Does quality matter anymore?” His conclusion is that even if you don’t get certified, you will still gain from a well-implemented management system. But what do manufacturing companies think?

Many certifications are never seen by consumers. Compliance with standards like UL, ENERGY STAR, and USDA Organic are routinely displayed on consumer products, but ISO/IEC 17025, ISO 45001, and NSF/ANSI 173 standards... not so much. These might be considered B2B standards.

So, what’s the ROI for the considerable investment of time and money to certify to these standards? Let’s look at what it means for one of the world’s leading nutritional product manufacturers in the world.

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By: Ryan E. Day

With a hashtag of #WomenInScience, the United Nations kicked off its sixth annual International Day of Women and Girls in Science assembly. A short post on the BoldData website seems to suggest the STEM business sector may not have gotten that memo.

The unwomen.org prefaces the Feb. 11, 2021, event stating, “The world needs science, and science needs women and girls.” They also point out the undercurrent of gender inequality in STEM-related businesses:
“According to UNESCO’s forthcoming Science Report, only 33 percent of researchers are women, despite the fact that they represent 45 percent and 55 percent of students at the bachelor’s and master’s levels of study, respectively, and 44 percent of those enrolled in PhD programs.”
—unwomen.org

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By: Ryan E. Day

‘For sale: 3 bd, 2 ba, 1,407 sq ft home in Riverhead, NY,” the groundbreaking listing on Zillow reads. “Own a piece of history! This is the world’s first 3D-printed home for sale [on the open market]. The future begins with this historic property!” Perhaps the exclamation marks are warranted.

Printed by New York-based SQ4D using its patent-pending ARCS technology, this home was architecturally designed by nationally renowned engineering firm H2M, which took care to incorporate efficiency codes and lower energy costs. SQ4D claims its process provides a stronger build than traditional concrete structures while using a more sustainable building process. With complete confidence in the quality of its product, SQ4D will be including a 50-year limited warranty on its 3D-printed structures.

SQ4D 3d printed house

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By: Ryan E. Day

If you are a quality engineer or maybe even the quality manager of a manufacturing company, investing in quality improvements may be a no-brainer. Defects are inherently undesirable, right? Well, yes, but at the level of plant manager, president, or CEO, decisions about where to allocate assets usually require a more complex calculation. Company oversight must take an enterprisewide view of the ROI of quality investments.

One thing every level of management must know to make profitable decisions is what the cost of defects actually is. The true cost of a defect is one of the variables used when quantifying the ROI of investing in any quality improvement initiative or technology. But what is the real cost of defective product that rolls out of your facility? Coming up with an accurate assessment can be tricky. In this interview, Prasad Akella, CEO and founder of Drishti, offers some valuable insight.

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By: Ryan E. Day

Few phrases have more power to stir excited conversation than “American-made quality.” It’s been touted and trashed. It’s been a major cause for concern with offshoring and reshoring. Global conglomerate and startup incubator ROKiT Group has come down squarely in the camp that believes American-made can mean high-quality products, and they aim to prove it by manufacturing ebikes in Las Vegas under the name ROKiT MADE.

Dean Becker, co-founder, CEO, and chairman of ROKiT MADE shares his thoughts on starting a ground-up manufacturing venture in the United States.

Quality Digest: Is this is going to be a ground-up manufacturing plant? If so, you can do anything you want to. Is ROKiT MADE integrating QA into the design of the plant and its manufacturing processes?

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By: Ryan E. Day

Metrology may sound like an esoteric dark art, but it isn’t. If you’re involved in manufacturing of any stripe, you’re almost certainly a metrology practitioner. Coordinate metrology, on the other hand, is a more narrow subset of the field but still widely used in many industries for various applications. The CMSC 2020 September Speaker Series (SSS) gave us a fascinating look at how coordinate metrology is being used by industries today.

The SSS—now available on demand upon joining the Coordinate Metrology Society (CMS)—presents a cross-section of coordinate and 3D metrology applications in the form of technical demonstrations by some of industry’s most advanced manufacturing organizations.

The series

Although due to Covid-19 restrictions, this year’s presentations were not in person, they were recorded with the expert’s own custom slides to give visual gravity to the exclusive content on the subject matter.

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By: Ryan E. Day

In our ultra-connected world, user experience (UX) can be a life-or-death matter for consumer-facing businesses. User experience is so critical that savvy leaders integrate UX/UI (user interface) design with product development and even consider UX when shaping business strategy. Madeline Fraser, founder and CEO of Gemist, is one such leader.

“I came up with the idea for Gemist when I tried to design myself a custom ring,” explains Fraser. “That experience showed me that the custom jewelry process is manual, antiquated, and in need of a big refresh. Gemist was born from my desire to let the consumer drive a process that should be custom, personal, and won’t break the bank.”

In fact, the entire team at Gemist is involved with this UX-integrated-with-business-model approach, including Katherine DePaolo, product designer for Gemist. DePaulo was kind enough to answer some questions regarding how Gemist uses UX as a differentiator in the field of bespoke jewelry.

Ryan E. Day
By: Ryan E. Day, Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest, Taran March @ Quality Digest

In order to best illustrate how enterprisewide SPC software can help address shop-floor problems and then funnel the captured data to the corporate level where strategic issues can be analyzed, here is a case study of a hypothetical manufacturing facility. In it, the company makes effective use of SPC for data-driven decisions.

A global food products manufacturing company with 11 sites worldwide had chosen to master quality, both tactically and strategically, as its top goal. Each site collected and analysed data in the company’s enterprisewide SPC software, both to monitor and respond to quality issues at the site, and to share those same data with the corporate office.

At the company’s Prague site, the quality manager looked at her shop-floor data for the previous month. As figure 1 indicates, the software reported a total of 737 events, which at first glance seemed like a big deal to the manager. However, on closer inspection, she could see that these weren’t massive quality issues with the product or processes. However, there were 517 missed data checks. Although not a line-stopping issue, missed checks could result in noncompliance to agreements with customers or industry requirements.

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By: Ryan E. Day

Those of you involved in matters of business strategy know: Strategy matters. Your strategies guide you to reach your objectives. Behind every successful business are purposeful strategies. Then again, as Alvin Toffler said, “The absence of strategy is fine if you don’t care where you’re going.”

We’re talking specifically about data-driven strategies like using “improving operational efficiency” to support a goal of increasing your profit margin. Or “improving product standardization” to increase international market share. The question is, how do you support your data-driven strategies? Where do your data come from?

Many leaders don’t realize they are probably sitting on a gold mine of data just waiting to be transformed into actionable information to support their strategies. I’m talking about the quality control data that are collected every day on the shop floor.