Operations Article

M. Mitchell Waldrop’s picture

By: M. Mitchell Waldrop

Part one looked at the innovative possibilities inherent in 3D printing; here we consider some of its shortcomings and the solutions that companies are finding.

M. Mitchell Waldrop’s picture

By: M. Mitchell Waldrop

Since May 2015, in a section of its WorldPort distribution center in Louisville, Kentucky, United Parcel Service (UPS) has been operating a spare parts warehouse with no spare parts. Instead, the facility is stocked with ultrafast 3D printers that can build up almost any plastic part that’s required, layer by layer by layer—and have it ready for UPS to deliver anywhere in the United States by morning.

Jason Furness’s picture

By: Jason Furness

I would like to share with you a tale from the real world. It’s an extract from the book Michael McLean and I wrote, Manufacturing Money (Amazon Digital Services LLC, 2015).

Steven Brand’s picture

By: Steven Brand

Many consider 2017 the “worst year ever” for data breaches and cyber attacks, largely due to the rise in ransomware, and IT experts predict it’s only going to get worse. According to the Online Trust Alliance (OTA), a nonprofit that works to develop tools and best practices that enhance internet security, cyber attacks targeting manufacturers and others nearly doubled in volume from the previous year.

Jon Speer’s picture

By: Jon Speer

We raise the corrective and preventive action (CAPA) topic often because it is still something that companies tend to struggle with and find themselves in hot water over, particularly when it comes to regulatory audits or inspections.

There’s often a sense that CAPA is another inconvenient process that takes resources away from those preferred revenue-generating tasks, but in reality, failing to give CAPA appropriate focus can cost a company greatly. Could your company be making any of the common mistakes that tend to happen?

Eryn Brown’s picture

By: Eryn Brown

In ancient times, the story goes, cooks in the city of Sybaris were granted yearlong monopolies for the sale of unique dishes they created. Since then, generations of inventors have relied on patents to discourage copycats from stealing their best ideas. Economists, in turn, have tallied up patents to try to measure innovation (an otherwise squishy concept to define and assess), which has long been tied to economic growth. Certainly, the thinking went, protecting inventors’ work must encourage new ideas in the marketplace.

Capture 3D’s picture

By: Capture 3D

For more than 125 years, GE Appliances (GEA) has been designing and manufacturing a full suite of consumer appliances—including refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, freezers, washers, dryers, air conditioners, water filtration systems, and water heaters. Part of the longevity of GE Appliances can be attributed to the company’s commitment to quality and technological innovation.

Megan Ray Nichols’s picture

By: Megan Ray Nichols

Manufacturing is in the middle of a new industrial revolution that requires skilled laborers. However, by most reports, many manufacturers lack enough of these well-trained employees, creating a worker shortage due to the skills gap—the difference between the skills manufacturers need and the skills job applicants have.

Companies are responding to the skills gap in numerous ways, seeking novel approaches to bridge the divide between the knowledge the workforce has and the knowledge they need.

Russell Fedun’s picture

By: Russell Fedun

Cogeco’s technical distribution center in Burlington, Ontario, is one of Canada’s drop-off points for internet modem and cable device repair. In 2011, the company’s management carried out a kaizen blitz to improve the efficiency of its device repair process. The process was indeed challenging but did have the desired outcome. Read on to find out how Cogeco integrated a lean solution into its operations, and how it dealt with resistance to change.

Ryan E. Day’s picture

By: Ryan E. Day

Business partnerships are nothing new. Partnerships that result in leaner manufacturing processes, more consistent quality, and lower manufacturing costs—that is worth talking about.

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