February, 2008

A publication brought to you by the Manufacturers Alliance

Subscribe | Join MA
Upcoming Events

February 7th 2023 09:00 am
- The Role of the Leader Online

February 8th 2023 08:00 am
- Creating Process Maps

February 9th 2023 08:00 am
- Sustaining Lean Culture Through Leadership Changes

February 14th 2023 09:00 am
- Learning to Solve Problems Supervision Fundamentals Certification

February 15th 2023 09:00 am
- The Role of the Leader

February 16th 2023 08:00 am
- Conflict, Communication and Collaboration

February 21st 2023 08:00 am
- Learning to Solve Problems 6 Sigma Green Belt Certification

February 21st 2023 09:00 am
- Leadership Style & Versatility Online

February 22nd 2023 08:00 am
- Root Cause Analysis

February 22nd 2023 09:00 am
- Learning to Solve Problems Supervision Fundamentals Certification

Article Index

The 2P/3P System
Article by: Ron Halliday
Oh no! Not again. The new job that was just released can't be built on the existing line and you need hands like a gorilla to assemble it.
Book Review: Design for Manufacturability Concurrent Engineering
Article by: John Hehre
Eighty percent of the cost of a product is determined by the time design is complete and ninety five percent is determined by the time that product hits production, according to Dr Anderson in his book Design for Manufacturability and Concurrent Engineering (also known as DFM).
Lean Office: How Much is Too Much?
Article by: Robin Gast
Personal stuff, that is. I don't know that there is a definitive answer on this one, but let me ask a few questions and see first if we are doing this for the right reasons and then if we can find a way to remove that sense of personal threat whenever this topic comes up.
MN Economic Outlook
Article by: Dr. Ernest Goss
For the month of February 2008, reported March 3, 2008. For a third straight month, Minnesota's Business Conditions Index slumped below growth neutral to 44.3 from January's 46.2 and December's 47.3.
ADVERTISEMENT
The 2P/3P System
Oh no! Not again. The new job that was just released can't be built on the existing line and you need hands like a gorilla to assemble it.

What about all those small parts that need adjustments? We will never be able to hit production volume without tons of overtime. What were they thinking? There has got to be a way to keep this from happening again. Why can't we debug before we start production?

Have you ever had these questions come up when starting a new line or introducing a new product? I have, and it led me to incorporate 2P/3P (Product and Production Preparation) events at Sauer-Danfoss as a precursor to accepting new work to the floor. 2P/3P has worked well for numerous reasons including: evaluating software licensing protocol, assessing the design of a new product, and most recently to design our new mixed model flow lines. Using this system to evaluate our mixed model flow lines we were able to:

  • Combine 7 production cells into 2 flow lines

  • Decrease our manufacturing foot print by 17%

  • Simultaneously increase productivity by 18%

  • Decrease direct labor from 17 full time employee's to 12

What is the 2P/3P System
2P/3P is a team approach to developing products and production processes which will deliver the expected quality, at the required volume, for the lowest cost, and in the shortest time.

At Sauer Danfoss we used the 3P process to evaluate a software licensing protocol for our GUIDE software. In applying the 3P tools we were able to quickly identify deficiencies in the software. Consequently, were able to make significant changes to the program before implementation. This saved us significant resources compared to finding these problems after deployment and paying the vendor to fix them. We had much more leverage before actually purchasing the program.

Why use 2P/3P
2P/3P is a good approach anytime there is a significant change in the production environment. For example: a new product introduction, a design change, a demand change greater than 10%, or process relocation. It can contribute to reduced lead times for new product introductions, minimize cash drains in development, and foster improved communication between engineering and operations.

The Manufacturers Alliance is offering a one day workshop outlining the 2P/3P system on April 29th. If you would like to learn more about what the 2P/3P system can do for your organization Click Here . I look forward to seeing you there.
Ron Halliday is a Continuous Improvement Specialist at Sauer-Danfoss in Plymouth, MN. He can be contacted at rhalliday@sauer-danfoss.com. Visit us at www.sauer-danfoss.com.

Back to Top

ADVERTISEMENT
Book Review: Design for Manufacturability Concurrent Engineering
Eighty percent of the cost of a product is determined by the time design is complete and ninety five percent is determined by the time that product hits production, according to Dr Anderson in his book Design for Manufacturability and Concurrent Engineering (also known as DFM).

As a result, projects to reduce cost and improve quality after design is complete have little impact and tend to be expensive. It is therefore critical to "get it right the first time." This book is intended to guide design teams through the approach needed to do just that - from convincing others of the importance of DFM to specific design suggestions.

The book is divided into six sections and an appendix. The first three sections are general in nature. The first section introduces the concepts and provides an overview of the overall design process. Section two provides guidance for considering flexibility and lean manufacturing in the design process. A typical suggestion is to use a short list of standardized parts instead of a long list of "approved" parts. For example, engineers will typically specify resistors with a 1% tolerance in critical applications and 5% tolerance in other areas. Using the tighter tolerance resistors in all situations however would provide savings in inventory, economies in purchasing, and simplification on the shop floor that would likely outweigh the slight increase in material cost. Another topic in this section encourages minimizing or eliminating set up times in manufacturing with careful design. In fact, many of the suggestions in the book may result in a slight increase in material cost that is significantly offset by reductions in overall manufacturing and life cycle costs. Section three covers cost specifically, including definitions of total cost throughout the products' life cycle, appropriate methods for measuring cost as well as many suggestions for minimizing cost.

Sections four and five are more specific than the others and provide long lists of DFM guidelines for product, part and quality design. These guidelines are a cross between suggestions and checklists to make sure all the concepts for sound DFM have been considered. Some are straightforward like a suggestion to use only three mounting points for a part or assembly rather than four, or to use a few stronger standardized fasteners instead of many different smaller ones. Some are more general, for example making part differences very obvious to avoid assembly errors, or minimizing cutting tool variety for machined parts.

The final section covers implementation including suggestions for training, the use of teams, and intelligent use of policies. The appendix provides additional resources including examples of forms, a complete list of the guidelines presented in sections four and five, as well as books, seminars, workshops and websites for further reference.

This book will help guide the design of products to achieve higher quality and lower cost during the design process. There are a few complaints - the book has quite a few typos and misused words and tends to be very repetitive. Nonetheless, the content is solid and well worth the effort required to use the book. Despite the emphasis on new product design, the principles provided are relevant for any design activity. The book would be useful for all members of design teams including people from engineering, manufacturing, accounting and product development.

To learn more about the new DFM workshop by the Manufacturers Alliance click here.
John Hehre is a senior operations executive and provides interim management and project based consulting to mid-sized private companies in need of transformative change. He can be reached at jhehre@cprocess.com.

Back to Top

ADVERTISEMENT
Lean Office: How Much is Too Much?
Personal stuff, that is. I don't know that there is a definitive answer on this one, but let me ask a few questions and see first if we are doing this for the right reasons and then if we can find a way to remove that sense of personal threat whenever this topic comes up.

Why do your employees come to work?
Do you really think your employees feel that they will not have lived a full life if they don't help you achieve that 8% profit margin? If they pass away tomorrow will they feel their life was misspent if they didn't decrease your operating costs by 10%? They are there because they have a family to support, or like to camp on the weekends, or collect tea cups, whatever the reason. They are there to support their own personal goals, so why do we keep trying to separate our employees from such strong motivational factors?

Why do we sometimes treat our employee work spaces like jail cells - you are allowed a desk, a chair, a computer, a pad of paper, one pen, two personal items, a tin cup for water, and by law we have to allow you one phone call and two ten minute breaks in the recreation yard. At the end of 8 hours, we will open the cell door and you can go home to those other "things" that don't belong in the workplace. Do you really think that's going to inspire your employees to be more productive?

Do you have customers coming through the area that will base their buying decision on their perception of your company?

For example - lots of stuffed animals on a desk. If you work for a toy company or want to present a fun-loving atmosphere, this is not a problem in terms of perception. If, however, you work for a financial establishment where people will base their decision to work with you on how mature and experienced your staff seems, this may not be such a good idea. If the image or brand identity you need to present in the office is critical to your business sales, there is a good reason to establish some limitations.

Let's talk about perceptions, though. Are you trying to enforce some sort of corporate aesthetic such that people perceive you are Lean, but it doesn't necessarily mean you are Lean? We've been taught since grade school "don't judge a book by its cover ", but is it really ok to judge someone's productivity simply by their work space appearance?

Why are you doing Lean?
Do you have a Lean program in place to eliminate wasted motion, processing, wait time; and possible causes of accidents? Can you provide data to demonstrate that these personal items are causing waste, inefficiency, or are a safety hazard? Does the cleaning staff have to spend extra time in someone's cubicle because of all the knick knacks they need to work around? Is someone tripping over the stuffed German Shepherd just inside the doorway? Does the person have the things they use the most often stored at the back of their work space because the front of their workspace is covered with photographs? Is the person saying they need more storage space because their desk drawers are filled with spare shoes, socks, food, toys, etc., that came from home and just never left? If the answer to these types of questions is yes, you can now point to a specific waste or safety hazard to eliminate.

However, before you jump all over someone's space and claim the clutter is causing them to be wasteful, are you able to prove it? Can you show that the twelve quotes on their wall are distracting and that just one wouldn't be? Can you prove that one family picture is motivational, but 4 or 8 or 12 may obstruct their thought process? Can you get inside that person's head? If not, you can't say that these items are causing waste just because you know, and you need to look for something to measure. Go into their work area and ask them a question that they should be able to answer in a short amount of time. If they first have to tell you all about the latest picture of their dog, and then pick up the three knick knacks that fell over reaching for a file, then unbury their monthly report from under 14 drawings that their kids have done, you now have a reason to ask for some of these non-work related items to be eliminated until they are no longer negatively affecting their job performance. Beyond that, you're back to just trying to look effective, not be effective.

If you can demonstrate to an employee that their personal items are having a negative affect on their productivity, it takes away that personal attack. You are trying to become a Lean organization based on facts, not perceptions. Use your Lean tools to measure productivity. If the personal items are the root cause of a waste, get rid of them. If not, stop trying to look Lean and concentrate on being Lean.
<img src="http://www.mfrall.com/newsletter/authorpics/robingast.jpg" align="left">Robin Gast is the Process Improvement Director at Thymes, a manufacturer of body, home care, and home fragrance products. She may be reached at rgast@thymes.com.

Back to Top

ADVERTISEMENT
MN Economic Outlook
For the month of February 2008, reported March 3, 2008. For a third straight month, Minnesota's Business Conditions Index slumped below growth neutral to 44.3 from January's 46.2 and December's 47.3.



February's index points to negative growth through the first half of 2008. Components of the overall index for February were new orders at 41.2, production at 43.0, delivery lead time at 52.9, inventories at 48.0, and employment at 42.2. "The weak dollar, particularly against the Canadian dollar, has been an important factor for the Minnesota economy. I expect 2008 export of Minnesota products to Canada to exceed $5.5 billion," said Goss.
Dr. Ernest Goss of Creighton University, used the same methodology as The National Association of Purchasing Management to compile this information. An index number greater than 50 percent indicates an expansionary economy, and an index under 50 percent forecast a sluggish economy, for the next three to six months.

Back to Top


Copyright © 2011 Manufacturers Alliance. All rights reserved.
Thank you for reading the Manufacturers Alliance E-Newsletter.