The House of High Quality Articles for Everyone in the World

Mar 30, 2011

Difference Between Traditional Vs Lean Manufacturing Concepts

When we think about lean manufacturing we think about work cells, kanban cards, TQM and etc. But many people do a basic mistake. That is the mistake of not understanding the concepts on which lean manufacturing built on. Many people who copied lean manufacturing failed because they did not understood the concepts behind lean manufacturing.

We shall give a simple definition to lean manufacturing before we go further. Lean manufacturing can be defined as a systematic approach to continuously identify and remove the wastes from the system. All the tools and techniques are based on fulfillment of this simple requirement.

To identify the conceptual difference between lean manufacturing and conventional manufacturing, we will have a look at the definition given above. There is a very important word to note. That is "Removing". Removing of waste from the system might not sound very different to minimization of wastes in the system, what we talk in conventional manufacturing. But think carefully. These two words are very different in the context of manufacturing (or even services).

When you think about minimizing of waste, you are thinking about the current system where you have wastes. You think about minimizing those wastes by fine tuning the system. When you think about eliminating or removing wastes from the system, you will have to find the causes for the wastes and remove them from the system. This means that you will have to redefine the process in a way that there are no wastes generated. So in the first case you live in the system where there are wastes, and struggle to get some improvement. In the later, you change the system so that system itself will not have the wastes. Aren't they really different?

I will give you one more example to clarify the conceptual difference between lean manufacturing and traditional manufacturing. Think about Work In Progress (WIP). In a traditional manufacturing process WIP is treated as an asset which helps to run the process smoothly. Lean manufacturing though, treats WIP as a waste itself. Further, lean manufacturing treats WIP as a mirror which reflects the imperfection of the system.

I can go on and on explaining conceptual differences these systems have. But it is very important to understand one thing about lean manufacturing. Lean manufacturing is not a fine tuning to the traditional manufacturing system you had. It is a completely different system. To be able to implement lean manufacturing correctly, understand the conceptual differences between lean manufacturing and traditional manufacturing.

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Mar 21, 2011

Schools of Quality Control

Quality Control Schools train students in manufacturing processes, statistical quality control, metrology, and total quality assurance. Quality control is responsible for using various methods for construction and repair of products, parts, and processes to maintain quality production and operations. Quality control technicians perform their work according to specifications, usually prepared by design engineers, quality control engineers,customer requirment, or required by industry standards.

Quality Control Schools confer degrees in Statistical Quality Control (SQC) and Total Quality Management (TQM). Associates of Applied Science Degree /Quality Control from Quality Control Schools provide students with studies in mathematics, statistics, physics, and general courses required to complete the degree. Quality control Associate and Bachelor of Science degrees programs emphasize basic terminology and methodologies of SQC and TQM. Students may also be exposed to manufacturing processes, metrology, total quality management, and in authenticity, normalization and certification of product quality. The Master of Science in Quality Control focuses on theoretical aspects and issues of quality control.

Quality control degrees can lead to professional positions working to develop policies and procedures that guarantee quality of company products and services. Quality control managers are responsible for adherence to quality programs. Software Web developers need quality control specialists to detect problems and suggest solutions to assure that program requirements can be met.

Quality control engineers work closely with technicians in factory settings to assure product and process conformity. Quality control engineers also assess and approve quality levels of products.

Master's in Business Administration/Quality Control degrees take in both SQC and TQM. Quality Control. MBA in programs include courses in quality control in statistical, industrial, and quality engineering and management, quality functions within organizations, and ISO 9000 quality standards. These programs concentrate on advanced graduate level theories and issues of SQC and TQM.

Full integration of quality control processes for production is the responsibility of quality control technicians. Performing various tests and inspections, keeping records, and making recommendations throughout the production phase is required of quality control technicians and inspection teams. Self-monitoring quality control production equipment is often used in some industries to ensure that goods are produced up to industry standards during the manufacturing process. Proper function of such devices must also be a part of QT staff.

Companies establish standards according to particular needs, often as required by professional organizations that oversee matters of public health and safety. Quality Control School programs provide degrees in Nondestructive Testing (NDT), which teach sophisticated testing technique uses of X-ray, ultrasonic, magnetic particle, and liquid dye penetrants. Courses prepare for development, maintenance, and enforcement of quality control programs. Quality control and NDT graduates will find employment in industries of manufacturing, aviation, gas and oil, power production, construction, as well as many others.

It often takes an advanced degree and some hands-on experience to land a position in quality assurance, but the rewards are worth it. Salaries can range from $45,000 to $90,000, depending on education, experience, and responsibilities associated with the job.

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Mar 19, 2011

Six Sigma Tools

For collecting and analyzing data, Six Sigma makes use of different types of data collection tools, as it would be quite impossible to carry out the task manually. Six Sigma data collection tools are employed in all processes where data is generated. Given below are some of the data collection tools and their uses.

Commonly Utilized Raw Data Collection Tools

1. Operational Definitions Sheet- by defining the metrics, this tool helps in maintaining the consistency of the data collection process.

2. Voice Of The Customer (VOC) Data Collection Tool- this tool is used for collecting data from organizational databases, surveys, interviews, listening posts and observations related to the VOC and for organizing the collected data in a systematic manner.

3. Worksheet For Customer Segmentation- this tool helps in identifying the requirements of the main and minor segments and classifying them into finer details.

4. Check Sheets- this tool is very handy and is used for collecting smaller sample data. It helps in defining problem areas and checking the validity of planned outcomes.

5. Data Sheets- this tool is similar to Check Sheets and is more or less used for the same purpose, i.e. defining problems and substantiating outcomes.

Commonly Utilized Data Assessment Tools

Although these tools are not classified as decision-making tools such as the Thought Map Relation Diagram or the Ishikawa Fishbone Chart, they do however aid the decision makers. Given below is the list of some of the most commonly utilized data assessment tools:

1. Customer Requirement Translation And Analysis Tool- this tool helps in converting vague customer requirements such as 'better quality' or 'low price' into more measurable terms. This helps the change agents to design and develop new products and services that are in line with customer requirements and needs.

2. Sipoc Diagram- this tool is utilized both as a presentation tool and as an analytical tool. It is very effective in providing an overview of the inputs and outputs of the various business processes related to the vendors and the customers as well.

3. Pareto Chart- this tool helps in identifying small problems related to the implementation that are often held responsible for causing around eighty percent of the troubles. Six Sigma teams utilize this tool for reducing or even eliminating both the wastage of efforts and scarce resources. This helps teams to allocate resources in the right manner for enabling continuous quality improvements.

4. Production Scheduling And Actual Scorecard- this tool is utilized for comparing the actual results with the planned results related to operations and sales. This helps Six Sigma teams in evaluating the status of the project and in defining the direction in which the project is currently headed.

5. QFD (Quality Function deployment) House Of Quality Chart- this tool is quite popular as it is an all in one tool. It performs varied functions such as identifying customer requirements in relation to products or services, developing effective blueprints, and formulating newer techniques for eliminating the faults inherent in a business process.

Proper knowledge about the correct use of all the above stated tools is necessary for ensuring the successful and timely implementation of any Six Sigma project.

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