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Manufacturing Future 

PART V. 

 


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Knowing what to do is not enough; learning how to do it is equally necessary. Here are some details:

1. Design products for manufacturability. Past problems with product designs started with foggy definitions of the functions needed to meet customers' applications, too much time in the design phase, overly complex products with low reliability, processing and service needs not considered, and continuous improvement neglected.

The best and most manufacturable designs contain the fewest parts, the most common components in families of similar products, and modular design for flexibility in providing options to customers. They result from Concurrent Engineering, teamwork among all concerned in designing and making them.

2. Change performance measures. Traditional cost accounting systems were designed for accountants, not decision-makers. They use items easily counted, not those that really count. They provide costs of anything but the value of nothing. They are precise but inaccurate, are unrelated to formal plans, and lack focus on vital data.

Effective performance measures show planned and actual data together, focus attention on the vital few measures, and stimulate fast corrective actions. Aggregate totals for families, flow rates in lieu of orders, and trends (as well as absolute values) are preferable. Physical measures and visual feedback, being more timely, specific, relevant, simpler, and easier to get, are better than data from accounting records. They also show more clearly the causes of problems and which individuals are accountable.

3. Simplify the process. The objective is to keep materials flowing in flow-line layouts or machining cells. Reduce the number of levels in bills of material by combining machining and assembly operations when similar. Cut setup times and run smaller batches frequently. Balance successive operations in flexible machine groups. Eliminate bulk materials handling by having operators move individual pieces or small lots.

4. Plan level schedules. Start with level master production schedules and plan rates of throughput, controlling work input and mix to match these rates. Move quickly to make up for lost output to avoid excessive work-in-process, erratic lead times and missed schedules.

5. Use the formal system. This is the sheet music to keep harmony among the players. Insist that master production schedules be realistic and that data errors are detected and purged promptly. Hold individuals, groups, and departments accountable for performance to plan. Make the best plan possible and then focus on executing it, not replanning.


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Manufacturing Knowledge you’ll not find at offsite 
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