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Showing papers in "Manufacturing Engineer in 2002"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Six Sigma methodology has evolved into a statistically oriented approach to process, product or service quality improvement as discussed by the authors, which is a business performance improvement strategy used to improve profitability, to drive out waste in business processes and to improve the efficiency of all operations that meet or exceed customers' needs and expectations.
Abstract: The concept of implementation of Six Sigma methodology was pioneered at Motorola in the 1980s with the aim of reducing quality costs. Six Sigma methodology has evolved into a statistically oriented approach to process, product or service quality improvement. It is a business performance improvement strategy used to improve profitability, to drive out waste in business processes and to improve the efficiency of all operations that meet or exceed customers' needs and expectations. A performance level of Six Sigma equates to 3-4 defects per million opportunities, where sigma is a statistical measure of the amount of variation around the process average. The average sigma level for most companies is three sigma. The authors offer guidance as to how companies may achieve Six Sigma performance. Organisations that have adopted the principles and concepts of Six Sigma methodology have realised that once they have achieved Five Sigma quality levels the only way to surpass the Five Sigma quality level is to redesign their products, processes and services from scratch. These circumstances have led to the development of what we call today 'design for Six Sigma'. Design for Six Sigma is a powerful approach to designing products, processes and services in a cost-effective and simple manner, to meet the needs and expectations of the customer.

56 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors described the beginnings of TRIZ and then described the TRIZ process, and the 40 inventive principles of TRIQS. The TRIZ methodology can claim, through the contradiction matrix and the inventive principles, to be something new that breaks out of the currently popular methods of value engineering and systems engineering.
Abstract: Conceived over 50 years ago in Russia, the theory of inventive problem solving (TRIZ) has only recently reached the West. Faced with increasing demands and rising expectations from the market, a few firms are now using this approach to create new and improved products in a way that does not rely entirely on inspiration and chance discoveries. The author describes the beginnings of TRIZ and then describes the TRIZ process. The 40 inventive principles of TRIZ are listed. As an overall methodology, TRIZ can claim, through the contradiction matrix and the inventive principles, to be something new that breaks out of the currently popular methods of value engineering and systems engineering.

40 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Six Sigma approach is one of the more recent initiatives adopted by organisations who seek to make a paradigm shift in performance improvement (attacking at least one of cost, quality, delivery measurements for improved competitiveness).
Abstract: The Six Sigma approach is one of the more recent initiatives adopted by organisations who seek to make a paradigm shift in performance improvement (attacking at least one of the cost, quality, delivery measurements for improved competitiveness). Is there anything new about Six Sigma, does it offer improvements that other approaches cannot, or is it just a clever delivery of repackaged goods? The author investigates the above questions related to the Six Sigma approach.

40 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors give some factors that must be borne in mind when establishing performance measures, such as balanced scorecard, which is the shorthand way that such overall approaches to measurement are referred.
Abstract: From this early experience, the concepts of manufacturing/industrial 'efficiency' were born with the underlying comparison of 'standard time' to available hours usually calculated from the discipline of 'clocking in'. Whilst the concept of manufacturing efficiency is still a valid one even today, the shortcomings of such an approach are now well recognised particularly in terms of the way such measures can drive behaviours, which are unhelpful to the overall objectives of most modern businesses. Modern measurements are now more directed at providing a balanced set of numbers, which together portray the health of any business in a more rounded way. 'Balanced scorecard' is the shorthand way that such overall approaches to measurement are now referred. The authors give some factors that must be borne in mind when establishing performance measures.

30 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors find that IT support is key to the successful implementation of performance measurement-driven continuous improvement schemes, and that several tools such as process mapping, cause and effect analysis and FMEA need to be used in an integrated way with performance measurement models, such as balanced scorecard, integrated performance measurement system, performance prism and so on.
Abstract: The quality of improvement depends on the quality of leading and lagging performance indicators. For this reason, several tools, such as process mapping, cause and effect analysis and FMEA, need to be used in an integrated way with performance measurement models, such as balanced scorecard, integrated performance measurement system, performance prism and so on. However, in our experience, this alone is not quite enough due to the amount of effort required to monitor performance indicators at operational levels. The authors find that IT support is key to the successful implementation of performance measurement-driven continuous improvement schemes.

21 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors look at ways in which the overall equipment effectiveness measure can be used to enhance the capital investment process, starting with a fundamental questioning of whether the purchase is required in the first place.
Abstract: The author explains how the return on investment and cash flow can be improved by using the overall equipment effectiveness measure throughout the asset lifecycle. This article looks at ways in which the overall equipment effectiveness measure can be used to enhance the capital investment process, starting with a fundamental questioning of whether the purchase is required in the first place.

20 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors offer solutions to some increasingly complex supply network accounting problems, which can improve the competitive position of both the individual partners and the complete supply chain, if appropriately shared.
Abstract: Supply chains, as well as individual organisations have two sources of competitive advantage, value and costs. Improving value to the customer, by offering better products and services. On the other hand, reducing costs can lead to improvements in profitability or market share, by offering lower prices to the customer. All of these benefits, if appropriately shared, can improve the competitive position of both the individual partners and the complete supply chain. The authors offer solutions to some increasingly complex supply network accounting problems.

12 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The benefits of modular thinking extend well beyond product strategies, and include new approaches to creating more flexible organizations and improving the management of supply chains and outsourcing as mentioned in this paper, which can also offer a powerful framework for identifying, building and using an organisation's knowledge assets.
Abstract: The benefits of modular thinking extend well beyond product strategies, and include new approaches to creating more flexible organisations and improving the management of supply chains and outsourcing. Modularity can also offer a powerful framework for identifying, building and using an organisation's knowledge assets. All products are composed of functional parts. The architecture of a product consists of, first, the way its design is broken down into functional components and, second, the way these components interact in the product (that is, the component interfaces). An architecture is modular when the interfaces between components are designed to allow mixing and matching of different components, thus enabling many product and process variations to be rapidly configured. Perhaps the most familiar example of a modular product architecture is the desktop computer, in which a range of microprocessors, memory cards, hard disks, monitors, keyboards and other components can be combined in a virtually unlimited number of ways to produce different variations of computer. Another familiar example is Sony's use of modular architectures to configure more than 250 variations of its Walkman product over a 10-year period. Each product variation offered consumers a new combination of functions, features, performance levels and price points. Sony also used the stream of product variations to test consumer preferences and fine-tune its mix of Walkman models. Companies in other industries are beginning to realise they too can exploit modularity to achieve fast, flexible configuration of their products - while significantly reducing their costs. Markets as diverse as automobiles, personal care products, financial services, food, software, industrial and consumer electronics, bicycles, home appliances and professional services are now adopting modular product architectures.

11 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors address the production scheduling problem from two fundamentally different approaches, the theory of constraints (TOC) and linear programming (LP), and found that the schedule produced by TOC is very similar to the one generated by LP.
Abstract: The authors address the production scheduling problem from two fundamentally different approaches, the theory of constraints (TOC) and linear programming (LP). LP is a complicated mathematical approach while TOC is much less quantitative in nature. Both approaches were applied to the real operations data from a fibre manufacturer. It was found that the schedule produced by TOC is very similar to the one generated by LP.

10 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors describe the development of a software tool for determining the financial and environmental effects of end-of-life disassembly, and a procedure for optimising the disassembly sequence to release valuable or environmentally beneficial items as early as possible.
Abstract: The authors describe the development of a software tool for determining the financial and environmental effects of end-of-life disassembly. A procedure for optimising the disassembly sequence to release valuable or environmentally beneficial items as early as possible is included.

8 citations



Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors investigate quality issues relating to information flow of data and knowledge in teaching e-business, and propose a method to improve the quality of the information flow.
Abstract: Every business needs to invest in resources that can provide prosperity and development. The demand from e-based-businesses aware of the rapid development and success associated with e-commerce utilisation has prompted a demand for this knowledge to be conveyed at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels. The author investigates quality issues relating to information flow of data and knowledge in teaching e-business.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors present a simple model of how a manufacturing system, under human management, evolves over time, showing cycles of simple, regular operations alternating with stressful, difficult behaviour.
Abstract: The author presents a simple model of how a manufacturing system, under human management, evolves over time. Such a system shows cycles of simple, regular operations, alternating with stressful, difficult behaviour.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Gartner Group has crystallised the objectives of business analysis and planning today into the phrase "business activity monitoring" (BAM), which aptly sums up the purpose of the business planning task: to monitor an organisations activity in every sense and to develop an understanding of what is happening now with the organisation, where the organisation is going and where the major opportunities for increased profitability lie within it as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: Modern technology is providing organisations with the thrilling opportunity to inject a revolutionary and unprecedented level of sophistication and control into their business analysis and planning. The old days when these functions were cumbersome, clumsy back-office functions that required many days - or weeks - to yield useful and insightful information are over. Organisations that have the good sense to implement new, state-of-the-art business analysis and planning systems are creating an enormously important in-house resource that can provide comprehensive and detailed information about every aspect of the organisation's activities, and also facilitate a rapid response to new, unforeseen, opportunities or challenges. The research organisation the Gartner Group has crystallised the objectives of business analysis and planning today into the phrase 'business activity monitoring' (BAM). This phrase aptly sums up the purpose of the business planning task: to monitor an organisations activity in every sense and to develop an understanding of what is happening now with the organisation, where the organisation is going and where the major opportunities for increased profitability lie within it. The author shows how to find out just what is going on within your business.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, it is shown that the amount of effort needed for the transition of an existing ISO 9001:1994 system to ISO 9,001:2000 will be approximately the same as obtaining registration in the first place.
Abstract: It is likely that the amount of effort needed for the transition of an existing ISO 9001:1994 system to ISO 9001:2000 will be approximately the same as obtaining registration in the first place. There are five major conceptual changes that will significantly impact existing 1994 systems: process based, customer focus, measurement, improvement, and top management. The starting point is a thorough understanding of the new standard. The author outlines some initial steps.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors suggest that companies within a turbulent market environment will need to operate in a more responsive manner and adopt an agile philosophy and define an agile manufacturer as the fastest to market, with the lowest total cost and the greatest ability to meet varied customer requirements -the final measure being the ability to delight the customer.
Abstract: Different market conditions require organisations to respond in a variety of ways. The authors suggest that companies within a turbulent market environment will need to operate in a more responsive manner and adopt an agile philosophy. An agile manufacturer can be defined as the fastest to market, with the lowest total cost and the greatest ability to meet varied customer requirements - the final measure being the ability to delight the customer.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors discuss some of the particular performance measurement needs of the SME sector and discuss the benefits of using MRP or similar systems in SME financial information systems.
Abstract: SME financial information systems are less sophisticated and adaptable, they are often just limited to a financial accounting package, and rarely enjoy the benefits of MRP or similar systems. They suffer from issues with yields, with efficiency, and with sales growth. They have customers who demand ever increasing reliability of delivery and faster lead times. As with all companies, the demand for improvements in productivity, reduction in cost, and shorter life-cycles for the introduction of new products grows with each passing year. The author discusses some of the particular performance measurement needs of the SME sector.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors provide a "back to basics" guide to software tools that support lean manufacturing that can be used in the context of a lean implementation of a manufacturing process.
Abstract: There are a number of business challenges that significantly impact the degree of success in a lean implementation. However, there are a number of software tools that can help. The author provides a 'back to basics' guide to software tools that support lean manufacturing.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, a solution that highlights a holonic approach is presented to reduce lead times and reduce resources in the manufacturing environment, and the authors discuss the problems and present a solution to solve them.
Abstract: The pressure for change in the manufacturing environment has been fuelled by necessity for ever-shorter lead times and attendant reduced resources. These constraints have compelled engineers and designers to adopt innovative methods. The authors discuss such problems and present a solution that highlights a holonic approach.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors focus on the implications of a supply source that could reduce unit costs by 80% and the implications for the agility of the supply chain and the ability to maintain customer service performance.
Abstract: The attractions of a supply source that could reduce unit costs by 80% are obvious. Not so obvious are the implications for the agility of the supply chain and the ability to maintain customer service performance. In considering transferring manufacturing to low cost regions, most assessments look at cost benefits and business transferability, but tend to overlook the issues created by an extended supply network. The characteristics of a network incorporating low cost supply sources can drive dramatic and unforeseen effects on business performance. Detailed, objective planning is essential if the unit cost savings are to translate into increased margins.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The West Midlands collaborative commerce marketplace builds on the strengths of the existing models and limits their weaknesses by leveraging regional resources and loyalties as discussed by the authors. But it is not suitable for large companies.
Abstract: Engineering and manufacturing SMEs must embrace e-commerce to survive and prosper. Existing e-commerce models tend to be 'product' orientated, hence the large number of catalogues that exist on the WWW. We believe that engineering companies are defined by their competencies, not by their existing products. Also existing models are biased towards the needs, resources and skills of larger companies. The West Midlands collaborative commerce marketplace builds on the strengths of the existing models and limits their weaknesses by leveraging regional resources and loyalties.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors investigate how small to medium enterprises can benefit from specialist software and consider an IT delivery method that suits the particular software needs of SMEs, and propose a delivery strategy that is suitable for SMEs.
Abstract: Most small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are unable to afford bespoke IT systems. The author investigates how can they benefit from specialist software and considers an IT delivery method that suits the particular software needs of SMEs.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A basic checklist to start one thinking about one's business planning, scheduling and control (PSC) process in a new way and a number of modelling tools that will help to visualise and represent the workings of your business PSC process are provided.
Abstract: Performance measurement systems need to be designed holistically, ensuring they are in line with, and represent, business objectives. The authors challenge some commonly held assumptions about business performance measures. To start one thinking about one's business planning, scheduling and control (PSC) process in a new way, we have provided a PSC process health-check. This is a basic checklist to provide one with pointers to begin to uncover the hidden potential in one's PSC process and to recognise sources for potential improvement. To support this, we also outline a number of modelling tools that will help to visualise and represent the workings of your business PSC process.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The risk-based maintenance strategy presented here supports the maintenance planner in solving two basic problems: calculating the optimal level of the maintenance budget, and identifying the measures to be carried out within the budget.
Abstract: The risk-based maintenance strategy presented here supports the maintenance planner in solving two basic problems: calculating the optimal level of the maintenance budget, and identifying the measures to be carried out within the budget.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors analyze the strategic background of preventive maintenance by introducing the reliability centred maintenance (RCM II) methodology, which is based on the reliability-centred maintenance approach.
Abstract: The future role of preventive maintenance operations requires upheaval in the way industry perceives the act of successful maintenance. The author analyses the strategic background of preventive maintenance by introducing the reliability centred maintenance (RCM II) methodology.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors ask what opportunity e-business really provides, and what kind of opportunities e-Business can provide, rather than just a "cosmetic" Web presence.
Abstract: Adopting e-business, involving more than a 'cosmetic' Web presence, will represent a major initiative for any organisation. The authors ask what opportunity e-business really provides.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that the success of the Six Sigma business improvement initiative is more to do with 'way of life' than 'initiative' and they consider Six Sigma and Ethicon; Six Sigma in practice; influencing success.
Abstract: The authors argue that the success of the Six Sigma business improvement initiative is more to do with 'way of life' than 'initiative'. They consider Six Sigma and Ethicon; Six Sigma in practice; influencing success.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors present the latest industrial trends in product-sourcing practices and present the challenge to an organization is to choose the right sourcing practice, for the right product, at the right time.
Abstract: Many factors impact on the competitiveness of a manufacturer's products and services, and amongst the most influential are product-sourcing practices. The challenge to an organisation is to choose the right sourcing practice, for the right product, at the right time. The authors present the latest industrial trends.


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the author offers some tips towards becoming lean, and describes how IT can support their effort, and discusses the challenges and opportunities of becoming lean in a manufacturing environment.
Abstract: UK manufacturing is in recession. Is this a threat, or an opportunity? The author offers some tips towards becoming lean, and describes how IT can support your effort.