Manufacture Smarter Blog

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How the Kaizen Philosophy Can Improve your Organization

7/17/2015 - THE CENTER
The word Kaizen is often referenced when talking about Lean Manufacturing. Kaizen is a combination of two Japanese words: ‘Kai’ meaning change and ‘Zen’ meaning good. Kaizen combines these words to express the idea that big changes come from many small changes over a period of time. For manufacturers, business process improvement and an increase in profit is the result of many small changes accumulated over time.


Consistency is Key: Top Benefits of Standardized Work

7/10/2015 - THE CENTER
All manufacturers want to boost productivity and efficiency while reducing errors and accidents. Standardization of work, which can be difficult to adopt initially, can be an effective way to increase productivity and efficiency since it defines expectations, formalizes processes and creates accountability.


Celebrate Michigan Manufacturing and American Quality!

7/2/2015 - THE CENTER
Manufacturers have helped the United States through most of the challenging times confronted as a nation. It was the manufacturing capacity of the United States that proved decisive in World War II. Only America had the manufacturing infrastructure to accomplish such things. The world was a better place because manufacturers played a vital role


Workforce Engagement: How Important Is It To Your Organization?

6/26/2015 - THE CENTER
Workforce engagement can be interpreted as the execution of discretionary effort. It can be seen as a combination of commitment to the organization and its values, plus a willingness to help colleagues. It is important to note it is NOT the same as employee satisfaction. Thirty years of research tells us a satisfied employee is not necessarily a productive one.


Become more Marketable with Green Manufacturing

6/19/2015 - THE CENTER
Kermit the Frog famously says, “It’s not easy being green.” With all do respect to Kermit, it’s easier than you think!The “green” movement is the sister of sustainability. Sustainability, or green manufacturing, means working within the means of natural ecosystems without causing harm to others or jeopardizing future needs. It also means reducing environmental impact and cultivating renewable resources.


Lighten the Load With Lightweight Materials

6/12/2015 - THE CENTER
If you’ve ever taken a physics class or rearranged your furniture, you know the heavier an object is, the more energy it requires to move it. The same principle applies to automobiles and other types of transportation. This is great news for consumers! This means the lighter a vehicle, the less energy it takes to accelerate, and the better its fuel economy will ultimately be.


Choosing a Path For Your Company: Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing or a Combination of Both?

6/5/2015 - THE CENTER
Every day, MMTC is out consulting with Michigan’s manufacturers about how to improve their competitiveness. While we work with a diverse group of companies – from food and chemical producers to automobile parts and metal manufacturers – organizations of all industries and sizes are focused on process improvement to boost profits.


Waste Not, Want Not With Lean: Common Wastes in Your Office

5/29/2015 - THE CENTER
Historically, when you think of Lean, manufacturing is most likely to immediately pop into your mind. But in recent years, following the success of Lean manufacturing on the shop floor, many office environments have begun realizing the same strategies can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and eliminate wastes. Implementation can be challenging if improperly executed, but when done correctly and with the right guidance, there are significant benefits to be realized in an office environment.


ISO 9001 Changes: Do I Wait Until 2016 or Get Certified Now?

5/22/2015 - THE CENTER
There have been many questions circulating from our manufacturers regarding ISO 9001 certification. One of the most prevalent questions was whether a company should register to ISO 9001:2008 now, or wait until ISO 9001:2015 is released. Although it may sound counter intuitive, the best option may be to register to ISO 9001:2008 now and then plan to transition to the 2015 version at a later time. 


What Color is Your Belt? The Importance of Six Sigma and Belt Certifications

5/15/2015 - THE CENTER
For most companies in the business world, reducing costs is viewed upon positively. But, for those who speak of it, BEWARE! Sometimes, the idea of reducing costs becomes synonymous with cutting staff in the manufacturing world, especially in the minds of employees. Instead of focusing on just reducing costs, manufacturers should prioritize their efforts and focus on reducing excess and unnecessary costs. This is where Six Sigma comes in.


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