Manufacture Smarter Blog

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Avoiding 5S Graveyards

12/16/2022 - BY: MATT SHOFFNER
While touring a facility, I always look at how workspaces are organized. Occasionally, I see evidence of past Lean initiatives. 5S is the easiest Lean tool to spot on a tour and it is also the easiest to identify when it is no longer in use. When I find 5S that is no longer being followed, I call it a 5S graveyard because that is where 5S went to die. 5S graveyards were once initiatives optimized to improve flow through visual management of a workplace for inventory, tools and everything needed to do a specific job.


New to Quality? Here’s What You Should Learn First

12/9/2022 - BY: BOB JENKINS
When it comes to working in the quality industry, a wise man once told me, “In quality, we don’t have jobs. It’s our responsibility to help everyone else around us do better.” Over the years, I have found that to be incredibly true. So, we must ask ourselves, if we are to be successful in the function of quality, what is important for us to understand and what skills do we need?


A Leafy Roadblock

12/2/2022 - BY: CHARLIE WESTRA
Recently, I tasked my two kids to help with the daunting task of raking what they thought was an endless pile of leaves – a chore they hadn’t helped with much previously due to their ability to help combined with my inability to not push them like I was pushed as a kid. Whispers from my father echoed in my head… “it’s work time, not play time” or “the sooner you start, the sooner we get outta here” or my favorite, “no time for a break, grab a rake.” Despite my father’s best intensions, he always had trouble getting us involved. I just hoped my kids were different.


Happy Thanksgiving from The Center!

11/25/2022 - BY: THE CENTER
We are thankful for Michigan manufacturers and all of our amazing employees! We wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. 


What is "Industry 4.0" and Why Does It Matter?

11/18/2022 The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) shared this video from Automation Alley’s Integr8 conference on Industry 4.0 and how technology can benefit Michigan manufacturers. If you have questions or want to learn more about implementing technology, let us know, and we can provide a free Technology Opportunity Assessment.


Adopting Technology: Automated Material Movers

11/11/2022 - BY: CHUCK WERNER
As educators to small and medium-sized businesses on manufacturing technologies, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center’s (The Center) Industry 4.0 team participates in trade shows, expositions and technology events, allowing us to interact with experts, suppliers and adopters of technology. We are fortunate to experience current technologies, hear about implementation successes and failures, and get to see the upcoming developments in technology. While some of these new products may never mature into “game-changers” for manufacturing, the fact is that some, if not many, go on to revolutionize the processes and producers of products and services alike.


Myth Busters: Common Misconceptions of ISO 9001

11/4/2022 - BY: ANDY NICHOLS
Since its first publication in 1987, the International Standard for Quality Management Systems known as “ISO 9000” has been plagued by many myths. As with all mythology, there are narratives and beliefs which have become almost foundational to the implementation of the ISO 9001 requirements. Like classical myths, those associated with ISO 9001 frequently become rituals which are implemented in the organization’s Quality Management System and become sacrosanct.


How Digital Marketing Can Help Michigan Manufacturers

10/28/2022 - BY: EMILY WICKER
Marketing is a key piece of the business strategy that puts value to products or services to satisfy a customer’s wants and/or needs. As technology continues to play a role in our everyday lives, it is important for manufacturers to utilize Digital Marketing within their overall business strategy.


Don’t Be A Deer In The Headlights When it Comes to Your Quality Policy

10/21/2022 - BY: STEVE VAMPLEW
One of the many services we provide at the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center) is conducting internal audits on our client’s Quality Management System (QMS) or Environmental Management System (EMS). In today’s manufacturing climate, where labor shortages abound, we are being called upon more than ever to perform these internal audits.


Who Watches the Watchers?

10/14/2022 - BY: JEFF WILLIAMS
There’s no doubt we are living in a time where technology and computers have become an integral part of our day-to-day business, and these critical systems are not exempt from the need to be maintained, supported and upgraded. Along with this technology, there is an increased risk to business due to cyber criminals and cyberattacks.


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