Manufacture Smarter Blog

Positive A3 DMAIC Problem-Solving Culture

9/16/2016 All members of a company have a responsibility to solve workplace problems. Effective problem solving is critical for personal and business success. However, being able to execute solutions in a timely and cost-effective manner is often a challenge. Without a positive Lean problem solving culture, even the best process is less likely to realize results. Successful Problem Solving Methodology The key to successful problem resolution is approaching the process with a systematic and logical problem solving methodology.


Detroit’s LIFT Gearing Up for Small and Mid-Sized Members

6/24/2016 Do you ever wonder how the Federal Government can assist your company?  Or why the perks which seem to flow to major US corporations don’t trickle down to your business?  Well, times are changing and resources are available!  Two years ago, the National Network for Manufacturing Initiatives (NNMI) was formed to make sure that technology developed through defense and other government programs would reach small and mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs). In Michigan, Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT) - located on Rosa Parks Boulevard in Detroit - boasts 100,000 square feet of unique, manufacturing-scale capacity and focuses on supporting the transfer of new metal processing technology to commercial applications.


Getting the Word Out: Environmental Public Policy

5/13/2016 For years, one of the requirements for ISO 14001 was to make the Environmental Policy “available to the public”. The most common way to accomplish this was to place it on the company’s website. With ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015, the current requirement is to make the policy: “available to interested parties” (ISO 14001:2015 Clause 5.2) “available to relevant interested parties, as appropriate” (ISO 9001:2015 Clause 5.2.2) Identifying “Interested” So, the question is: Outside of the website, how do you make the policy available?  Before you start jumping through hoops, let’s find out what hoops need to be jumped through.


The Fly in the Ointment - ISO 13485:2016

4/29/2016 For those of you whose organization has a Quality Management System (QMS) and an Environmental Management System (EMS), the act of integrating both systems into one can prove difficult. When ISO 14001:2015 was released, a sign of relief was heard around the world when it was discovered it followed the same High Level Structure (HLS) as ISO 9001:2015. But now, companies who have both ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 are facing pressure, and the unknown, in making it all work together. ISO 13485:2016 is Here ISO 13485:2016, which represents the requirements for a comprehensive quality management system for the design and manufacture of medical devices, was released in February 2016.


Lean Manufacturing – Don’t Leave Home Without it!

4/8/2016 In today’s age, it is amazing that some manufacturers have not yet heard of “Lean”. The question is: How are they surviving in today’s competitive market without it? The issue is that, in many ways, the customer sets pricing. If manufacturers want to be profitable, they must find ways to become more efficient and effective with internal manufacturing processes. Target Pricing Lean works to drive down your costs; therefore the every penny you save is added directly to your profit. Companies that implement Lean typically make significant cost savings which have a very real impact on the company’s profitability.


Boost Welding Profits with Improved Analytics

3/18/2016 Now, more than ever before, the economy is experiencing a more competitive manufacturing industry. Taking advantage of every opportunity is crucial in keeping up with and surpassing the competition. If your business is already an industry leader, continuous improvement is necessary to stay ahead of the pack. Investing in Equipment When thinking about investing in new welding equipment, there are some important things to consider.  The latest generation of welding equipment is designed with embedded capability of welding-data capturing and analytic software, which can help metal formers elevate their weld-shop quality and productivity to new heights.


Recruiting Tips for Michigan’s Manufacturers

3/4/2016 Throughout the years, manufacturing jobs and technology have evolved. In order to be successful and sustain quality employees, recruiting efforts must also evolve with them. Manufacturing companies now require potential employees to have superior science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) capabilities. Organizations also face the ongoing challenge of recruiting the best and most qualified employees to maintain growth and meet bottom line expectations. In this technologically advanced world, what are the best ways to attract and recruit well-equipped employees? 4 Common Recruiting Challenges   The first step is identifying recruiting challenges before designing a recruitment plan.


Manufacturing 101: Quality Through The Pareto Graphic

2/26/2016 Continuing with Part 2 of our Manufacturing 101 blog series (See Part 1), we’re moving forward from the first few weeks of managing tedious lists to the next task of effectively collecting and reporting data. In order to appropriately display data, it is crucial to convey the true message and focus. Selecting the Right Graphic When highlighting a focus area, pictures always work best. If you were trained as an engineer, fighting the urge to project arguments as data may be difficult. You want to choose a graphic that will appeal to any audience and is easily understood.