We all know that concurrent engineering is supposed to bring design engineers closer to the manufacturing process than they have ever been before. In fact, "design for manufacture" and "design for assembly" have become priorities for more and more product development teams. Even so, unless they work for small companies and have actual manufacturing duties, many design engineers are still "going to school" when it comes to appreciating the latest thinking on production. If you're in that category, I'd like to recommend a little book that will give you a quick education, All I Need to Know about Manufacturing I learned in Joe's Garage (Bayrock Press: (208) 376-2266).
In this easy-reading book, authors William Miller and Vicki Schenk highlight some of the chief concerns of manufacturing today, using a mythical Saturday shelf-building project in Joe's garage. Bit by bit, the book reveals what the authors see as the "Ten Commandments" of manufacturing excellence:
Improve product design to enhance manufacturability and to increase functionality and reliability for customers.
Reduce the per-unit consumption of purchased material and supplies.
Pull production stingily through the factory pipeline instead of mindlessly pushing material and labor into it.
Build and ship rapidly to improve manufacturing productivity, rather than storing and moving inventory.
Squeeze time out of the cycle from order receipt through shipment by eliminating redundant tasks that don't contribute directly to output or quality.
Refine the production process to promote simplicity and to trim resource consumption.
Identify and eliminate manufacturing errors at the point of commission.
Simplify information and control systems and make sure to integrate them efficiently with design and production.
Cooperate and coordinate with suppliers and service providers to share knowledge and increase joint effectiveness.
Strive continually for incremental improvements in all activities that relate to the design, manufacture, and delivery of the product.
Take a look at this list and consider your own company's production system. How have you changed the way you design products based on the increasing pressures to manufacture more efficiently and with higher quality? If you've got a good success story to tell about the payoffs of closer design-manufacturing ties, please send a fax to me at:FAX: (617) 558-4402.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.