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Most readers are at least familiar with continuous improvement programs such as lean and six sigma. Perhaps your shop or company is well along in the implementation of one or the other—if not both. But what about theory of constraints (TOC), introduced in Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt’s 1984 book, The Goal? Despite its rather negative-sounding name, this continuous improvement process has much to offer manufacturers of all stripes. And when combined with lean and six sigma, the results can be dramatic. Dr. Lisa Lang, a TOC consultant and speaker, explains why and how in the following Q&A session with Gear Technology.
When the term, “what you see is what you get” is applied in the computer industry, it means that users or customers are able to see their end results without the encumbrances of complicated software code that enables this function. Software works behind the scenes ultimately to produce transparency and the desired effects. In many ways, this concept should be extended to the relationships that exist between suppliers and buyers and even among internal company departments.
This is the first article in an eight-part "reality" series on implementing continuous improvement at Hoerbiger Corporation. Throughout 2013, Dr. Shahrukh Irani will report on his progress applying the job shop lean strategies he developed during his time at Ohio State University.
In order to improve load-carrying capacity and noise behavior, gears usually have profile and lead modifications. Furthermore, in gears where a specified tooth-flank load application direction (for drive and coast flanks) is a design enhancement, or even compulsory, the asymmetric tooth profile is a further solution. Nowadays, many gears need to be hard finished. Continuous generating grinding offers a very high process efficiency, but is this process able to grind all modifications, especially asymmetric gears? Yes, it is!
For many in the gear and gear products business, these may seem like the best of times...