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Articles About lean manufacturing
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The presidents of two manufacturing companies were having a drink in the lobby before the start of their trade association's annual meeting...
Two high-volume gear production cells grace the shop floor at Delta Research Corporation in Livonia, Michigan. Thanks to lean manufacturing, these cells have never shipped a defective part to a customer since they were developed over three years ago.
Why traditional lean manufacturing approaches need to be adapted for job shop environments.
Make no mistake -- lean manufacturing is here to stay. And no wonder. As a fiercely competitive global economy continues to alter companiesâ€™ â€śMain Streetâ€ť thinking, that relatively new dynamic is spurring the need for â€śI-need-it-yesterdayâ€ť production output. And for increasingly more industries -- big or small -- that means getting as lean as you can, as fast as you can.
Readers respond to our "Job Shop Lean" column and the "My Gear is Bigger than Your Gear" article.
The final installment of our Job Shop Lean series includes a wide variety of educational resources to help you continue your own lean journey.
Over the past few months I've talked with several different gear manufacturers who are in the process of upgrading their gear making equipment with modern CNC machine tools. Each of these manufacturers has come to the realization that in order to stay competitive, he needs to streamline operations and become more efficient...
Job shops may be ill-advised to undertake a complete reorganization into FLEAN (Flexible and Lean) cells. A FLEAN cell would (i) be flex-ible enough to produce any and all orders for parts that belong in a specific part family and (ii) utilize lean to the maximum extent possible to eliminate waste.
Although a cell is dedicated to produce a single part family, it must have the requisite equipment capabilities, routing flexibility, cross-trained employees and, to the extent possible, minimal external process dependencies. Cells are often implemented in job shops since they provide the operational benefits of flowline production.
The Tiger Team from Hoerbiger looks for ways to cut waste and improve throughput in the company's assembly cell.
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 the August issue, we examined the lean tools that will and will not work in high-mix, low-volume manufacturing facilities. Now, we will examine how to implement the tools that will work in the job shop with an approach that expands the capabilities of value stream mapping.
While universally known as a Japanese â€śinventionâ€ť that was popularized by Toyota, lean in fact traces its roots to the work of post-World War II American occupation forces in Japan.
Google â€ślean manufacturingâ€ť and you will find a virtually endless font of information regarding formal lean implementation. Youâ€™ll see definitions for Japanese words such as kaizen, gemba, muda, mura, kanban, and so on. You will also find other variations or iterations of lean, e.g.: Six Sigma, Lean Sigma, TPS (Toyota Production System), TOC (Theory of Constraints), JIT (Just in Time), and others.
How lean manufacturing principles can help transform your gear manufacturing business.
POLCA: An alternative to Kanban for high-variety or custom-engineered products.
Latest new from the Gear Industry
Latest news about the Latest Products
News about New Products
The complete Industry News section from the March/April 2015 issue of Gear Technology.
In this special section, our editors have gathered recent news and information related to the heat treatment of gears. Here youâ€™ll find a comprehensive assortment of news and upcoming events that will help you understand the various heat treatment processes available for gears and choose the best option for your projects, whether you heat treat in-house or send your gears to a commercial heat treating provider.
The complete Product News section from the October 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
The complete Product News section from the March/April 2015 issue of Gear Technology.
News from around the Gear Industry
The complete product news section from the September / October 2014 Issue Gear Technology.
The complete Industry News section from the August 2014 issue of Gear Technology.
The complete Product News section from the January/February 2014 issue of Gear Technology.
Latest News from around the industry
Onshore and offshore wind turbines boast some of the most critical assets in order to run effectively.
Emerging technologies such as robotics/automation, new materials, additive manufacturing and IIoT can and will change the course of gear manufacturing for the foreseeable future.
Our special advertising section featuring some of the premier gear industry suppliers at IMTS 2016.
News From Around the Gear Industry
In a capitalist society, the way things usually work is that government and academia focus on research and development, while industry focuses on commercialization. The result is an increasingly wide disconnect in the applied research sector, which deals primarily with technology development and demonstration.
News from around the Gear Industry
The latest from Liebherr, Gleason, Klingelnberg and more.
Gear Technology hosts dinner for technical contributors to the gear industry during this year's AGMA Fall Technical Meeting and Gear Expo in Columbus, OH. Plus other news from around the industry.
As the founder, president and co-host of Manufacturing Talk Radio, as well as publisher of Metals & Manufacturing Outlook eZine, I am excited to report that the economic outlook for 2018 is just too good not to tout. Whatever "final GDP number" the government divines for 2017, the year will finish above 3% for the first time in a decade.
The complete Industry News section from the August 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
Fraunhofer CMI focuses on new U.S. gear and transmission technologies group, plus other news from around the industry.
New machining fluids for automotive, jaw boring rings, virtual machine simulation and coordinate measuring software are highlighted in the March/April 2018 issue of Gear Technology.
In helicopter applications, the two-piece gear is typically joined by welding, bolts, or splines. In the case of the U.S. Army CH-47D Chinook helicopter, a decision was made to eliminate these joints through the use of integral design. Integral shaft spiral bevel gears must be designed such that the shaft does not interfere with gear tooth cutting and grinding. This paper discusses techniques to iterate in the design stage before manufacturing begins.
The complete Product News section from the March/April 2019 issue of Gear Technology.
The complete Industry News section from the March/April 2019 issue of Gear Technology.
The secret to meeting today's inspection demands is influenced by the technology and those in charge of operating it.
The complete Product News section from the September 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
Computers are everywhere. It's gotten so that it's hard to find an employee who isn't using one in the course of his or her day - whether he be CEO or salesman, engineer or machinist. Everywhere you look, you find the familiar neutral-colored boxes and bright glowing screens. And despite the gear industry's traditional reluctance to embrace new technology, more and moe of what you find on those screens are gears.
We are well into an odd-number year, so it must be just about time for another Gear Expo. Indeed, the big show -- Gear Expo 2013 -- kicks off in Indianapolis at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 17, wrapping up Thursday the 19th at 4:00 p.m. And whether you are exhibiting or attending, the bottom line is you are going -- a good thing for you, your company and the tightly knit U.S. gear industry.
If anyone should ever need convincing that the state of American manufacturing is in ongoing decline, consider this: the state of Michigan has the highest concentration of engineers in the country, yet also has the highest unemployment rate. But there are ripples of hope out there as grassroots and otherwise organized groups are fighting the good fight in an attempt to reverse that trend.
The gear companies enjoying the most success in today’s global market are those that firmly believe quality is much more than expert craftsmanship and foolproof inspection methodologies.
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 otherâ€”if not both. But what about theory of constraints (TOC), introduced in Dr. Eliyahu Goldrattâ€™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.
For many in the gear and gear products business, these may seem like the best of times...
A look at three gear industry companies at varying stages in the journey.
When the term, â€śwhat you see is what you getâ€ť 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.
Not long ago, many manufacturing managers thought sensitivity to environmental protection standards meant additional expenses, decreased productivity, and a plethora of headaches and hassles.
The complete Industry News section from the January/February 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
The shipping department is the closest to the customer, and its main objective is to maximize shipped orders every month. Our lean guru shows how to eliminate waste in the shipping department.
A look at some of the software options available to help with lean scheduling in a job shop
News about the latest products in the industry.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that material properties can and will play a greater role than before in addressing the challenges most transmission manufacturers are facing today. Making use of materials' intrinsic fatigue properties provides a new design tool to support the market changes taking place.
Gear designers face constant pressure to increase power density in their drivetrains. In the automotive industry, for example, typical engine torque has increased significantly over the last several decades. Meanwhile, the demands for greater fuel efficiency mean designers must accommodate these increased loads in a smaller, more lightweight package than ever before. In addition, electric and hybrid vehicles will feature fewer gears, with fewer transmission speeds, running at higher rpms, meaning the gears in those systems will have to endure life cycles far beyond what is typical with internal combustion engines.
When you push 850 horsepower and 9,000 rpm through a racing transmission, you better hope it stands up. Transmission cases and gears strewn all over the racetrack do nothing to enhance your standing, nor that of your transmission supplier.
This article gives readers a glimpse of some companies that manufacture gears in the Far East. We've talked with more than a dozen companies in India, Taiwan and Korea...
The complete Industry News section from the May 2013 issue of Gear Technology
When Forest City Gear started manufacturing gears for medical components in the 1980s, it was a minuscule part of the company's business. Today, the medical device industry represents 18-20%.
The struggles of the manufacturing economy in 2009 are well documented. Even among those of us with long careers, most of us have never seen activity come to a screeching halt the way it did last year. 2009 was tough on all of us. So, what should we expect in 2010?
Publisher Michael Goldstein discusses the loss of U.S. manufacturing capability and what we should do about it.
A series of short reports on global manufacturing growth and the gear industry's role.
What was once recognized as the unique genius of America is now slipping away from us and, in many areas, is now seen as a "second rate" capability. Unless action is taken now, this country is in real danger of being unable to regain its supremacy in technological development and economic vigor. First Americans must understand the serious implications of the problem; and second, we must dedicate ourselves to national and local actions that will ensure a greater scientific and technological literacy in America.
Nashville - One of the highlights of this year's SME Advanced Gear Processing and Manufacturing Clinic was a tour of the new GM Saturn automobile manufacturing plant outside the city. There in the Tennessee hills is a hopeful vision of the future of the American automobile industry. It may well be the future of American large-scale manufacturing in general.
Popular wisdom has it that manufacturing in the United States is no longer a viable entity. We are told that quality is poor, skilled labor is difficult to obtain, if not impossible, demand is low, and the government is helping to discourage business. So what should we do, give up?
It wasnâ€™t so very long ago that a high school-educated, able-bodied person with a will to work typically had little trouble finding a decent job in manufacturing. Whether at an area job shop, an OEM plant or auto plantâ€”work was to be had. Work that paid well enough to marry, buy a home, feed, raise and educate a familyâ€”with even enough left over for a modest retirement pension.
Before we get into projections and prognostications about the future, letâ€™s take a minute to review 2012. For many in the gear industry, the year was better than expected. Some manufacturers had a very successful year leading up to an even more successful manufacturing trade show (IMTS 2012). Others were searching for more business, hoping that the general state of the economy wouldnâ€™t make things worse. In some cases, it did.
The complete Industry News section from the November/December 2012 issue of Gear Technology.
The complete Product News section from the January/February 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
"Design for manufacturability" (DFM) is a well-established practice, essential to realizing the successful transformation of concepts into mass-produced gears and motion control devices. And yet, all too often issues that could have been avoided are identified very late in the process that impact production costs and schedules. This suggests that key DFM principles are often underutilized in practice and are not applied consistently - or to the degree necessary - to avoid these negative results.
Itâ€™s been said that the best ideas are often someone else's. But with rebuilt, retrofitted, re-controlled or remanufactured machine tools, buyer beware and hold onto your wallet. Sourcing re-work vendors and their services can require just as much homework, if not necessarily dollars, as with just-off-the-showroom-floor machines.
The complete Industry News section from the July 2019 issue of Gear Technology.