Metrics are often derived or calculated from a multitude of measures or from data. Metrics give us a progress report or a status level of some type of performance. Data is a raw output of a process or a test or an experiment. Most times data is not useful until it is turned into some form of information by an analysis of some kind.
There is still a far greater emotional response to a factory closing than to an engineering firm opening. It’s not that plant closings are trivial, or that engineering is somehow superior. But there may be a problem with our focus on factories in that it takes energy away from aggressively developing more advanced services.
We, as engineers, all play a vital role in the world actually functioning. Without these job roles being fulfilled by skilled people, the world would start to break down slowly. A world without engineering would be a world without humanity, our ability to design and create makes us unique in the natural world.
I want to invite you to go take a walk out onto your shop floor. Notice anything else about your workforce? Some of them may be graying and soon preparing to retire. The age of your workforce represents a good opportunity for qualified younger employees to step in and launch their career. The problem you face is finding that young person.
Amid the news that Chrysler was being merged with its Italian owners Fiat, and many still-unanswered questions about the future of what used to be one of America’s “Big 3” automakers, the company has doubled-down on its very U.S.-focused — and some say ironically xenophobic — advertising scheme.
There is much debate over the effectiveness of the strategy, the affect it has had on “American” brand quality, and the affect it is having on the U.S. economy and its ability to pull out of the current recession.
Through 108 different scenarios in a model, the researchers found that even if EDVs made up 42 percent of passenger vehicles in the U.S., there would be little or no reduction in the emission of key air pollutants.
Normally companies will have a schedule that is written to audit their entire quality system on an annual basis. Usually the Quality Manager or Engineer is responsible for creating this schedule. The schedule consists of the elements of the standard to be audited, who will be auditing and when the results are due.
The implications for spares and repairs inventory are obvious — rather than keeping safety stock on hand, parts could be printed as needed from a stock of materials.
We are virtually bombarded by the phenomenon of data-driven headlines. On any given day we might read that cigarette smoking is on the rise, or that book sales are down, but without seeing the data plot over a long time we don’t really know what those headlines mean.
Seeing China’s manufacturing sector shrink is a trend that excites Americans, although it may not actually alleviate much of the pressure around a U.S. unemployment rate of 7.3 percent. The reality, according to many experts, is that the phenomenon is more one of nearshoring than reshoring, as many of these businesses — along with their jobs — head to Mexico.
The science of mapping performance distributions told us exactly where we could set our process controls in order to ensure virtually 100% defect-free results. It is a better method than assuming or guessing at an appropriate safety factor.
Being a technology that has been around for some 25 to 30 years, additive manufacturing (3D printing) was bound to make some intriguing changes and advances, as is expected every year. So why on Earth is 3D printing the biggest market disruptor of 2013?
Except among the deeply process-minded fellows with whom I sometimes converse, the suggestion that process mapping is a valuable market analysis and planning tool meets with argument and outright dismissal more often than it does serious consideration.
Did you ever wonder who is involved in the creation and promulgation of these standards? Most people have no idea – and it’s an incredibly important piece of business intelligence to have, since those at the table where standards are developed have the opportunity to shape the specifications and market acceptance of products and systems for every industry.
An in-depth post-mortem can actually increase confidence in a business and encourage more trust. Everyone and every business makes mistakes, and often, what separates a successful one from a failed one is the way in which they respond to the unexpected. Proving that your company can do just that should be a matter of pride, not shame.
Generally speaking, the real challenge is not solving the problem. The real challenge is managing the chaos. Everyone is so busy being busy for the sake of appearing like they are solving the problem, that no one can invest the time and attention for critical thought.
A key lean trend is consolidating suppliers and doing away with redundancies. Although this certainly creates cost efficiencies, the main suppliers who are left quite often end up providing needed parts to many companies in the same industry. And if these companies are all depending on the same supplier, or only a few suppliers, unforeseen production problems or sudden shifts in demand can easily send ripples throughout multiple systems.
Chrysler has technically been “foreign-owned” since July 2011, but the recent deal makes it all the more real: might be an American-headquartered company, but it’s also a fully-owned subsidiary of an Italian company. That’s an important distinction, one that means Chrysler simply isn’t in the same playing field as Ford and GM, no matter each of their origins.
No 105-inch TV will ever be affordable for anyone who doesn’t own a private jet — not till the tech is long past its prime, anyway. And these gargantuan show-stoppers were never really intended for (general) public consumption. CES is all about the glitz and glam, after all, and a 105-inch toy makes for great PR.