August 14th we published a post that asked the question-“What does the precision machining shop of the future look like?”
We also posted the link to several relevant groups on LinkedIn.
Jim Henderson, Continuous Improvement Consultant at Kalman Manufacturing replied to the discussion  on the American Machinist Metalworking Group on LinkedIn.
We think that you will appreciate his vision of our future. and perhaps find some actionable ideas in his post.
His vision reframes the question to “What do the employees in our future precision machining shops look like?”
His vision of the shop of the future is not at all staffed like ours are today…
Here is Jim Henderson’s  reply:
“Interesting discussion. I see the successful shops of the future as being highly automated. Lots of multi-axis lathe/mill and FMS.
My vision of the employees of the future may not be in line with others. In fact it may infuriate some.
I see highly educated, as in engineers with B.S. degrees in industrial, mechanical engineering and other related disciplines. Quality engineers adding value through process validation and contributing to manufacturing process development, not trying to inspect quality into the parts. A collaborative relationship with all. These college graduate engineers will be the value add in the shop of the future.
The advanced equipment of the present and future requires highly educated programmers to optimize it’s utilization. They do need the talent/experience of the long term machinists for advice!!
Fortunately on the other end of the spectrum there will be a need for operators and support personnel.
The $$ generated per employee will rise considerable due to the throughput of the equipment. Thus resulting in less employees overall.
The best news is, from my experience, if a shop uses best practices in all areas of it’s business there is such a demand in the U.S. that those shops can be highly profitable. Therefore they can provide a very handsome benefit package to their employees. This can result in attracting good recruits and high employee retention. For those shop owners and employees that are willing to step up and play the game with this formula, manufacturing in the U.S. can have a true renaissance.
For those that want to continue arguing about who is to blame and why there should be more government funding for training etc. the future is indeed bleak.
We all need to get together and right the ship for our collective success.”
There you have it. A positive view of our future shops through the lens of what our future workforce might look like.
Are you actively working on workforce issues for your shop’s future?
You can bet Jim Henderson’s shop is…

Designed for use by those having the responsibility for the administration and operation of motor vehicles as a part of organizational operations.

Effective August 20, 2012, this standard provides guidance for organizations regarding:

  • Occupant Restraints;
  •  Impaired Driving;
  •  Distracted Driving;
  •  Aggressive Driving;
  • Journey Management;
  •  Fatigue;

Operational polices including:

  •  Driver Qualifications;
  •  Vehicle Management;
  •  Incident reporting;
  •  Business  and personal use of vehicles;
  •  Driver-owned and leased vehicles;
  •  Rental cars

“This standard gives employers a credible tool that is reflective of best practices. Employers who operate noncommercial fleets can learn from commercial fleet operators on matters of common interest,” ASSE professional member and ANSI/ASSE Z15 committee member Tim Healey, director of safety, at The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co. (HSB), said. “After all, common management goals, regardless of who the fleet operator is, should include crash avoidance – and all of the fatalities, injuries, property damage and expenses that result – as well as economical/efficient operation. No employer can afford to have an employee operate under the influence, text, or fall asleep while driving on company business, whether it is in an 80,000 pound tractor trailer or a 3,600 pound sedan.”

If you do not now have a  “written motor vehicle safety program that defines organizational requirements, responsibilities and accountabilities for drivers and motor vehicle safety; a written safety policy that includes communicating management’s concern for the health and well-being of drivers throughout the organization;  a system of responsibility and accountability in order to ensure effective implementation of a vehicle safety program,” this new ASSE standard can help you implement these best practices.

Get the standard.

Compliance comments: “The use of American National Standards is completely voluntary; their existence does not in any respect preclude anyone, whether he/she has approved the standards or not, from manufacturing, marketing, purchasing, or using products, processes, or procedures not conforming to the standards.”

 SPEAKINGOFPRECISION SAYSIt is likely that this standard will be come the basis for regulatory enforcement as its best practices are adopted.

Counting parts with scales is not rocket science.
But getting the accuracy in the count done efficiently is a challenge akin to a moonshot if you are the person that has to resolve the piece count discrepancy paperwork…



When accurate counts are critical

The first webinar is called Best Practice in Piece Counting.
It covers

  • Principle and benefits of piece counting with a scale
  • Application areas of piece counting solutions
  • Challenges associated with counting
  • Solutions and best practices

The second webinar Smart Weighing Solutions for Lean Production  will show you how to minimize waste using accurate scale based counting systems and Statistical Quality Control.  
The first half is a nice review of Mettler’s own lean journey in manufacturing.
The second half has a number of case studies regarding parts, shops, and customers like ours.
We see on time delivery and significant reduction in stock inventories as the primary advantages of using such systems.
 Plus you will save time and money.
We relied on Mettler technology in the labs that I worked in.
I’m forwarding you these links to maybe help you
Find a better weigh…
 Mettler Toledo offers two  free, on demand webinars that will help you understand  (and resolve) the issues of using scales to accurately count component parts.