are the Best Practices and Process Controls?
2005 message from Ed Craig to
Auto / Truck Industry Management.
the North American manufacturing industry completely turned it's back on the common
sense manufacturing principles that Deming applied for Japanese manufactures over
50 years ago. If alive today and familiar with MIG welding and robots, perhaps
Deming might agree with statements like these.
Robot and manual weld quality / productivity ownership is a management function.
It's the management's responsibility to ensure that their engineers, technicians,
supervisors have the knowledge and ability to establish Best Weld Practices.
It's the management's responsibility to ensure the personnel in their organizations
are provided with the training necessary for engineers, technicians, supervisors
and shop floor personnel to establish and maintain Weld Process Controls.
Required weld sizes and specifications should come from the company that designs
the parts, the methods to weld, process,
consumables, parameters, best practices, process
controls should come from the supplier of the welded parts.
 In a time
when weld quality focus is typically after the welds are complete, its logical
that to control weld costs / quality, a manufacturer should utilize more resources
and focus on how to control the process to minimize the opportunity for weld defects.
OWNERSHIP, BEST PRACTICES AND PROCESS CONTROLS.
HOW MANY MANAGERS AND ENGINEERS
KNOW WHERE THE BUCK STOPS?
April 2005. Bob Lutz the Vice Chairman of GM finally speaks out on the expertise
of some of his engineers.
During a speech to the at the Society of Automotive Engineers, GM Vice Chairman
Bob Lutz states, that US. auto manufacturers could streamline there design process
if American design engineers were trained more like their Asian or European counterparts.
Bob continues, "we are actually training our North American engineers to
be "managers" while the rest of the world trains them to be doers".
I wonder if the chairman of GM also recognizes the root cause and much greater
cost consequences of a more serious engineering qualification issue?
LACK OF PROCESS CONTROL EXPERTISE OF ENGINEERS IN THE LAST TWO DECADES HAS HAD
A TREMENDOUS IMPACT ON THE PROFITABILITY OF MANY HIGH VOLUME PART MANUFACTURERS
FROM JOHN DEERE TO GENERAL MOTORS. GM HAS BEEN A LEADER IN "LACK OF MANAGEMENT
/ ENGINEERING PROCESS OWNERSHIP" AND OVER THE LAST DECADE IT'S PAID AN EXTENSIVE
PRICE FOR ITS PROCESS APATHY.
course Bob Lutz is correct on his criticism of engineering expertise, however
its a pity that while Bob was giving his speech, he did not place a positive spin
on it and recognize the contribution of his companies "technicians and maintenance
personnel". Every day these guys have to step up to the plate and provide
unique, band aid engineering solutions to compensate for ineffective engineers
and managers who simply do not do understand the requirements for automation best
practices, process ownership, process responsibility and process controls.
message should be clear for auto / truck plants. Qualified, key manufacturing
management and engineers need to take ownership of the equipment vital to their
organization and the first step is, the manufacturing management should have the
fundamental ability to recognize the short comings of their engineers, technicians
and supervisors. Management should insist when required that these key individuals
receive real world best practices / process control training programs.
For those companies that spend money on training programs and they still
have nagging manufacturing issues, face the reality, the training programs you
provided are not meeting the manufacturing objectives. The message should be clear.
Change your training methods.
Just imagine the auto plant of the future, a plant where you would find that the
parts delivered to the robot weld cells, actually meet the as designed dimensional
Just imagine in auto plants of the future, where the engineers on the shop floor
can actually program robots, lasers and other CNC controlled equipment and even
make repairs to that equipment.
Just imagine in the auto plant of the future, engineers who can without
the aid of a book, salesman or equipment vendor, actually
control their manufacturing processes
Just imagine the auto plant of the future, a facility where
global, uniform manufacturing practices are established, where effective process
controls are in place. The welds will be managed by individuals that actually
understand weld costs, deposition rates and the requirements to daily attain maximum
robot weld quality and production efficiency.