Will industry accept manufacturing skill standards?
August 31, 2012
Today the Governor's office in my home state issued a report on the status of manufacturing in Pennsylvania along with a series of specific recommendations for encouraging growth in manufacturing. As has been discussed many times in this blog, the report confirmed: "the most pressing problem now and for the near-term is finding people with the education and skills to fill the high-quality manufacturing positions currently available"; and "Of equal...
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Can we repatriate manufacturing?
November 30, 2011
People are beginning to discuss bringing back to the US some of the manufacturing operations that were previously taken off-shore. This is an exciting prospect, potentially good for our economic well-being, quality of life and national security. But it is not without its challenges. I was privileged to participate in a meeting of the Manufacturing Leadership Council, held in conjunction with Automation Fair, where experts in manufacturing, government policy, and...
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Tips for improving manufacturing productivity
August 31, 2011
Productivity in manufacturing is about performing within or improving upon the budgetary boundaries that have been established for an operation. Productivity will depend upon the efficient use of labor, energy, and material and is thus affected by all of the terms in the OEE equation. In this, the third in a series of posts based upon the Packaging Automation Forum held recently in Chicago, I share and comment upon the...
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Using OEE and SPC to improve quality and productivity
July 29, 2011
Quality is the process of producing products that meet specifications. It is but one of three elements of Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), the other two being uptime and rate. It is fair to say that we cannot produce quality without measurement. We may either measure to insure that our processes are in control and thus infer that product quality is achieved or we may measure product attributes directly to insure...
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Implications for packaging as US manufacturing rebounds
January 22, 2011
Manufacturing output, productivity, capital investment and jobs are all on the rise as the US creeps out of recession according to this week's Wall St. Journal. As worldwide demand for goods increases, especially in Asia, some US manufacturers are once again investing in capacity in the US and using their overseas capacity to fill overseas demand. With suitable government support, cooperation between labor and management and a return to teaching...
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5S - Unintended Consequences
October 22, 2010
I've heard that application of the 5S methodology is having some unintended consequences in the area of maintenance. Is this possibly a miss-application of the process or are there some roads that 5S will lead you down that were not intended?...
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Good times ahead for packaging machinery
July 30, 2010
As more and more companies report increased earnings along with disappointing sales, this says to me that good times are ahead for packaging machinery companies and others who facilitate automation. Why? Because the only way to increase earnings on weak sales is through gains in productivity. These hard times are providing proof positive that there is another wave of productivity gains that can be achieved even by those who were...
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What grinds my gears!
July 22, 2009
I like to keep OnTheEdgeBlog focused on issues that directly affect packaging, but sometimes we need to go off on a tangent when we discover something remarkable, innovative or disturbing. This time, it is the latter. I don't remember anything in recent months that has ground my gears like the report of Goldman Sachs earning $3.44 billion in profits in the second quarter....
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Higher wages: one solution to cheap labor
June 29, 2009
We often hear about cheap overseas labor destroying the US manufacturing base. The response of threatened manufacturers is often to pull in, cut spending and try to beat the foreign competition at their own game by squeezing labor costs. But, you can't save your way to prosperity. A better solution might be to reinvest in people and advanced technology....
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OEE - Still a blur on the radar screen
May 29, 2009
Among the key performance indicators (KPI's) that grocery manufacturing executives think are most important, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) is number four on the list after quality, cost and safety. Yet compared to the first three, there is little understanding of how to implement the OEE measurement. I believe this is yet another indication of the suits and the geeks failing to communicate....
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The importance of geek leadership
April 30, 2009
Lack of geek leadership is crushing American business. The inability of "suits" to relate to and motivate geeks denies business of needed innovation. The lack of will by geeks to hone skills to exercise leadership stifles careers and further erodes geek influence on business. If you are a packager, packaging machine builder or converter, you need geeks and geek leadership to drive your business into the future. Geeks and suits...
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Getting beyond irrational exuberance
January 23, 2009
Over the last few weeks, we've been witness to some significant events of history. The public, buoyed by the press, has been on a binge of irrational exuberance. That energy now needs to be directed to practical solutions that will rebuild real confidence and move the economy forward. Perhaps some engineering thought process will help....
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Handlungskompetenz: Fahrvergnugen for packaging?
August 18, 2008
Many of us will remember the American advertising campaign of almost 20 years ago in which Volkswagen introduced us to the German word Fahrvergnugen, meaning driving pleasure. Pre-dating my memory, the German word Kindergarten introduced new and unique meaning regarding childhood education. Today the Germans have another new word for us to learn: Handlungskompetenz. Mastery of Handlungskompetenz along with developing skills in mechatronics will be enablers of taking our packaging...
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OEE is like sailing
February 13, 2008
The story goes that for sailors, life is about the journey; while for power boaters, life is about the destination. According to OEE expert Paul Zepf of Zarpac Inc., OEE is also about the journey....
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Customer-focused innovators make the best customers
January 28, 2008
If you are a packaging machinery company prospecting for customers, my recommendation is to look for those who are leaders in customer-focused innovation. They make the best customers....
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It's 2007: Do you know where your drawings are?
September 24, 2007
There may be one piece of intellectual capital that packagers value less than their aging workforce (see Packagers undervalue intellectual captial) and that is their equipment documentation. Lack of good documentation is one of the greatest contributors to poor productivity in American manufacturing. All too often, management finds it easier to point fingers at their employees for lack of skills rather than pointing at themselves for lack of a coherent...
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|About Keith Campbell
|Leaders learn from the past while
looking to the future - and bring both to bear on the here
and now. This is the philosophy that has steered Keith Campbell's
30+ years in manufacturing. It has worked for him in operations,
maintenance, engineering, R&D, education, consulting and
professional organizations--and now he's putting it to work
for you--taking you to the edge of his thoughts on packaging