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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Evolving strategies for packaging machinery specifications
February 20, 2012
Packaging machines have gone through three major periods of evolution, as have many end user's strategies for writing packaging machine specifications. Let's explore why you might consider changing your company's specification strategy....
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How to develop a culture of safety in your plant
June 29, 2011
Safety is often listed as the top priority of plant managers. That said, not much more gets said. How does one implement a safety culture? Attendees at the 2011 Packaging Automation Forum sponsored by Packaging World and Automation World obtained some insite into that question. Here are some of the learnings from PAF as interpreted by yours truly....
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Will ISA take the wrong path yet again?
December 16, 2009
Automation engineers who have been fortunate enough to spend a portion of their careers in the areas of process, discrete, hybrid and IT are relatively rare. I am one who has enjoyed this variety of experience, which leads me and many of my colleagues with similar experiences to view the P&ID as equally important to each area. In my view, no automation project should be without a P&ID. A whole...
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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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Are US and European machine automation architectures diverging?
November 17, 2008
As I reflect on 5 days of observations at PackExpo, it strikes me that automation architectures of US and European machine builders are diverging and becoming more entrenched....
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Scouting PackExpo 2008
September 18, 2008
It will soon be time to jet off to Chicago for this year's installment of PackExpo. One hopes that every show of this size brings something new or exciting to the industry. This year's PackExpo should be no exception. Here are some things that I plan to be scouting for....
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Does packaging get sufficient respect?
April 22, 2008
Does packaging get the respect that it deserves? Some say no, but the tide seems to be turning. The message at the recent Pharmaceutical Packaging Forum was somewhat mixed. Some quipped that packaging was treated as an afterthought. It wasn't planned for, and wasn't put on the critical path of activities for their company. Yet others had a much more positive message. Perhaps this indicates that packaging is turning a...
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OMAC should maintain a simple focus on packaging
February 25, 2008
At the annual OMAC Users Group meeting, held this month in Orlando, a discussion was generated on the topic of putting a more general face on OMAC by dropping its focus on packaging with regard to PackML and PackTags. The argument goes that since the technical product is elegant enough to be applied to other industries, it shouldn't be referred to as PackWhatever, implying that its use is limited to...
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A national skill standard for packaging technicians?
February 1, 2008
Do we need a national skill standard for packaging machinery technicians? There is a growing chorus of people who think that we do. Other industries have skill standards, accredited certificate programs and accredited educational programs at the high school, community college and university levels. But to my knowledge, no such standard exists in the USA for packaging machinery technicians....
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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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Interchangeable parts - Why not software?
August 19, 2007
The concept of interchangeable parts is one that packaging machinery builders readily understand and depend upon every day. Not only are parts from a single manufacturer interchangable within a machine, but builders source custom parts from multiple manufacturers to control cost and schedule and generic parts are interchangeable across a host of different machines and devices. We have come to enjoy and expect that fasteners, shafts, gears, couplings, motors, valves,...
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OMAC Standards: Marketing ploy or value-adding?
June 25, 2007
With the price and scarcity of manufacturing labor, the future of manufacturing in America depends upon our ability to automate – Really Automate. Our ability to really automate depends upon making it simple to reliably automate and simple to reliably integrate our automation with our supply chains. Making it simple and reliable depends upon our adoption and use of standards like those under development by OMAC and the availability of...
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Community activism or tribalism for automation industry?
May 14, 2007
Automation professionals used to behave as a community. End users, technology providers and systems integrators would convene at industry-wide events, much like county fairs, to share ideas, best practices and lessons-learned....
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Packaging machinery design may be impacted by NIST R&D
March 11, 2007
R&D activities related to smart assembly at the National Institute of Science and Technology may have direct impact on packaging machinery design....
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Small packaging machinery suppliers may be shut out of pharmaceuticals
March 11, 2007
Some packaging machinery manufacturers and systems integrators have shied away from pharmaceutical customers due to the burden of process and machinery validation. The costs of validation may exceed the costs of hardware and software, and going through the process is not for the faint-of-heart. Costs of 1.5 times the total automation cost have been reported for initial validation and changes to a validated process that may take 2 hours in...
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Standards increase design creativity, not restrict it
February 10, 2007
During a remodeling project at my son's house, a trip to the home improvement store revealed that the track and fixtures that they now carry aren't compatible with the track and fixtures that my son already has. Result: he can forgo the improvements, or he can tear it all out and start over with new track lighting, or he can waste time and resources to try to find the parts...
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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