Continuous improvement strategies can produce consistently good products. Management techniques that focus on systems and processes can improve repeatability and quality.
But sometimes, the system can be optimized and still turn out bad results. Sometimes, the issue isn’t management systems, it’s a lack of critical talent or expertise, an unwillingness to push the boundaries of capabilities, or an absence of imagination.
In Cleveland, we recently watched the Browns beat the New York Jets, delivering the team’s first victory in 635 days. Listening to the team’s coaches during the off-season and after the first two games of the season – a tie against Pittsburgh and a loss in New Orleans – I thought I was listening to a management consultant.
“Trust in the system… results are coming… it’s a process.”
But it wasn’t a process that snapped the Browns’ losing streak. It was a change in talent. Late in the game’s second quarter, starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor left the game with a concussion, opening the door to 2018’s No. 1 draft pick, Baker Mayfield. Down 14-0, Mayfield put the Browns in position to score a field goal before halftime then dominated the game’s second half, ending with a 21-17 win.
Both quarterbacks had the same playbook, used the same training system, and were guided by the same coaches. Yet Taylor, a player who led a team to the playoffs last year, headed to the locker room without a single score. And Mayfield produced completion after completion and led a historically bad football team (statistically, the Browns’ record of failure is morbidly impressive https://tinyurl.com/yazajxzx) to a crucial victory.
Mayfield was more decisive, picking his receivers immediately and preventing the Jets from sacking him. He was more accurate, putting passes far downfield, knowing that his receivers would get there in time. And, he was more aggressive, opting for long bombs instead of short throws.
Sure, a lot of this is a fan reveling in a long-overdue win from a team that has been a specialist in generating misery. But, there are lessons to be learned, especially in the era of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0.
Invest in technology, focus on systems improvement, and make sure you have the right talent to grow your organization.
Technology can improve systems, and great systems can produce
But, never forget the critical human element. The right person – a great designer who thinks of a more-efficient layout of a product, an experienced machinist who knows how to get more out of a machine, a maintenance worker who can tell when a spindle is about to fail by the sound it makes – can be the difference between failure and success.
The GMC stainless-steel ultrasonic cleaning system achieves chemical compatibility with aggressive caustic and acidic agents. Versions of the system can accommodate parts with one dimension up to 35", up to 125 lb. The line’s two sizes are self- contained, supported on casters, and operate from commonly available power supplies, making them easy to move where needed for in-place or utility cleaning. GMC systems include a pump and dual stainless cartridge filtration, a surface sparger, automated controls for heat, pump and ultrasonics, a lid, and one standard basket. A drip pan drains one basket of
Cleaning Technologies Group
A double-disc grinder features a servo infeed slide, linear rails, an automatic lubrication system, and user-friendly controls. The machine accommodates automatic, semi-automatic or manual loading.
Bi-metal saw blades
Versatix MP bi-metal band saw blades feature triple-tempered, high-speed, M-42 cobalt steel teeth with an alloy steel backing strip. The blade’s tooth design dissipates stress during cutting, reducing tooth breakage and increasing blade life. A special tooth set minimizes pinching, making it suitable for cutting structurals and bundles.
Versatix MP band saw blades include bi-metal unique, a technology that joins two strips of high-speed steel wires to the backing steel using solid-state diffusion bonding. Instead of a single wire welded to the outside of a steel backer, this process bonds two strips of high-speed steel to each side of the top edge of the steel backer, using intense heat and pressure. The bonding area between the backer and the high-speed steel is increased 170% compared to conventional electron beam or laser welding processes.
L.S. Starrett Co.
Environmental policy favors electric vehicles (EVs) in the United States, with up to $7,500 in tax credits for battery-powered cars. However, determining greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is tough. A fuel-efficient gasoline-powered car may emit less than a large EV charged with coal-derived electricity.
Researchers at Cleveland, Ohio’s Case Western Reserve University, in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, recently published a report that suggests a one-size-fits-all federal policy isn’t the best approach. EV cleanliness, researchers found, varies widely depending on typical commutes, climate, and the source of electricity for EV charging.
In 12 states, including three in the 20 most populous states – Ohio, Indiana, and Missouri – GHG emissions for EVs top 140g of CO2 per km (g/km) driven. A fuel-efficient, non-hybrid gasoline car that gets 40mpg such as the Chevy Cruze or Honda Fit averages slightly less. In coal-heavy Kentucky, a compact crossover getting 29mpg would produce less carbon (190g/km) than an EV after 10 years of use (192g/km). EVs emit less than gasoline-powered cars in most locations, but the difference between the two is low in many regions.
Chris Yingchun Yuan, associate professor at Case Western’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, says others have modeled fuel source, noting that coal-burning states produce less GHG benefit from EVs than areas with hydropower or natural gas. However, an often-overlooked factor is battery life. The more frequently a lithium-ion battery charges and discharges, the less efficient it becomes.
“For the same number of miles driven per year, the hotter states have the shorter battery lives – Arizona, Texas, New Mexico,” Yuan says. “To figure out which states are best to deploy battery-powered vehicles, we need to understand which states have the lowest emissions per kilometer driven.”
The researchers estimated battery degradation based on duty cycle and temperature for each state, showing significantly longer life in cold states. In hot climates, batteries lasted 5 years or less before falling to less than 70% capacity. Warm-state batteries will require more electricity to drive fewer miles, increasing the amount of carbon burned to power them.
“We modeled the lithium-ion process inside of the battery to figure out the degradation rate based on time of use and mileage. We also compared our results with some experimental data provided by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL),” Yuan says, adding that mathematical models matched 5-year, real-world experiments.
He adds that EVs can play a big role in fighting GHG-driven climate change, but regulators should take a more targeted approach and only support EVs in climates that benefit from such vehicles.
“Regulators should encourage or discourage EVs based on how they perform in each area, not averaging the entire country,” Yuan says.
Argonne National Laboratory
Case Western Reserve University
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
About the author: Robert Schoenberger is the editor of TMV and can be reached at 216.393.0271 or email@example.com.
Heavy-duty truck orders more than doubled by late summer as shipping companies maintained a torrid order pace that has several major producers reporting growing backlogs of unbuilt vehicles (see Infographic, pg. 16).
Columbus, Indiana-based ACT Research estimates that companies ordered a record 53,100 Class 8 trucks in August, far more than
“Preliminary data indicate that during the month of August, NA Class 8 orders rose 0.9% month-over-month and 150% from August 2017,” says Kenny Vieth, ACT’s president
Fleets ordered 38,200 trailers in August as well, according to ACT preliminary data, up 30% from July and 140% from
“The summer has shown amazing strength, reflecting [the] commercial fleets’ positive outlook in response to solid freight rates, volumes, and capacity challenges. After seeing the strongest July volume in industry history, August followed suit, surpassing the previous record in August 1994 by more than 11,000 orders,” says Frank Maly, ACT’s director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research. “Year-to-date net orders of more than 238,000 trailers are greater than 40% versus last year. Eight of the 10 trailer categories are in the black year-over-year, with seven of those posting double-digit or better gains.”http://www.actresearch.net
Porsche, Schuler partner for press shop
Porsche and Schuler have formed a joint venture to create the Smart Press Shop using a networked, Industry 4.0 approach. New technologies will enable
“Porsche wants to use the joint venture to lay the foundations for the future of sports car manufacturing,” says Albrecht Reimold, member of the executive board for production and logistics at Porsche AG. “By dovetailing design, development, car body planning, toolmaking, and production within the Porsche Group, we can significantly influence the quality of our sports cars.”
Schuler CEO Domenico Iacovelli says the joint venture will set standards in “manufacturing performance, as well as the digital networking and readability of data streams... Not only Porsche will benefit from this major step forward, but ultimately other manufacturers as well.”
The companies hope to collect end-to-end production data from networked equipment, eventually providing machine learning via artificial intelligence (AI). Goals are to improve predictive maintenance and production control.
The joint venture will use Schuler’s Servo 20 technology, raising maximum output to 20 strokes per minute (an 11% increase) while reducing energy consumption per stroke and per part.