Mark R. Hamel’s picture

By: Mark R. Hamel

Understanding a process’ cycle time is extremely important, especially in the context of takt time. In a mixed-model environment, cycle time can be a bit less straightforward. That’s where weighted averages may make sense.

Weighted-average cycle time, also known as “average weighted cycle time,” provides a representative average cycle time. Varied models or services in a given cell, line, or work area often have varied work contents due to different steps, duration of steps, or sequence of steps. Accordingly, the cycle times vary.

Weighted-average cycle times can be calculated for operator cycle times, machine cycle times, and effective machine cycle times. Often weighted-average cycle times are presumed to be operator-related, but this is not always the case.

Birgit Albrecht’s default image

By: Birgit Albrecht

TVL (Toeleveringsbedrijf van Landuyt) in Wetteren, Belgium, has been finishing transmission housings for wind turbines for the past several years. When the company began, production numbered about 2,000 housings, which doubled by 2008, and its annual capacity continues to grow with each passing year.

The company produces transmission housings with high-precision machined bores having diameters of up to 1,640 mm (64.5 in.). The tolerance for a 650 mm (25.6 in.) bore is only ±25 µm (±0.001 in.), and this must be measured and verified on every housing. All in all, the bores are drilled at 0.08 percent of nominal diameter size.

“We could not measure the big transmission housings in-house,” says managing director Geert Van Landuyt. “So we were working together with a service provider with the necessary equipment in Germany.” As production quantities grew, transportation to the service provider became a costly proposition. “Ultimately, we decided we needed our own coordinate measuring machine,” says Van Landuyt.

Digital Surveys Ltd.’s picture

By: Digital Surveys Ltd.

The United Kingdom’s Channel 4 flagship television program Time Team, which has been uncovering the archaeological mysteries of the British Isles since 1994, has used 3-D laser scanning technology to create high-definition fly-through animations around Mont Orgueil Castle in Jersey.

Mont Orgueil is a castle in the Bailiwick of Jersey overlooking the Gorey harbor off the coast of Normandy, France. Constructed during the early 13th century, the fortification was the primary defense of the Channel Islands until the development of gunpowder rendered the castle ultimately indefensible. Plans to demolish the structure in 1600 were rejected by the then-Governor of Jersey, Walter Raleigh, with the words, “’Twere a pity to cast it down.”

Angelo Lyall’s picture

By: Angelo Lyall

Story update 4/07/2011: A reference to Rick Nash was changed to John Forbes Nash.

In 1776 Adam Smith claimed that the best result comes from everyone in the group doing what’s best for themselves. During the early 1950s, John Forbes Nash revised Adam Smith’s claim and stated that the best result comes from everyone in the group doing what’s best for themselves and the group. It took us 174 years of examination to realize that an individual in a group often attains the best possible outcome for himself not by a segregated pursuit of the outcome, but through a unified sense of purpose and a cooperative effort for accomplishing it. Let it not be another 174 years until we understand the cultural implications of this claim for organizations and the people that they are composed of.

ADVERTISEMENT

Establishing a desired culture within an organization is a complex task.

Birgit Albrecht’s default image

By: Birgit Albrecht

Dutch company HGG specializes in steel profile cutting. It manufactures bevel-cutting machines particularly suited for processing large components. EEW, a German manufacturer of wind turbine components, placed an order with HGG. It needed to manufacture foundation structures (also known as “tripods”) using high-quality steel for an offshore wind farm. The task was to produce cylindrical members cut precisely from 400-ton steel tubes that were 196.9 ft (60 m) long × 19.7 ft (6 m) in diameter.

HGG recognized from the beginning that adopting the correct measuring technique would be the key to the success of the project. “We like challenges,” says Peter Tool, HGG research and development manager. “Our greatest strength is that we design our systems and software from the bottom up, so we retain flexibility. Short channels of communication allow us to come up with completely new processes in very little time.”

Birgit Albrecht’s default image

By: Birgit Albrecht

Globally, wind power generation has increased more than fivefold since 2000. With the global trend toward limiting CO2 emissions and numerous governmental programs subsidizing or financing wind power generation, its share of global power generation is set to experience substantial growth in the foreseeable future.

China is rich in wind energy, with about 1,000 gigawatts of potentially exploitable wind power. This energy potential is distributed across the southeast coastal areas, adjacent islands, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, the Gansu Hexi Corridor, Huabei, and the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. In order to encourage technical innovation, market expansion, and commercialization, China has established development targets, offered concession projects, and introduced policies to encourage domestic production.

The 3-D measurement and analysis of rotor blade hubs and their production facilities are highly complex and demanding measuring tasks. Such measurements can be successfully dealt with only by using modern measuring systems and a well-prepared measurement strategy.

Danita Johnson Hughes Ph.D.’s picture

By: Danita Johnson Hughes Ph.D.

Read this. It won’t be a waste of time.

Time gets lost. People kill time. Time flies. It gets wasted. Time weighs heavy on our hands. We spend time. Time passes. It drags on or it hurries by. Those behind bars are said to be doing time. Sometimes, we have no time left; we’re out of time.

According to the great American inventor, Thomas Edison, “Time is really the only capital any human being has, and the one thing he can’t afford to waste.”

The perception of not having enough time for the things we must do, or just as important, the things we want to do, is a leading cause of stress in society today. Continued exposure to stress can have an adverse effect on a person’s health, both physical and mental.

Because you spend a great deal of your time at work, meeting your employer’s expectations becomes increasingly important. Managing your time effectively, however, is often hampered by interruptions at work. Constant interruptions can significantly hinder effort, curtail creativity, and decrease productivity by disrupting thought processes and workflow, causing individuals to lose focus and take longer to complete tasks. A high rate of interruptions can be a serious issue in the workplace and can be a barrier to success.

Tracker Handbook by Art Kietlinski’s picture

By: Tracker Handbook by Art Kietlinski

As a senior applications engineer, one of my tasks is to train customers to correctly operate a laser tracker. This month, I would like to share with you some common in-field experiences and issues that I encounter with those who use a laser tracker on a day-to-day basis.

With more than 20 years of exposure to all types of metrology equipment—conventional optics to total stations, photogrammetry, laser trackers, and scanners—I’ve seen the value of all these instruments. I, like many of you, have experienced the hardships of a poor measurement process and not understood all the pitfalls that each measurement tool brings with it.

The laser tracker is a powerful tool that can be used for many different applications, including dimensional inspection, scanning, and real-time alignment of large parts. With a range of 80 meters or more, the laser tracker has been my most versatile tool. The laser tracker uses a laser for linear distance and encoders for azimuth and horizontal angles. Interfaced with specialized 3-D software, the laser tracker can obtain spherical 3-D coordinates on an object relative to a common origin.

The Conference Board’s picture

By: The Conference Board

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in February 2011, declined in March. The index now stands at 63.4 (1985 = 100), down from 72.0 in February. The Present Situation Index improved to 36.9 from 33.8. The Expectations Index decreased to 81.1 from 97.5 last month.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by The Nielsen Co., a global provider of information and analytics concerning what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for March’s preliminary results was March 16, 2011.

“The sharp decline in confidence was prompted by a sharp decline in expectations,” says Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center. “Consumers’ inflation expectations rose significantly in March, and their income expectations soured, a combination that will likely impact spending decisions. On the other hand, consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved, indicating that while the short-term future may be uncertain, the economy continues to expand.”

The Conference Board’s picture

By: The Conference Board

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in February 2011, declined in March. The index now stands at 63.4 (1985 = 100), down from 72.0 in February. The Present Situation Index improved to 36.9 from 33.8. The Expectations Index decreased to 81.1 from 97.5 last month.

The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by The Nielsen Co., a global provider of information and analytics concerning what consumers buy and watch. The cutoff date for March’s preliminary results was March 16, 2011.

“The sharp decline in confidence was prompted by a sharp decline in expectations,” says Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center. “Consumers’ inflation expectations rose significantly in March, and their income expectations soured, a combination that will likely impact spending decisions. On the other hand, consumers’ assessment of current conditions improved, indicating that while the short-term future may be uncertain, the economy continues to expand.”

Syndicate content