Raghava Kashyapa’s picture

By: Raghava Kashyapa

Bearings are important components of mechanical equipment. They are specifically designed to convert the direct friction from parts in relative rotation into rolling friction or sliding friction of the bearing. As a result, bearings are extremely important in reducing the friction coefficient and ensuring the long-term stable operation of a machine.

The bearing surface and bearing rollers both have an important impact on the installation performance, use, quality, and life of the bearing. Common defects on a bearing roller’s surface, such as wear, cracks, bruises, pitting, scratches, or deformation, can lead to machine vibration and noise, accelerate oxidation and wear, and even damage the machine. It is thus paramount to inspect the surface of the bearing as well as the bearing rollers to prevent defective products from entering the market.

The assembly of bearings globally has been fully automated for the most part. However, the bearing roller inspection and surface inspection of the bearing before and after assembly is still largely based on manual inspection. The method is labor-intensive, inefficient, costly, and easily affected by such factors as inspector qualification and experience, visual resolution of the naked eye, and fatigue.

David Cahn’s picture

By: David Cahn

Lean Six Sigma has improved manufacturing operations and processes for years now. Now the effect of the methodology is extending to supply chain and operations to help eliminate waste and reduce variation. Using lean to eradicate waste and Six Sigma to eliminate defects by reducing process variation creates a powerful tool for continuous process improvement and a resilient supply chain.

Building a resilient supply chain

An organization’s supply chain must be agile and quickly responsive to its customers changing needs. Companies that can deliver this will create a successful supply chain. In fact, there is a tool within Six Sigma known as critical to quality (CTQ) that requires organizations to measure progress in terms that customers consider critical.

Supply chain optimization

Today’s businesses must constantly seek out more efficient methods and processes. This has never been more evident when balancing demand, supply, and price optimization to sustain resiliency in this omni-channel world.

Zach Winn’s picture

By: Zach Winn

This story was originally published by MIT News.

Many scientists and researchers still rely on Excel spreadsheets and lab notebooks to manage data from their experiments. That can work for single experiments, but companies tend to make decisions based on data from multiple experiments, some of which may take place at different labs, with slightly different parameters, and even in different countries.

The situation often requires scientists to leave the lab bench to spend time gathering and merging data from various experiments. Teams of scientists may also struggle to know what the others have tried and which avenues of research still hold promise.

Now the startup Uncountable has developed a digital workbook to help scientists get more from experimental data. The company’s platform allows scientists to access data from anywhere, merge data using customized parameters, and create visualizations to share findings with others. The system also integrates models that help scientists test materials more quickly and predict the outcomes of experiments.

Hari Polu’s picture

By: Hari Polu

Manufacturers of high-end semiconductor electronic products used in consumer, industrial, and military applications have long relied on precise testing methodologies to identify the location of defects such as voids, cracks, and the delamination of different layers within a microelectronic device, also known as a microchip. Manufacturers also employ scanning acoustic microscopy (SAM), a noninvasive and nondestructive ultrasonic testing method, which became an industry standard to detect and analyze flaws during various chip-production steps and in the final quality inspection after packaging.

In addition, SAM is often used as a failure analysis method to identify a specific root-cause failure mechanism when a device fails during use.

scanning acoustic microscopy

Knowledge at Wharton’s picture

By: Knowledge at Wharton

Considered one of the most successful organizational learning methods, the after-action review (AAR) was developed by the U.S. Army during the 1970s to help its soldiers learn from both their mistakes and achievements. Since then, many companies have used the AAR for performance assessment. And yet, as American systems scientist Peter Senge notes, efforts to bring the practice into corporate culture most often fail because “again and again, people reduce the living practice of AARs to a sterile technique.”

Here’s how to create a culture of continuous performance improvement and adaptive learning by systematically reviewing team successes and failures. The process itself is an active discussion centered around four key questions:
1. What did we intend to accomplish (what was our strategy)?
2. What did we do (how did we execute relative to our strategy)?
3. Why did it happen that way (why was there a difference between strategy and execution)?
4. What will we do to adapt our strategy or refine our execution for a better outcome, or how do we repeat our success?

Jerry Foster’s picture

By: Jerry Foster

Manufacturers are acutely aware that audits and recalls are just part of business. At the same time, they all agree that the best way to deal with recalls is to prevent them in the first place. Because today’s manufacturers operate on razor-thin margins with little room for error, a reactionary approach to quality management is a massive Achilles’s heel.

In May 2021, Ford Motor Co. had to recall 661,000 Explorer SUVs due to quality issues related to roof covers detaching. This significant recall could cost Ford tens of millions of dollars. Recalls of this nature in manufacturing are far from rare, and events occur across every sector. Whether considered collectively or privately, the market impacts are staggering.

On the surface, it may seem simple: If quality is built into production, quality products will emerge from production. However, products and processes are becoming more complex, and efforts to reduce cost and increase transparency only compound the challenges to sustaining high quality levels.

Dylan Walsh’s picture

By: Dylan Walsh

Supply chains are having a moment. In March 2021, one of the world’s largest container ships got wedged in the Suez Canal, blocking 10 percent of global trade for a few days and launching a flotilla of memes. Currently, home builders are waiting for more lumber, while a shortage of computer chips has slowed down the auto industry. Steel, coffee, ketchup, and toilet paper are also in short supply. Earlier this year, the Biden administration launched a supply-chain disruptions task force to address “supply/demand mismatches” as the post-pandemic economy restarts.

Of course, even when they’re not making headlines, supply chains are always there. Yet most people never give a thought to these invisible and surprisingly fragile networks of trade that make modern life possible—until they break.

Phanish Puranam’s picture

By: Phanish Puranam

As businesses increasingly adopt AI-driven decision making, experts agree that the most interesting questions are not about whether humans can beat machines or vice versa, but how the two forms of intelligence can most fruitfully collaborate—and how organizations can best facilitate those collaborations.

In a recent essay published in the Journal of Organization Design, I pointed out that there are at least four distinct forms of division of labor between humans and AI when it comes to decision-making tasks. Humans and AI can either specialize to perform different tasks or not, either in sequence or in parallel. Specialization seems the way to go when there is a clear advantage for one type of intelligence at some portions of a task. For example, activities such as leading a meeting or conducting sales calls are best left in human hands, while a number-based assessment of the relative financial performance of companies in a portfolio clearly plays to algorithmic strengths.

Steven Severt’s picture

By: Steven Severt

When it comes to ongoing certification of your quality management system (QMS), whether it’s certified to ISO 9001, ISO 13485, IATF 16949, or AS9100, how many times have you found yourself “preparing for an external audit?”

Picture the scene: You’ve got the dates set on the calendar months in advance for when the certifying body (CB) auditor will be onsite. For several weeks, you’ve been communicating in company memos and meetings about the upcoming visit. You’ve started to lay out Gannt charts and action-item lists for things that you need various departments and individuals to check up on and clean up as you inch closer to the arrival day. You’ve developed a carefully curated path to lead the auditor so that they see only the things that you want them to see. You’ve trained personnel in that area on the proper responses to auditor questions. You must make sure that everything appears to be in order when the auditor arrives.

Notice the statement, “Everything appears to be in order.”

ISO 9001:2015 Clause 5.1.1 c) states simply that it’s top management’s responsibility to “...demonstrate leadership and commitment with respect to the quality management system by... ensuring the integration of the quality management system requirements into the organization’s business processes.”

Steven Stein’s picture

By: Steven Stein

Supply chain management (SCM) has been defined as “the design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of supply chain activities with the objective of creating net value, building a competitive infrastructure, leveraging worldwide logistics, synchronizing supply with demand, and measuring performance globally.”1 With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, the importance and, fortuitously, vulnerability of a number of supply chains have been highlighted. This is especially true with the disruption of overseas supply chains for personal protective equipment (PPE), e.g., gloves and masks, and pharmaceuticals.

Suppliers can be considered third-party organizations, but they are also extensions of your organization. One aspect of managing suppliers is to evaluate their capabilities to supply items or services that meet your requirements or specifications at a fair price, with on-time delivery, and appropriate customer service and support.

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