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Archive for May, 2015

Metal Spinning and the Aviation Industry

Monday, May 25, 2015
posted by IMT-Webmaster

metal-spinning-aviation2Boeing’s Announcement of 777X and PIP Makes Aviation Week

Aviation Week was the perfect showcase for the announcement by Boeing of their innovation planned for the 777X and upcoming PIP between 2016 and 2020, when Boeing’s new 777X  is planned to enter service. For the manufacturing teams this is tomorrow morning, yet to the sales teams wanting to fill the production skyline it feels like the next century.

But Boeing’s 777 sales team is about to get a shot in the arm. To help bridge the time to the 777X, the company plans to inject additional life into the -200LR/-300ER by developing a package reducing fuel burn by 2% from 2016 onward. The reduction of fuel burn of only 1% results in 75 nm flying distance, 10 more passengers or 2400 lbs of cargo.

Reduction in Fuel Burn by Aerodynamic Improvements

The upgrade that is expected to to increase fuel savings of more than 3% once the modifications are tested will be mostly in the aerodynamics of the design itself. The engines, built by GE, are going to have only one significant modification in the works to reduce fuel burn, but the metal spinning for the skin will be major innovation.   Together with better than expected engine performance, similar changes improved the fuel burn of the 777-300ER by 3.6%.

  • Metal aerodynamic innovations will counter any unexpected drag from environmental control metal-spinning-aviation1system’s ram air exhaust duct;
  •  Aircraft’s raked wingtips handling changes.
  • Duct changes included the addition of exit louvres controlled by new software in the cabin pressure system. Louvres improved thrust recovery and reduced drag.
  • Wing changes include seven outboard 737-size vortex generators which, to Boeing’s surprise, resulted in a 0.4% improvement in fuel burn!

Boeing  introduced a retro-fittable performance improvement package (PIP):

  • Drooped ailerons altering the angle at the trailing edge by 2 deg., reducing drag by aerodynamic loading on outboard wing and improving loading span-wise.
  • Aileron droop increased loading and caused a change in the wing twist. This reduced local flow toward the wingtip, which reduced shock on the outboard wing and further cut drag.

As all Aviation awaits the further announcements and the new 777X with PIP, Kryton Engineered Metals remains the go-to authority for innovative metal spinning. The company is important to the in-sourcing needs of other companies in the aviation industry.

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The Skills Gap and the Manufacturing Industry

Monday, May 18, 2015
posted by IMT-Webmaster

The Skills GapThe Days of Pensioned Retirement

In the past twenty years, American industries have rolled over and many went belly up, and not all of it was due to the national and international economy.  In my father’s time, blue collar and white collar workers alike had goals of gaining a position with an established and growing company, where the ultimate objective was to stay with that company employer, working your way through the levels, until you could retire with a comfortable pension.  Companies felt an obligation to workers, and the workers reciprocated with loyalty and remaining with the company for the duration.

Change of Need, Change of Speed

Today when I look around my durable metals manufacturing company, There are vacancies where skilled workers should be plying their trade.  The German expression that man with a trade has a golden foundation should be even truer today, but sadly, there is an ever present gap between employee training skills available in my workers and the employment billets I need to fill.  I know the work force is available, ready and willing to do a hard day’s work for a good day’s pay.  I need to develop a program to initiate, educate and retain employees today to train and stay,  proficient with the tools and programs coming down the future years. I feel it is my responsibility to turn off the negativity toward company loyalty, tenure, apprenticeship, and trade skill levels and turn on the younger new hires to the goal of joining my company and learning everything they can about the metal manufacturing industry so that they are assured of a seat in our company’s ride to success.

My check list for achieving tenured employees:

  • Organizing school (public, trade, college) field trips to the manufacturing plants.
  • Arrange personnel visits to schools to give presentations, answer questions and encourage apprenticeship and employee training in our company.
  • Promotion of apprenticeship programs.
  • Offering internship and apprenticeship positions in the manufacturing sector.
    • Have the manufacturing skilled position waiting for the successful intern in employee training so they know they are working toward a future with the company.
    • Open avenues for other companies to source work to  us.

Importance of Training Youth.
Everyone wins by empowering youth. I will  build  growing a workforce to suit my company needs from the local people.
• Engaging youth builds a long term solution to my supply and demand flex of skilled labor vacancies.
• By giving work experiences and employee training; I encourage skilled workers.
• They learn to make informed job choices.
• Young talent comes with ideas, innovations and willing to change status quo.  They still think the impossible is possible.
• The young are ambitious, achievement-oriented and  crave meaningful jobs that really do something.  Give one a job with a future and he will have pride in it being performed correctly.

For most youth, landing that first job is a  huge milestone. They greatly contribute to productivity and quality.  My company needs them now, honing skills and making improvements in the old ways.

Summary

I want this generation aware that we used to be a great manufacturing nation and the silent steel mills of the  Rust Belt are a tragedy.  I want them to know they can take back the title of Great Manufacturing Nation, and by doing it, they  guarantee good careers not only for themselves but their offspring.

If our youth have a future in the U.S., it is because they have a future in our industries: manufacturing, research, assembly, transportation and holding the reins to the galloping digital tech industry.

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The 7 types of Waste in the Manufacturing Industry

Monday, May 11, 2015
posted by IMT-Webmaster

wasteWaste occurring in the manufacturing industry globally is a world wide environmental danger. Keeping the world “Green” is the buzz word that indicates our responsibility for not leaving a huge environmental footprint that damages our ozone, earth’s resources and future life.

Lean manufacturing is the American phrase coined to describe a manufacturing process that has solved its manufacturing waste.  The Japanese gave the name of Muda to Manufacturing Industry waste.  In essence. Muda is bad, Lean is good, and Green is what we are all trying to be.

The seven wastes in the manufacturing industry include unproductive manufacturing practices as identified by the father of the Toyota Production System (TPS). Taiichi Ohhno. TPS came to be identified as lean manufacturing in the United States.

Following are the seven wastes:

  • 1.  Overproduction — Manufacture of products in advance or in excess of demand wastes money, time and space.
  • 2.  Waiting — Flow of Operation should flow smoothly and continuous. Processes are ineffective and time is wasted when one process waits to begin while another finishes. Reports state 99 percent of a product’s time in manufacture is actually spent waiting, not being created.
  • 3.  Excessive processing — Overly expensive equipment is wasteful if simpler machinery would work the same or better.
  • 4.  Excessive inventory wastes money with costs of storage and maintenance.
  • 5.  Unnecessary motion — Worker movements should be convenient and productive, not wasted bending, reaching or walking. Ergonomics evaluation should design more efficient behavior.
  • 6.  Inappropriate Processing – Excess processing wastes money in payment for employee time, wastes said employee time and can be detrimental to product.
  • 7.  Defects – Manufacturing defects and inoperable product causes waste of money and loss of time sensitive contracts.

Lean manufacturing is based on an immediate and timely way to avoid the waste associated with overproduction, waiting and excess inventory. Since the list of waste has been established, other categories have been proposed for addition, including:

  1. Under-utilization of employee skills— Employees have other talent, skills and insights for work that should be used.
  2. Unsafe workplaces and environments— Employee accidents, health issues arising because of unsafe working conditions.
  3. Lack of or timely sharing of information— Research/ communication are essential.  Operations must work to capacity.
  4. Equipment breakdown— Poorly kept equipment causes  damage and costs both time and money, plus can affect employee safety.

The seven wastes list was created for manufacturing.  However, the list of categories is easily adapted to most workplaces and most industries.

Kryton Engineered Metals has taken steps within its own operations to abide by the foregoing lists.

  • Equipment has been stationed at more efficient locations to minimize employee movements and time loss.  This is changed as needed to keep efficiency high.
  • Communications within the company are streamlined and prioritized so that important communication was delivered appropriately.
  • Each morning Staff Production Meeting is held to go through the scheduled day and discuss any problems expected and assign staff to them.
  • Computer software completely handles daily schedule of the manufacturing process.  From moment a shipment of material arrives, it is processed and within three hours is in production. This doesn’t stop or ebb until the product is completed and shipped to the buyer.
  • The Computer software also keeps the personnel all on the same page and prevents doubled efforts or lost time.

 

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Safety when Working Around Robots

Monday, May 4, 2015
posted by IMT-Webmaster

safety-when-working-around-robots
Robots have become a permanent fixture for manufacturing production lines. The robots now work hand in hand with human employees. This brings many advantages regarding the precision, quality of the outcome and speed of manufacture. However, these benefits come with health and safety concerns, reason enough to take the following measures to make this partnership between man and machine beneficial.

Assess the Level of Risk
You need to identify any potential hazards in the workspace. The risks are different for each robot, reason you need to treat each robot as an individual entity. When assessing the level of risk, consider the workspace setup, maintenance strategies, and access to emergency facilities. Additionally, understand the rules regarding health, safety and system integration. The purpose is to find out whether your workspace sticks within expected rules.

Test, Test, and Test more
Before implementing a robotic strategy, examine various aspects. Try to check out robotic movements and compare this with the available space. Work out potential accident scenarios and obstacles in a 3D virtual world.

Testing tells you more about your system and allows you to seek expert guidance regarding any problems. An expert can give you tips on setting up safeguards to handle potential safety hazards and concerns.

Provide Employee Training and Development Regularly
The robot is automated and will work as instructed. However, human minds aren’t programmed and need to understand how the robot works to make the collaboration productive. Let the employee know how the robot works through employee training and development sessions. Test the knowledge of the employee before putting him or her in the workspace.Additionally, give your employees full access to necessary protective tools and equipment to reduce severity of accidents, in case they happen.

Control Robot Features, to Minute Details
Most of the robots come with software for customizing automated features. The use of software makes it easy for you to create a more controlled and safe environment.
You can also enable and disable the zones where the robot can access. For instance, you can disable robotic movement where human traffic is high.  High robot speed is one of the causes of accidents in manufacturing lines. Use the software to define maximum robot speeds.

Manufacture Faster, Safely
Using these tips, you can allow robots within your working space without the risk of injuries. All this comes with an increase in speed of production, precision and high quality.

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