Pursuing excellence, pursuing learning

AME Conference in Dallas off to a dynamic start as speakers tell stories of improving productivity and achieving operational excellence.

11/06/2011


The opening day of the 2011 Association for Manufacturing Excellence Conference in Dallas brought two key association themes to the forefront – the pursuit of excellence and the pursuit of learning.

A full day of sessions built around central manufacturing themes – including People, Purpose, Passion and Performance – included presentations by representatives for the U.S. EPA, Acuity Brand, Plymouth Tubes, and Loyola University in Chicago, Intel, Nike and the Dallas Cowboys.

The 2011 conference has attracted more than 2,200 Lean manufacturing leaders and plant professionals from around the country to Dallas.

Among the day’s most dynamic and best-attended sessions, Billy Taylor, the plant manager for Goodyear Tire’s Fayetteville, N.C. plant, discussed the turnaround of his facility in just six month. The plant saw an increase in production from 31,000 tires a day to 38,000, using fewer hours and delivering more than $2.7 million to the plant’s bottom line.

Taylor said the key was listening to the line workers, who delivered cost-savings ideas and efficiencies that help spark the turn-around. “People think you have to throw a lot of money at unleashing talent. You just have to show you care,” Taylor said. “It’s important when you tap into that talent. We don’t take applications, we take commitments. If you sign on, we want the best you have to offer. When people were empowered, they look plant to whole new level.”

At another presentation, “Leveraging The Lean Network,” Jack Parsons at Honda of America’s Marysville, Ohio plant talked about harnessing the power of its supplier network to drive improvements both in its supply chain and in its own plant.

“Instead of supplier-OEM engagement, we wanted to create a knowledge-sharing network -- supplier to supplier, OEM to supplier and supplier to OEM,” said Parsons. “The Lean Network is an independent network that exists outside of Honda. Members pay to belong to network. We want active sharing to occur. It’s a resource for the entire organization.

“We are a very demanding customer. We expect the best quality, the best delivery,” Parsons added. “But at same time, we want to provide resources to customers to help them help us.”

Andy Gargac of Nissin Brake in Findlay Ohio is one of those Honda suppliers. Participation in the Lean Network created changes that helped drive a 77% reduction of parts on hold, 70% reduction in scrap plant wide, 2.6 million man hours without lost time through October 2011. “It is amazing how the small incremental Lean-driven activities add up to significantly improve our overall business situation,” said Gargac.

Keynote speaker Dr. Temple Grandin discussed the different ways people learn and how that learning process needs to be identified in students to optimize their learning experience. Once diagnosed as autistic, Dr. Grandin has become a world expert on agriculture and has helped revolutionize the way livestock is handled through the creative use of chutes and paths. She has also helped develop animal welfare guidelines in use in the meat industry. Her story was the subject of an Emmy-winning HBO movie in 2010.



Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
March 2018
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
December 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

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