Food manufacturers account for a large portion of products manufactured in Illinois every year, so it’s imperative that companies within this industry utilize the right people with the right skill set for manufacturing improvements. From operational and workforce inefficiencies to quality control and product compliance, these food manufacturers require a diverse set of capabilities. Right here at IMEC we employ several technical specialists that have spent a portion of their career working in the food industry. Meet Ken Wunderlich and Alex Nunez…
Archives for the ‘Quality’ Category
The Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center (IMEC) is launching a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt training series on June 8th in southern Illinois for small and mid-sized manufacturers to learn how to integrate concepts of Lean and Six Sigma to increase productivity and ultimately, boost quality in their facility. This group training serves as a first step to positioning a company to realize significant savings through the Lean Six Sigma effort, providing short term payback and ongoing savings as processes are continuously improved.
The Lean Six Sigma Green Belt candidates will undergo eight days of intensive training, over an 8-week period. The training will be conducted one day each week at John A. Logan College in Carterville, in partnership with JALC’s engineering department and continuing education. Prior to the series start, candidates will meet with the Black Belt trainer to discuss their specific objectives of the course and establish the potential project for initiation throughout the series. Courses to be led by Jim Pape, IMEC Quality Professional and Six Sigma Black Belt with more than 30 years of manufacturing and quality service experience.
For more information, or to register, visit www.imec.org/events.cfm or contact Amy Fitzgerald, IMEC Marketing Manager, at 309-677-2977 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMEC was established in 1996 with the goal of improving the productivity and competitiveness of Illinois’ small and mid-sized manufacturing firms. A non-profit economic development organization, IMEC is funded in part by the National Institute of Standards and Technology/ Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and through fees paid by Illinois manufacturers for IMEC’s services. IMEC has 13 offices statewide and 35 full-time manufacturing improvement specialists.
IMEC (Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center) is launching a new series on June 6th in northern Illinois for small and mid-sized manufacturers to learn about quality concepts fundamental to operations. This group training on quality essentials for manufacturers serves as a cost effective way to bring together several different areas, and specific topics, to address quality concerns under one project. The various courses will detail and demonstrate the fundamental Quality Management System concepts and principles enabling manufacturers to reap maximum benefits.
IMEC Colleague Mark Baer and I recently attended a three day training session in Kokomo, Indiana focused on Internal Auditing of ISO 50001, the Energy Management System standard. The basic principles for auditing ISO 50001 are the same as for the ISO 9001 Quality Management System, and the ISO 50001 standard is structured similarly to ISO 9001. The key difference for ISO 50001 is the requirement to measure and audit energy performance.
Energy savings and cost reductions are on the minds of many companies as they look to save money and the environment. These companies are reaching out to third parties for support in implementing energy saving solutions but ISO 50001 is not a tool for simply reducing energy costs. A key aspect of ISO 50001 is better management of energy consumption.
In business terms, being agile is being able to adapt efficiently and effectively to changes. Each time IMEC visits a manufacturer or provides a solution, the experience is different. We all adapt. We need to exercise business agility.
Recently, I began working with a manufacturer that was experiencing some significant quality problems. Their processes were individual and discrete. From what we observed, there were no characteristics that could be measured from which to adjust the process, no dwell time to adjust to bring their process into control. Statistical Process Control (SPC) seemed to be a viable option, but we wondered how we would adapt traditional SPC methods to a discrete process. Even if variable data was collected, no adjustments made would affect the next piece produced. How could we decide if the process was truly stable and in control?
Last month, my colleague Karen Vecchio and I joined 45 other business women for a tour of the Eli’s Cheesecake Factory in Chicago. The event was a part of TMA’s Women in Manufacturing series.
Eli’s Cheesecake has been a Chicago institution since 1940. It’s the only operational facility for the company, with over 200 skus covering a vast selection of cheesecakes, pies, and other desserts. It became clear to me that the cheesecake business is more complex than one might imagine, and the company’s dedication to training and continuous improvement is a big reason why Eli’s is the internationally recognized brand that it is.
In a record five months, a family-owned Crystal Lake tool and mold maker obtained ISO 9001:2008 registration which will allow it to diversify its customer base and do business with major corporations.
Alpha Star Tool and Mold, Inc. is a manufacturer of high-end precision tooling and molds. According to Vice President Matt Thurow, the business started by his parents in 1988 is a “well-oiled machine, highly respected in its industry.” Like other small manufacturers fighting to adapt to the economic downturn, Alpha Star knew that building a diversified customer base, from consumer goods to laboratory equipment to aerospace and energy products, was essential. To do this they needed the credibility only an ISO registration can bring.
After losing two of its largest customers to off-shoring in 2004, times only got tougher for Roesch, Inc., a leading manufacturer of component parts for OEMs in the HVAC, white goods, fireplace and barbeque industries. Continued downward pressure on sales, increased material costs and reduced shop-floor productivity had the 95-year-old company struggling to define its identity and its future. Enter IMEC.
Roesch’s relationship with IMEC began in the late 1990s with a successful ISO registration and continued over the years with a variety of quality, information technology and workforce training initiatives. So when IMEC approached Executive Vice President Debbie Voges-Schneider with a proposal to help the company create a prioritized strategy for growth, she was receptive.
New standard will put Illinois manufacturers on the path to Energy Efficiency
Utilizing the Plan-Do-Check-Act process for continual improvement, the International Standards Organization (ISO) has officially introduced the ISO 50001 standard for enabling organizations to reduce energy consumption. As part of a pilot demonstration project at a large Illinois manufacturing company, IMEC specialists have been directly involved in developing and testing the new standard.