Sunday, October 21, 2018

An Improved Effective Cost Review Process for Value Engineering by D. S. Joo and J. I. Park



An Improved Effective Cost Review Process for Value Engineering
D. S. Joo and J. I. Park
Department of Industrial Engineering, Ajou University, San 5, Woncheon-dong, Yeongtong-gu, Suwon 443-749, Republic of Korea
The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 682051, 16 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/682051
Copyright © 2014 D. S. Joo and J. I. Park.

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
https://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/682051/


Abstract
Second-look value engineering (VE) is an approach that aims to lower the costs of products for which target costs are not being met during the production stage. Participants in second-look VE typically come up with a variety of ideas for cost cutting, but the outcomes often depend on their levels of experience, and not many good alternatives are available during the production stage. Nonetheless, good ideas have been consistently generated by VE experts. This paper investigates past second-look VE cases and the thinking processes of VE experts and proposes a cost review process as a systematic means of investigating cost-cutting ideas. This cost review process includes the use of an idea checklist and a specification review process. In addition to presenting the process, this paper reports on its feasibility, based on its introduction into a VE training course as part of a pilot study. The results indicate that the cost review process is effective in generating ideas for later analysis.

1. Introduction
Value engineering (VE) is a value-enhancing technique developed by Miles, of which cost cutting is a part [1]. It is a proven method for improving product and process performance by changing materials, designs, and systems and aims to maximize function while minimizing cost [2]. VE has been embraced by a global spectrum of businesses and industries, particularly in areas such as defense, transportation, construction, and healthcare [3].

VE has evolved to comprise three phases, which are sometimes collectively referred to as product development VE: (1) zero-look VE, (2) first-look VE, and (3) second-look VE [4]. Zero-look VE is the application of VE principles at the concept proposal stage. One of its objectives is to introduce new forms of functionality that did not previously exist. Once an overall concept has been established during zero-look VE, first-look VE focuses on the major elements of product design. The objective of second-look VE is to lower the costs of products at the production stage when target costs are not currently being met. During this stage, when products are already in production, not many good alternatives are available, and so companies are compelled to use second-look VE to lower costs.

Brainstorming is a commonly used method of generating ideas and has been adopted in VE in order to develop a wide variety of ideas in a constraint-free atmosphere. However, the ideas resulting from brainstorming in VE tend to be biased and limited, because participants rely on their experience in their areas of engineering focus [5]. In other words, experienced individuals often fail to explore other feasible, possibly better ideas in different engineering areas [6]. At the same time, it is difficult for entry-level participants to come up with many ideas without training, since they may have difficulty imagining and investigating ideas within their areas of expertise.

Asking questions that stimulate curiosity and creativity is a helpful approach to idea generation and makes it possible to be creative in a thorough and even orderly way. A written list of mentally stimulating questions can remind individuals of approaches and possibilities that they may otherwise not have had in mind [7]. A notable example of this can be seen in engineers’ use of the “eliminate, combine, rearrange, and simplify” (ECRS) method to discover potential changes that they can make to an existing product, so as to create a better one. These proposed changes may either be in the form of direct suggestions or starting points for lateral thinking. However, ECRS is so general that the process often ends up leading to interesting but impractical and uneconomical ideas. In contrast, second-look VE professionals tend to come up with small and simple yet practical cost-cutting ideas that lower the costs of products during the production stage. ECRS alone is thus not particularly well suited to coming up with second-look ideas.

In general, it is well known that the best cost-cutting ideas for second-look VE are associated with eliminating unnecessary or unused portions of functions or overspecifications [8]. VE professionals have typically been trained and disciplined over several years, with the goal of boosting their ability to generate such ideas. They learn how to come up with more ideas, how to analyze methods for developing ideas, and how to recognize good ideas, tips, and techniques. The thinking processes performed by professionals during second-look VE involve recognizing specification differences [9]. This enables VE professionals to think of new directions and generate cost-cutting ideas that can be accepted for further analysis. If such thinking processes can be formulated, it can be very useful for engineers who have difficulty generating cost-cutting ideas.

This paper presents a cost review process that was developed as a supportive method for investigating cost-cutting ideas in second-look VE. For it, we investigated second-look VE cases for 20 home appliances, and created an idea checklist that was specific to those product models. In addition, we developed a specification review process to explore cost-cutting ideas by checking whether specifications are appropriate or can be improved. The rest of this paper is organized as follows. In Section 2, idea generation methods that are frequently used in VE are reviewed, with regard to their problems. Section 3 explains how the idea checklist and specification review process for this study was developed and applied. Section 4 presents the application of the proposed idea generation method to cases, while Section 5 evaluates the effectiveness of the method in a VE training course. The benefits and limitations of the proposed method are discussed in Section 6. Finally, Section 7 concludes with a summary and description of potential future work based on this study.

2. Idea Generation Methods
Much existing research on idea generation methods has focused on the goal of increasing the number of ideas produced, because it has been established that a direct relationship exists between the number of initial ideas and the quality of a final idea [10]. The main focus of such studies has been on brainstorming techniques for group-thinking sessions that increase the quality and quantity of proposed ideas for addressing a specific problem [11]. It has been claimed that group brainstorming is more effective than individual brainstorming, because mixing more different personalities into the creative flow results in a broader outlook in ideas, and the use of a facilitator to lead the session makes the process run more smoothly and removes potential bias [12]. As such, group brainstorming is the most common creativity technique used in the alternative phase of VE. Several books on VE, such as those of Fowler [13] and Dell’Isola [14], have presented brainstorming as the ideal creative technique for use in VE.

However, some VE researchers and professionals have questioned the usefulness of group brainstorming, claiming that it blocks the creative thinking efforts of a group [15]. VE participants are likely to experience the greatest difficulty during the process of idea generation. One problem is that participants tend to get stuck inside their own heads, in terms of their thinking and ideas, and do not exchange enough ideas through idea generation methods, due to perceptual blocks, emotional blocks, habitual blocks, professional blocks, or cultural blocks, which can hinder creative ability [16–18].

Individuals engaging in creative thinking should ideally engage naturally in a creative process that is as free of structure, rules, and processes as possible, but it is unlikely that a group will spontaneously do so in reality [19–21]. This is why applying a proven, systematic structure to brainstorming sessions significantly increases team productivity [22–24]. Al-Ghamdi [25] has investigated the necessary steps for effective implementation of brainstorming, and proposed a five-step procedure that helps to enhance the effectiveness of brainstorming implementation in VE studies. This study suggests that creative professionals prefer to use set methods to produce more creative results.

Asking questions to stimulate curiosity and creativity has proven to be a helpful method for idea generation, which shows that it is sometimes possible to be creative in a thorough and even orderly way. A written list of mentally stimulating questions can remind individuals of approaches and possibilities that they otherwise would not have considered. In such contexts, a checklist can play a key role in generating ideas [26]. Checklists can include ideas collected through previous experiences, so as to trigger team members’ thinking about solutions to a problem under study. SCAMPER (substitute, combine, adapt, modify, put to other uses, eliminate, and rearrange) is an acronym for useful approaches that can be applied as stimuli to make one think differently about a problem area [27]. The SCAMPER method can be used to ask questions about existing products, using each of the approaches involved. Such questions are effective in helping individuals come up with creative ideas for developing new products or improving current ones.

Checklists may range from general to very specialized. General checklists are useful for almost any VE study. They contain suggestions for rearranging, substituting, and combining existing ideas in order to develop new ones. However, specialized checklists are only useful for addressing specific problems. For example, a series of questions can be created that stimulates new ways of thinking about new processes or devices [28]. In such cases, however, ordinary engineers might limit themselves to considering the listed questions, without giving much thought to other possible alternatives.

Brainstorming is often more effective if it is combined with other idea-generation techniques. These include the Delphi method, the Gordon technique, the morphological analysis technique, and TRIZ contradiction analysis. Of these, TRIZ provides the most structured and systematic approach and can be best used to augment or replace traditional brainstorming as it is currently applied in VE [29]. This makes the integration of VE and TRIZ beneficial, as it facilitates the transition from functional diagramming to implementable solution concepts [30, 31]. The value in using these methods is in how they include additional thoughts that inspire participants and allow their minds to wander or make intuitive leaps. However, these methods cannot ensure that the ideas that are sought out will be found.

3. Developing a Specification Review Method
This study presents the development of a cost review process that helps to investigate cost-cutting ideas for second-look VE. Its main focus is the development of an idea checklist and specification review process. The checklist is created by investigating previous second-look VE cases and classifying them according to idea stimuli, while the specification review process is developed based on the thinking processes engaged in by VE professionals.

3.1. Developing the Idea Checklist
For this study, we investigated the second-look VE cases of 20 home appliances, including TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners, and peripheral computer devices. We organized 691 actual cases into eight idea categories: (1) material (213 cases), (2) form/structure (189 cases), (3) dimension (166 cases), (4) component (73 cases), (5) printing/coloring (45 cases), and (6) processing (27 cases). We created a checklist based on this classification by grouping similar cases and giving them appropriate names. As can be seen in Figure 1, the categories of material, form/structure, dimension, and component account for roughly 90% of the cases, while the other categories account for only roughly 10% of cases. Therefore, efforts to generate ideas through second-look VE should concentrate on these four categories, which describe the most frequently encountered instances.

3.1.1. Material
(i) Cost-Cutting Ideas. These are the most frequently encountered ideas among VE cases. Their main concept is to meet prevailing functional requirements with less expensive alternative materials. Table 1 presents material-related idea stimulus questions, which involve replacing the currently used material with one that is less costly. Since these ideas comprise the largest portion of cost-cutting ideas, they should be considered a priority in the exploration of cost-cutting ideas. To use a lower-grade material for its own sake is a bad idea. Therefore, engineers need to have considerable knowledge about material properties. There are two types of material-related ideas. The same material of a lower grade replacement is one that (a) uses the same material, (b) is of a lower grade, and (c) meets functional specifications. A different material at a lower cost replacement is one that (a) uses a different material, (b) costs less, and (c) meets functional specifications.

(ii) Expression. The cost-cutting ideas in this category take the form 〈Category, Subcategory, Object (to object)〉, where (to object) concerns a potential anticipated object for a cost-cutting idea. A representative case of the same material of lower-grade replacement is the replacement of SUS 303 of a shaft with HIPS HB. This case can be represented as 〈Material, Same material of a lower grade replacement, Shaft_SUS 303 (to SUS204CU)〉. A representative case of a different material at a lower cost replacement is the replacement of ABS plastic of a cover with HIPS. This case can be represented as 〈Material, Different material at a lower cost replacement, Cover_ABS plastic (to HIPS)〉. If there is no potential object to be anticipated, this case can be represented as 〈Material, Different material at a lower grade replacement, Cover_ABS plastic ( )〉. More examples can be found in Table 1.

3.1.2. Form/Structure
(i) Cost-Cutting Ideas. The form/structure category accounts for the second-largest share of second-look VE cases. The main idea of form and structure cost-cutting ideas is to eliminate, combine, rearrange, and simplify some aspect of the form or structure of an existing product while meeting functional requirements. Table 2 shows idea stimulus questions and cases that can be classified as form/structure cost-cutting ideas. These ideas are meant to reduce material or processing costs by altering a component’s form or structure.

(ii) Expression. A representative case of simplification is that of simplifying the comb pattern ribs of a friction holder rear by replacing it with simple pattern ribs. This case can be represented as 〈Form/Structure, Simplification, Fiction holder rear_comb pattern ribs (to simple pattern ribs)〉. If there is no potential object to be anticipated, this case can be represented as 〈Form/Structure, Simplification, Friction holder rear_comb pattern ribs ( )〉. More examples are found in Table 2, and some cases are illustrated with pictures as shown in Table 3.

3.1.3. Dimension
(i) Cost-Cutting Ideas. These ideas are meant to reduce the size or weight of an existing product in order to cut material costs. Dimension-related features include thickness, length, width, height, and diameter. Reducing the thickness of a component is one of the most frequently used ideas for cutting costs related to dimension. These idea stimulus questions are shown in Table 4.

(ii) Expression. The cost-cutting ideas in this category take the following form: 〈Category, Subcategory, Object_(target value)〉, where a target value is a potential one anticipated. A representative case of cost cutting with regard to thickness involves reducing an inlay panel’s 0.25 t by 0.17 t. This case can be represented as 〈Dimension, Thickness reduction, Inlay panel_0.25 t (to 0.17 t)〉. More examples can be found in Table 4.

3.1.4. Component
(i) Cost-Cutting Ideas. The major ideas in this category are meant to cut costs by finding lower-grade or otherwise lower-cost components as substitutes for existing components. The minor ideas involve reducing the number of components (e.g., PCB test pins, connector pins, holes) or their capacities (e.g., volts, memory size). These idea stimulus questions are shown in Table 5. To find proper substitute components, engineers need sufficient knowledge to find those that are cheap but suitable and available, while meeting prevailing functional requirements.
(ii) Expression. A representative case of the same component of a lower grade component replacement is the replacement of the 2012 cable of an SMD chip resister with a 1608 cable. This case can be represented as 〈Component, Same component of a lower cost replacement, SMD Chip Resister_2012 cable (to 1608 cable)〉. More examples can be found in Table 5.

3.1.5. Printing/Coloring
(i) Cost-Cutting Ideas. The ideas in this category involve the application of low-cost printing and coloring methods. The basic questions in this category concern the possibility of applying low-cost printing methods or omitting coloring processes by using natural or the same (existing) color. Table 5 shows idea stimulus questions related to labeling and painting.

(ii) Expression. A representative case of lower-cost printing replacement involves replacing the labeling of an internal case with carved sealing. This case can be represented as 〈Printing/coloring, Lower cost printing replacement, Internal case_labeling (to carved sealing)〉. More examples can be found in Table 6.

3.1.6. Processing
(i) Cost-Cutting Ideas. These ideas are meant to reduce processing time by changing a joint type, eliminating an assembly step, or reducing a processing step. Table 7 shows idea stimulus questions related to processing.

(ii) Expression. A representative case of lower-cost processing is the replacement of the screws of a main PCB and a boy frame with tapes. This case can be represented as 〈Processing, Joint type replacement, Main PCB and body frame joint_screws (to tapes)〉. More examples can be found in Table 7.

Table 8 summarizes an idea checklist that was created by classifying second-look VE cases according to idea stimuli. Engineers can work through the checklist in brainstorming sessions in which they examine a product for which target costs are not currently being met. They can answer the questions in the checklist one by one while examining the product. This idea checklist can thus be a supportive tool for reminding inexperienced engineers of various idea perspectives to consider. However, the list may not by itself be able to help engineers think of more practical ideas. A systematic process is needed to make ideas more practical.

3.2. Developing the Specification Review Process
For this study, we interviewed VE professionals who had 15–20 years of experience about how to find direction in cost-cutting ideas during second-look VE. We found that design specifications are used to generate, test, and evaluate design ideas, because they are essential qualitative and quantitative characteristics for setting criteria to be satisfied in designing a component, product, or system (such as performance requirements, dimensions, weight, or reliability). The review processes performed by professionals involve investigating current specifications based on the assumption that design specifications may have been decided without adequate review. This kind of thinking process can be very useful for engineers who have difficulty generating cost-cutting ideas.

Table 9 presents the kind of specification review process that is typically carried out by VE professionals. In the first step, the specifications of components are identified and recorded with drawings or approved calculation sheets. If there are no existing specifications, the specifications need to be established through the proper methods. In the second step, all relevant regulations are explored, such as laws, legal standards, environmental regulations, safety standards, or service guidelines. By looking into issues of who created the specifications, how, and why, more information can be obtained. If reasons and methods for creating specifications can be determined, they can help professionals understand historical approaches. If they cannot be determined, it can be concluded that specifications have been created without an adequate review process. In the third step, cost-cutting ideas are generated based on determining an idea form: 〈Category, Subcategory, object (to object)〉. This aims to find any potential problems that could arise from object to object and to determine how to overcome them. Sometimes, these ideas can be obtained simply by benchmarking.

Going through steps 1, 2, and 3 makes it possible for ideas to be explored and expanded on. This review process, together with the idea checklist, allows brainstorming to be conducted more effectively.

In summary, the cost review process consists of two steps: identifying the relevant subcategories within the idea checklist through a brainstorming session and then conducting a specification review for the subcategories identified as relevant. During the brainstorming session, VE participants investigate a product for which cost targets are not currently being met by going through the idea checklist and identifying potential subcategories for cost cutting. In the subsequent specification review process, they identify the current specifications, explore requirements and the issues of “who, why, and how,” and think of cost-cutting ideas for the subcategories.

4. Implementation
In the next step in this study, the idea checklist and design specification review described in Section 3 were implemented in a training course for the associate value specialist (AVS) program in a company. The AVS program is a certificate program for engineers who decide to become professional value engineers [32]. The program is based on a process known as a multistage job plan, which provides structure for value studies. The plan consists of six sequential steps: (1) the information phase, (2) the function analysis phase, (3) the alternative phase, (4) the evaluation phase, (5) the development phase, and (6) the presentation and implementation phase. The goal of the plan is to generate as many practical ideas as possible for later analysis. This shows that idea generation can be seen as the most important part of VE. This paper only describes the phase associated with the proposed method in the training course. Table 10 shows the appearance and component configuration of a handset used in this training. A hierarchical decomposition of the product or what is typically known as the bill of materials (BOM) is also shown in Table 10. Two cases were selected to demonstrate how the supportive method is implemented.

4.1. Implementation Case I
The proposed method was applied to handset cases ① and ② in Table 10, in order to demonstrate how it works. The function of the handset cases was to protect the internal parts of the handset, and their target costs were not being met. Few good alternatives were available, and so an idea checklist was employed to generate cost-cutting ideas. By checking the idea stimuli one at a time in a brainstorming session, four subcategories were developed by the engineers in the training program, as shown in Table 11.

In the second round, a specification review was conducted to explore the four subcategories based on specification data. The current design specification of the handset cases with respect to material is standard ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) V0. With regard to thermal characteristics, the regulations imposed on handset uppers are the UL (Underwriters’ Laboratories) and TUV (Technischer Überwachungs Verein) standards. The history of the design was explored, and it was found that the existing design specification involved using heat-resistant resin, as imposed by UL/TUV standards, primarily to impede fires in the phone line. The specification review resulted in examining the following idea form: 〈Material, Same material of a lower grader replacement, Handset cases_ABS (to ABS HB)〉 by questioning what problems you expect and how you overcome them, because ABS HB (hard board) has the same functional specifications as ABS V0, and is also heat-resistant.

The next subcategory concerned the thickness of the handset cases. The written specifications for the cases describe a thickness of 2.5 mm, as in the schematic drawing. However, the measured thickness of the handset was 2.8 mm, which was over specifications. The safety regulations imposed on handset cases dictate that they must not break under 5Ns impact. Furthermore, a review of the history of the handset design revealed that the existing design specifications had been set up without adequate specification review. The specification review resulted in examining the following idea form: 〈Dimension, Thickness reduction, Headset case_0.28 t (to 0.25 t)〉. It should have investigated the thickness needed to withstand the impact of 5 Ns. The application of an appropriate specification review process to the handset cases is summarized in Table 12.

4.2. Implementation Case II
Table 13 shows an example of idea generation for the PBA SUB-etc. MIC (⑥) and CFH (⑨) in Table 10, for a function in which an electrical signal is passed to the modular jack. Four subcategories were chosen from the idea checklist for further investigation.

A specification review was conducted to further explore the four subcategories in a systematic manner, based on specification data. The form/structure subcategory concerned the integration of the PBA SUB-etc. and CFH. In the existing structure, the CFH and the PCB-handset MIC were detachable at the modular jack, with the modular jack soldered onto the PCB-handset MIC in PBA SUB-etc. The safety regulations imposed on the CFH were unknown. The actual structure of the CFH and the PCB-handset MIC can be split. An examination of the history of the design revealed that the existing structure was set up by an engineer due to problems related to repairs after sales. Therefore, the relevant after-sales claim rates need to be investigated to decide whether the CFH and the PCB-handset MIC should be separated. The idea generated from this specification review was to examine the feasibility of soldering the CFH directly to the PCB-handset MIC without the modular jack, if rates of after-sales repairs were low or nonexistent.

The second subcategory is related to the length of the CFH. The existing length of the CFH was 300 ± 20 cm. The actual measured length was 305 cm. The safety regulations imposed on the CFH were unknown. A review of the history of the design showed that the existing specifications had been set without adequate specification review. The actual length is within the given range, meaning that the current length has been set appropriately with respect to the current specifications. The idea generated from this specification review was to examine the length of other commercial models in order to benchmark them for comparison with the current design specification. The application of the specification review process to the PBA SUB-etc. and CFH is summarized in Table 14.


Table 14: Specification review process for PBA SUB-etc. and CFH.

5. Evaluation
A preliminary evaluation of the proposed method for brainstorming was conducted by implementing the method in a training course, in order to determine whether it could be used as a supplementary method to help engineers generate ideas. We assembled ten brainstorming groups. Each group was made up of 4-5 persons. We introduced the purpose of the test and provided the method, along with the product. The experiment was conducted just after brainstorming, without applying the method. The results of the preliminary test are shown in Table 15.


Table 15: Preliminary test results for the proposed method.


The total numbers of ideas generated by brainstorming without and with the supportive method were 75 and 219, respectively. Through the use of the supportive method, the average number of ideas improved from 7.5 to 21.9, which is an increase of 293%. These results of the preliminary test result suggested that the use of the supportive method for brainstorming resulted in training outcomes that were significantly better than those achieved through brainstorming alone.

A most significant observation was made during the test. When running through the checklist, the leader of one group asked, “Taking this idea checklist into account, how might I check this specification? What effect will this idea have on the problem?” as well as other similar questions. The other members of the group answered the questions. We observed that the checklist stimulated the participants, who had trouble remaining alert during the brainstorming session in which the supportive method was not used.

6. Discussion
Our evaluation of the training effectiveness of the method showed that participants felt that it made positive contributions to their brainstorming behaviors. This suggests that the method reinforces brainstorming by providing a more efficient approach to generating ideas. However, our interviews with several VE experts revealed a somewhat different reality.

For our study, we also examined people’s attitudes toward this method. In a postexperimental survey, eight of 10 groups said that the method was either helpful (six groups) or sometimes helpful (two groups). Some participants informally praised the method, and one volunteered that the method was helpful for him because the idea checklist and review process smoothly guided idea generation. Another got quite excited about the effectiveness of the method and stated that he planned to introduce it to his team members, who work on home appliance development. However, some participants criticized the method, arguing that the idea stimuli such as dimension, amount, and size are well-known approaches in VE, and thus the method is only effective for entry-level engineers. For senior engineers who have experience in their fields, the method may even limit idea generation. Hence it is necessary that engineers expand on checklists with as many feasible alternatives as possible.

In general, a specification review is an important part of second-look VE. It provides essential technical details on the materials or processes to be used in developing a product that conforms to customer requirements. Product nonconformance is often associated with inadequate specification review. Engineers often set design specifications without adequate specification review due to a lack of time and information. Problems of this type can be avoided with a well-planned and managed specification review procedure. Therefore, specification reviews are a necessary process for further exploring ideas that need to be visualized by engineers.

7. Conclusion
This study presents a supportive method for supplementing brainstorming activities that do not play a role as starting points for second-look VE. The supportive method for brainstorming consists of two parts: an idea checklist and a specification review process. In the brainstorming session, engineers use the idea checklist to review a current product and come up with individual cost-cutting ideas. By listing each item, they ensure that none are overlooked in generating ideas. If some ideas need to be further investigated, they systematically review the specifications along with the idea checklist.

The proposed method was applied to a consumer headset to demonstrate how it forms idea stimuli and reminds engineers of possible ways to approach a problem or shape a solution. A preliminary evaluation indicated that the specification review method was effective in generating ideas for later analysis. Future development of this “ideating via checklist” method is planned, beginning by generating checklists for other products. This study can be used to help those who are looking for ways to produce new and better cost-cutting ideas.


Conflict of Interests
The authors certify that there is no conflict of interests with any financial organization regarding the material discussed in the paper.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea and was funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (NRF-2010-0022344).

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Second-look value engineering (VE) is an approach that aims to lower the costs of products for which target costs are not being met during the production stage. Participants in second-look VE typically come up with a variety of ideas for cost cutting, but the outcomes often depend on their levels of experience, and not many good alternatives are available during the production stage. Nonetheless, good ideas have been consistently generated by VE experts. This paper investigates past second-look VE cases and the thinking processes of VE experts and proposes a cost review process as a systematic means of investigating cost-cutting ideas. This cost review process includes the use of an idea checklist and a specification review process. In addition to presenting the process, this paper reports on its feasibility, based on its introduction into a VE training course as part of a pilot study. The results indicate that the cost review process is effective in generating ideas for later analysis.

1. Introduction
Value engineering (VE) is a value-enhancing technique developed by Miles, of which cost cutting is a part [1]. It is a proven method for improving product and process performance by changing materials, designs, and systems and aims to maximize function while minimizing cost [2]. VE has been embraced by a global spectrum of businesses and industries, particularly in areas such as defense, transportation, construction, and healthcare [3].

VE has evolved to comprise three phases, which are sometimes collectively referred to as product development VE: (1) zero-look VE, (2) first-look VE, and (3) second-look VE [4]. Zero-look VE is the application of VE principles at the concept proposal stage. One of its objectives is to introduce new forms of functionality that did not previously exist. Once an overall concept has been established during zero-look VE, first-look VE focuses on the major elements of product design. The objective of second-look VE is to lower the costs of products at the production stage when target costs are not currently being met. During this stage, when products are already in production, not many good alternatives are available, and so companies are compelled to use second-look VE to lower costs.

Brainstorming is a commonly used method of generating ideas and has been adopted in VE in order to develop a wide variety of ideas in a constraint-free atmosphere. However, the ideas resulting from brainstorming in VE tend to be biased and limited, because participants rely on their experience in their areas of engineering focus [5]. In other words, experienced individuals often fail to explore other feasible, possibly better ideas in different engineering areas [6]. At the same time, it is difficult for entry-level participants to come up with many ideas without training, since they may have difficulty imagining and investigating ideas within their areas of expertise.

Asking questions that stimulate curiosity and creativity is a helpful approach to idea generation and makes it possible to be creative in a thorough and even orderly way. A written list of mentally stimulating questions can remind individuals of approaches and possibilities that they may otherwise not have had in mind [7]. A notable example of this can be seen in engineers’ use of the “eliminate, combine, rearrange, and simplify” (ECRS) method to discover potential changes that they can make to an existing product, so as to create a better one. These proposed changes may either be in the form of direct suggestions or starting points for lateral thinking. However, ECRS is so general that the process often ends up leading to interesting but impractical and uneconomical ideas. In contrast, second-look VE professionals tend to come up with small and simple yet practical cost-cutting ideas that lower the costs of products during the production stage. ECRS alone is thus not particularly well suited to coming up with second-look ideas.

In general, it is well known that the best cost-cutting ideas for second-look VE are associated with eliminating unnecessary or unused portions of functions or overspecifications [8]. VE professionals have typically been trained and disciplined over several years, with the goal of boosting their ability to generate such ideas. They learn how to come up with more ideas, how to analyze methods for developing ideas, and how to recognize good ideas, tips, and techniques. The thinking processes performed by professionals during second-look VE involve recognizing specification differences [9]. This enables VE professionals to think of new directions and generate cost-cutting ideas that can be accepted for further analysis. If such thinking processes can be formulated, it can be very useful for engineers who have difficulty generating cost-cutting ideas.

This paper presents a cost review process that was developed as a supportive method for investigating cost-cutting ideas in second-look VE. For it, we investigated second-look VE cases for 20 home appliances, and created an idea checklist that was specific to those product models. In addition, we developed a specification review process to explore cost-cutting ideas by checking whether specifications are appropriate or can be improved. The rest of this paper is organized as follows. In Section 2, idea generation methods that are frequently used in VE are reviewed, with regard to their problems. Section 3 explains how the idea checklist and specification review process for this study was developed and applied. Section 4 presents the application of the proposed idea generation method to cases, while Section 5 evaluates the effectiveness of the method in a VE training course. The benefits and limitations of the proposed method are discussed in Section 6. Finally, Section 7 concludes with a summary and description of potential future work based on this study.

2. Idea Generation Methods
Much existing research on idea generation methods has focused on the goal of increasing the number of ideas produced, because it has been established that a direct relationship exists between the number of initial ideas and the quality of a final idea [10]. The main focus of such studies has been on brainstorming techniques for group-thinking sessions that increase the quality and quantity of proposed ideas for addressing a specific problem [11]. It has been claimed that group brainstorming is more effective than individual brainstorming, because mixing more different personalities into the creative flow results in a broader outlook in ideas, and the use of a facilitator to lead the session makes the process run more smoothly and removes potential bias [12]. As such, group brainstorming is the most common creativity technique used in the alternative phase of VE. Several books on VE, such as those of Fowler [13] and Dell’Isola [14], have presented brainstorming as the ideal creative technique for use in VE.

However, some VE researchers and professionals have questioned the usefulness of group brainstorming, claiming that it blocks the creative thinking efforts of a group [15]. VE participants are likely to experience the greatest difficulty during the process of idea generation. One problem is that participants tend to get stuck inside their own heads, in terms of their thinking and ideas, and do not exchange enough ideas through idea generation methods, due to perceptual blocks, emotional blocks, habitual blocks, professional blocks, or cultural blocks, which can hinder creative ability [16–18].

Individuals engaging in creative thinking should ideally engage naturally in a creative process that is as free of structure, rules, and processes as possible, but it is unlikely that a group will spontaneously do so in reality [19–21]. This is why applying a proven, systematic structure to brainstorming sessions significantly increases team productivity [22–24]. Al-Ghamdi [25] has investigated the necessary steps for effective implementation of brainstorming, and proposed a five-step procedure that helps to enhance the effectiveness of brainstorming implementation in VE studies. This study suggests that creative professionals prefer to use set methods to produce more creative results.

Asking questions to stimulate curiosity and creativity has proven to be a helpful method for idea generation, which shows that it is sometimes possible to be creative in a thorough and even orderly way. A written list of mentally stimulating questions can remind individuals of approaches and possibilities that they otherwise would not have considered. In such contexts, a checklist can play a key role in generating ideas [26]. Checklists can include ideas collected through previous experiences, so as to trigger team members’ thinking about solutions to a problem under study. SCAMPER (substitute, combine, adapt, modify, put to other uses, eliminate, and rearrange) is an acronym for useful approaches that can be applied as stimuli to make one think differently about a problem area [27]. The SCAMPER method can be used to ask questions about existing products, using each of the approaches involved. Such questions are effective in helping individuals come up with creative ideas for developing new products or improving current ones.

Checklists may range from general to very specialized. General checklists are useful for almost any VE study. They contain suggestions for rearranging, substituting, and combining existing ideas in order to develop new ones. However, specialized checklists are only useful for addressing specific problems. For example, a series of questions can be created that stimulates new ways of thinking about new processes or devices [28]. In such cases, however, ordinary engineers might limit themselves to considering the listed questions, without giving much thought to other possible alternatives.

Brainstorming is often more effective if it is combined with other idea-generation techniques. These include the Delphi method, the Gordon technique, the morphological analysis technique, and TRIZ contradiction analysis. Of these, TRIZ provides the most structured and systematic approach and can be best used to augment or replace traditional brainstorming as it is currently applied in VE [29]. This makes the integration of VE and TRIZ beneficial, as it facilitates the transition from functional diagramming to implementable solution concepts [30, 31]. The value in using these methods is in how they include additional thoughts that inspire participants and allow their minds to wander or make intuitive leaps. However, these methods cannot ensure that the ideas that are sought out will be found.

3. Developing a Specification Review Method
This study presents the development of a cost review process that helps to investigate cost-cutting ideas for second-look VE. Its main focus is the development of an idea checklist and specification review process. The checklist is created by investigating previous second-look VE cases and classifying them according to idea stimuli, while the specification review process is developed based on the thinking processes engaged in by VE professionals.

3.1. Developing the Idea Checklist
For this study, we investigated the second-look VE cases of 20 home appliances, including TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners, and peripheral computer devices. We organized 691 actual cases into eight idea categories: (1) material (213 cases), (2) form/structure (189 cases), (3) dimension (166 cases), (4) component (73 cases), (5) printing/coloring (45 cases), and (6) processing (27 cases). We created a checklist based on this classification by grouping similar cases and giving them appropriate names. As can be seen in Figure 1, the categories of material, form/structure, dimension, and component account for roughly 90% of the cases, while the other categories account for only roughly 10% of cases. Therefore, efforts to generate ideas through second-look VE should concentrate on these four categories, which describe the most frequently encountered instances.

3.1.1. Material
(i) Cost-Cutting Ideas. These are the most frequently encountered ideas among VE cases. Their main concept is to meet prevailing functional requirements with less expensive alternative materials. Table 1 presents material-related idea stimulus questions, which involve replacing the currently used material with one that is less costly. Since these ideas comprise the largest portion of cost-cutting ideas, they should be considered a priority in the exploration of cost-cutting ideas. To use a lower-grade material for its own sake is a bad idea. Therefore, engineers need to have considerable knowledge about material properties. There are two types of material-related ideas. The same material of a lower grade replacement is one that (a) uses the same material, (b) is of a lower grade, and (c) meets functional specifications. A different material at a lower cost replacement is one that (a) uses a different material, (b) costs less, and (c) meets functional specifications.

(ii) Expression. The cost-cutting ideas in this category take the form 〈Category, Subcategory, Object (to object)〉, where (to object) concerns a potential anticipated object for a cost-cutting idea. A representative case of the same material of lower-grade replacement is the replacement of SUS 303 of a shaft with HIPS HB. This case can be represented as 〈Material, Same material of a lower grade replacement, Shaft_SUS 303 (to SUS204CU)〉. A representative case of a different material at a lower cost replacement is the replacement of ABS plastic of a cover with HIPS. This case can be represented as 〈Material, Different material at a lower cost replacement, Cover_ABS plastic (to HIPS)〉. If there is no potential object to be anticipated, this case can be represented as 〈Material, Different material at a lower grade replacement, Cover_ABS plastic ( )〉. More examples can be found in Table 1.

3.1.2. Form/Structure
(i) Cost-Cutting Ideas. The form/structure category accounts for the second-largest share of second-look VE cases. The main idea of form and structure cost-cutting ideas is to eliminate, combine, rearrange, and simplify some aspect of the form or structure of an existing product while meeting functional requirements. Table 2 shows idea stimulus questions and cases that can be classified as form/structure cost-cutting ideas. These ideas are meant to reduce material or processing costs by altering a component’s form or structure.

(ii) Expression. A representative case of simplification is that of simplifying the comb pattern ribs of a friction holder rear by replacing it with simple pattern ribs. This case can be represented as 〈Form/Structure, Simplification, Fiction holder rear_comb pattern ribs (to simple pattern ribs)〉. If there is no potential object to be anticipated, this case can be represented as 〈Form/Structure, Simplification, Friction holder rear_comb pattern ribs ( )〉. More examples are found in Table 2, and some cases are illustrated with pictures as shown in Table 3.

3.1.3. Dimension
(i) Cost-Cutting Ideas. These ideas are meant to reduce the size or weight of an existing product in order to cut material costs. Dimension-related features include thickness, length, width, height, and diameter. Reducing the thickness of a component is one of the most frequently used ideas for cutting costs related to dimension. These idea stimulus questions are shown in Table 4.

(ii) Expression. The cost-cutting ideas in this category take the following form: 〈Category, Subcategory, Object_(target value)〉, where a target value is a potential one anticipated. A representative case of cost cutting with regard to thickness involves reducing an inlay panel’s 0.25 t by 0.17 t. This case can be represented as 〈Dimension, Thickness reduction, Inlay panel_0.25 t (to 0.17 t)〉. More examples can be found in Table 4.

3.1.4. Component
(i) Cost-Cutting Ideas. The major ideas in this category are meant to cut costs by finding lower-grade or otherwise lower-cost components as substitutes for existing components. The minor ideas involve reducing the number of components (e.g., PCB test pins, connector pins, holes) or their capacities (e.g., volts, memory size). These idea stimulus questions are shown in Table 5. To find proper substitute components, engineers need sufficient knowledge to find those that are cheap but suitable and available, while meeting prevailing functional requirements.
(ii) Expression. A representative case of the same component of a lower grade component replacement is the replacement of the 2012 cable of an SMD chip resister with a 1608 cable. This case can be represented as 〈Component, Same component of a lower cost replacement, SMD Chip Resister_2012 cable (to 1608 cable)〉. More examples can be found in Table 5.

3.1.5. Printing/Coloring
(i) Cost-Cutting Ideas. The ideas in this category involve the application of low-cost printing and coloring methods. The basic questions in this category concern the possibility of applying low-cost printing methods or omitting coloring processes by using natural or the same (existing) color. Table 5 shows idea stimulus questions related to labeling and painting.

(ii) Expression. A representative case of lower-cost printing replacement involves replacing the labeling of an internal case with carved sealing. This case can be represented as 〈Printing/coloring, Lower cost printing replacement, Internal case_labeling (to carved sealing)〉. More examples can be found in Table 6.

3.1.6. Processing
(i) Cost-Cutting Ideas. These ideas are meant to reduce processing time by changing a joint type, eliminating an assembly step, or reducing a processing step. Table 7 shows idea stimulus questions related to processing.

(ii) Expression. A representative case of lower-cost processing is the replacement of the screws of a main PCB and a boy frame with tapes. This case can be represented as 〈Processing, Joint type replacement, Main PCB and body frame joint_screws (to tapes)〉. More examples can be found in Table 7.

Table 8 summarizes an idea checklist that was created by classifying second-look VE cases according to idea stimuli. Engineers can work through the checklist in brainstorming sessions in which they examine a product for which target costs are not currently being met. They can answer the questions in the checklist one by one while examining the product. This idea checklist can thus be a supportive tool for reminding inexperienced engineers of various idea perspectives to consider. However, the list may not by itself be able to help engineers think of more practical ideas. A systematic process is needed to make ideas more practical.

3.2. Developing the Specification Review Process
For this study, we interviewed VE professionals who had 15–20 years of experience about how to find direction in cost-cutting ideas during second-look VE. We found that design specifications are used to generate, test, and evaluate design ideas, because they are essential qualitative and quantitative characteristics for setting criteria to be satisfied in designing a component, product, or system (such as performance requirements, dimensions, weight, or reliability). The review processes performed by professionals involve investigating current specifications based on the assumption that design specifications may have been decided without adequate review. This kind of thinking process can be very useful for engineers who have difficulty generating cost-cutting ideas.

Table 9 presents the kind of specification review process that is typically carried out by VE professionals. In the first step, the specifications of components are identified and recorded with drawings or approved calculation sheets. If there are no existing specifications, the specifications need to be established through the proper methods. In the second step, all relevant regulations are explored, such as laws, legal standards, environmental regulations, safety standards, or service guidelines. By looking into issues of who created the specifications, how, and why, more information can be obtained. If reasons and methods for creating specifications can be determined, they can help professionals understand historical approaches. If they cannot be determined, it can be concluded that specifications have been created without an adequate review process. In the third step, cost-cutting ideas are generated based on determining an idea form: 〈Category, Subcategory, object (to object)〉. This aims to find any potential problems that could arise from object to object and to determine how to overcome them. Sometimes, these ideas can be obtained simply by benchmarking.

Going through steps 1, 2, and 3 makes it possible for ideas to be explored and expanded on. This review process, together with the idea checklist, allows brainstorming to be conducted more effectively.

In summary, the cost review process consists of two steps: identifying the relevant subcategories within the idea checklist through a brainstorming session and then conducting a specification review for the subcategories identified as relevant. During the brainstorming session, VE participants investigate a product for which cost targets are not currently being met by going through the idea checklist and identifying potential subcategories for cost cutting. In the subsequent specification review process, they identify the current specifications, explore requirements and the issues of “who, why, and how,” and think of cost-cutting ideas for the subcategories.

4. Implementation
In the next step in this study, the idea checklist and design specification review described in Section 3 were implemented in a training course for the associate value specialist (AVS) program in a company. The AVS program is a certificate program for engineers who decide to become professional value engineers [32]. The program is based on a process known as a multistage job plan, which provides structure for value studies. The plan consists of six sequential steps: (1) the information phase, (2) the function analysis phase, (3) the alternative phase, (4) the evaluation phase, (5) the development phase, and (6) the presentation and implementation phase. The goal of the plan is to generate as many practical ideas as possible for later analysis. This shows that idea generation can be seen as the most important part of VE. This paper only describes the phase associated with the proposed method in the training course. Table 10 shows the appearance and component configuration of a handset used in this training. A hierarchical decomposition of the product or what is typically known as the bill of materials (BOM) is also shown in Table 10. Two cases were selected to demonstrate how the supportive method is implemented.

4.1. Implementation Case I
The proposed method was applied to handset cases ① and ② in Table 10, in order to demonstrate how it works. The function of the handset cases was to protect the internal parts of the handset, and their target costs were not being met. Few good alternatives were available, and so an idea checklist was employed to generate cost-cutting ideas. By checking the idea stimuli one at a time in a brainstorming session, four subcategories were developed by the engineers in the training program, as shown in Table 11.

In the second round, a specification review was conducted to explore the four subcategories based on specification data. The current design specification of the handset cases with respect to material is standard ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) V0. With regard to thermal characteristics, the regulations imposed on handset uppers are the UL (Underwriters’ Laboratories) and TUV (Technischer Überwachungs Verein) standards. The history of the design was explored, and it was found that the existing design specification involved using heat-resistant resin, as imposed by UL/TUV standards, primarily to impede fires in the phone line. The specification review resulted in examining the following idea form: 〈Material, Same material of a lower grader replacement, Handset cases_ABS (to ABS HB)〉 by questioning what problems you expect and how you overcome them, because ABS HB (hard board) has the same functional specifications as ABS V0, and is also heat-resistant.

The next subcategory concerned the thickness of the handset cases. The written specifications for the cases describe a thickness of 2.5 mm, as in the schematic drawing. However, the measured thickness of the handset was 2.8 mm, which was over specifications. The safety regulations imposed on handset cases dictate that they must not break under 5Ns impact. Furthermore, a review of the history of the handset design revealed that the existing design specifications had been set up without adequate specification review. The specification review resulted in examining the following idea form: 〈Dimension, Thickness reduction, Headset case_0.28 t (to 0.25 t)〉. It should have investigated the thickness needed to withstand the impact of 5 Ns. The application of an appropriate specification review process to the handset cases is summarized in Table 12.

4.2. Implementation Case II
Table 13 shows an example of idea generation for the PBA SUB-etc. MIC (⑥) and CFH (⑨) in Table 10, for a function in which an electrical signal is passed to the modular jack. Four subcategories were chosen from the idea checklist for further investigation.

A specification review was conducted to further explore the four subcategories in a systematic manner, based on specification data. The form/structure subcategory concerned the integration of the PBA SUB-etc. and CFH. In the existing structure, the CFH and the PCB-handset MIC were detachable at the modular jack, with the modular jack soldered onto the PCB-handset MIC in PBA SUB-etc. The safety regulations imposed on the CFH were unknown. The actual structure of the CFH and the PCB-handset MIC can be split. An examination of the history of the design revealed that the existing structure was set up by an engineer due to problems related to repairs after sales. Therefore, the relevant after-sales claim rates need to be investigated to decide whether the CFH and the PCB-handset MIC should be separated. The idea generated from this specification review was to examine the feasibility of soldering the CFH directly to the PCB-handset MIC without the modular jack, if rates of after-sales repairs were low or nonexistent.

The second subcategory is related to the length of the CFH. The existing length of the CFH was 300 ± 20 cm. The actual measured length was 305 cm. The safety regulations imposed on the CFH were unknown. A review of the history of the design showed that the existing specifications had been set without adequate specification review. The actual length is within the given range, meaning that the current length has been set appropriately with respect to the current specifications. The idea generated from this specification review was to examine the length of other commercial models in order to benchmark them for comparison with the current design specification. The application of the specification review process to the PBA SUB-etc. and CFH is summarized in Table 14.

tab14
Table 14: Specification review process for PBA SUB-etc. and CFH.
5. Evaluation
A preliminary evaluation of the proposed method for brainstorming was conducted by implementing the method in a training course, in order to determine whether it could be used as a supplementary method to help engineers generate ideas. We assembled ten brainstorming groups. Each group was made up of 4-5 persons. We introduced the purpose of the test and provided the method, along with the product. The experiment was conducted just after brainstorming, without applying the method. The results of the preliminary test are shown in Table 15.

tab15
Table 15: Preliminary test results for the proposed method.
The total numbers of ideas generated by brainstorming without and with the supportive method were 75 and 219, respectively. Through the use of the supportive method, the average number of ideas improved from 7.5 to 21.9, which is an increase of 293%. These results of the preliminary test result suggested that the use of the supportive method for brainstorming resulted in training outcomes that were significantly better than those achieved through brainstorming alone.

A most significant observation was made during the test. When running through the checklist, the leader of one group asked, “Taking this idea checklist into account, how might I check this specification? What effect will this idea have on the problem?” as well as other similar questions. The other members of the group answered the questions. We observed that the checklist stimulated the participants, who had trouble remaining alert during the brainstorming session in which the supportive method was not used.

6. Discussion
Our evaluation of the training effectiveness of the method showed that participants felt that it made positive contributions to their brainstorming behaviors. This suggests that the method reinforces brainstorming by providing a more efficient approach to generating ideas. However, our interviews with several VE experts revealed a somewhat different reality.

For our study, we also examined people’s attitudes toward this method. In a postexperimental survey, eight of 10 groups said that the method was either helpful (six groups) or sometimes helpful (two groups). Some participants informally praised the method, and one volunteered that the method was helpful for him because the idea checklist and review process smoothly guided idea generation. Another got quite excited about the effectiveness of the method and stated that he planned to introduce it to his team members, who work on home appliance development. However, some participants criticized the method, arguing that the idea stimuli such as dimension, amount, and size are well-known approaches in VE, and thus the method is only effective for entry-level engineers. For senior engineers who have experience in their fields, the method may even limit idea generation. Hence it is necessary that engineers expand on checklists with as many feasible alternatives as possible.

In general, a specification review is an important part of second-look VE. It provides essential technical details on the materials or processes to be used in developing a product that conforms to customer requirements. Product nonconformance is often associated with inadequate specification review. Engineers often set design specifications without adequate specification review due to a lack of time and information. Problems of this type can be avoided with a well-planned and managed specification review procedure. Therefore, specification reviews are a necessary process for further exploring ideas that need to be visualized by engineers.

7. Conclusion
This study presents a supportive method for supplementing brainstorming activities that do not play a role as starting points for second-look VE. The supportive method for brainstorming consists of two parts: an idea checklist and a specification review process. In the brainstorming session, engineers use the idea checklist to review a current product and come up with individual cost-cutting ideas. By listing each item, they ensure that none are overlooked in generating ideas. If some ideas need to be further investigated, they systematically review the specifications along with the idea checklist.

The proposed method was applied to a consumer headset to demonstrate how it forms idea stimuli and reminds engineers of possible ways to approach a problem or shape a solution. A preliminary evaluation indicated that the specification review method was effective in generating ideas for later analysis. Future development of this “ideating via checklist” method is planned, beginning by generating checklists for other products. This study can be used to help those who are looking for ways to produce new and better cost-cutting ideas.


Conflict of Interests
The authors certify that there is no conflict of interests with any financial organization regarding the material discussed in the paper.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea and was funded by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (NRF-2010-0022344).

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You can download pdf from journal site  https://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/682051/

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Developments in Machining - Technology and Productivity - Bulletin Board




Machine Work Study


Machine work study is an important task in industrial engineering for improving productivity and reducing costs. F.W. Taylor has done it, provided a research treatise and also indicated that productivity improvement has to focus on machine related issues first before moving attention to operator related issues.
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2018



Kennametal, Record for maximum metal removal

02 October, 2018

Kennametal´s newest helical milling cutter in a roughing cut  in a block of Ti-6Al-4V titanium  ripped away more than 1000 cubic cm (61 cubic inches) of material in just one minute. The milling cutter is  Kennametal´s new HARVITM Ultra 8X helical milling cutter.  Using a 95 mm (3.74 in.) axial depth of cut, 20 mm (0.78 in.) radially, and a feedrate of 423 mm/min (16.65 ipm), the 80 mm (3.15 in.) diameter HARVI Ultra 8X cut through this aerospace superalloy for nearly three minutes.

The cutter was tested on other materials like 15-5 PH to cast iron to Aermet 100 (high strength steel).

For regular use,   HARVI Ultra 8X was designed to  remove 20 cubic inches (328 cm3) of Ti-6Al-4V each minute while attaining 60 minutes of tool life per cutting edge.
https://www.cnctimes.com/editorial/kennametal-record-setter-in-the-contest-for-maximum-metal-removal

https://www.aero-mag.com/kennametal-titanium-kcsm40-aerospace-applications/

https://www.kennametal.com/en/products/20478624/57493250/556247/46610642/46611040/harvi-ultra-8x-helical-milling.html

Kennametal Catalogues
http://catalogs.kennametal.com/?BookCode=iei18flx&PageLabel=46&Sgt=11&Lang=enu

New Item in Cutting Tool Engineering Magazine
https://www.ctemag.com/products/harvitm-ultra-8x-helical-milling-cutter



More Shops Take the ‘Through-Way’ for Coolant Applications
May 30, 2018 by Ilene Wolff - Contributing Editor
 TSC tools cost at least 50% more to make due to additional machining to create threaded holes for fittings, nozzles, manifolds, and in some cases numerous ports for the coolant because customers may want them at different places.
https://advancedmanufacturing.org/more-shops-take-the-through-way-for-coolant-applications/

Renishaw Primo™ twin probe system

Installation of a Renishaw Primo™ twin probe system with Radio Part Setter and Radio 3D Tool Setter which has helped the company (SuMax Enterprises) reduce part set-up time by 90% and eliminate scrap (previously 12%) caused by machining.

Application: The Primo system helps in setting the steering worm shaft accurately for slot milling on a vertical machining centre. The  setting used to take 15 to 20 minutes whereas the actual machining time was five minutes. Use of the  Primo system eliminated the complex manual setting operation and reduced setting time to just two minutes (90% saving).
https://www.cnctimes.com/articles/singleArticle/1013

https://www.renishaw.com/en/renishaw-unveils-the-primo-twin-probe-system-breakthrough-business-model-to-open-up-the-world-of-precision-manufacturing--32510

https://www.renishaw.de/de/primo-system-helps-sumax-enterprises-to-reduce-part-set-up-time-by-90--38502

Value Engineering - Bulletin - Information Board




2018


An interesting paper

An Improved Effective Cost Review Process for Value Engineering
D. S. Joo and J. I. Park
Department of Industrial Engineering, Ajou University, San 5, Woncheon-dong, Yeongtong-gu, Suwon 443-749, Republic of Korea
The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 682051, 16 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/682051
Copyright © 2014 D. S. Joo and J. I. Park. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
https://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2014/682051/

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Value Engineering and Function Analysis: Frameworks for Innovation in Antenna Systems
Open Access
Challenges 2018, 9(1), 20
http://www.mdpi.com/2078-1547/9/1/20/htm

Aug. 15, 2017

DoD Announces Recipients of Value Engineering Achievement Awards
https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1279151/dod-announces-recipients-of-value-engineering-achievement-awards/

Best Practices in the Value Engineering Program

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ve/portaltopractices.cfm

Procedia Computer Science
Volume 28, 2014, Pages 781-788
open access
Procedia Computer Science
Extended Model for Integrated Value Engineering☆
Florian G.H.Behncke Sebastian Maisen bacher MaikMaurer
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877050914001562


Corporate Value Engineering/Management Policy
https://www.valuefoundation.org/policy.htm

Value Engineering Theory: Lecture Outline and Reading Supplement
Donald E. Parker
Miles Value Foundation - Business & Economics - 188 pages

This publication is designed to be part of a University level course on Value Engineering Theory. As Such, it is presented in two sections:

Section one of this publication contains an eleven-part reading supplement to Larry Miles’ book, “Techniques of Value Analysis and Engineering”.

Section two contains the reading assignment and content of the eleven basic lectures for the course.

The objectives are to introduce the concept of value engineering and demonstrate its application and techniques.
https://books.google.co.in/books?id=NDFbDwAAQBAJ


Value Engineering: Theory and Practice in Industry
Thomas R. King
Miles Value Foundation - Value analysis (Cost control) - 195 pages


This book, along with an instructor's guide (available at www.valuefoundation.org) was developed to support a 3-credit hour university course on Value Engineering principles.

The objective of the course is to introduce the concept of value engineering and demonstrate its techniques and application. The course of study provides practical knowledge in specialized techniques that comprise the value engineering methodology and the manner in which they are applied through a systematic job plan approach.

https://books.google.co.in/books?id=ZDFbDwAAQBAJ


Lawrence D. Miles Foundation - Value Education Resources
https://www.valuefoundation.org/Educate-Ed-Resources.htm

Celestine Aguwa Ph.D.
Value Engineering Faculty, Wayne State University
https://engineering.wayne.edu/profile/bd4891


Developing a Standard Approach to the Value Engineering Process for the Civil Engineering Industry: a Theoretical, Case Study and Industry Perspective.
Charles Anthony Mitchell, Dublin Institute of Technology
2013
https://arrow.dit.ie/beschreccon/39/


July 2017

Value Engineering is not just an engineering initiative - Total Value Engineering
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Your Career as Cost and Value Engineer at Siemens
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by Siemens

June 2017
Holokit For Low-Cost Mixed Reality
Amber Garage introduce the Holokit - a low cost solution for Mixed Reality.
Jun 4, 2017
https://www.vrfocus.com/2017/06/holokit-for-low-cost-mixed-reality/


April 2017

2016 SAVE  Value Summit Keynote - Christine Furstoss - General Electric

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Save International

March 2017

Value-Engineering Boosts Returns for Utility-Scale Solar Projects
https://www.terrasmart.com/value-engineering-boosts-returns-utility-scale-solar-projects/


Value Engineering and the Price of Steel
http://www.jcmetalworks.co.uk/value-engineering-and-the-price-of-steel.html

Value Engineering in Fire Design – Protecting Lives and Saving Costs
http://www.fdsconsult.com/value-engineering-fire-design-protecting-lives-saving-costs/




2016

December 2016

Value engineering services  play a central role in Hittech’s relationship with the customer
https://www.bits-chips.nl/artikel/value-engineering-plays-a-central-role-in-hittechs-relationship-with-the-customer-48615.html

Value engineering of solar power system
http://bci-engineering.com/case-study/value-engineering-for-solar/

"Tata Steel has been conferred with Vasant Rao Trophy by Indian Value Engineering Society (INVEST) for excellence in Systematic Application of Value Engineering at Engineering & Projects
http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/companies/tata-steel-bags-3-awardsvalue-engineering-919669.html

New plastic material developed to aid value engineering
http://www.protechplastics.net/clients/case-study-value-engineering/


Department of Defense Value Engineering Achievement Awards program - 2016
AMCOM engineers completed 119 projects claiming a record $304 million in savings and cost avoidance for local organizations
https://www.army.mil/article/179767/amcom_commander_recognizes_employees_who_excel_with_value_engineering

October 2014
Value Engineering of Bicycle
Imported bicycle from a low cost source - China costs $1,200.
A new design to cost only $250 in Netherlands
http://www.fastcodesign.com/3037472/wanted/can-a-bike-be-both-cheap-and-beautiful


2012
Value Engineering Synergies with Lean Six Sigma: Combining Methodologies for Enhanced Results
Jay Mandelbaum, Anthony Hermes, Donald Parker, Heather Williams
CRC Press, 11-May-2012 - Business & Economics - 212 pages
Lean Six Sigma (LSS), Design for Six Sigma (DFSS), and Value Engineering (VE) have a proven track record of success for solving problems and improving efficiency. Depending on the situation, integrating these approaches can provide results that exceed the benefits of each individual approach. Value Engineering Synergies with Lean Six Sigma: Combining Methodologies for Enhanced Results describes how to integrate these dynamic tools to achieve unprecedented improvements and break down the organizational stovepipes that can occur when different offices are assigned responsibility for different problem-solving methods.

The book identifies opportunities where readers can integrate these approaches to go beyond what is currently possible with the individual approaches. Explaining the VE methodology, it supplies a high-level discussion of LSS and DFSS. Next, it compares VE with LSS and identifies the different opportunities for synergies that can provide your organization with a competitive edge.
https://books.google.co.in/books?id=Jbs722QOTnQC

June 2012
Value Engineering case studies - Chougule and Kallurkar
http://www.ijest.info/docs/IJEST12-04-05-157.pdf
May 2012
Case studies of knob, Hand wheel, bearing assembly, dial bracket, recorder gear used in universal testing machine


May 2012

VE prize entry - Columbia river crossing value engineering study
http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/02B6F365-34E4-4477-8AF0-F8A2A7CC1C43/0/CRC.pdf

Series Rating Circuit Breakers in Panel Boards - Value Engineering Opportunity
http://www.geindustrial.com/publibrary/checkout/Series-Rating?TNR=White%20Papers|Series-Rating|generic
White paper from GE

Magnesium has value engineering applications where weight reduction is the objective
http://www.dynacast.com/uploadedFiles/Docs/55274%20DYN%20Magnesium.pdf

Alaska Class Ferry - Preliminary Value Analysis Study
http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/alaska_class/documents/acf_prelim_ve_study.pdf

VE Study for Closing Waste Packages for containing TAD Canisters
http://www.inl.gov/technicalpublications/Documents/3395034.pdf

Using Lean Ideas in VE projects
Surface Water Study
http://www.icwp.org/2012/gages/SurfaceWaterValueEngrReportMay2010.pdf


January 2012

S Stock Value Engineering - Presentation - London Underground Railway
http://www.imeche.org/Libraries/Knowledge/Rolling_stock_lecture_slides.sflb.ashx


2009
Value engineering proposal for a fuel additive
http://greenmyfleet.com/reduce-consumption/fuelefficencyadditives/178-usap-value-engineering-change-proposal.html

Updated 2018 - 24 July,  23 June

 24 July 2017, 13 June 2017,  5 June 2017,  28 June 2015

Friday, October 19, 2018

Productivity Improvement of Lathe - Turning Operations





Machine Work Study for Cost Reduction and Production Improvement

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2018

Seco’s PCA system for Machining Cost  Reduction


Manufacturers who utilize Seco’s  Machining Productivity Cost Analysis (PCA) system can typically expect to benefit from total cost savings of up to 30 percent and productivity increases of up to 40 percent, regardless of the industry sector they serve.
https://www.cnctimes.com/articles/singleArticle/3804


2017


Productivity Theory for Industrial Engineering
By Ryspek Usubamatov
https://books.google.co.in/books?id=W7xaDwAAQBAJ&pg=1#v=onepage&q&f=false

Okuma’s new 2SP-2500H CNC lathe featuring smart machine productivity
24 October, 2017     
Okuma has launched the 2SP-2500H two-spindle CNC lathe, with innovative front-facing twin spindles to provide much higher levels of productivity and far greater reliability, for auto parts and other mass production applications. The 2SP-2500H is an automation-ready machine that integrates two lathes into one unit with a standard loader that feeds blanks for continuous front and back work.
https://www.cnctimes.com/editorial/okumas-new-2sp-2500h-cnc-lathe-featuring-smart-machine-productivity

http://www.machiningnews.com/2017/10/intelligent-machine-productivity-in-a-compact-footprint/


2016

TRIPLE-TURRET TURNING MACHINE INCREASES PRODUCTIVITY BY 86%

Case Studies    |    8 March, 2016
An Italian-built Biglia CNC lathe with twin-opposed spindles and three Y-axis turrets supplied by Whitehouse Machine Tools has taken over the manufacture of terminal lugs from 38 mm diameter copper bar at the Plymouth factory of subcontractor Morris Engineering.

The improvement has been dramatic. One-hit cycle time to machine the component at both ends has been reduced to just three minutes, compared to 21 minutes previously required by a twin-spindle lathe with a single Y-axis turret, which has now been replaced by the Biglia turning centre.
http://www.wmtcnc.com/case-studies/triple-turret-turning-machine-increases-productivity-by-86/




Related

E-Factory of Misubhishi in Action
https://www.cnctimes.com/editorial/the-e-fctory-in-action-mitsubishi-electric