Friday, February 22, 2013

Vital Three - Operations, Innovation, and Industrial Engineering

Operations - Producing and selling existing products using existing technologies at profit to the organization.

Innovation: Development of new products, features and processes

Industrial Engineering:  Cost reduction of existing products and existing  processes. Industrial engineering also examines new products and processes for cost reduction possibilities. But its role is long term - cost reduction over the life cycle of the product using learning curve effect,  cost reduction technologies developed by outside agencies and focused periodic attempts to evaluate the products and processes for cost reduction opportunities.

George A. Taylor in his book "Managerial and Engineering Economy" expressed similar view when he said every executive has basically two roles. First role is maintaining standards and second role is improving standards.  Improvement is reflected in innovation and industrial engineering. Maintaining standards is operations. 

We have to innovate and We have to be productive - Ellen Kullman - CEO Dupont

"We have to innovate and We have to be productive" - A Strategic Initiative

Happened to come across this statement by Ellen Kullman, CEO Dupont in a chat published in Corporate Dossier, of The Economic Times, India dated  22 February 2013. This thought is logical and appropriate. New products are a reality and every business concern has to keep looking for opportunities to create new products based on customer revealed insights or marketing insights, technology insights and science insights.It is also true that new products are quickly imitated and competitors come into picture. Learning effect produces cost reductions and many times competitors come with low cost alternatives that captures both learning effect and as well as focused engineering effort to offer low cost products. So no company can rest satisfied with introducing a new product. It has to expand its market and reduce its cost throughout its life cycle. Ellen Kullman is practicing this philosophy "We have to innovate and We have to be productive" as a strategic imperative at Dupont.

To another question on balancing innovation and efficiency, she answered that companies have to try to be efficient. She gave a good logic for differentiation and efficiency. Differentiation is to be aimed at customer touch points and efficiency at customer non-contact points.  While there are many who are pitting innovation against productivity and efficiency, Kullman gave a right perspective.

Innovation at Dupont

Dupont introduced 1742 new products in 2011 and filed 2047 patent applications. In its 2012 sustainability report, it announced that it will introduce 4000 new products in nutrition and agriculture sector alone by 2020.


Fixed cost and working capital productivity benefits were each about $400 million, surpassing their $300 million targets in year 2012

Commitment of CEO to Innovation and Productivity

"Science-powered innovation is critical to DuPont's success, and one R&D metric the company monitors is sales from new products. This year, DuPont is on track for 30 percent of sales, or about $9 billion, from products that were introduced within the past four years. Productivity also is core to DuPont's success, and the company is ahead of plan to deliver $400 million each in fixed cost and working capital productivity this year." Ellen Kullman at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Industries Conference during 2011

Related Articles

Productivity Management - Books and Articles

Vital Three Organization Activities - Operations - Innovation (Engineering)  - Industrial Engineering

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Process Planning

Manufacturing is making of products from raw materials using various processes , equipment, operations, and manpower according to a plan.

Prcess planning comprises the selection and sequencing of processes and operatiosn to transform a chosen raw material into the required product.

Process Planning - Design - Manufacturing Interace - Peter Scallen - 2003

The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
May 1991, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 205-215
Development of a product manufacturing analysis and costing system
A. J. Allen, M. S. Bielby, K. G. Swift

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Industrial Engineering Charts - Computer Software

Man Machine Charts

Yamazumi charts

Gantt Chart

Pareto  Chart

TimerPro Professional

Leader in Time and Motion Study Tools

Questions About Industrial Engineering - Participants - February 2013

1. How to calculate allowances for "machine shop" and "Foundry"? What are the usual percentages?

2. Definition for Ergonomics

3. What is MOST and What are its applications

4. What is the use and outcome of motion study?

5. Give some practical examples of ergonomics and motion study.

6. What is the major role of Industrial engineering?

7. In India public sector industries are not giving importance to IE. Why?

8. How to educate the workers about the importance of IE?

9. What are new techniques of IE?

10. Share experience of faculty.

11. Management does not accept innovative ideas or schemes for productivity enhancement. How to tackle the situation?

12. What is the scenario of industrial engineering in other organizations?

13. Broad idea about incentive schemes?

14. What is the role of IE in chemical process plant or mining companies?

15. How to improve productivity with more participation of workmen?

16. What is the importance of IE department in light engineering industry?

17. How to minimize the wastage like excess inventory pile up?

18. How to implement the tools (already programmed answers) which are available to deal with day-to-day functions.

19. How to justify IE techniques?

20. How PPC can be done properly?

21. Allowances for operators considering the working conditions.

22. Ergonomically defining the work content for operators of a cell and maximum part weight that can be handled by operators?

23. Basic facilities required to operate a cell?

24. Material handling facility for parts above 15 kg

25. Working environment - Heat, luminance, etc.

26. Operator utilization - how much?

27. What are the modern productivity improvement techniques?

28. How to benchmark productivity/production parameters?

29. Latest procedures adopted for work measurement

30. Types of incentive schemes suggested to improve productivity