Friday, September 30, 2016

The Age of Productivity - Productivity of National Economies

Development Patterns of Material Productivity

Development Patterns of Material Productivity: Convergence or Divergence?

Larissa Talmon-Gros
Springer Science & Business Media, Feb 10, 2014 - 210 pages

Increasing concerns regarding the world’s natural resources and sustainability continue to be a major issue for global development. As a result several political initiatives and strategies for green or resource-efficient growth both on national and international levels have been proposed. A core element of these initiatives is the promotion of an increase of resource or material productivity. This dissertation examines material productivity developments in the OECD and BRICS countries between 1980 and 2008. By applying the concept of convergence stemming from economic growth theory to material productivity the analysis provides insights into both aspects: material productivity developments in general as well potentials for accelerated improvements in material productivity which consequently may allow a reduction of material use globally. The results of the convergence analysis underline the importance of policy-making with regard to technology and innovation policy enabling the production of resource-efficient products and services as well as technology transfer and diffusion.

Productivity Management - Improving Productivity - Stevenson

Stevenson in his book "Operations Management" discussed the importance of productivity, factor affecting productivity and steps to improve productivity.

Factors That Affect Productivity

Important factors that affect productivity. Methods (Operator methods and motions), Equipment, Quality (performance specifications and defects) , Technology, and Management (production plans and schedules, organization and layout,motivation, job evaluation, wage and salary incentives, use of industrial engineering).

 A commonly held misconception is that workers are the main determinant of productivity. But the fact is that many productivity gains in the past have come from technological improvements. Familiar examples include:

 Fax machines,  Automation, GPS devices,  Copiers, Calculators, Smart phones,  The Internet, search engines, Computers, Apps,  Voice mail, cellular phones,E-mail, 3-D printing,  Software, Medical imaging

Adoption of the above technologies increased productivity in production - distribution systems.

However, buying technology or technology assets alone won’t guarantee productivity gains; it must be used wisely and thoughtfully. Careful planning is required to determine the productivity provided by the new technology to the systems of the organization after ascertaining the it is a feasible technology for the organization.

 There  is a dip in productivity that results while employees learn to use new equipment or procedures that will eventually lead to productivity gains after the learning phase ends.

 Other factors that affect productivity include the following:

Standardizing processes and procedures wherever possible to reduce variability can
have a significant benefit for both productivity and quality.

Quality differences may distort productivity measurements. One way this can happen
is when comparisons are made over time, such as comparing the productivity of a factory
now with one 30 years ago. Quality is now much higher than it was then, but there
is no simple way to incorporate quality improvements into productivity measurements.

Use of the Internet can lower costs of a wide range of transactions, thereby increasing
productivity. It is likely that this effect will continue to increase productivity in the foreseeable

Computer viruses can have an immense negative impact on productivity.

Searching for lost or misplaced items wastes time, hence negatively affecting productivity.

Scrap rates have an adverse effect on productivity, signaling inefficient use of

New workers tend to have lower productivity than seasoned workers. Thus, growing
companies may experience a productivity lag.

Accidents can take a toll on productivity. Safety has to be improved.

A shortage of technology-savvy workers hampers the ability of companies to update computing
resources, generate and sustain growth, and take advantage of new opportunities.

Layoffs often affect productivity. The effect can be positive and negative. Initially, productivity
may increase after a layoff, because the workload remains the same but fewer
workers do the work—although they have to work harder and longer to do it. However,
as time goes by, the remaining workers may experience an increased risk of burnout,
and they may fear additional job cuts. The most capable workers may decide to leave.

Labor turnover has a negative effect on productivity; replacements need time to get up
to speed.

Design of the work space can impact productivity. For example, having tools and other
work items within easy reach can positively impact productivity.

Incentive plans that reward productivity increases can boost productivity.

Equipment breakdowns and shortages of parts or materials.

The education level and training of workers and their health can greatly affect productivity.

The opportunity to obtain lower costs due to higher productivity elsewhere is a key reason many organizations turn to outsourcing. Hence, an alternative to outsourcing can be improved productivity.

Moreover, as a part of their strategy for quality, the best organizations strive for continuous improvement.

Productivity improvements can be an important aspect of that approach.

 Improving Productivity
 A company or a department can take a number of key steps toward improving productivity:

 1. Develop productivity measures for all operations. Measurement is the first step in managing
and controlling an operation.
 2. Look at the system as a whole in deciding which operations are most critical.

3. It is overall productivity that is important. Managers need to reflect on the value of potential productivity improvements before okaying improvement efforts. The issue is effectiveness of productivity improvement efforts.
There are several aspects of this. One is to make sure the result will be something customers
want. For example, if a company is able to increase its output through productivity
improvements, but then is unable to sell the increased output, the increase in productivity
isn’t effective. Second, it is important to adopt a systems viewpoint: A productivity
increase in one part of an operation that doesn’t increase the productivity of the system
would not be effective. For example, suppose a system consists of a sequence of two
operations, where the output of the first operation is the input to the second operation, and
each operation can complete its part of the process at a rate of 20 units per hour. If the
productivity of the first operation is increased, but the productivity of the second operation
is not, the output of the system will still be 20 units per hour.

4. Develop systems for achieving productivity improvements, such as soliciting ideas
from workers (perhaps organizing teams of workers, engineers, and managers), studying
how other firms have increased productivity, and reexamining the way work is done.

 5. Planning productivity - Establish reasonable goals for improvement.

 5. Make it clear that management supports and encourages productivity improvement. Provide
incentives for doing productivity improvements in all departments at all levels in the organization.

 6. Measure productivity improvements and publicize them so that others in the organization recognize  the opportunity for improvement.

To rewrite once again.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Productivity Education - A Proposal for a Framework

International Conference On Applied Economics – ICOAE 2010 523

The paper investigates the views of employers in Cyprus regarding the effect of education on productivity in their organisation.
Information was collected through in-depth interviews with 26 individuals who represented different types of employers (public sector institutions, semi-government institutions, small and large private organisations, and key stakeholders). The majority of respondents did not perceive a strong link between education and productivity, nor did they consider the type of education received to have an impact on productivity, expressing views that are consistent with the screening model. Participants identified the problems which limit the positive effect of education on productivity at their organisations, and offered suggestions on overcoming these problems.

Does education raise productivity, or just reflect it?
Arnaud Chevalier (University College Dublin & CEE), Colm Harmon (University College Dublin & CEPR) and Ian Walker (University of Warwick, IFS & CEE)
Version 1.01 14 November 2002

This paper attempts to implement, using a variety of UK datasets, a number of suggestions from the existing literature for empirically discriminating between the human capital and signalling/screening explanations of the observed correlation between education and wages. Most of these tests are based on the idea that screening is more important in some sectors than others. Although we have
reservations about the power of the tests used we find little support for signalling/screening ideas in these tests. Finally, we exploit a little used distinction between the two theories, based on the response of individuals to a change in the education incentives for some people of the education distribution, to provide a more definitive test and find that the data in the UK appears to strongly support the human capital explanation.

My idea is to present a model having three components

Productivity knowledge

Productivity attitude (Favorable attitude towards productivity improvement process and productivity improvement)

Productivity behavior (actions that implement productivity improving practices, that develop productivity improvement processes, actions that analyse productivity of resources using current methods of analysis, actions that develop new methods of analysis, actions that conduct training in productivity management, actions that celebrate productivity improvements, etc)

Productivity education has to be productivity learning. The learning has to result in change of behavior. It has to result in new behavior that enhances productivity. But negative attitudes toward productivity will become barriers. Hence productivity education needs to focus on attitude development. So productivity knowledge must have a component that provides inputs that help in formation of favorable attitudes about  productivity improvement. I need to develop my thoughts further and publish it as a paper in an industrial engineering journal. I am posting it here to get some opinions and comments.

Updated 2 October 2016, 26 Feb 2015

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Human Behavior Analysis Associated with Industrial Engineering Projects

Industrial engineering projects has implications for operators and also the systems they improve are man machine systems. Hence, unless the cooperation of operators is obtained, the system improvement will not take place. It means, industrial engineers have to analyse the expected behavior from operators, their supervisors and engineers toward the new proposed systems and take adequate steps to get favorable reaction.

The following questions are to be asked by them or analysed by them. They have to take the help of Organization Behavior specialists, Human Resource Managers and Industrial Relations experts in this regard.

1. Who are the people affected by the proposed new system? What type of employees are they?

2. What has been their feeling toward changes in the past? How will the traditions of their group be
affected by the proposal?

3. Who are the leaders of the group involved? What will be their reaction? How can they be sold on the proposal?

4. What is the immediate supervisor's probable reaction? Are his ideas incorporated in the proposal?
How can he be brought into the plan so that he feels favorably toward it? Can he be given the
major credit for the plan?

5. What is the attitude of the union toward such a proposal? How is the union contract involved?

6. Will the proposal require that men be laid off or demoted? Can satisfactory transfers be arranged?

7. Will wage rates and incentive rates be fairly adjusted as part of the change? Will men be asked
to take more responsibility or do more work without extra compensation? Will men be asked to work
against their own interests?

8. How will the proposal affect persons in other departments in the plant? What will be their reaction?

9. Will the proposal take all the responsibility and skill away from certain jobs? If so, will present employees lose prestige with their fellow workers? Will it be possible to keep present employees satisfied under the new conditions?

10. Have the workers involved had ample opportunity to express their views regarding improvements
included in the proposal? Have their ideas been given honest consideration and credit?

11. Do employees trust the data of the industrial engineers? Are they convinced performance standards are fairly set?

12. How are lines of promotion affected by the proposal? Will some workers be cut out of advancement they have worked toward under the present setup?

13. What kind of appeal  would be most successful in getting acceptance from the workers? Who
should introduce and sell the plan to them?

14. What is the proper timing for introducing the proposed plan? Are the workers or supervisors temporarily upset about something? When should the plan be installed?

15. What are the long-time human relations effects of the proposal?

Industrial Engineering and Human
Engineering and Science Monthly
February 1944
pp. 14 - 15

Operator Productivity Improvement Using Appropriate Hand Tools

Hand tool manufacturers are continuously developing new hand tools and power tools that give more productivity. Motion study specialists and human effort engineers have to monitor developments in hand tools and power tools to do engineering economic analysis and acquire them for the organization as early as possible.

Combination tools save the time of releasing and picking the tools.

Read some of the claims made by tool manufacturers regarding productivity improvement possibility.

High Performance Tools for Carpet Cleaning

High Tension Hacksaw

High Productivity Tools from Damar International

Industrial engineers can also design hand tools. Their familiarity with number of hand tools will provide them with concepts to make more productive hand tools.

Information on more productivity improving hand tools welcome.

The Two-Handed Process Chart for Motion Study

The two-handed process chart for Motion Study

The two-handed process chart is a process chart in which the activities of a worker's hands (or limbs) are recorded in their relationship to one another

The two-handed process chart  shows the two hands (and if the feet are involved, feet also) of the operative moving or static in relation to one another, usually in relation to a time scale.

The two-handed process chart is prepared for analysis of  repetitive operations. At least, one complete cycle of the work is to be recorded. Recording of every movement of the hand is recorded.

Symbols and Meanings

O     OPERATION Is used for the activities of grasp, position, use, release,
etc., of a tool, component or material.
=>  TRANSPORT Is used to represent the movement of the hand (or limb) to
or from the work, a tool or material.
D    DELAY is used to denote time during which the hand or limb being charted is idle (although the others may be in use).
   HOLD is used to represent the activity of holding the work, a tool or material — that is, when the hand being charted is holding something.

Preparing the chart requires observation and this  enables the motion  study specialist to gain
an intimate knowledge of the motions involved in the job. Each motion is subjected to questioning from ECRS perspective. From the questioning, improvements are developed. A brain storming group can be formed for the questioning of each motion. The group can be shown some successful motion study examples through videos or printed articles and reports.  The ideas that are generated should be written down in chart form when they occur. Different ideas are  compared.  The best method is
generally that which requires the fewest movements.

The two-handed process chart can be applied to assembly as well as component making jobs.  In the assembly of small parts with close fits, "positioning" should be shown as a separate movement
apart from the actual assembling movement. Attention gets focused on the different movements that way improvements in each movement can be thought of during simplifying activity.

Guidelines for Layout around the Workstation

Guidelines for  Layout around the Workstation to Increase Productivity of Operator Motions

The guidelines are based on principles of motion economy only.

(1) Both hands have to be utilized for productive work. If similar work is being done by each hand, there should be a separate bins for supply of materials or parts for each hand.

(2) If the eyes are used to select material, as far as possible the material should be kept in an area where the eyes can locate it without there being any need to turn the head.

(3) Use semi-circular arrangements as hands can move over semicircle only in sitting position.

(4) Provide comfortable seating Design the workplace using anthropometric data.

(5) Use appropriate bins depending on the shape of components and make it easy for the operators to pick up or slide the components.
accommodate material.
(6) Hand tools should be picked up with the least possible disturbance to the rhythm and symmetry of movements. As far as possible the operator should be able to pick up or put down a tool as the hand moves from one part of the work to the next, without making a special movement.
(7) As curved movements take less time compared to straight line movements and reversals, tools should be placed on the arc of movements, but  they have to be away from the path of movement of  material or components from bin to the work place.

(8) Tools should be easy to pick up and replace; as far as possible they should have an automatic return, or they should be at the place close to the location of the next piece of material to
be moved so that tool can be released and the material can be picked up.

(9) Finished work should be:
(a) dropped down a hole or a chute using a foot movement.
(b) dropped through a chute, as the hand making the first motion of the next cycle;
(c) put in a container placed so that hand movements are kept to a minimum;
(d) placed in a container in such a way that the next operative can pick it up easily.
(Industrial engineers have to learn the design of delivery chutes for components)

(10) Always look into the possibility of using pedals or knee-operated levers for locking or indexing devices on fixtures or devices for disposing of finished work.
(Industrial engineers have to learn the design of foot operated pedals and the mechanisms that tranfer the motion to the workholding devices to release the component.)

Expert and Novice Performance in an Industrial Engineering - Book Information

Industrial Engineers work in many areas in engineering organizations

Material handling
Product Design
Product packing
Stores and Material Handling in Stores
Inspection and Testing
Supply Chain  - Implementing industrial engineering in all supply chain partner organizations
Airconditioning and other utilities
Captive powerplants

Monday, September 5, 2016

Lathe Machine - Productivity - Efficiency Improvement

How to Increase Machining Efficiency through Machine Monitoring
A manufacturer that is distinctive for its attention to in-cycle machining productivity describes its efforts to obtain efficiency improvements outside of the machining cycle. The shop’s primary tool is a simple, daily, graphical recap that illustrates when each machine tool was and was not making parts.
2/1/2016 Modern Machine Shop, Peter Zelinski , Senior Editor

Improving CNC Machine Shop Efficiency and Productivity
[March 16, 2015]

Innovative Techniques of Enegy-effeciency in Machining
Vivek Kumar*, Ayush Gupta*, Ishu Aggarwal* and Yatheshth Anand**
*Student, School of Mechanical Engineering, SMVDU.
** School of Mechanical Engineering, SMVDU.
Katra, Jammu, INDIA
Mechanical Engineering, SMVDU.

Investigation on Automation of Lathe Machine
Prakash N. Parmar1, Prof. N. C. Mehta2, Prof. Manish V. Trivedi3
1Student of M.E. (CAD/CAM),
2Head of Department, Professor3, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Noble Engineering
College, Junagadh, Gujarat, INDIA.
International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering
Volume 4, Issue 5, May 2014)

T. I. OGEDENGBE, Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria,
B. KAREEM, Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria, 
O. O. OJO, Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria,
International Journal of Engineering Innovation and Management 3 (2013)

Implementing a Preventive Maintenance Planning Model on an Ageing and Deteriorating
Production System
Richa Chouhan, Dr. Manoj Kumar Gaur†and Rohit Tripathi
HCTL Open Int. J. of Technology Innovations and Research
Volume 4, July 2013

Development of a new machining setup for energy efficient turning process
Conference Paper · April 2013

Ten tips on improving productivity in Machine Shops.
Jul 05, 2008

Improving energy efficiency of machine tools
T. Holkup 1, J. Vyroubal 1, J. Smolik 1
1 Research Center for Manufacturing Technology (RCMT), Czech Technical University in Prague,
Czech Republic