Monday, December 2, 2013

Broome Community College Quality Assurance Interns Available


Broome Community College announced that student interns will be available to local companies during the Spring semester of Feb-May, 2014.

These BCC students are high school graduates between the ages of 18 and 25 who have acquired proficiencies in Quality Control, English, leadership, and public speaking.

They are from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds and most are from rural areas of the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico. They are chosen after a rigorous screening process which considers academic ability, leadership qualities, and desire to serve others.

They design improvement projects and upon return to their home communities put them into action.

The student interns should be given work responsibilities in a technical area since the program is more geared to the technical side of quality. However, some work experience in the management/human side of quality is also acceptable.

Employers are required to provide the college with a job profile for each internship. These job descriptions are needed by February 14, 2014 at the latest.  To receive full credit for the internship, students must complete a minimum of 120 hours of work. Time cards will be provided to the employers and returned to the college every week. At the end of the internship, the college needs a written appraisal of the student’s performance from their immediate supervisor. Included in the appraisal should be a letter grade for the intern.

Interns are not allowed to receive any monetary compensation. However, there is no problem with an employer showing their appreciation by providing the student with a gift or making a donation to the BCC Foundation. Contributions to the Foundation should be targeted to the Arthur E. Jamison Quality Assurance Scholarship. This scholarship is sponsored by the Binghamton Section of the American Society for Quality and is given to a local student enrolled in the Quality Assurance Program at BCC.

None of the interns are U.S. citizens. Since the students rely on public transportation, the sponsoring companies may have to be a little flexible in their scheduling.

The students are required to meet periodically during the internship, and they are required to provide weekly reports detailing their work activities.

For additional information please contact Claudia Sofia Beebe at 607-778-5260 or beebecs@sunybroome.edu

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NYSDOL Safety & Health Training Grants Available

The Hazard Abatement Board (HAB) recently announced the availability of funds for the development and implementation of programs promoting occupational safety and health in the workplace through training, education, and other proven preventative programs for the 2014-15 grant year. Total available funds anticipated for programs under Article 29 of the NYS Labor Law will be approximately $6.5 million. Applicants may apply for any portion thereof. Grants awarded will be based on the number of quality programs approved and the availability of funds. Request for Proposals were available as of November 25 2013. Request for Proposals (RFPs) may be obtained at the website below.

Eligible applicants include public and private employers, labor organizations or their federations, trade associations, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions. Employers must employ one or more persons (beyond self-employment). Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises goals shall be 20% for MWBEs; Minority business subcontracting goal: 11%; Women-owned business subcontracting goal: 9%.

Responses to the 2014 RFP must be received by the HAB staff no later than 5:00 PM, Eastern Daylight Time on January 31, 2014 or be postmarked by such date in accordance with the proposal submittal instructions set forth in the RFP. No consideration will be given to grant applications that fail to meet this submittal deadline.

Special note to all current HAB Contractors: We have been informed by the Division of Budget that all current Hazard Abatement Board contractors ( i.e. those entities which have contracts for the 2013-14 Grant Year) must register with the New York State Grants Gateway by April 1, 2014. Failure to do so may result in the contractor’s inability to request reimbursement.

If you have not already done so, please visit the Grants Gateway
website at www.grantsgateway.ny.gov and
click the “Request Access Now” link under Registration.

For questions about this grant, contact:
Jim Cunningham at 607-725-1225 or

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Governor Cuomo Announces Fuzehub Initiative to Help Manufacturing Companies Grow Their Business

Governor Cuomo has announced the launch of FuzeHub, a new collaborative resource platform developed to spur the growth of New York State manufacturers. FuzeHub aims to better connect small and medium sized manufacturing companies to a wealth of State technology resources, including the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program, universities, economic development organizations, and other state programs to help these businesses overcome challenges, encouraging innovation and driving economic growth and job creation.

"The FuzeHub initiative builds on the State’s work to create a business environment that allows manufacturers to thrive in New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “FuzeHub brings together all of our leading technology resources under one umbrella allowing companies to quickly and easily access critical expertise and resources. Manufacturers are the economic backbone of many communities in New York, and when they do well, all New Yorkers reap the benefits. This initiative will stimulate innovation, spur job creation and grow companies across the state."

FuzeHub provides a new way for companies to connect directly to the expertise they need on a 24/7 basis by submitting their requests online at www.fuzehub.com. A core team of technical and manufacturing professionals will respond within 48 hours and work with the companies through live, one-on-one discussions to identify business challenges and provide targeted connections to the specific set of experts and resources needed.

AM&T, one of the 10 MEP Centers in NY is part of the collaboration team.

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8-Step Method Drives To Zero Defects At Raymond Corp.

 
In partnership with AM&T, the Association for Manufacturing Excellence conducted a one-day event at The Raymond Corporation that focused on how to reduce quality defects using its 8-step method.

Scott Campbell, the TPS Manger at Raymond, shared how the company has significantly reduced internal defects and warranty costs, with improved customer satisfaction and employee morale using these methodologies.

Campbell and his team provided a tour of Raymond’s manufacturing operations, highlighting how the Toyota Production System (TPS) Principles and Tools have been applied.

In the afternoon, Campbell reviewed the 8-step method for reducing quality defects, including how each step is performed and its key points. A critical part of this method is Raymond’s daily morning market or Asaichi meeting, which was also highlighted during the workshop.

Participants of the event commented that it was the best session that they had ever attended, and expressed appreciation to Campbell and The Raymond Corporation for such a valuable session.

The Raymond Corporation, a Toyota Industries (TICO) member company, is a global provider of materials handling equipment, technology, expertise, and support. Raymond manufactures electric lift truck products for the narrow aisle and very narrow aisle market segments in Class I, II, and III.

The company was founded in 1922 and is based in Greene. It has manufacturing sites in Greene, NY and Muscatine, IA, and a parts distribution facility in Syracuse, NY.

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Lean Misconceptions

By: Jim Womack

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) brought the heavy hitters of competitiveness to Toronto for its annual conference. With North American manufacturers hoping for a rebound as Asian producers struggle with rising costs, AME and its associated organizations (Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, and the Toronto chapter of SME, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers) are promoting renewed focus on productivity and effectiveness as a way to survive and — dare we say it? — thrive in the coming new era.

At an introductory reception hosted by the Ontario government, the keynote presenter was Massachusetts-based Jim Womack, the former MIT researcher now known as the founder of the Lean movement. An operating philosophy that stresses listening to the customer, tight collaboration between management and production staff, eliminating waste and boosting production flow, Lean is often heralded as manufacturers’ best hope for cutting costs and regaining their innovative edge.

CME president Jayson Meyers introduced Womack as “someone who has changed the world” by launching the Lean revolution. Womack, who developed his understanding of Lean from production methods at Toyota automotive plants, modestly deflected such accolades: “All I have done is repackage stolen goods,” he said. “I just tell stories.” (His books include The Machine that Changed the World: The Story of Lean Production, Lean Thinking, Lean Solutions, and most recently, Gemba Walks.)

Womack noted that this fall marks the 25th anniversary of the movement, which he says is still gaining ground (in fact, many Asian producers are now embracing Lean production methods in an attempt to get their costs under control).

But Lean has proven a difficult process to master — not a quick fix, but a long, complex business-culture-changing journey. The Lean movement has also suffered from a number of “misconceptions,” Womack said. “I’m surprised we’ve made as much progress as we have, with so much misunderstanding of what we [the leading Lean gurus] have been saying.”

Misconception No. 1: “People heard that Lean is a cost-cutting exercise,” Womack said. In reality, the production methods Womack’s MIT team studied were geared to producing more output, with less waste — a key Lean concept that includes unnecessary time, space, operating costs, capital expenditures, and worker injuries. “People think it’s a headcount reduction system,” he complained. “People heard the less, but they didn’t hear the more.”

Misconception No. 2: When Womack and two co-authors produced The Machine that Changed the World, about the Toyota Production System, ”People thought it was a book about factories,” he said. In fact, he noted, the groundbreaking 1990 book included prominent chapters on managing customers, how to listen to your market, and running your entire enterprise on Lean principles. To understand that Lean is not just about production, he said, “You have to read the other four-fifths of the book.”

Misconception 3: “Most people think Lean is a within-the-walls activity to fix your company,” Womack said. But Lean works best when supply-chain partners team up to squeeze out inefficiencies and maximize flow. “It is impossible for you to get very far when the people in your value stream don’t get any better,” he said.

Misconception 4: “Lean is an improvement process production people can do — management doesn’t have to do anything. Management can ‘check the box’ and move on.” Womack said Lean requires continual co-operation at all levels, with upper management building two-way communications and trust with staff, restructuring to support decision-making at lower levels, shepherding investment in Lean projects, and generally championing Lean initiatives. Most Lean commentators have noted that management loses interest in these projects well before the rest of the staff.

In the long term, Lean will continue to thrive, he said. He noted it is spreading into health care and government, two institutions that desperately need to tighten their efforts and control costs, and he said Lean will always be needed in business.

“I am a modest optimist. I think people and societies learn more slowly than they should,” he said. In the long-run battle for competitiveness, he said, the winners will be those organizations that “get better faster than everyone else.”

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Associates’ Corner - Buckingham Manufacturing Co., Inc.

 
 
The Buckingham name is well known to linemen and arborists throughout North America and internationally as a company they rely on to do their jobs efficiently and safely.

Buckingham’s roots were established in 1896 when Wilmont Stephens, owner of a Binghamton blacksmith shop, began producing pole climbers. In 1913, W. H. Buckingham purchased the firm and changed the name from the Stephens Company to what is now known as Buckingham Manufacturing Co., Inc.

H. Andrew Batty Jr. and a new management team took ownership in 1984. Today he and James Pennefeather continue to guide the company as they expand and improve the original product line; introduce new product lines; expand their sales and distribution system domestically and internationally; and introduce new manufacturing technology and reorganized production.

Buckingham is a medium-sized company with the expertise and agility to develop and deliver quality products based on customer requirements, lead times, engineering changes and schedule changes. Their diverse work force contributes to the breadth and depth of their knowledge and experience and senior management continues its commitment to quality improvements.

Today, Buckingham is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is primarily responsible for the design and manufacture of climbing and work positioning equipment, fall protection gear, and accessories specifically designed for the electric, telecommunications, cable and professional arborist markets. The company follows all applicable standards including OSHA, ANSI, ASTM, CSA and CE requirements pertaining to their product line.

Batty explained that Buckingham’s on-going success is dependent on its loyal customer base and the continued addition of new and satisfied customers. “Outstanding customer service is the backbone of a successful company and our customers appreciate the knowledge, experience and flexibility of our staff.” In sharp contrast to the national norm, Buckingham’s customer service staff has long tenure at Buckingham. “Our service representatives know the products, interface with our shop managers and frequently work directly with manufacturing to satisfy customer requirements.”

For more info, contact: Jim Nichols at 607-773-2400 or www.buckinghammfg.com.

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Associates’ Corner - Applied Pulsed Power, Inc.

 
Applied Pulsed Power, Inc. (APP) is a company located near Ithaca, NY that designs and builds pulsed power components and systems for a wide variety of industries. As the name implies, pulsed power involves the accumulation of energy over a relatively long period of time and releasing it very quickly, thus providing very high peak power.
 
APP’s ongoing focus has been the development of high speed, high voltage, high current, solid state switches and systems. These compact switches can be used to replace spark gap and thyratron vacuum tube switches in existing and new applications.
 
The company was founded in 1990. In 2005, APP moved into an 8,500 sq. ft. facility in Tompkins County and has further expanded with a 1,700 sq. ft. location in Illinois that is dedicated to sales and R&D in assembly and packaging techniques.
 
One of APP’s founders is Steve Glidden who today is the company’s president and chief technology officer. Other key personnel include Craig Dunham, who joined APP as CEO during June 2011 to help lead the company’s growth, and Howard D. Sanders, manager of the company’s Solid State Switch Division.
 
Dunham said that many existing pulsed power applications use technology that is based on vacuum tubes and other designs that are outmoded by today’s standards. He explained that, “Replacing old switching technology in existing applications plus the many potential new applications that are made practical by APP’s products create the potential for a significant industry transformation and clear growth opportunities for our company.”
 
In addition to manufacturing the switches at the Freeville, NY location, the company’s 11 employees also develop pulsed power driver and modulator systems that utilize APP’s solid state switches, optimizing them for customer-specific applications. Examples of APP product installations include National Lab particle accelerators, medical devices that break up kidney stones, and water treatment equipment.
 
Primary customers for APP products include government laboratories as well as commercial clients. Much of the company’s R&D has occurred through collaboration with these customers as well as with universities.
 
For more info visit: www.appliedpulsedpower.com.
 
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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Associates’ Corner - Transonic Systems Inc.

Transonic Systems Inc. is the worldwide industry leader in the manufacture and marketing of biomedical flow measurement devices. Its biomedical products measure and confirm liquid flow during surgery, post-surgery, hemodialysis and in research studies.

The Company was founded in 1983 by Cornelius Drost, who as a Sr. Research Associate at the NYS College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University invented the transit-time ultrasound flowmeter. Transonic measurement superiority was quickly recognized and, in less than a decade, scientific literature cited Transonic transit-time ultrasound as the “Gold Standard” against which other technologies were validated. The first transit-time ultrasound flowprobes measured volume flow in vessels in large animals such as the sheep. Flowprobes have now become so small that scientists can measure the volume of flow through hair-sized renal/femoral arteries in mice.

Over the years Transonic has expanded its product lines into a broad spectrum of applications. Cardiac surgeons use Transonic to check flow in their bypass grafts. Neurosurgeons use Transonic to avoid intraoperative strokes during aneurysm or bypass surgeries. Transplant surgeons rely on Transonic measurements to check their work. In dialysis units Transonic Hemodialysis Monitors help improve dialysis delivery. Transonic measurements are integral in ground-breaking research that leads to medical advances such as the artificial heart. Transonic devices are also used in bioprocess control, and as “Transonic inside” original equipment devices. From the laboratory to the operating room, Transonic Systems provides accurate, intuitive, and reliable tools to measure flow.

Customer service, sales, marketing, R&D, finance, administration and manufacturing are based at the Company’s 33,000 square-foot headquarters in Ithaca, NY. European and Asian divisions in the Netherlands, Taiwan and Japan augment the worldwide marketing and distribution of Transonic products.

For more information visit www.transonic.com

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Associates’ Corner - Kennedy Valve

Kennedy Valve began operations when Daniel Kennedy started making gate valves in 1877 on Gold Street in Lower Manhattan. After one relocation to Coxsackie, the company moved to Elmira in 1907.

Decades of steady growth included one significant boost during World War II when the Maritime Commission awarded three contracts to the company to manufacture eight million valves for the Victory Fleet.

Now occupying a 52-acre site, Kennedy Valve is today a full-line waterworks valve and hydrant manufacturer, supplying resilient seated gate valves, fire hydrants, check valves, butterfly valves, indicator posts, grooved butterfly valves and an assortment of related products that are distributed worldwide.

In 1988, the company was purchased by McWane, Inc. of Birmingham, AL., and in 2007 celebrated the milestone of 100 years of operations in Elmira. Approximately 400 people are employed at Kennedy Valve and annual sales are in excess of $125 million.

In addition to providing jobs and products for its customers, Kennedy Valve management emphasizes that the company believes another important role is to be a good corporate neighbor by supporting initiatives that give value to the community. For example, the company has a Community Advisory Panel that enables a cross-section of community representatives to work with company stakeholders on issues that impact their environmental, social and economic interests. In addition to company representatives, panel members typically include local community leaders, public officials, educators, union members, regulators, members of the clergy, residents and business leaders.

Over the years, Kennedy Valve team members have helped build playgrounds and houses in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and worked to clean up local neighborhoods. Employees have participated in fundraising walks for charitable and non-profit organizations, and volunteered their time and talents for endeavors supporting the arts, education, resources for children, and senior citizen facilities.

Since 1997, McWane has invested over $32 million in capital improvement projects at the Elmira facility to make its production processes safer, environmentally sound, and more productive. With assistance from AM&T, in 2011 Kennedy Valve received ISO 9001:2008 certification.

One result of the continuous improvement efforts at the company is that a company product line that had been produced in Thailand was brought back to the US last spring. The products re-shored by Kennedy Valve are Rotating Disc Gate Valves that range in size from 3” to 72”, and were originally designed and produced in this region in the early 1900’s, but eventually production was moved offshore.

“Our lean manufacturing accomplishments here have enabled us to free up capacity so that we can take on that business without having to purchase new equipment and build new space” said Lisa Rawcliffe, the company’s lean manager.

For more information visit www.kennedyvalve.com

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Driving to Zero Defects "8 Step Quality Defect Reduction Method"

HOST COMPANY: The Raymond Corporation

The Raymond Corporation, a Toyota Industries (TICO) member company is a global provider of materials handling equipment, technology, expertise, and support. Raymond manufactures electric lift truck products for the narrow aisle and very narrow aisle market segments in Class I, II, and III (Counterbalanced, Narrow Aisle, Pallet Truck).
 
The company was founded in 1922 and is based in Greene, NY. It has manufacturing sites in Greene, NY and Muscatine, IA, and a parts distribution facility located in Syracuse, NY.

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION
Raymond will provide a tour of its manufacturing operations highlighting how it has applied the Toyota Production System (TPS) Principles and Tools.
 
In the afternoon, Raymond will review its 8-step method for reducing quality defects, including how each step is performed and its key points. A critical part of this method is Raymond’s daily morning market or Asaichi meeting, which will also be highlighted during the workshop.
 
Asaichi morning meetings are used to communicate problems, share countermeasures, and speed overall resolution. Since every problem is an opportunity for improvement, this process helps leader’s and associates understand that quality is everyone’s responsibility.
 
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
Any level of the organization from front line Team Leader to CEO.
Individuals and teams encompassing a cross section of your company.

PARTICIPANT BENEFITS
  • Gain an understanding of how to effectively reduce quality defects.
  • How Asaichi meetings work.
  • The benefits of Asaichi morning meetings.
  • How to engage all team members and departments and be part of the solution.
COURSE AGENDA
 8:00 to  8:30 am: Registration and welcome
 8:30 to  9:30 am: Overview of The Raymond Corporation
 9:30 to 11:00 am: Tour of The Raymond Corporation
11:00 to 11:30 am: Q&A
11:30 to 12:00 pm: Lunch (provided)
12:00 to  3:30 pm: Driving to Zero Defects
 3:30 to  4:00 pm: Wrap-up
  
Workshop Objectives:
  • Review 8-step method for reducing quality defects
  • Review asaichi meeting roles, format and process
  
The workshop will be facilitated by Scott Campbell, TPS Manager at The Raymond Corporation and Carol Miller, Principal Consultant at AM&T.

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Strategic Thinking Exercises – 6 Best Characteristics

By Mike Brown

What are the characteristics of the best strategic thinking exercises?
 
They all need to:
  1. Allow everyone to participate – even those with little or no direct experience.
    Some people who participate in strategic planning will have less experience than other participants will. Great exercises, however, accommodate these differences in experience and do not leave anyone without a role based on what they know or have done.
  2. Incorporate emotion.
    It does not necessarily matter which emotion strategic thinking exercises incorporate. It could be fear, angst, frustration, humor, hope, or passion. Or another emotion. Or some combination of all of those. If your strategy development only depends on logic and does not incorporate emotion, you are missing something.
  3. Require people to think atypically.
    If everyone comes into and leaves a set of strategic thinking exercises without having thought in new ways, there is a major disconnect. There needs to be specific variables built in to ensure people are thinking along new paths and in ways they have not had to consider previously.
  4. Introduce a strategic twist that doesn’t match expectations or reality.
    If you want different perspectives from your current strategy, strategy and brainstorming questions need to go beyond simply what the current situation looks like. They should incorporate an unexpected twist or thinking detour to make participants feel uncomfortable with their standard way of thinking.
  5. Create new questions.
    The more you attempt to answer strategy and brainstorming questions, the more new questions will emerge. Strategic thinking is about exploration. If it’s fruitful exploration, you’re going to uncover strategic paths that will be laden with new questions.
  6. Leave room for unanswered issues.
    This goes along with triggering new questions. Successful strategic thinking exercises can’t be expected to answer everything. The future isn’t certain. The objective should be to consider as many possibilities as possible, even if some, or even many of them, can’t be completely answered right away.
Here are some other go-to strategy exercises. See how these could fit into your strategic planning and innovation work:
  • Doing the Opposite of Competitors’ Bad Practices 
  • Using Analogies to Think about Your Strategy 
  • Disruptive Innovation Possibilities
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Different Words


A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said: “I am blind, please help.” There were only a few coins in the hat.

A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.

Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were.

The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, “Were you the one who changed my sign this morning?

What did you write?”

The man said, “I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way.”

What he had written was: “Today is a beautiful day and I cannot see it.”

Do you think the first sign and the second sign were saying the same thing?

Of course both signs told people the boy was blind.

But the first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people they were so lucky that they were not blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective?

Moral of the story:

Be thankful for what you have. Be creative. Be innovative. Think differently and positively.

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Lean Benefits

By applying Lean Tools & Concepts to organizations, it is typical to realize improvements of:
  • 50% in productivity
  • 75-100% in WIP reductions
  • 75% quality improvements
  • 50-75% space reductions
  • 75-100% in cycle time reductions

The basic goal of Lean is to get more done with less by:
  • Minimizing inventory at all stages of production
  • Shortening product cycle times from raw materials to finished goods
  • Eliminating waste
...thereby increasing capacity and reducing costs, which will allow you to overtake competition, sell and produce more, improve profitability and market share, and grow the company.

On their own the individual Lean Tools and Concepts will provide certain measurable benefits, but used in the right combination for your business, across the whole value stream, they will lead to more dramatic gains.

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Our Recent Activities to Promote Growth, Innovation and Profitability

  • Worked with Binghamton University to coordinate and publicize a workshop designed to educate manufacturers about the funding opportunities and application process for the federal SBIR program.
  • Partnered with SBDC & DOC on “Growth Through Exporting” Workshop.
  • Completed a 5-day 5S and Visual Workplace event.  The teams created a workplace where everything is visually clear and controlled. As a result, the workplace will produce fewer defects, less waste, fewer injuries, and fewer breakdowns. These improvements will translate into lower costs and improved quality.
  • Completed a 5-day Set-up Reduction event. The team challenged the current process and identified opportunities for improvement.  The new set-up process was designed, documented and its performance validated. The reduced set-up will result in increased equipment capacity, increase productivity and reduced inventory.
  • Conducted a 4-day “order to delivery” value stream mapping event on a major product family.  It is anticipated that when implemented, the plan will result in a significant improvement in quality and productivity.
  • Conducted a four-hour Lean Thinking training session focused on identifying and improving production and administrative wastes. The training was attended by 8 people.
  • Conducted a 5-day “order to cash” value stream mapping event on a major product family.  It is anticipated that when implemented, the plan will result in a significant reduction in lead times, inventory, and floor space, and an increase in quality and productivity.
  • Conducted several ISO 9001:2008 internal audits across the Region.
  • Led an open workshop in Basic Project Management.   Ten (10) companies attended the workshop.
  • Delivered a workshop in Basic Project Management in Ithaca, NY. Twenty (20) employees participated and received certificates of attendance.
  • Worked with (16) company leaders helping them assess training and capital needs and applying through the Regional Technology Councils for CFA grants to support the training and expansions.
  • We worked with the AME Mid-Atlantic CNY group in hosting a Roundtable Networking event at a manufacturer in Elmira, NY to see discuss “Issues/challenges facing regional Manufacturing (CI Focus)”. This was attended by 29 people from 12 companies.
  • Assisted a company in preparation for an ISO Certification Audit. Company received their certification.
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Changes Pay Off for Hilliard Corporation


The Hilliard Corporation manufactures motion control products, oil filtration and reclaiming equipment, starters for industrial engines and gas turbines, and filter presses used in the food and beverage industry. Founded in 1905, the company employs approximately 610 people at three manufacturing sites in Elmira.

To address emerging customer requirements, maintain a competitive edge, and position the company for growth, two years ago Hilliard management decided to more extensively apply the techniques of lean enterprise and quality management. “In particular, we wanted to focus on changes that would improve our lead time and on-time delivery performance,” said Steven Chesebro, Executive Vice President.

In launching this long-term improvement initiative, the company recognized the importance of outside expertise and assistance. “We saw lean in use during an event at Kennedy Valve and started thinking about how it could help us,” Hilliard President Gene Ebbrecht said.

Chesebro had previously worked at Kennedy Valve and was impressed with the before-and-after impact of lean, which focuses on maximizing customer value while minimizing waste. He learned that AM&T had helped Kennedy during the early stages of their program, so it was soon after and with confidence that Hilliard engaged AM&T Principal Consultant Carol Miller to begin their lean journey.

AM&T provided training in lean enterprise concepts for Hilliard employees, combining lecture and hands-on manufacturing simulation to illustrate the impacts of implementing the concepts on a simple manufacturing process. Through Value Stream Mapping, Hilliard employees learned to map out the company’s primary value streams. Teams gathered data to put together a picture map of their current state. Then, by examining where waste and other issues were occurring, the teams developed future state maps and the corresponding improvement plans.

Over an 18-month period, Miller and other AM&T experts conducted Rapid Improvement Events and other workshops to address specific issues and non-value added activities. Hilliard implemented lean concepts and tools in various product lines and areas in all three plants. Most of the improvements required no capital expenditures.

Hilliard’s machine shop was also targeted, where two of the first steps were eliminating clutter and cleaning the machine tools. “A lot of it was common sense, but the gains were huge,” said Ken Hunsicker, a manager in Hilliard’s machine shop. “(Working on lean projects) created a sense of teamwork and it’s something that is now contagious.”

Chesebro explained that one specific goal was to reduce the amount of time it took to process, manufacture and ship an order. “Before lean, in trying to meet customer needs, we had to add staff, increase overtime, and outsource some work. This year our sales and production are up, yet our on-time deliveries have improved by 25%, and that’s without having to increase staff, schedule overtime, or outsource any work.”

Concurrent with the lean projects, AM&T’s Lloyd Johnson guided Hilliard in preparing compliant Quality Management System documentation, reviewed the company’s existing documentation for ISO compliance, and provided detailed feedback regarding changes necessary to meet the ISO requirements - which lead to a successful ISO 9001 certification. Additionally, Jim Cunningham from AM&T conducted a sales training event for the Hilliard management and sales team, focusing on growth and profitability.

Today, Hilliard reports improved communication between employees and management, improved morale, and improved market and competitive position. The company’s pride in these achievements was one reason the doors were opened on National Manufacturing Day last month to show the public the improvements to its manufacturing processes.

According to Chesebro, the company’s accounting department has confirmed the positive financial impact of the lean improvements. Hilliard also reported to AM&T that the lean effort has had a very positive impact on plant efficiencies, inventory and total production capacity.

“We are extremely satisfied with AM&T’s services and expertise. I expect the investment we are making today will serve us very well not only in the near term but well into the future,” said Hilliard President Gene Ebbrecht.

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/8913/8365/8626/2013-11.pdf

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Associates’ Corner - Corning

Corning Incorporated, a world leader in specialty glass and ceramics, has its world headquarters in Corning and employs approximately 29,000 people worldwide. The company has $8 billion in annual sales, a figure that would be nearly doubled if its share of joint ventures such as Dow Corning, Samsung Corning Precision Materials, and others were included.

Corning produces a range of consumer and industrial products that include glass substrates for LCD televisions, computer monitors and laptops; ceramic substrates and filters for mobile emission control systems; optical fiber, cable, hardware & equipment for telecommunications networks; optical biosensors for drug discovery; and other advanced optics and specialty glass solutions for a number of industries including semiconductor, aerospace, defense, astronomy, and metrology.

The company is driven by a sustained investment in R&D, more than 160 years of materials science and process engineering knowledge, and a collaborative culture. Corning’s long history of innovation began in 1879 with the development of a bulb-shaped glass encasement for Thomas Edison’s new incandescent lamp.

Subsequent inventions include glass globes for railroad lanterns, Pyrex cookware, high-speed glass production processes, silicones, cathode ray tubes, centrifuge casting for TV tubes, pyroceram (Corning-Ware), LCD substrate, fiber optics, and newer technologies such as the durable Gorilla Glass, which is now used on more than 1 billion handheld devices.

At a time when many companies have cut back on their business innovation expenses to pump up their bottom line, Corning spends nearly 10 percent of revenue on what it calls RD&E: research, development, and engineering. In 2013, it will spend more than US$700 million on RD&E.

These days, teams at Corning are embedding inorganic, bacteria-killing ions into glass; making bendable glass so thin it can be rolled up in great spools; and designing a new type of fiber-optic cable that can carry cellphone signals and pick up Wi-Fi. “The scale of glass, what you can do with it today — it’s wonderfully different,” says David Morse, Corning’s chief technology officer.

In a recent interview, Morse commented on emerging innovations at the company. “Take a big industry like automotive. Think of all the things that have been done to cars to reduce weight—moving from steel to aluminum to carbon fiber, making tires lighter, and doing everything you can to the engine. But you’re still hauling around the same thick window glass made by the same soda lime float process that was used in 1950. Lighter, stronger glass makes a great deal of sense and will take a great deal of weight out of the car. Consumers will see that in improved gas mileage, and we see it as an opportunity for our advanced glass technology.”

“Think also about architecture. If architects design buildings with electrochromic windows (sometimes called smart glass), which can change colors to regulate the amount of sunlight that enters a building, for example, they need a technical glass like ours. You can achieve a lot of energy and light control with that.”

“In consumer electronics, touch is becoming ubiquitous. If you’re 15 years old, you live with your touchpad. You watch TV on it, not on your parents’ television. One sees babies playing with iPads these days, and those babies will grow up expecting to touch things to get them to respond. Ubiquitous touch is going to be everywhere— refrigerators, computers, everything in school. Companies will need thin and strong glass for all these applications.

For more information, visit www.corning.com

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/7313/8055/8312/2013-10.pdf

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Driving to Zero Defects "8 Step Quality Defect Reduction Method"

HOST COMPANY: The Raymond Corporation

The Raymond Corporation, a Toyota Industries (TICO) member company is a global provider of materials handling equipment, technology, expertise, and support. Raymond manufactures electric lift truck products for the narrow aisle and very narrow aisle market segments in Class I, II, and III (Counterbalanced, Narrow Aisle, Pallet Truck).

The company was founded in 1922 and is based in Greene, NY. It has manufacturing sites in Greene, NY and Muscatine, IA, and a parts distribution facility located in Syracuse, NY.

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION
Raymond will provide a tour of its manufacturing operations highlighting how it has applied the Toyota Production System (TPS) Principles and Tools.

In the afternoon, Raymond will review its 8-step method for reducing quality defects, including how each step is performed and its key points. A critical part of this method is Raymond’s daily morning market or Asaichi meeting, which will also be highlighted during the workshop.

Asaichi morning meetings are used to communicate problems, share countermeasures, and speed overall resolution. Since every problem is an opportunity for improvement, this process helps leader’s and associates understand that quality is everyone’s responsibility.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
Any level of the organization from front line Team Leader to CEO.
Individuals and teams encompassing a cross section of your company.

PARTICIPANT BENEFITS* Gain an understanding of how to effectively reduce quality defects.
* How Asaichi meetings work.
* The benefits of Asaichi morning meetings.
* How to engage all team members and departments and be part of the solution.

COURSE AGENDA
 8:00 to  8:30 am: Registration and welcome
 8:30 to  9:30 am: Overview of The Raymond Corporation
 9:30 to 11:00 am: Tour of The Raymond Corporation
11:00 to 11:30 am: Q&A
11:30 to 12:00 pm: Lunch (provided)
12:00 to  3:30 pm: Driving to Zero Defects
 3:30 to  4:00 pm: Wrap-up

Workshop Objectives:
* Review 8-step method for reducing quality defects
* Review asaichi meeting roles, format and process

The workshop will be facilitated by Scott Campbell, TPS Manager at The Raymond Corporation and Carol Miller, Principal Consultant at AM&T.

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/7313/8055/8312/2013-10.pdf

Visit our website at http://www.amt-mep.org

Clear Expectations

By: Guy Harris

Poor performance, turnover, conflict and disengagement. This reads like a checklist of most leaders’ worst fears. I know, because they get mentioned to me nearly every day when I talk with, coach, consult with and train leaders.

And while there is no single silver bullet answer to solve all of these problems, there is one major component common to all: unclear or mismatched expectations.

For optimum performance and strong relationships, make sure expectations are crystal clear in these four areas...

The work itself. People need to know exactly what is expected of them for the work itself. What levels of work quality are required? What defines successful completion of work? What are the boundaries on responsibilities?  What are and what aren’t the roles of the job? For optimum performance and strong working relationships, these must all be clearly understood and mutually agreed to.

The communication. How do we communicate? About what? When? How often? Communication is a critical component of organizational life and is far too important to leave to chance. If you want to improve the communication in your organization, spend some time clarifying what is expected in your communication.

The time. What does “I need it Friday” mean? Does it mean it is on my desk at the start of my day or is the close of business fine?  Does it matter when people work or how they work? Without clarity here, people could either be on their email device 24/7 striving for immediate response, or at the other extreme assuming a couple of days is fine for that request.

The culture. People don’t work in a vacuum – the workplace itself is an important component of the work itself. When people are hired, they bring their past experience and habits with them. If those experiences and habits differ from “the way things are done around here”, there will be mismatched expectations. Help people see that understanding and matching their behavior with cultural expectations, while more subtle than some other factors, is incredibly important to their success.

To create great performance, improve employee satisfaction and engagement and reduce the incidences of workplace conflict, spend more time on setting clear expectations.

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/7313/8055/8312/2013-10.pdf

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Five Things You Need To Do To Drive Successful Continuous Improvement

By: Bernard Borowski

Change is inevitable. New business paradigms require new tools to embrace the ever changing environment. Implementing a continuous improvement program is one of the critical initiatives that enable a company to adapt to change and create a competitive advantage. As many companies embark on launching continuous improvement programs or reviving past programs that stalled, they must take into account the following five elements leading to successful and sustainable continuous improvement.
  1. Align continuous improvement with the strategic objectives of the organization.
    Continuous improvement should not be considered as a standalone initiative or a goal in itself. The continuous improvement program and its resources should be totally aligned to deliver the strategic objectives of the organization. When launching a continuous improvement program you need to make an impact quickly to build credibility. Therefore you may need to pick your battles and not try to tackle all of the objectives at once – but the focus should be on a strategic objective.
  2. Don’t try to go all the way on process excellence: Balance product leadership and customer intimacy.
    Your organization needs to position itself at a level of operational excellence that meets the strategic objectives and does not compromise product leadership and customer intimacy. Treacy and Wiersema, highlighted clearly that balance in The Discipline of Market Leaders. Therefore, conduct a continuous Improvement assessment to determine where your organization is and where it should be in terms of process excellence.
  3. Make continuous improvement part of creating a high performance culture.
    To create a high performance culture you need a strategy. Create a vision, a mission and values and set objectives throughout the organization accordingly; providing routine feedback on how to improve. Next, develop the organization’s winning behaviors and critical skills; rewarding those who made improvements. Then, set up the continuous improvement program that delivers process excellence.
  4. Blend the best practices from the different methodologies.
    Focusing on one methodology for continuous improvement can hold back the possibilities. The old model that focuses only on one unique methodology limits the ability of the organization to realize its full continuous improvement potential. We find that utilizing a blend of best practices from Six Sigma, Lean, Goldratt’s TOC and GE’s CAP (Change Acceleration Process) provide the optimal result when you have a plan and execute it.
  5. Focus on data, not emotions.
    We are often told that continuous improvement is a mindset, a culture. This is true. Nevertheless, it does not exonerate us from going through the process discipline and the rigor of data driven decisions. Such a mindset is actually achieved by a set of actions that are measurable and specific, as part of a continuous improvement program. Continuous improvement must be measurable.
Continuous improvement goes hand in hand with creating a high performance culture. Attaining and sustaining such an achievement requires the implementation of a rigorous program, with measurable targets and milestones. As any corporate initiative, it should rally the organization around its strategic objectives and offer a flexible set of methodologies to execute. To commence or jump start a continuous improvement program it is highly recommended that an organization knows where it stands in terms of strategy, tactics and capability. It is highly recommended that the company perform a Continuous Improvement Assessment for that purpose. The ROI for this type of process is very compelling.

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/7313/8055/8312/2013-10.pdf

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Lean Times Require Lean Measures

By: Chris Anderson

When is a good time to implement lean? If times are bad and you’re in a recession you need to get lean now in order to handle the increased work resulting from internal layoffs. But Lean as a strategy also means being more efficient when times are good in order to increase your competitive advantage. When can you stop becoming lean?

Lean helps an organization release unnecessary capacity, we call this waste. Just like a diet program is designed to reduce fat from your body. Fat is just extra calories or stored energy your body is not using. This is also wasted energy. In business this wasted energy has many forms: inventory, rework, defects, inspection, overproduction, unnecessary motion, delays, over-processing, and unnecessary transportation. Lean thinking is like a diet program designed to eliminate this waste.

In bad times you may be forced to do less and as a result you can use lean to adjust to the recession. But it’s the good times that are more likely to cause your business to gain weight. When times are good it is just too easy to add people, begin unnecessary work, build inventory, and absorb unnecessary transportation. It is exactly the good times that implementing lean production methods is needed even more.

So in bad times you need to implement lean to survive the recession, in good times you need a lean competitive advantage. When can you stop becoming lean? I believe your business can always use lean. Just like a diet program requires you to change your eating habits, forever, you can never stop being lean either.

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/7313/8055/8312/2013-10.pdf

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Building Supervisory Skills through TWI Methods


By: Lloyd Johnson

With the threat of world war in the late 1930s, it became apparent that the demand for soldiers and military equipment would be greater than anything we had ever experienced as a nation. A completely new approach to training new, unskilled manufacturing workers would be needed to meet this demand. In 1940, the US Government established the Training Within Industry Service to meet the challenge. TWI developed methods to build supervisory skills that caused productivity to skyrocket. Aircraft and shipbuilding output reached record levels. But by late 1944 with the end of war in sight, orders began to decline. And many of those returning from war already had supervision skills, so these TWI methods were quickly set aside in the US and remained “lost” for almost 60 years.

Today, manufacturing is playing a leading role in the nation’s economic recovery by adding 504,000 jobs between February 2010 and October 2012. (Economic Policy Institute, article #351, Feb 2013). Once again, manufacturers are turning to supervisory skills as a way to increase their productivity and competitive edge. Recent studies show that a few basic skills, practiced by first-line supervision, are essential to achieving these improvements. Those manufacturers who transition to a “lean enterprise” credit their success to skilled supervisors and team leaders. Best of all, these skills can be learned through applying the TWI methods.

TWI has three specific job training methods for manufacturing supervisors and team leaders -- job relations, job instruction, and job methods. Each method is learned during a ten-hour workshop that teaches practical supervision skills that can be put to use immediately.

Job Relations (JR) teaches supervision how to treat people as individuals and effectively deal with human-relation problems rather than ignoring them. This skill reduces workforce conflict and improves behavior and morale.

Job Instruction (JI) teaches supervision how to plan workforce training, how to break down specific jobs for instruction, and how to effectively train workers to do the job safely, correctly, and conscientiously. This skill reduces the need for retraining and improves workforce quality and output.

Job Methods (JM) teaches supervision how to break down jobs into a series of steps and how to make simple changes that improve manufacturing flow. They learn to question why a step is done and whether it could be eliminated, combined with something else, rearranged for better flow, or simplified to make it easier to do. This skill improves and often shortens processes.

Taken together, these three workshops help supervision develop the skills they need to handle workforce problems, provide effective job training, and make process improvements.

Several companies in the Southern Tier have already discovered the benefits of applying TWI methods. Astrocom Electronics, Audiosears, Borg-Warner, C&D Assembly, CAFUSA, Cameron Fabricating, Custom Electronics, Hardinge, Kennedy Valve, Transonic Systems, Silicon Carbide Products, Standard Printed Circuits, VMR Electronics and others have used increased supervision skills to improve their workforce, increase productivity, and become more competitive. They have “found” the lost TWI methods and rediscovered that they work!

AM&T stands ready to assist other companies in the Southern Tier with discovering this “lost” approach and reaping the benefits of TWI.  For more information about AM&T’s TWI workshops or to schedule a meeting to discuss the potential benefits to your organization, contact Kim Cunningham at 607-725-1225

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/7313/8055/8312/2013-10.pdf

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Associates’ Corner - Stamped Fittings, Inc.

Stamped Fittings, located in Elmira Heights, is a union manufacturer of heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) products.

Family owned and operated since 1997, the company started in a 4,000 sq. ft. facility with a three person staff.

Stamped Fittings has grown to employ 30 people in a 45,000 sq. ft. manufacturing and distribution facility, and produces a complete product line of spiral pipe components for the HVAC industry.

The company’s signature products are die-stamped elbows that are produced in the widest variety of materials, sizes, and gauges available in the industry, explained Shana Graham, president.

She said that these products plus their complete line of HVAC spiral pipe components are manufactured with the latest technology to allow consistent quality and precise tolerances for a proper fit.

In addition to producing ductwork fittings that use traditional metal-to-metal joints, the company’s EDGE® product line is self-sealing, incorporating factory-installed EPDM gaskets that reduce installation labor and do not require taping or other additional measures to prevent air leakage.

Stamped Fittings employees are members of the Sheet Metal Workers, Local #112. The company’s products are currently sold in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.

For more information, contact: Shana Graham, 607-733-9988 or visit www.stampedfittings.com

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/9413/7883/1821/2013-09.pdf

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Associates’ Corner - Stan's NoTubes

A dozen years ago, Stan Koziatek took a fresh look at a problem that had forever plagued bicyclists -- flat tires. Since the root cause of the problem was failure of the inner tube to hold air, his solution was to enable riders to eliminate the inner tube and make the tires self-sealing. This idea propelled Koziatek into a series of innovations and experiments, resulting in a patented sealant that was honed over thousands of test batches.

Like many innovators, Koziatek’s ideas were initially dismissed by industry experts, but he was persistent.  He would show up at the start of national-series mountain bike races and punch holes into his own tires with an ice pick. His sealant would almost immediately fill the holes and allow Koziatek to ride as low as 18psi. The world’s top riders took note, often switching to Koziatek’s products and peeling off his decals to avoid upsetting their sponsors.

In order to offer his better tubeless tire system to an expanding bicycle market, Koziatek founded Stan’s NoTubes. The company is located in Big Flats and has grown to employ 31 people.

The core product line of Stan’s NoTubes is a range of kits that enable riders and bike shops to convert an existing bike rim and tire to tubeless use. These kits include molded rubber rim strips with an integrated valve, tire sealant, and related materials, and all the kit components can also be purchased individually. The company has also expanded into new product categories, including tires, hubs, rims and complete wheels. More recent product development at the company focused on tubeless rims with short side walls and Koziatek’s patented Bead Socket Technology (BST), a highly successful tubeless rim design with short sidewalls. BST allows for lighter rims, improved durability, increased tire traction, and decreased chances of flatting. Koziatek’s rim design rolled across the line first at the Beijing Olympics, and the company’s product line is now broadly acknowledged as being the worldwide industry leader.

Stan’s NoTubes products are sold through US dealers, international distributors, and the company’s own website which incorporates extensive customer support content, both for pre- and post-sale. Their marketing program also relies on active use of social media sites. Two major industry publications have included Koziatek in their short list of the most important people in cycling.

For more information, see www.notubes.com or call 607-562-2877.

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/9413/7883/1821/2013-09.pdf

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Driving to Zero Defects "8 Step Quality Defect Reduction Method"

HOST COMPANY: The Raymond Corporation

The Raymond Corporation, a Toyota Industries (TICO) member company is a global provider of materials handling equipment, technology, expertise, and support. Raymond manufactures electric lift truck products for the narrow aisle and very narrow aisle market segments in Class I, II, and III (Counterbalanced, Narrow Aisle, Pallet Truck).

The company was founded in 1922 and is based in Greene, NY. It has manufacturing sites in Greene, NY and Muscatine, IA, and a parts distribution facility located in Syracuse, NY.

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION
Raymond will provide a tour of its manufacturing operations highlighting how it has applied the Toyota Production System (TPS) Principles and Tools.
In the afternoon, Raymond will review its 8-step method for reducing quality defects, including how each step is performed and its key points. A critical part of this method is Raymond’s daily morning market or Asaichi meeting, which will also be highlighted during the workshop.
Asaichi morning meetings are used to communicate problems, share countermeasures, and speed overall resolution. Since every problem is an opportunity for improvement, this process helps leader’s and associates understand that quality is everyone’s responsibility.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
Any level of the organization from front line Team Leader to CEO.
Individuals and teams encompassing a cross section of your company.

PARTICIPANT BENEFITS
* Gain an understanding of how to effectively reduce quality defects.
* How Asaichi meetings work.
* The benefits of Asaichi morning meetings.
* How to engage all team members and departments and be part of the solution.

COURSE AGENDA
 8:00 to  8:30 am: Registration and welcome
 8:30 to  9:30 am: Overview of The Raymond Corporation
 9:30 to 11:00 am: Tour of The Raymond Corporation
11:00 to 11:30 am: Q&A
11:30 to 12:00 pm: Lunch (provided)
12:00 to  3:30 pm: Driving to Zero Defects
 3:30 to  4:00 pm: Wrap-up

Workshop Objectives:
* Review 8-step method for reducing quality defects
* Review asaichi meeting roles, format and process

The workshop will be facilitated by Scott Campbell, TPS Manager at The Raymond Corporation and Carol Miller, Principal Consultant at AM&T.

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/9413/7883/1821/2013-09.pdf

Visit our website at http://www.amt-mep.org

Upcoming AME Events

The Lean Management System
September 10, 2013
WEBINAR
While much has been written about various aspects of managing lean operations rarely do we see a comprehensive view of how all the pieces fit together into a system. Attendees of this webinar will learn to understand how to go beyond the application of Lean tools and create an organization that embodies a culture of continuously improving customer value and eliminating waste. You will learn how to unlock the potential demonstrated in the islands of improvement in your company and tie them together into an entire value stream of people focused on improving flow each and every day.

CNY Round Table
Networking Event: Hosted by
The Hilliard Corporation
September 26, 2013
What about your business keeps you up at night? What are the compelling changes needed to keep your organization viable? Has your continuous improvement effort come to a plateau, or worse, hit a wall? Are you looking to build your network of contacts? AME is providing a forum to share, learn and grow. This venue is a short duration, highly localized, friendly format. All attendees will be participating in a “Roundtable Discussion” on topics of importance to you and your organization.

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/9413/7883/1821/2013-09.pdf

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The Power to not Point

By: Paul Tillich

Here is a tiny fraction of a list of people who changed the world through the power of speech:
  • John Fitzgerald Kennedy
  • Martin Luther King
  • Winston Churchill
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Patrick Henry
  • Mother Teresa
  • Margaret Thatcher
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson

And here is a complete list of people who changed the world through the power of PowerPoint
Remember that list the next time you prepare a presentation and consider that it could BE different.

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/9413/7883/1821/2013-09.pdf

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5 Signs that Your Failed Team Merits More Time

By: Art Petty

  1. An absence of finger-pointing and excuse-making. In my experience, there’s a direct inverse correlation with finger-pointing and the potential for team success.
  2. Genuine group and authentic distress at the failure. While a judgement call, it’s not that hard for a leader to distinguish between embarrassment, fear or repercussions type distress versus genuine “We failed and it bugs the crap out of me/us,” distress.
  3. “An emerging Apollo 13 mentality… “failure is not an option.” A sense of emergency, an intense focus on the goals of the initiative and extraordinary efforts to innovate are healthy signs that the team merits more time.
  4. External validation that the initiative is (still) highly relevant. There’s a tendency for firms and teams to irrationally pursue failed objectives. Avoiding this sunk cost/escalation of commitment trap is difficult and important. The assumptions of and need for the project from an external customer or market perspective must still be valid before offering more time to the failed team.
  5. A hunger for insights and knowledge from outside the team. Instead of turning inward and developing a bunker mentality, the team recognizes the need for help and pursues it. I’m particularly convinced of a team’s legitimacy, when they seek outside critical feedback on technical and performance issues.
The Bottom-Line for Now:
Sometimes, good performance is just a bit further down the road. Don’t discount how critical it is to give good people time to gel on big projects.

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/9413/7883/1821/2013-09.pdf

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Keep Your Projects On Track

A “train and do” workshop introducing the basics of Project Management, including classroom presentation and exercises on how to organize and manage projects and bring them to a close – on time and on budget.

Are You a Project Manager?
Today, everything is a project with more and more people finding themselves in a project management role of some type. You don’t have to have the title of Project Manager to manage projects.

A Project is a temporary collection of related tasks to achieve a desired and usually unique result.
What do you think? Do you find yourself managing a collection of related tasks to achieve a desired result? If so, you qualify as a project manager. Businesses today are evolving, downsizing, and pushing more work down the organization chart. You may be a project manager and not know it. But what if you haven’t been trained as a Project Manager with the necessary skill and tool sets?

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
This training is for manufacturing, engineering, and installation personnel with project leadership responsibilities, whether in a new role or just in need of a refresher.

COURSE OUTLINE
  • Introduction to Project Management
  • Individual Roles and Responsibilities
  • Defining the Mission & Approach
  • Methodology Overview
  • Work Plan Review and Sign-off
  • Project Tracking (Working the Schedule)
  • Action and Contingency Plans
  • Project Status Reporting
  • Book shelving Project Management Data

Date: September 12, 2013
Time:  8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Location: Treadway Inn, Owego, NY
Cost: $250 ($200 for AM&T Associates) [Continental breakfast & lunch included]
Register your interest on-line at www.amt-mep.org
or contact Kathy Peacock at 607-774-0022 x308

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/9413/7883/1821/2013-09.pdf

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Business Growth Through Exporting

One way to grow your sales and profitability is through exporting. But many companies with strong potential to successfully export their products never do because they just don’t know where to start.

You can learn how to start, and discover all the resources available to US companies for international business development at an export workshop on September 18 in Binghamton.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the President’s Export Council, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Export Assistance Center, and the Small Business Development Center at Binghamton University join in inviting companies to participate.

Co-sponsored by AM&T and the Upstate NY District Export Council, this workshop will help take the mystery out of exporting and enable you to decide if you should put resources into making it work for your company. Among other things, you’ll learn...
  • How to find qualified foreign partners
  • How to tap no-cost sources of international market research
  • Where to get support for exhibiting international trade shows
  • How to get the government to advocate for your company in foreign markets
  • How the SBA can facilitate getting the working capital necessary for growth
  • Banking tools to protect your foreign receivables
  • How Freight Forwarding services can simply shipping complexities

Local Success Story
Tony Loup from Insulating Coatings Corp. in Binghamton will discuss the company’s experience with marketing and selling internationally.

 
Date: September 18, 2013
Time: 8:00 am to 11:00 am
Location: Binghamton SBDC
222 Water Street
Binghamton, NY
Cost: Free, but registration is required
 
See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/9413/7883/1821/2013-09.pdf

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Manufacturing Day - October 4, 2013

MFG DAY addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t.

On October 4, manufacturers, educational institutions and others will host events to highlight the importance of manufacturing to the nation’s economy and draw attention to the many rewarding high-skill jobs in manufacturing fields.
 
In its first year, more than 240 events were held in manufacturing facilities in 37 states and more than 7,000 people participated. This year’s celebration will feature open houses, public tours, career workshops and other activities to increase public awareness of modern manufacturing.
 
The official guide to organizing MFG DAY open houses, the most frequent type of Manufacturing Day event, is now available at www.MfgDay.com. In it, hosts will learn:
  • How to prepare and promote an event.
  • How to welcome guests and conduct a tour of the facilities.
  • How to follow up with attendees and the MFG DAY community.
Download the Manufacturing Day Host Toolkit today at:
www.amt-mep.org/files/7613/7753/8769/MFG_DAY_Host_Toolkit.pdf

If you’re wondering about MFG DAY events other than a plant tour, or know someone who wants to host an event but doesn’t know where to start, we encourage you to read or share “3 Types of Manufacturing Day Events” at www.mfgday.com/resources/3-types-manufacturing-day-events, an article about manufacturing communities and educational fairs -- two other types of successful Manufacturing Day events.

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/9413/7883/1821/2013-09.pdf

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Cameron Makes Major Acquisition

Cameron Manufacturing & Design, an AM&T Associate, announced the acquisition of the assets of Echo Bridge, Inc. and Decker, Inc., long time manufacturers of custom bridges. At the same time, the company announced the formation of a new company, Cameron Bridge Works, LLC.

“Our formation of Cameron Bridge Works, LLC and the acquisition of Echo Bridge and Decker Inc. complements our overall custom manufacturing offerings. This investment represents an important strategic opportunity to offer even more diverse products to multiple customers across the country,” said Chris Goll, President/CEO of Cameron Manufacturing & Design.

Goll explained that the asset purchase of the two bridge construction companies fits into Cameron Manufacturing & Design’s strategy to ensure continued growth. Cameron Bridge Works, LLC will provide services to clients across the Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic and Southern states.

Cameron Manufacturing & Design, Inc. is an employee-owned custom manufacturing company based in Horseheads that offers a wide range of products and services that include fabrications and weldments, equipment and machinery, production and prototype services, and design and drafting services. Echo Bridge and Decker were family-owned and operated businesses in Elmira. While the two companies have completed projects as far away as Utah, Texas and Florida, they had a primary market focus in the New England and Mid-Atlantic states.

Goll said that the newly formed entity will capitalize on the strong presence of Cameron Manufacturing & Design and the specialty experience of Echo Bridge and Decker to become a leader in the bridge manufacturing arena.

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SEPAC Partners with Carnegie Mellon’s Robotic Tartan Rescue Team

SEPAC, a manufacturer of electromagnetic brakes and clutches, is proud to announce acceptance as a promotional sponsor of the Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) Tartan Rescue Team for their participation in the Department of Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) Robotics Challenge.

The Department of Defense’s Strategic plan calls for the Joint Force to conduct humanitarian disaster relief and related options. The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) attempts to address the issue by promoting robotic technology for disaster response operations. The robots will be judged based on autonomy, mobility, dexterity, strength, and endurance.

SEPAC’s electromagnetic brakes and motion control engineering expertise is providing integral support in the development of the robot’s drive joints. Precise control of these drive joints enable the robot to achieve human like manipulation and gripping to complete critical rescue orientated tasks.

Carnegie Mellon’s Robotic Institute was founded in 1979 and was the first robotics academic department in the US. Today it is the largest (in revenue) robotics research group in the world.

A custom designer and manufacturer of motion control products, SEPAC Inc., in Elmira, NY, provides innovative electromagnetic brake and clutch solutions of the highest quality and reliability in markets such as aerospace, defense, energy, medical, industrial and robotics. Learn more at www.sepac.com or call 800-331-3207.

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/2713/7572/0531/2013-08.pdf

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Tompkins County ReBusiness Chamber Challenge.

You know about the “3 R’s” in education - but what about the 4R’s of business sustainability? Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rebuy.

Reduce waste being sent to landfills, save energy and resources, and make our community more sustainable. Remember the four R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and ReBuy!

For more information on the Rebusiness Chamber Challenge please contact Kat McCarthy, Waste Reduction Specialist at the Tompkins County Solid Waste Division, at 607-273-6632 or at kmccarthy@tompkins-co.org

This program is funded through a contract with Tompkins County Solid Waste Management Division.

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/2713/7572/0531/2013-08.pdf

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Global Manufacturers Outpace Service Firms in Quality Systems

Manufacturers are far ahead of service companies in using quality management systems. According to a survey conducted of almost 2,000 organizations in 22 countries, ASQ found that 78 percent of manufacturing companies use ISO as a quality framework, versus 52 percent of service-based organizations. “Internationally, Finland has the lowest percentage of organizations that use ISO as a quality framework, 56 percent,” says ASQ. The Czech Republic was the leader — at 83 percent of organizations using ISO. In the United States, 60 percent of organizations use ISO as a quality framework.

The survey found that all companies generating more than $10 billion a year in revenue provide quality training, including lean, Six Sigma, ISO, auditing and quality management.

Compared to service organizations, manufacturers provide twice as much training in the areas of Six Sigma and lean, and one-third more training in the areas of auditing and ISO. In Germany, 77 percent of the organizations provide ISO training and 82 percent provide general quality management training — the highest of any group of organizations. Learn more at www.globalstateofquality.org.

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Manufacturing Day 2013

MFG DAY addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t.

On October 4, manufacturers, educational institutions, and others will host events to highlight the importance of manufacturing to the nation’s economy and draw attention to the many rewarding high-skill jobs in manufacturing fields.

In its first year 2012, more than 240 events were held in manufacturing facilities in 37 states and more than 7,000 people participated. This year’s celebration will feature open houses, public tours, career workshops and other activities to increase public awareness of modern manufacturing.

Supported by a group of industry sponsors and co-producers, MFG DAY is designed to amplify the voice of individual manufacturers and coordinate a collective chorus of manufacturers with common concerns and challenges.

Find out more and learn how your company can plan a MFG DAY event at www.mfgday.com.

If you decide to host an event this year, it’s important that you register your event at
www.mfgday.com. Registration will enable you to access a variety of tools to help promote the event and your company.

See this and other newsletter articles at http://amt-mep.org/files/2713/7572/0531/2013-08.pdf

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Improve Your Business by Implementing ISO 9001

How can implementing a Quality Management System based on ISO 9001 improve your business, organization, or department?

Frequently the ISO 9001 Standard is perceived to be complicated and heavy on documentation requirements. These perceptions are not necessarily accurate. The ISO 9001 Standard is actually very straightforward with simple requirements for procedures and records. The ultimate goal, however, of implementing ISO 9001 should be to create an organization that continually improves.

Why Implement an ISO 9001 Quality Management System?

Why should your organization use the ISO 9001 Standard? An honest reply can say a lot about how effectively the standard can improve your business. If you are using the standard as a gimmick (a plaque on the wall), then the standard will be a burden, not a benefit. If the honest reason for implementing the standard is improvement in your overall business, then it can truly help your organization become better, and it will allow you to compete in a global marketplace.

Using ISO 9001 Makes Your Organization More Competitive.

Implementing the ISO 9001 Standard as a Quality Management System can improve your business. In fact, that is why it was created. It is broadly recognized as a proven method of using a systems and process approach to make your business better. It can make your organization more effective, and therefore more competitive.

Improving Organizational Culture by Implementing ISO 9001.

Another important advantage of implementing the ISO 9001 Standard is improved organizational culture. Faithfully employing the standard can actually change how people feel and behave in the organization, and how its members interact with peers, subordinates, superiors and customers.

Aligning and integrating your ISO Quality System with your Business Management System will reap many tangible benefits.

Basic Project Management Workshop - Sep 12, 2013

A “train and do” workshop introducing the basics of Project Management, including classroom presentation and exercises on how to organize and manage projects and bring them to a close – on time and on budget.

Are You a Project Manager?

Today, everything is a project with more and more people finding themselves in a project management role of some type. You don’t have to have the title of Project Manager to manage projects.

A Project is a temporary collection of related tasks to achieve a desired and usually unique result.

What do you think? Do you find yourself managing a collection of related tasks to achieve a desired result? If so, you qualify as a project manager. Businesses today are evolving, downsizing, and pushing more work down the organization chart. You may be a project manager and not know it. But what if you haven’t been trained as a Project Manager with the necessary skill and tool sets?

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

This training is for manufacturing, engineering, and installation personnel with project leadership responsibilities, whether in a new role or just in need of a refresher.

COURSE OUTLINE:

  • Introduction to Project Management
  • Individual Roles and Responsibilities
  • Defining the Mission & Approach
  • Methodology Overview
  • Work Plan Review and Sign-off
  • Project Tracking (Working the Schedule)
  • Action and Contingency Plans
  • Project Status Reporting
  • Book shelving Project Management Data

(Course materials are based on methods described in the Program Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), published by the Program Management Institute)

Date: September 12, 2013
Time: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Location: Treadway Inn, Owego, NY
Cost: $250 ($200 for AM&T Associates)

Register your interest on-line at www.amt-mep.org or
contact Kathy Peacock at 607-774-0022 x308

Meet your Instructor: Lloyd Johnson is a graduate of Syracuse University where he earned a B.S.E.E. and an MBA. Lloyd has over 30 years of experience in manufacturing, quality and program management. Lloyd is a Professional Business Advisor (PBA), a certified Project Management Professional-certified by the Project Management Institute, and is certified to teach Training Within Industry (TWI) and Lean Enterprise Subjects.

The Difference Between Finishers and 70-Percenters

By Art Petty
There’s a class of professionals in the world one of my former bosses labeled as “70-Percenters.” They’re the people who are great at making noise, and even getting things started, but they don’t know how to close. They’re not finishers.
Are you a Finisher or a 70-Percenter? Are you cultivating Finishers on your team?
5 Key Behaviors of Finishers:
  1. Finishers walk into the heat. The 70-Percenter runs away from messy situations, while the Finisher understands that she owns a problem or difficult team situation until it’s solved. She recognizes that one of her jobs is to lead the cleanup on organizational spills, and she relishes the opportunity to help a team move from disaster to success.
  2. Finishers understand that commitment IS commitment. The 70-Percenters are masters of excuses. Finishers eat accountability for breakfast, exude responsibility all day long and display fortitude in the most difficult of circumstances. Projects are completed, issues are resolved, problems are fixed and opportunities are pursued with a vengeance.
  3. Finishers want the ball with time running out. 70-Percenters fear the implications of blowing the final shot. They look to pass the ball. Finishers are the sales representatives who engineer game-winning drives to bring home the orders at the end of the quarter and the engineers and developers who understand what it takes to go from whiteboard to finished product.
  4. Finishers aren’t glory hounds, they are results fiends. 70-Percenters love the limelight, and live to find it. Finishers value the results and lessons learned. They climb mountains because they’re there and they complete their work, because anything else is tantamount to giving up. Finishers don’t know the words, “I give up.”
  5. Finishers look around corners for answers. 70-Percenters run from vexing dilemmas and situations where the answers might involve a blend of experimentation and hard work. Finishers understand the iterative nature of most solution development activities and live to experiment and to gain insights from non-traditional sources in untraditional ways.
The Bottom-Line for Now:
Finishers make the world go. 70-Percenters are along for a fun ride, but they don’t provide much locomotive power. As a leader, strive to cultivate Finishers on your team. Reinforce accountability and importantly display the behaviors that teach by example.
 
As an individual contributor, adopt the behaviors above. They need to be part of your professional DNA.
 
While a team filled with Finishers offers its own challenges, it certainly beats the painful monotony of coping with the chronic under-performance of 70-Percenters.