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Nov. 18, 2014 - Rockwell Automation has launched the Allen-Bradley ArmorStratix 5700, a layer 2 managed industrial Ethernet switch that can be mounted directly onto a machine or application to reduce the overall size and cost of a control cabinet, it says.
Nov. 18, 2014 - Macron Dynamics has introduced the TBG-12 and HBG-12 unit to its T-Bot and H-Bot gantry robot product lines.
Nov. 18, 2014 - Described as sleek, strong and fast, the 6-axis MA2010 arc welding robot from Yaskawa Motoman features a 10-kg payload, up from 3 kg on the previous MA1900 model.
Oct. 30, 2014 - Sandvik Coromant’s InvoMilling software for the flexible manufacturing of gears and splines on universal five-axis machining centers is designed for use when machining small and medium-sized batches and when short lead times are a priority. With the CAM software InvoMilling 1.0, the CNC program is generated to produce different gear profiles with a limited range of standard-stocked precision tools. The InvoMilling software is developed by Sandvik Coromant and Euklid, a company with experience in gears and advanced CAD/CAM solutions. Combined with the dedicated InvoMilling cutters, CoroMill 161 and CoroMill 162, the new software guarantees short lead times for production of a very wide variety of gears and splines, the company says. www.sandvik.coromant.com
Oct. 31, 2014 - Makino’s a51nx-5XU five-axis horizontal machining center features a newly designed 5th-axis table and work-pallet magazine, enabling manufacturers of complex parts to obtain the highest levels of utilization and efficiency, the company says. The linear X, Y and Z axes of the a51nx-5XU are built from the same structure as Makino’s a51nx horizontal machining center. Its rigid bed casting with three-point levelling system provides a solid foundation for all critical machine components, the company says. A tiered-column design redirects machining forces and resists deflection even high in the Y-axis. www.makino.com
Oct. 31, 2014 - Banner Engineering’s XS26-2 expandable safety controller has the capability to add up to eight expansion I/O modules. The XS26-2 platform was designed to adapt to diverse automation requirements and address a wide range of safeguarding applications. The base controller models have 26 input terminals, four terminals for two redundant safety PNP outputs and a USB connection for loading configurations. Base models are available with an optional on-board display or an embedded Ethernet IP/Modbus TCP capability for access to live I/O status and system diagnostics to assist in troubleshooting and commissioning. According to the company, the safety controller’s complementary PC graphical user interface configuration software is uncluttered and easy to navigate for configuring and documenting safety functions and assessing the status of connected input or output devices. The system configuration tool uses a function block diagram format that consists of pre-engineered and pre-tested safety function blocks, as well as a set of Boolean functions. As the function block configuration is created, a corresponding logic ladder reference diagram and a text-based summary are created.www.bannerengineering.com
Oct. 27, 2014 - Watlow’s “N” Type thermocouple wire is designed to provide superior repeatability and resistance to oxidation over “K” Type wires at high temperatures (1,500 degrees F and above), or in applications where sulphur is present, the company says. Watlow’s Type N thermocouple wire meets special limits of error from 200 to 2,000 degrees F. This nickel-based thermocouple alloy is used in many high-temperature heat-treating applications, including specialty aerospace heat treating. It offers the same accuracy and temperature limits as Type K, but has improved repeatability between 700 and 1,100 degrees F (370 and 593 degrees C), according to the company.www.watlow.com
Oct. 27, 2014 - Lovato Electric expanded its range of measuring instruments by adding the DMG600 and DMG610 digital multimeters. Both models provide a complete set of electrical measurements, such as voltage and current values, meters for active and reactive energy, both imported and exported, Harmonic distortion (THD). The multimeters are capable of offering different solutions for acquiring measured data. The new white-backlit LCD screen guarantees excellent visibility, even in low light conditions, the company says. The built-in RS485 serial port allows the DMG610 model to be immediately inserted into an existing network. Many other optional ports are also available, such as analog input and output, relay output, static output, communication port Ethernet or USB.www.lovato.ca
Oct. 27, 2014 - Belden has released new Wash-Down Cord Sets as part of its Lumberg Automation product portfolio. The new cord sets are designed to withstand extreme temperatures, immense pressure and the chemical exposure typical in high-intensity cleaning processes. They also ensure functional reliability in all harsh industrial settings, particularly for the food and beverage, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Lumberg Automation’s Wash-Down Cord Sets feature gold-plated crimp contacts, high shock and vibration resistance, and IP67, IP68 and IP69K certification for ingress protection. They are also specifically designed to withstand the high-shock and vibration found in industrial environments, which helps to maintain a high productivity level of equipment. www.belden.com
Oct. 20, 2014 - Wieland Electric Inc. says it has significantly enhanced the design of its DIN rail mounted screw-clamp terminal blocks. Part of the company's selos family, the WT Series terminal blocks feature an enhanced push-in jumpering system that forms a low-resistance, vibration-proof connection when inserted. This is achieved by separating the rugged steel spring for mechanical fastening from the jumper's copper current bar. The dual-channel jumpering system enables extended jumper lengths, as well as the ability to bridge multiple potentials on parallel blocks (e.g., linking alternate terminals, such as every second or third block, using notched jumpers). Another new feature of the WT Series terminal blocks is the introduction of screwless (snap-on) ground blocks to speed up installation onto DIN rails. In addition, the redesigned terminal blocks now come in a uniform size up for wires up to six AWG. The WT Series terminal blocks now have the option of using a flexible terminal marking system using commercially available thermal transfer labels. Wieland's standard hard plastic marking tags are also available for applications requiring a non-sliding, robustly anchored tag. www.wielandinc.com
Oct. 20, 2014 - The linear modules of Schunk's LCx series are ideal for when complete Z or Y axes are to be moved in high-precision, high-speed applications. The profiles of the standardized linear motor axes made of reinforced carbon composite weigh approximately 58 per cent less than the profiles of comparable aluminum modules, resulting in quicker acceleration with less energy, the company says. Since the thermal expansion of the material is minimal, the axes are designed to ensure high precision even when they heat up during operation. Lightweight modules in the LCx series result in high-speed and accurate repeatability due to a servo-electric linear motor drive, according to the company. The absolute-value transducers provide repeat accuracy of 0.01 mm per axis. www.schunk.com
Nov. 25, 2014 - Four manufacturing organizations say they have banded together for a new “by industry, for industry” learning program to actively hire and train unemployed/underemployed youth to help address a “critical” shortage of CNC machinists.
Nov. 19, 2014 - Ontario says it is investing $4.2 million to help build the Niagara College Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre, a permanent, high-tech facility that will provide hands-on applied learning and innovative business solutions.
Nov. 4, 2014 - Skills Canada launched its 10th National Skilled Trades and Technology Week today, which it says aims to create awareness for students and educators of the “incredible career opportunities” available in skilled trades and technologies across Canada.
Oct. 7, 2014 - A $1,050,000 gift from Dow Canada will support student success and campus expansion at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). Dow’s investment includes $800,000 for NAIT’s Centre for Applied Technologies, and $250,000 to sponsor a biennial seminar at NAIT showcasing the field of power engineering.
Sept. 29, 2014 - AutomationDirect’s new eBook, “Automation 101: An Industry Guide to Control System Engineering”, is now available as a free download. Designed as a general guide for the specification, design and installation of automated control systems, this eBook is filled with information and references that take readers from the skills required to recognize an operation or process suitable for automating, to tips on setting up a program to maintain the control system. Whether an expert or a novice at electrical control devices and systems, the information presented provides a checklist to use when implementing an automated control system. Topics covered include: safety considerations, identifying automation needs, specifying device needs, system design, building tips, installation and maintenance. The eBook also contains information, such as steps for choosing the right controller, understanding discrete and analog I/O, sinking and sourcing concepts, and more.To learn more and to download “Automation 101: An Industry Guide to Control System Engineering”, visit: http://library.automationdirect.com/download-free-ebook.
Sept. 29, 2014 - Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology in Hamilton, Ont., has opened an Additive Manufacturing Resource Centre at its Fennell Campus.
Sept. 16, 2014 - Siemens Canada and the Halton Learning Foundation have partnered to introduce an educational program to students at Oakville’s Garth Webb Secondary School.
Sept. 5, 2014 - Ontario is expanding and enhancing its Specialist High Skills Majors program to help more high school students find their career passion and get the skills and knowledge they need for jobs in the 21st century.
Aug. 26, 2014 - The demand for skilled professionals who understand the exchange between information technology (IT) and operations technology (OT) is increasing as the industrial plant floor and corporate enterprise become more connected. In response, Rockwell Automation, in collaboration with Strategic Alliance partner Cisco, has launched a new training course to help IT and OT professionals overcome the challenges of converging their network technologies. The new training helps candidates prepare for the recently introduced Cisco Industrial Networking Specialist certification.
Safety is the top priority at the Siemens Wind Service Training Centre in Orlando, Fla. That was the message Siemens executives relayed to the 31 journalists from 11 countries who attended its recent international press trip to Orlando. Manufacturing AUTOMATION was among the attendees.
Manufacturing AUTOMATION caught up with Skills Canada CEO Shaun Thorson at the Skills Canada National Competition in June. He talked to us about the competition, how it has evolved over the last 20 years, how the perception of skilled trades has evolved, and what industry can do to help bridge the skills gap. Take a look.
Skills Canada’s National Competition took place in Mississauga, Ont., in June, and Manufacturing AUTOMATION was there. Five hundred of Canada’s best skilled trade and technology students and apprentices competed for a chance to make it on Team Canada for Worlds Skills 2015 in Brazil. In this video, we find out more about the Robotics, Mechatronics, and Automation and Control competitions.
Nov. 5, 2014 - A new national award from Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) recognizes “organizations that exceed traditional health and safety practices by the shared value created to have an impact on a broader community dimension beyond their workplaces.”
Oct. 9, 2014 - Increasingly individualized products and more intelligent, networked components are transforming the world of production, and Festo is embracing the changes. That was the message from Dr. Eberhardt Veit, chairman of the management board of Festo AG, during Festo’s recent International Press Conference at its headquarters in Esslingen, Germany.
Oct. 7, 2014 - While at Festo's recent International Press Conference in Germany, Manufacturing AUTOMATION sat down for an interview with Dr. Eberhardt Veit, chairman of the management board, to discuss recent investments the company has made, the economy and which markets he's seeing growth in.
Oct. 7, 2014 - Manufacturing AUTOMATION recently attended Festo's International Press Conference at the company's headquarters in Esslingen, Germany. During the conference, Dr. Eberhardt Veit, chairman of the management board of Festo AG & Co. KG, discussed Industry 4.0 and Festo's view of future production.
Sept. 18, 2014 - Marcos Aranha, process engineer with Yaskawa America Inc., demonstrates four technologies in the Yaskawa Motoman booth at IMTS 2014 in Chicago.
Aug. 15, 2014 - Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology has launched a 1,500-square-foot Additive Manufacturing Resource Centre at its Fennell Campus in Hamilton, Ont. In this video, Robert Gerritsen, professor, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering Technology, gives us a tour of the new facility, detailing the equipment in the lab, and the capabilities of the state-of-the-art additive technologies in the lab, including their "pride and joy" - an EOS M 280 direct metal laser sintering machine.
Aug. 15, 2014 - Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technogy has launched a 1,500-square-foot Additive Manufacturing Resource Centre at its Fennell Campus in Hamilton, Ont. The new centre is both a resource to students and the industry, allowing them to explore the opportunities of additive manufacturing in both metal and plastic. In this video, Tony Thoma, Dean, Engineering Technology, discusses the new facility and how it will benefit the manufacturing industry and the students.
Aug. 1, 2014 - AutomationDirect’s new white paper, “When to Use Multi-Function Safety Relays,” explains how to determine when applications will benefit from multi-function safety relays over other options.
While safety functions have been integrated into drives packages for some years now, the current trends are very exciting, from many angles. Today, a full complement of safety functions can be implemented at the front-end of a system design on all types of production machines. This can be accomplished in full compliance with all the current regulations for machines used worldwide.  
Unico Systems, a manufacturer of home air conditioning and heating systems, previously used manual methods to track manufacturing workflow, a time-consuming task that increased the chance for errors. Today, the company automatically enters the tracking information into a database using Cognex wireless handheld scanners to read barcodes on the product, and QR codes on employee badges and assembly stations. Operators now spend much less time on data entry tasks which, along with other improvements, has helped increase the production rate on the company’s lines by an average of 40 per cent. The new system also provides additional safeguards to ensure that only quality products are shipped to customers, resulting in a reduction in warranty costs. Here’s their story:
Typically, a manufacturer’s main goal in developing or implementing an innovative automation technology is to speed production and boost the bottom line. In this endeavour, it almost always pays to keep an eye on the basics.
The boards of directors of the Fieldbus Foundation and the HART Communication Foundation have approved unifying the two foundations into a new industry organization dedicated to the needs of intelligent devices and their integration in the world of process automation.
The Fieldbus Foundation, conducting a press briefing at the Hannover Fair on Monday, announced significant progress in its discussions with the HART Communication Foundation on the potential for merging the two organizations into a single industry foundation dedicated to the needs of intelligent device communications in the world of process automation.
The Fieldbus Foundation, conducting a press briefing at the Hannover Fair on Monday, commemorated its 20th anniversary.
A white paper from InduSoft, an Invensys company, describes in depth the benefits multi-touch HMI offers the automation world.
The term "dry wine" has a new meaning at Vincor International's Quebec bottling operation since soap-and-water lubrication have been eliminated from the conveyor line by installing a new conveyor chain and wear track.
To stay competitive with large-scale agricultural producers, today’s small, privately owned farms are turning to automation as a way to improve the efficiency of their operations.
Process automation projects are most often driven by bottom line results, return on investment and an appropriate value position or justification.
AutomationDirect has released a new white paper that explains how businesses benefit from the in-depth information that new PLCs and PACs can provide on processes, machines and manufacturing operations. 
  With the arrival of the latest generation of KSB’s Movitec pumps, KSB Canada has widened its portfolio of small size centrifugal pumps. The 2013 Movitec series feature optimized laser welded hydraulics.
Manufacturing AUTOMATION columnist and respected industrial networking expert Ian Verhappen, has been named to the Process Automation Hall of Fame. Verhappen’s entire career has been dedicated to automation. As a leader in automation practices, he has worked closely with the Standards Council of Canada and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Among his many achievements, Verhappen led the world's first multi-vendor Foundation Fieldbus (FF) pilot test. While serving as International Society of Automation’s (ISA) vice-president of publications, he co-authored the Foundation Fieldbus book, soon to be in its fourth edition in English, Spanish and Portuguese. The Process Automation Hall of Fame was established by Control magazine, a publication dedicated to process automation. Inductees are celebrated for their major contributions to the automation profession. You can read past issues of Verhappen’s popular “Columnbus” column in back issues of Manufacturing AUTOMATION or on the Columnbus page on our website.
A distributed I/O network can provide a universal and modular way to connect a wide range of signal input and control output possibilities. Hosted by journalist and industry expert Peter Welander, this video shows the benefits of using a distributed I/O network to send information between instrumentation devices in their and control elements in a control room or on a factory floor. Connecting field devices to the network saves time and expenses associated with the installation and repair of wiring. The modular nature of distributed I/O networks makes it easy to add expand operations or integrate legacy process sensors. In addition, peer-to-peer systems are redundant, meaning that a break in a wire pair will not affect signal transmission.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan’s Analysis of the North American Submersible Pumps Market research finds that the market earned revenues of $264.5 million in 2011 and estimates this to reach $364.7 million in 2018.
Oct. 24, 2014 - Consumer power has reached an all-time high, and businesses have felt the impact across their supply chains globally.  
Sept. 29, 2014 - The Company: August Electronics is an electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider headquartered in Calgary, Alta. They have a long-standing track record of customer satisfaction and productivity, as shown by their yearly recognition in Profit magazine’s PROFIT 200 — Canada’s top 200 fastest growing companies. As an ISO 9001:2008 certified company, August Electronics is committed to a philosophy of continuous quality improvement.
Sept. 29, 2014 - The Company: Privately held and based in Ottawa, Ont., TrueNorth Avionics is an airborne connectivity company that designs, develops and manufactures satellite communication solutions for high-end corporate jets and VIP aircrafts.
Sept. 29, 2014 - Kaizen — translated loosely from the Japanese, it means “good change.” Masaaki Imai, founder of the Japan-based Kaizen Institute, defined kaizen as: "...continuous improvement in the personal life, home life, social life and working life." Even more profoundly, Imai taught that kaizen was a “...state of mind that encourages everyone to consider it unusual when conditions do not continuously evolve.”
Sept. 29, 2014 - The Company: Iggesund Tools is a tooling company with a proud heritage spanning more than 300 years. Today, its core business is the design and production of specialized tooling for the forest products industry. In each of the sectors it serves — debarking, lumber production, chipping technology and chip analysis — Iggesund Tools is recognized as a world leader.
Sept. 26, 2014 - The Company: Hammond Power Solutions (HPS) is the largest manufacturer of dry-type transformers in North America. The company engineers and manufactures a wide range of standard and custom transformers that are exported globally in electrical equipment and systems, and supports solid industries such as oil and gas, mining, steel, waste and water treatment, and wind power generation. Headquartered in Guelph, Ont., HPS has five manufacturing facilities and 11 distribution centres located throughout Canada, the United States and Mexico.
Sept. 26, 2014 - The Company: Every single day, gas, diesel and petrol are used around the world to keep vehicles running. Through a process called “fractionation,” crude, unprocessed oil is separated into these important fuels. An entire facility is needed to carry out the fractionation process. Enerchem International Inc., a leader in the production and distribution of hydrocarbon drilling and fracturing fluids, runs one such facility at Slave Lake in Alberta. To efficiently handle the daunting task of maintaining and controlling this facility, Enerchem uses a flexible HMI, SCADA and MES software platform called Ignition by Inductive Automation.
Sept. 26, 2014 - The Company: Athletica Sport Systems (Sport Systems Unlimited Corp.) specializes in engineering, manufacturing and installing dasher boards and associated products for ice hockey and indoor soccer. The Waterloo, Ont.-based company brings world-class sport solutions under the well-known Crystaplex, Border Patrol and GamePlex brands to customers worldwide, including universities, municipalities and private owners, and is the preferred rink equipment supplier of the NHL. In addition, Athletica has a vastly growing Arena Services division, which accounts for a significant piece of the company’s business, particularly in the winter months during the off season. Athletica’s core manufacturing facility is located in Waterloo, with a sales and distribution facility in Minneapolis, Minn.
Sept. 22, 2014 - The discrete manufacturing industry’s quest to reduce capital expenditure, shorten lead times and improve productivity is expected to fuel investments in the global product life cycle management (PLM) market, according to new analysis from Frost and Sullivan.
Sept. 6, 2014 - The companyCytonome develops, manufactures and markets cell purification systems available worldwide for Biomedicine, Bio-industry and Bioscience. The company’s proprietary technology is combined with optical detection for the precise and safe selection of discrete cell subpopulations. Their Biomedicine products are aimed at cGMP-compliant cell purification using a closed, sterile and disposable cartridge to guarantee operator safety and sample isolation.The challengeCytonome’s engineering department focuses on developing new products. Engineering works quickly to develop concepts and manufacturing works in parallel during the prototype phase. Cytonome needed to create a product development environment to ensure efficient communication among engineering, manufacturing and purchasing. The company managed product development with tools that did not communicate with each other. Product information was converted from SolidWorks to Excel spreadsheets. Cytonome was having a difficult time with this environment because information had to be manually entered into each system, which took up valuable employee time, introduced costly human data entry errors and resulted in systems containing incorrect or out-of-date information.“The process was rather cumbersome and prone to errors,” said John Bragg, mechanical CAD designer for Cytonome. “We needed a solution that could automate engineering change order workflows, ensure steps are not skipped, and could provide a one stop location for all of our documentation.”Cytonome was also preparing for their International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification and needed to have formal processes in place to demonstrate proper management, tracking and reporting of product development and manufacturing procedures and information. The solutionTo achieve a cohesive environment, Cytonome needed to address their manual product development processes. They searched for a solution that provided a central location to manage product information and quality processes and could communicate directly with SolidWorks and Expandable to eliminate manual data entry. Past experience with PLM technology and Omnify Software prompted them to look at Omnify’s Empower PLM solution. “After seeing a customer demo, we were impressed with the capabilities and simple web interface of Empower,” noted Bragg.  Adopting Empower helped Cytonome to create automated signoff workflows for New Part Requests (NPRs) and Engineering Change Orders (ECOs), as well as establish automated data transfer with SolidWorks and Expandable. To support their ISO compliance and goal to obtain full cGMP compliance, Cytonome also uses the Omnify Empower Quality Management and Training Management modules. All Non-Conforming Material Reports (NCMRs), Corrective and Preventive Actions (CAPAs), process deviations and customer service repair processes are managed within the Quality module and directly connected to the product record in Omnify Empower. Cytonome uses the Training Management module to manage and track employee training documentation, calibration processes and calibration records. General business documents are also maintained and controlled in Omnify Empower, such as product development reports and Non-Disclosure Agreements. The resultsOmnify Empower serves as a central location to securely access accurate product data and documentation for all Cytonome team members. “Over 85 per cent of the company uses Omnify Empower at Cytonome, including engineering, quality, manufacturing and purchasing,” said Heather Kiessling, chief financial officer for Cytonome. “The most significant business benefit of using Omnify Empower is the real-time global updates among engineering, purchasing and manufacturing that we did not have before.” Quality information is now shared in real time across the organization. When an ECO is under review, engineering, purchasing and production know this information immediately. Decisions on buying parts or build plans for assemblies under ECO are made in real time. Purchasing can access the system to pull the most up-to-date drawings that need to go to vendors for fabricated parts. Manufacturing has access to the most accurate and current BOM with automated updates from Omnify Empower to Expandable ERP.  “Our overall product development processes are faster and more efficient due to the time savings and improved data accuracy we have realized by implementing Omnify Empower as our central product information management system,” said Kiessling. With the new centralized and automated product development processes in place, Cytonome had the proper signoff, history tracking and reporting to meet ISO compliance guidelines. During their first ISO audit, the auditor gave accolades to Cytonome’s tracking and management of calibration records, training on quality documents, and procedures associated to groups. The auditor noted that they were very impressed with the capabilities of Omnify Software and the extent to which Cytonome uses it to control information, documents, changes, training, project data, manufacturing processes and engineering data, and was particularly pleased with their automated workflows and signoff stages with history tracking for NCMRs and ECOs. “The success of our preparation for our first ISO audit as demonstrated by having the first two days having no findings is a direct result of having (and using) Omnify Software,” said Kiessling.  Adopting Omnify Empower validates Cytonome’s commitment to manufacture their products under the strictest quality control guidelines, and to deliver the most advanced, high-quality cell purification systems to the market.Alaine Portnoy is a marketing manager with Omnify Software.
Aug. 29, 2014 - One of the primary challenges most manufacturers face is driving efficiency in meaningful ways to positively impact cost per unit, schedule adherence and the other individual factors that determine productivity. Many factory employees still rely on outdated paper-based methods to monitor shop floor processes, which further decrease productivity.
Aug. 11, 2014 - EST Analytical was looking for a document control system to replace several inefficient and time-consuming paper-based product development and business processes, and found a system that resulted in substantial improvements in both data integrity and process times. Here’s their story:
Nov. 24, 2014 - Almost everything in automation needs sensing and measurement. There’s definitely a bright future here. That’s why I’m focusing this month’s column on future trends in sensitivity and measurement — a fitting topic as we say goodbye to another year and look at what’s ahead.
Nov. 24, 2014 - With all of the continuous improvements being made in process control and automation through more effective alarm management systems, better HMIs and improved control theory and algorithms, we often forget that a control system is only as good as the field measurements and final control elements used to monitor and control the process. Fortunately, the new HMI standards take this into consideration by providing suggestions on how equipment health can be incorporated into tag display information. Similarly, field device manufacturers have agreed on methods to communicate device status for both analog- and fieldbus-based systems.
Nov. 24, 2014 - Finding that fine line between safety and production efficiency is a constantly evolving process. Companies continue to expand their efforts to ensure employee safety and still make gains in their production output.
Nov. 24, 2014 - I reviewed Radica’s Electra back in 2006. The fact that the product is still active says something about the company and the relevance of the product.
Nov. 24, 2014 - Lean has a seemingly endless stream of phrases to identify its various methodologies — 5S, kanbans, value stream mapping, spaghetti diagrams, kaizen, kaikaku, etc. But according to one engineering manager, you won’t see safety in there anywhere. In reality, lean is more than just becoming more efficient; it’s also about becoming safer, and the results can be immediate.
Nov. 24, 2014 - Up until the industrial revolution, the typical working man (forgive the political incorrectness for now) was able to easily measure the achievements of his efforts by, for example, how much wood was chopped; how many cows were milked; how many miles of fences mended or rows tilled; how much seed was sown and how much crops were harvested. The payoff for every day’s effort invested was not just the tactile results, but also the pride and satisfaction that went with it.
Oct. 24, 2014 - Nearly every Saturday afternoon, a friend and I go to the movies. We don’t know what movie we will be seeing before we buy the tickets. This gives us a sense of adventure.
Oct. 24, 2014 - My husband and I painted the walls and installed new wood trim in our home. Everything was great until the day our friend fell against an open door and it hit the wall behind it, damaging the drywall. Yes, we forgot to replace the doorstop. Unfortunately, another weekend of summertime activities was replaced with spackling and repainting.     
Oct. 24, 2014 - Many years ago, I read Steven Covey’s landmark book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I have read many other good books since that time, but this one still stands out as a foundational book for me, especially as I consider the roles in my life where my abilities as a leader matter.
Oct. 24, 2014 - I laughed out loud when I first heard about CAVE people. They are the “Citizens Against Virtually Everything,” and they are the group of people resistant to lean changes. Some of the people involved in your lean initiative will be on board with the change; others will be sitting on the fence until they see proof that lean works; and the remaining group will be the CAVE people.
Oct. 24, 2014 - The Fieldbus Foundation (FF) celebrated a significant milestone earlier this year — its 20th anniversary. In honour of this occasion, this month’s column will focus on how FF has evolved over the last two decades, and what’s in store for the future.
Oct. 24, 2014 - If you want to be a programmer, but don’t want to spend the money on the tools, you have some options.