Skills for an Advanced Manufacturing Workforce

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The era of Advanced Manufacturing is coming soon. Industry 4.0. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

Great, right? Sounds good, huh?

Except, who’s going to do the work during this era (other than robots and computers)? What skills are they going to need?

There are going to be some skills that are specific to industries, and skills that are specific to sites, and skills that are specific to job roles. But there are also going to be some skills that are required in general. And those are going to be the skills we’ll discuss in this article.

And before you get too far down the page, don’t forget to download our free Manufacturing Training Guide before you go!

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What Is the ISO 22000 Food Safety Management System Standard?

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If you’ve worked in the food chain for a period of time, you may well be familiar with the ISO 22000 Food Safety Management Standard. However, if you’re new to the industry, you may be unfamiliar with the standard. Plus, it was updated in 2018, so even if you’re familiar, you may need to renew your acquaintance.

In this article, we give a brief introduction to ISO 22000 and give you some resources where you can learn more.

Also, know that we’ve got a free 7 Basics Tools of Quality guide for you at the bottom of this article.

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The Benefits of Reliability & Maintainability (Interview with Dr. Klaus Blache)

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If you’re a maintenance professional, you probably already know you want to minimize the amount of reactive maintenance you perform. And a great way to do that is to focus on reliability & maintainability.

We’ve asked our partners at the University of Tennessee’s Reliability & Maintainability Center, and in particular Dr. Klaus Blache, to help us better understand reliability and maintainability.

If you’ve been reading us for a while, you may have also read our articles on Creating a Culture for Reliability, Maintainability, and Continuous Improvement and What Is Maintainability & Reliability?. If you haven’t read those articles, you may want to check them out. Plus, keep your eyes out for future articles on related topics, including one coming very soon on predictive & conditions-based maintenance.

Also, once you finish this article, you’ll see we’ve got a Free PDCA Cycle Infographic you can download down at the very bottom (or at the link you just passed). You can use the PDCA cycle to evaluate the effects of your reliability & maintainability efforts (or any continuous improvement efforts).

You’ve got two options here: Watch a recorded version of our conversation or continue down to read a transcript. The world is your oyster–enjoy!

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Common Food Safety Problems

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Are you new (or newish?) to food safety? Would you benefit from an introduction to terms commonly used to discuss food safety? Or maybe you’re a more experienced food safety expert and would just like a quick review & reminder?

If so, you’ll enjoy reviewing this article, as we’ve prepared a quick review of some basic and common food safety problems. We’ve drawn the material from a helpful resource created by the US FDA to help introduce good manufacturing practices (GMP and/or cGMP) titled “Definitions of Food Safety Problems.”

And before you go, be sure to download our free 7 Basic Tools of Quality Guide from the bottom of this article.

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Features to Look for in a Compliance-Based LMS

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Organizations get a learning management system, or LMS, for a number of different reasons. Often, for some combination of reasons.

One very common reason that organizations get a learning management system is to stay on top of and document compliance training requirements.

In this article, we’ll give you a few key features to look for if you need an LMS to comply with mandatory training requirements.

And be sure to download the free LMS Buyer’s Guide from the bottom of this article, which has even more helpful information for you. And if you’re interested in compliance for safety training, check out our free Online Safety Training Buyer’s Guide Checklist and/or our Guide to MSHA Training Compliance Requirements.

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What Is 5S in Lean Manufacturing? (Includes Free 5S Infographic)

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5S is central to lean manufacturing, and it’s frequently one of the first parts of a lean manufacturing implementation at the workplace.

In this article, a continuation of a series of articles introducing key lean manufacturing tools and concepts, we’re going to briefly introduce you to 5S.

Before you begin reading about 5S, know that we’ve included a free What Is 5S? infographic at the bottom of this article. 

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What Is Standardized Work in Lean Manufacturing?

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Standardized work is an essential element of lean manufacturing.

It’s also got a non-intuitive name, because although standardized work sounds static, it’s actually a dynamic process (due to its lean manufacturing buddy, kaizen).

In this article, we’ll explain what standardized work is and explain its relation to kaizen within the lean manufacturing methodology, and we’ll give you some tips for getting started with standardized work now.

Before you begin reading about lean manufacturing and standardized work, know that we’ve included a free Five Principles of Lean Manufacturing infographic you can download at the bottom of this article, too!

Plus, free free to check out our online lean manufacturing training options.

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Instructional Design Opportunities In Energy Generation, Transmission & Distribution

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Dr. Tom Baer is an instructional designer with Puget Sound Energy (PSE) in the Seattle, WA area.

Faced with changes in the industry, PSE has recently doubled-down on their investment in instructional design and training at their organization. Tom was hired to perform instructional design work as part of that increased emphasis on instructional design at PSE, and he was nice enough to take some time and explain some of the instructional design opportunities in this industry.

We’ve got a recording of the discussion with Tom immediately below. And if you’d prefer to read, we’ve got a transcript below that.

We’d like to thank both Tom and Puget Sound Energy for their contributions to this discussion and tip our hats to them on their hard work. Hopefully, we’ll touch base with them again at some future point for an additional conversation (fingers crossed).

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What Is Value Stream Mapping in Lean Manufacturing?

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As a continuation of our look at key concepts in lean manufacturing, this article is going to explain value stream mapping.

Value stream mapping is an important part of attaining the general lean goal of reducing waste in manufacturing (or in any workplace).

Before you begin reading about value stream mapping, know that we’ve included a free lean manufacturing infographic you can download at the bottom of this article, too!

You might also want to check out our lean manufacturing training courses.

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“Thinking, Fast and Slow” at Work

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Not all workplace performance issues have to do with human motivation, behavior, thinking, and decision making, but plenty of them do.

As a result, if you’re in any way interested in workplace performance, it’s helpful to know more about what motivates people (see this article on workers and motivation), how people behave, how they think, and how they make the decisions they do. This is true if you’re in HR, it’s true if you’re in learning and development, it’s true if you’re in operations, it’s true if you’re in health and safety–it’s true no matter what you do at work.

And that’s why it’s helpful to study fields concerned with human thought, behavior, and decisions in addition to what you may think of as your core field. Psychology, sure, but even something like anthropology can be very helpful.

And that’s also why we’re interested in behavioral economics. What is behavioral economics, you ask? It’s a blending of economics and psychology that considers why people make the decisions they make (which are often not in their best interests). You may have caught our earlier article discussing Dan Ariely’s book The Upside of Irrationality, or perhaps you caught our more recent article based on a book by the folks at Freakonomics. These are both works of behavioral economics.

But even as popular as something like Freakonomics is, it’s perhaps the case that the true big kahuna, the real grand poobah of behavioral economics, is Daniel Kahneman. He won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, after all.

And in this article, we’re going to take a quick look at Kahneman’s classic book Thinking, Fast and Slow to give you some insights from that book into why people think what they do and why they make the decisions they make so you can apply those insights to help you create a more productive, efficient workplace.

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5 Principles of Human and Organizational Performance (HOP) with Dr. Todd Conklin

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One of the most influential, most innovative, and most controversial thinkers in occupational safety and health these days is Dr. Todd Conklin, who’s famous for his human and organizational performance (HOP) approach to safety matters.

It’s likely you’re familiar with Dr. Conklin and don’t need me to explain to you who he is. However, if the name IS new to you, you might want to check out his Pre-Accident Investigation podcast series, or his HOP Hub website, or his books on pre-accident investigations, learning more by asking better questions, preventing workplace fatalities, or the 5 principles of human performance, which is what our discussion below will focus on.

Todd was nice enough to stop by for a chat with us and explain the 5 principles of HOP and some other HOPpy stuff, and we can’t thank him enough. We’ve included an audio recording of the discussion below and hope you enjoy it.

(Note: If you’re the type who’d rather read than listen to an audio, the transcript is below).

Also, feel free to check out some of the articles we’ve written about Dr. Conklin’s books, below:

We haven’t yet written a quick intro to Todd’s most recent book (5 Principles of HOP) but stay tuned for that–plus, of course, this interview basically fills that need and you can’t do better than to get the goods from Todd himself.

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Risk Management Basics: What Is Risk Treatment?

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In this installment of our Risk Management Basics series, we’re going to learn about risk treatment.

If you’ve been reading our Risk Management Basics series, you know we addressed the Three Stages of Risk Assessment in a recent article. Risk Treatment is often the next step in the risk management process after risk assessment.

We’ll be writing more in this Risk Management Basics series, so if you’re liking it stay tuned. Plus, feel free to use the comments section at the bottom to ask risk-related questions or to suggest risk-related article topics for the series.

And finally, even though an organization can and should use risk management for all of its objectives, we want you to know we’ve got a free downloadable guide to using Risk Management for Occupational Safety and Health Management at the bottom of this article for you. 

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