7 Basic Tools of Quality

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Quality control experts lean heavily on the so-called “7 Basic Tools of Quality” to fine-tune processes as part of an overall quality assurance effort.

These basic QA tools are often associated with Karou Ishikawa, a Japanese thinker who’s credited as a heavyweight in quality management and who is especially known for the development of the quality circle and Ishikawa, or fishbone, diagram, which is itself one of the 7 basic tools we’ll talk about in this article.

And as is often the case in quality issues, you can also detect the influence of W. Edwards Deming on the 7 basic tools.

The 7 tools are graphing techniques that people commonly use for quality control troubleshooting purposes.

So let’s start learning about these very useful techniques for quality control.

Quick note: You can download a free 7 Basic Tools of Quality Guide at the bottom of this article.

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Manufacturing Safety Training Tips: How to Get It Right

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Looking for some manufacturing safety training tips? If so, that makes sense. There’s a lot to be said in favor of working in manufacturing, but it does pose a set of hazards to the workers.

However, safety managers and other safety professionals work tirelessly to create safer, healthier workplaces for manufacturing employees (and of course, in a good safety culture, they’re working hand-in-hand with the employees themselves), and part of that involves safety training for the manufacturing workforce.

In this article, we’re going to walk you through some key aspects of safety and safety training in manufacturing facilities, and give you tips to help create a safer, healthier workplace.

Before we begin, though, know that you can download a free guide to Effective Safety Training by clicking the download button at the end of this article, or just download any of the free guides and/or watch any of the free webinars listed below.

And with all that said, and with those free resources made available, let’s get to listing some manufacturing safety training tips.

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What Is a Hydraulic System? Definition, Design, and Components

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With a variety of applications, hydraulic systems are used in all kinds of large and small industrial settings, as well as buildings, construction equipment, and vehicles. Paper mills, logging, manufacturing, robotics, and steel processing are leading users of hydraulic equipment.

As an efficient and cost-effective way to create movement or repetition, hydraulic system-based equipment is hard to top. It’s likely your company has hydraulics in use in one or more applications for these reasons.

We’ll provide more information about hydraulic systems in this article, including covering the definition and basic designs and components.

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Wire Rope: Lay, Classification, and Construction

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Working safely with wire rope, for rigging and other purposes, requires an understanding of some of the characteristics of wire rope. Characteristics you should understand include lay, classification, and construction. We’ll explain each in this article.

For even more information about wire rope, please see our wire rope online training video and wire rope safety online training video courses.

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The Training Within Industry Job Methods Program: Encouraging Innovation for Continuous Improvement

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The Training Within Industry Job Method program provides a method for making more products, of the same or higher quality, in less time and/or with fewer resources.

As author Donald Dinero puts it: “TWI (and Job Methods) helps organizations make the best use of available resources to produce GREATER QUANTITIES of QUALITY PRODUCTS in LESS TIME. What is less obvious is that it does so by leading employees to critical thinking, i.e., by developing a learning organization.”

Interested?

Let’s take a step back before we begin.

Training Within Industry, or TWI, was an American job training program that originated around the time of World War II (and has deeper roots in American job training programs back to World War I). It’s also at the roots of what’s now known as Lean Manufacturing. Training Within Industry had four programs: Job Instruction (JI), Job Methods (JM), Job Relations (JR), and Program Development. Job Instruction, Job Methods, and Job Relations are commonly referred to as the J programs.

This article is one in a series of articles we’ve written looking at Training Within Industry. Other articles include:

In this article, we’ll focus on the Job Method (JM) program. We find the Job Method program especially exciting because it’s a great way to empower workers and their supervisors to be creative and innovative at work. These are skills that are increasingly important in the modern workplace and will be even more so in the workplace in the future (dominated by advanced manufacturing, Industry 4.0, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, etc.). So while the TWI Job Method program began in the past, we think it has a lot of value for manufacturing in the present and future.

Before we begin, you may want to know we also have an article that essentially introduces lean manufacturing (What Is Lean? Introducing Employees to Lean Manufacturing). And in particular, the Job Method program has a lot of similarity to Lean’s concept of kaizen for empowering employees to reduce waste, increase value, and improve efficiency, so you may also be interested in our articles What Is Kaizen? and What Is a Kaizen Event? Plus of course we have courses on lean manufacturing.

Finally, in a bit of a coincidence, a lot of the spirit that underlies the Job Methods program and Lean’s concept of kaizen is also covered in our recent article on Motivating Workers to Innovate (And How Your Management Techniques May Be Stifling Innovation), which is based on the book Drive by Daniel Pink. So you may want to add that to the old reading list as well.

And with that said, let’s dive into our introduction to the Training Within Industry Job Method program.

(Credit where credit is due: This article and all articles in our TWI series are largely based on the EXCELLENT Shingo prize winning book Training Within Industry: The Foundation of Lean by Donald A. Dinero. As the saying goes, run don’t want to a bookstore near you to buy a copy and read the whole thing for yourself.)

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4 Industrial Safety Tips

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Industrial workplaces present a variety of hazards to workers. In addition to a robust safety and health management system, a few basic safety tips can go a long way to keeping industrial workers healthy and safe.

We’ve included a few general tips for manufacturing safety below. While industrial and manufacturing jobs can drastically differ from one another, there are some universal industrial safety tips, guidelines, and solutions that are helpful for nearly all industrial workplaces.

To help you maintain a safer workplace, we’ve included not only the four tips below, but also a free Guide to Performing a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) you can download at the bottom of this article.

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5 Manufacturing Safety Topics for a Safer Workplace

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No matter your occupation, workplace safety is vital. However, it is especially important in the manufacturing industry since you are dealing with heavy machinery. Therefore, taking safety precautions seriously and conducting safety training is extremely important for manufacturing jobs.

According to OSHA, companies that focus on worker’s safety have nearly 50 percent fewer lost workdays. To keep employees interested when conducting safety training and in safety meetings, make sure to show your concern about your employees being potentially injured. Also, praise employees who work safely and encourage reporting accidents and injuries.

We’ve got some tips for helping to keep people safe on the job below. In addition, you may find our article on manufacturing safety training tips helpful.

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How We Make Online Manufacturing Training Using 3D Animations and Videos

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We create highly life-like, online manufacturing training courses that include 3D-animated training videos to teach manufacturing employees to perform their jobs.

In some ways, these animated training videos are very similar to the kind of video you’d record with a video camera: the video you watch is a very life-like, realistic representation of the work environment and machines employees work with every day.

But we can do some things with these animated manufacturing training videos that you can’t do with “normal” videos from a video camera. For example, you can zoom in really close–to microscopic levels. You can zoom out very far, beyond what a camera can do. You can quickly change the viewing perspective from one part of the work area to the other. You can add highlights and arrows to point out important things. You can create “special views” that show the inside of a machine that would ordinarily not be visible. You can create images of things that would be too dangerous to film with a normal camera, perhaps because of dangerous machine motion.

All these special capabilities of using animation allow us to make online manufacturing training courses that do things other courses, even video-based courses, can’t do.

In short, our online manufacturing training courses can visualize all sorts of amazing things, as you can see below in this sample from some of our online manufacturing, maintenance, and industrial skills courses.

To demonstrate this more fully, and show you some more detailed examples and our general work process, we’ve explained each of the steps of a recent project in more detail below.

The demonstration below is pretty similar to how we create a lot of projects. In it, we were making a 3D model of a tissue manufacturing machine (for those not in the know, this is a paper manufacturing machine specially designed to create tissue used for paper towel and toilet paper).  (more…)

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10 Daily Workplace Safety Tips in Manufacturing

No one wants to get hurt, but sometimes we neglect best safety practices because it takes extra time and effort, a little extra time is always worth it to avoid an injury.

Checking workplace safety throughout the day is an easy way to keep your working environment safe. If you are a supervisor, it shows your employees that you care about them and their well-being. Being safety oriented can help improve your employees’ morale, productivity, and even make a good impression on visitors.

If you are an employee, following safety protocols are in your and your coworkers’ best interests. We’ve got 10 good tips for keeping you and other people safe at work below. Give them a quick review and we hope they help to keep you safe and healthy.

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Lean Manufacturing Word Game

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Curious about lean manufacturing (often called just “lean” for short)? Or maybe just in the mood to test your knowledge of lean manufacturing with a fun interactive word game? Either way, you’ve come to a good spot.

Lean is a philosophy a methodology with roots based in Training Within Industry (TWI), Japanese manufacturing, and the Toyota Production System (TPS).

A lot of our customers have an interest in lean manufacturing (with this more specific meaning). In fact, not that long ago we ran a popular post about how to introduce your workers to lean manufacturing.

This is meant as a quick (and fun) introduction to some terms in lean. Please use the comments section at the bottom if there are other terms you think we should add. You might also want to check our online courses for lean manufacturing training.

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Onboarding New Manufacturing Workers with a Learning Management System (LMS)

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If you’re a manager at a manufacturing company, you know it’s important to deliver training to new hires as part of their new employee onboarding. And that’s also true if an experienced worker is moving to a new site, work area, or into a new role as well.

But you also probably know that onboarding new hires comes with a number of challenges. It’s hard to have time available every time a new worker is hired, and that doesn’t even account for having time every time someone moves from Site A to Site B, or from Production to Warehouse, or from Forklift Operator to Machine Tender.

Plus you’ve got to create, buy, or otherwise collect all the training materials. Not everyone has time to do that, especially create training and lead classroom training for new hires.

And of course you’ve got to actually KNOW that a new employee has been hired, or that someone has been transferred from the Tulsa site to your site in Wichita, or from Line One to Line Two. And let’s faced it–we may all like to say that communications where we work are perfect, and that we’re all informed of events like these, but I’m pretty sure you’d quickly agree that’s not always the case.

So, in a nutshell, there are lots of reasons why it’s difficult to provide onboarding training in a manufacturing environment.

That’s where an online system that includes a learning management system (LMS) can pay dividends. You can think of an LMS as an automated assistant that can coordinate all this stuff for you. Kind of a manufacturing onboarding auto-pilot system.

So if you’re in the market for an LMS, and want to be able to use it for onboarding new employees (plus your other training needs), we’ll give you an idea of some of the features you should be looking for.

NOTE: This article will focus on providing training as part of an onboarding process at a manufacturing company. For a fuller discussion of onboarding as a whole, please see our companion article Onboarding New Employees: Why and How to Do It, and for more on learning management systems for manufacturing, please see What to Look for in an LMS for Manufacturing.
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Helping Workers Acquire Basic Job Skills and Perform Standard Procedures

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In every job, there’s a set of basic skills and simple procedures that a worker filling that job has to learn to perform.

For an organization to perform at peak efficiency, it’s important that the workers in each job role know how to perform each of these skills and procedures.

But how does a company go about teaching those basic skills and procedures? How can employers help workers develop these skills and knowledge quickly and efficiently? And how does the company know if the workers can perform those procedures?

That’s what we’re going to look at in this article.
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