Warner Consulting, Inc.

Opinion Pieces, Presentations, Papers and Algorithms

Some pieces tell stories.  Perhaps one can help you ‘click’ to your own improvements.

Opinion Pieces

* ARRGGGHHHHH! Nobody understands "Quality" around here!

Maybe, maybe not. There are different "levels" of thinking about "quality" and how we get improvements. Understand where you are, and where everyone else is, and everyone can improve your product and reduce your production costs more easily.

See the piece by Jay and Jim Spindler here.  Posted 7/17/08.

* What to do about "outsourcing" and job migration overseas

There has been a lot of talk lately of "outsourcing" from overseas. If a foreign company makes a much better forging than a US company does, at the same price, why shouldn't the customer buy the foreign one?

I would like to say that people should buy the products that we make. But if the foreign is the same or better what's the angle? Legalistic trade restrictions – tariffs, removing NAFTA, will not work. They never have worked.

There has to be a better way! What can we do – you and I? See the whole piece on screen here.  Posted 3/27/04.

* Sometimes the price of a part includes a payment for knowledge

When a major airplane manufacturer terminated a continuing contract for a small part, the specialized knowledge to make it went away also.  This can lead to expensive production delays.  Can customers and suppliers avoid these expensive, high stress situations?

There has to be a better way! What can we do – you and I? See the whole piece on screen here.  Posted 8/09/04.

* Can I improve service in my company the way a major hotel does? Yes, we all can.

Mr. Horst Schulze, Founding President of Ritz-Carlton & CEO, West Paces Hotels, discovered that in one hotel half of all customer complaints were for slow room service. Using a new – for him – management approach, Mr. Schulze allowed the kitchen staff to discover the real reason for room service delays and help him eliminate slow service. We can improve our operations too, especially when we understand the guiding principles that made this case successful.

There has to be a better way! What can we do – you and I? See the whole piece on screen here.  Posted 9/28/04.

Presentations & "Verbal Papers"

* How Can We Survive In the Current and Future World? (Presented to the American Society for Metals Int'l, Milwaukee Chapter, 12/15/2005)

Outsourcing of production affects us all, from production line worker to metallurgical engineer to CEO. Outsourcing is really a fierce form competition that we must meet. Giving up is not an acceptable alternative.

Competition has always been met by some combination of "better, cheaper, faster." Jay will illustrate with local success cases, and discuss specifics for how each of us can apply principles of improvement to our own products and markets to satisfy more customers better.

See the presentation on screen or download the .pdf file A2Q to ASM.  

Why do we go to all the effort and sweat to meet the competition? I am convinced that we do it for our children, and our grandchildren, including grandchildren of other grandparents. So in this presentation I included pictures of grandchildren I know, to remind us why we must make the effort.


* J. C. Warner, "Simulation, the Classroom & Software," UMAP Journal, V. 17(4), pp. 373-396, (1996)  

Simulation of systems offers the opportunity for thorough understanding if accessible computer software is available. Two such software packages, Stella® and ExtendTM, are examined along with characteristics of situations amenable to simulation. I recommend that college instructors incorporate problems into their course work that allow students to use simulation and systems analysis. Those students will learn the subject material faster and more thoroughly.  
Improvements in some systems cannot be discovered by experiment. A trial would disrupt operations, and simply cost too much. For example, suppose you think a new paint spray nozzle could reduce your paint costs. Instead of shutting down the production line for a day or week to measure how well it worked, a computer simulation of the paint line could tell you exactly how much savings to expect. For more information on the paint line application, see the Paint and VOC Study. Well, not quite. The text isn't there yet.

Request a manuscript via email.  
* M. P. Santell, J. R. Jung, Jr., and J. C. Warner, "Optimization in Project Coordination Scheduling Through Application of Taguchi Methods,"  Project Management Journal, XXIII(3), pp. 5-16, (Sept. 1992)  

Planning with PERT/CPM systems has been hampered by the difficulty of optimizing the allocation of resources and activities in programs involving many alternatives. Utilizing design of experiments methods, we determined the economic impact of many different resource alternatives. We included the effect of "uncontrolled" factors, such as unforeseen project delays, so as to minimize variations in project completion dates. These mathematically well understood procedures also apply to multiple project and program environments.  

Project coordination improves dramatically with PERT/CPM methods, when a suitable combination of top-down and bottom-up input is used. If you have never managed a project in this way before, you can benefit from the very first level of PERT/CPM planning. (Face it - red faced table-pounding doesn't work well today anyway! PERT/CPM will get you away from that.) If you have some experience, you will see how the case described in the report not only predicted individual skill needs months in advance, but also correctly predicted the individuals needed for fastest project completion.

Request a manuscript via email.  
* J. C. Warner and J. O'Connor, "Molding Process is Improved by Using the Taguchi Method," Modern Plastics, 66(7), pp. 65-68 (July 1989)  

Field endurance of a thermoset component had fallen below acceptable standards. In-house use of statistical design methodology restored fatigue strength and reduced variation without reinvestment in machinery or material. Using Taguchi's "Loss" function to indicate quality improvement, the loss to society was reduced from $84 to $13.60 per part.  

When the strength of the molded part fell below requirements for unknown reasons, the plant faced a serious production problem. They were required to farm the part out to a subcontractor, and with it could go the workers' jobs. Mix changes could not be made for fear of disruption to other parts on the production line. The designed experiment showed that process changes alone increased strength to new, much higher levels. The work was kept in the plant, part strength was increased well over requirements, and a path was forged for improving strength of related parts of the same mix. Other studies have been done since this on plastic molding - thermoset, thermoplastic, injection, transfer.... All of them show that experimental design and the A2Q Method TM  raise your molding capabilities, reduce scrap and allow you to make more complex parts. More complex parts means higher margins for you.

Request a manuscript via email.  

Techniques & concepts

* How to find the correct equation for the Student 't' test   and how to use it properly every time.  
* What is "Quality-with-a-capital-Q" anyway? The answer can help us do our jobs better.  

Email: quality@a2q.com
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