Term Paper: Manufacturing Seven Key Elements

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SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] Finally, the researcher possesses extensive experience in large-scale implementation through current and former work activities and training sessions, thereby possessing the ability to provide a personal reflection on the overall process and the essential requirements for a successful execution. Each of these elements will provide extensive support to the hypotheses addressed in the proposed research study.

Rationale of the Study

The importance of a research study and the analysis of existing resources related to World Class Manufacturing is critical in order to demonstrate that in successful endeavors, this strategy provides a number of outstanding benefits for its users, including increased productivity and profitability, employee team building, and leadership development. Manufacturing plants across the United States are in desperate need of dramatic reevaluations and overhauls of their troubled production facilities in order to maximize efficiency and regain a competitive advantage over foreign competition as well as native contenders. However, it is important to note that effective leadership must be established through the utilization of extensive development techniques before any extensive modifications can be implemented on a widespread basis. Large-scale implementations require the utilization of successful leaders, who are identified by a number of engaging attributes, and this study will also provide a thorough analysis of these characteristics and their role in the World Class Manufacturing process. This study hopes to accomplish the identification of the primary characteristics that influence the feasibility of World Class Manufacturing in any organization that desires a modification of existing processes.

Definition of Terms

The following list of terms will be utilized throughout the remainder of the study to support the concepts of World Class Manufacturing and the proposed research study design:

Cellular Lines: Firms with established production lines that are designed to develop a family of closely related products with one work station of each type, arranged according to the flow of the product family. This creates a chain of cells that complement each other (Schonberger, 1986).

Deviation Reduction: This concept consists of two forms, the reduction of deviation from zero defects, and the reduction of deviation from manufacturing lead time (Schonberger, 1986).

Emotional Intelligence: The methods by which leaders handle themselves and their relationships. Leaders who maximize the benefits of primal leadership drive the emotional spirit of those that follow their lead (Goleman, 2002).

Just in Time: A set of processes that results in rapid work movement through parts fabrication to final assembly "just in time" for use, and establishes an approach that eliminates excess waste and product inventories by developing products based solely on customer demand and need (Schonberger, 1986).

Kaizen: The concept that eliminates as many sources of waste as possible in order to strengthen the potential success of innovative process improvements

Lean Production: The process by which the following basic principles are established: teamwork, communication, efficient use of resources and elimination of waste, and continuous improvement (Womack, Jones, and Roos, 1996).

Pre-Automation: The process performed by design engineers to initiate the development of new machines that replace other forms of labor. This concept often requires much creativity on the part of various design teams (Schonberger, 1986).

Process Automation: The utilization of such streamlined processes as automated transfer lines, robots, and computer-numerically-controlled machines. This process also includes an improved model of an existing machine. This process is designed to improve upon overall performance and to enhance human value (Schonberger, 2002).

Takt time: The process involving synchronization of the rate of production to the rate of sales to customers (Womack et al., 1996).

Overview of the Study

This study will examine the process of World Class Manufacturing (WCM) through a feasibility study and will provide a detailed insight into each of the following WCM principles:

Leadership: A primary tool in the development of World Class Manufacturing is the guidance and example of a persuasive, highly skilled leader, capable of promoting change and garnering support from all levels of the organizational structure

Product Cells: By redesigning production lines to accommodate related products into specific areas, unnecessary tasks and the misuse of production time will be virtually eliminated from the production process

Empowerment: Establishing production teams where each employee is permitted the opportunity to gain control over specific processes and to have a gain direct involvement in the day-to-day operations of a production facility. This type of behavior results in improved company morale and support in large-scale process modifications.

Just In Time: This set of processes will eliminate waste and time, and will result in rapid work movement through parts fabrication to final assembly only as products are required for sale. Perhaps most importantly, this concept eradicates excess product inventory as it is designed to develop products only when customer demand calls for their production

Material Management: Material requirements planning (MRP) is a process designed to control the key components of material flow in how much of each material is required for adequate flow and when those materials should be utilized in production.

Total Quality Management: An integrated management philosophy and set of exercises that are designed to emphasize continuous improvement, satisfying customer demands, reduce rework, improve long-range thinking, promote employee involvement and teamwork, process modification through evaluation, competitive benchmarking, team-based problem-solving, results measurement, and intense relationships with suppliers. Total Quality Management influences the overall organizational direction and vision for the future.

Standardization: Processes that are designed with the best interests of the organization in mind are more likely to be successful, particularly in production lines. Once these processes have demonstrated their value, they may set the standard for success in other organizations.

A brief history of the critical need for World Class Manufacturing in manufacturing facilities across the United States will be established and will demonstrate the rapid decline in profitability and productivity in U.S. plants as a result of extreme foreign competition and changing customer needs. The significance of U.S. manufacturing on the outcomes of the world economy will also be established. Prior published research studies written by field experts will be analyzed and evaluated for validity and viability in relation to the objectives presented in the feasibility study of the process of World Class Manufacturing. Finally, conclusions will be established regarding the ability of manufacturing facilities to adapt to widespread process improvements, and recommendations will be presented regarding the capability of World Class Manufacturing to provide production facilities with significant process improvements in order to improve productivity and profitability.

Chapter 2

Review of Related Literature

Introduction

In recent years, the manufacturing sector in the United States has experienced dramatic decreases in output. A testimony given by Griswold (2001) of The Cato Institute before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee indicates that much of the blame is unknowingly placed upon foreign competition. However, much of the decline can be directly attributed to a slowdown in domestic demand (Griswold, 2001). The true cause of manufacturing declines are related to high interest rates and rising energy prices, both of which contribute to the decline in output. Griswold (2001) provides four primary points that describe the current manufacturing situation in the United States:

Manufacturing output remains at a near record high: Between 1992 and September 2000, total manufacturing output rose by 55%. Furthermore, the output of durable goods almost doubled, and the output of motor vehicles and parts increased by 75%. Although the country has seen a recent decline, the total output remains very high. Figure 1 demonstrates the growth of the U.S. industrial production in comparison to other countries from 1990 to 2001. This figure shows that the United States is consistently ahead of other countries in terms of production output.

Manufacturing output and imports escalate simultaneously: Imports are not the cause of the slump in manufacturing output. In fact, the two are positively correlated, and as manufacturing output increases, imports of goods also increase. Economic changes result in the rise and fall of domestic output as well as imports.

There is no real proof that manufacturing investment has been transferred to lower-cost producers: During the past decade, the United States has been the largest recipient of foreign investment in the world. The influx of foreign capital has brought new opportunities in production processes and technology to the U.S. economy. The liberal trade policies of the United States contribute to investment and growth for all.

Technology is known as the most significant job displacer: As manufacturing workers have become more productive, fewer workers are required to complete the necessary tasks involved in production. Technology is the true cause of the problem that eliminates human labor in manufacturing organizations. In addition, ever-changing market conditions tend to eliminate jobs as a result of volatility in the U.S. economy.

This testimony demonstrates that although manufacturing output has decreased in recent years, it is not caused by imports or the outflow of capital. Rather, manufacturing output has been reduced as a result of a slowdown of the domestic economy and a subsequent… [END OF PREVIEW]

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