April 11, 2018

Integrating and Maturing New Technology

Some things my Dad told me My dad, a lifelong airplane enthusiast, was born in 1915.  He lived through an aviation technology explosion over his 101 years, including an event that changed the world, Lindbergh’s unprecedented 33½ hour 1927 New York to Paris solo flight in the Spirit of St Louis.   In World War II, he personally witnessed the game-changing jet-powered Messerschmidt ME 262 in action Germany in 1945. Another “game-changing” aircraft introduced early in World War II was the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, a twin engine, twin-boom, aluminum-skinned fighter designed for high-altitude long-range operations.  Unfortunately, the Lightning’s debut was a dud, as pilots were unable to achieve advertised range performance.  The shortfall was overcome by sending a fuel-burn expert to the front.  The expert introduced […]
February 19, 2018
Automation Plastics workers sharing their tribal knowledge

Collaborative Development: Tribal Knowledge, Standard Work, and Dozuki at Automation Plastics

1. Tribal Knowledge – Anecdotes Xingu Tribe I know a guy who grew up in the Xingu region of the Amazon. He belongs to an indigenous South American tribe, and as may be expected, he knows all there is to know about surviving in the jungle. As a young adult, he joined the Brazilian army, and they put him through Jungle Training; needless to say, he made a name for himself very quickly. His tribal knowledge made him a celebrity in his army unit.     Rae Expedition In 1846 a British explorer named John Rae undertook an expedition to map the Arctic coast of North America. He departed Hudson Bay with 2 small boats, carrying timber, and even windows for a planned shelter in […]
January 22, 2018

Technical Problem Solving at Automation

1. Problem Solving Systems In researching different Problem Solving “systems” I find that I need to expand my vocabulary.  First of all, “systems” is probably not the right word.  Consider the following taken from a Google search: 8D – a problem solving approach using the 8 Disciplines 5 Why – an iterative interrogative technique  Is – is not — methodology for bounding a problem and understanding scope Six Sigma – process improvement statistical analysis methodology Lean — systematic method for waste minimization DMAIC — data-driven improvement cycle used for improving, optimizing and stabilizing business processes I could go on; I see “methodology” twice above, so based on plurality, let’s go with that terminology. My own experience with formal problem solving methodologies goes back about 20 […]
June 22, 2017
house after gas explosion


in Natural Gas Distribution Systems For over 3 decades, Automation has specialized in the manufacture of components for couplings, valves, and other key products for natural gas distribution systems around the world. Due to the potential dangers associated with natural gas usage, these components need to satisfy stringent requirements for design, functionality, strength, raw material properties, and integrity of the quality control system. Additionally, natural gas distribution components have an extremely long design life, extending up to and beyond 50 years. The industry is regulated in the United States by the US Department of Transportation. Accidents and explosions are investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board, the same Federal agency that investigates civil aviation crashes. Natural gas explosions are almost always associated with gas leaks. […]
May 17, 2017

RJG Implementation and Process Control at Automation Plastics

RJG Guarantees Process for Zero Defects-May 2017 Automation Plastics began using RJG in 2009.   We started with 1 machine fully equipped with RJG eDART.  We initially used the eDART to verify Process Setup on a few selected precision tolerance customer products.  Technicians were trained on general use of the systems. In 2010, we purchased another full eDART system, which we installed on a wheeled cart for ease of access when issues were detected with a molding process.   In the majority of cases, we identified root causes related to either Machine Maintenance or the Mold itself. In 2011 we acquired 11 complete eDART systems. During this time Employees were trained on process setup using the eDART’s templates.    By installing all the eDARTs in one area of […]