Week 47 in Manufacturing News

U.S. retail sales rise modestly, factory output tumbles; The 10 Most Valuable Metrics In Smart Manufacturing; U.K. Manufacturing Remains Weak as Brexit Drama Drags On; How to Calculate an Ideal Manufacturing Cycle Time.

Week-47-in-Manufacturing-News

U.S. retail sales rise modestly; factory output tumbles

U.S. retail sales rebounded moderately in October although consumers did cut back on purchases of big-ticket household items like furniture and discretionary spending.

News that production at factories tumbled again in October, revived concerns about a downshift in the economy. Auto manufacturers reported a drop in unit sales in October. Compared to October last year, retail sales advanced 3.1%.

Source: Reuters.

The 10 Most Valuable Metrics In Smart Manufacturing

The following are the 10 most valuable metrics to manufacturers as they plan, pilot, and launch smart factories:

  1. Carrying Cost Of Inventory
  2. Customer Satisfaction Levels
  3. Demand Forecast Accuracy
  4. Fill Rate Effectiveness As a Percent Of All Orders
  5. Gross Contribution Margins by Product, Production Facility, and Business Unit 
  6. Inventory Turnover
  7. Order Cycle Time
  8. Order Pick, Pack, and Ship Accuracy
  9. Perfect Order Performance
  10. Supplier Quality Index

Source: Forbes.

U.K. Manufacturing Remains Weak as Brexit Drama Drags On

British manufacturing improved slightly in November, according to the Confederation of British Industry, though the sector remains subdued amid ongoing political uncertainty at home and slowing global growth.

The business lobby’s monthly survey showed a slightly more upbeat picture than in October, when factories were preparing for Britain’s expected departure from the European Union on Oct. 31, which ultimately failed to materialize.

Source: Bloomberg.

How to Calculate an Ideal Manufacturing Cycle Time

How to determine the ideal cycle time out of 150 samples?

1. “Is there any process/tool that can help me” Yes! It’s the value stream map (VSM).

2. Be data driven and use the Pareto principle (80-20 rule) to identify and focus on the best opportunities first to improve the business.

3. Train up your team, for example, on the Theory of Constraints, VSM, and your operators to understand and participate in doing the VSM work.

4. Make new crewing models. In a value stream, the constraint should run all the time except for necessary changeovers and preventive maintenance.

Source: IndustryWeek.