Over the past several years, we have been collecting more and more data from various automation systems into our process historians, alarm and quality databases. We love those multiple trend lines overlaying one another, looking for correlations to a process excursion, an event, or anomaly. And we have been successful over the years using these tools to increase throughput and identify areas for improvement. Since process historians became mainstreamed over the past 20 years, it is quite common to hear engineers, quality, or continuous improvements personnel tell stories of significant increases in output, quality, or other important metrics. Manufacturers have been given the power of real-time data (digitally stored for long periods) and analytics tools to be able to see hundreds and thousands of data points like no time in the past. Many plants built in the last 50 years are now running at 110 to 130% of their original rated capacity—partially due to this wonderful innovation.
Having acknowledged that, where will our next great improvements come from? Will overlaying multiple trend lines, combined with alarms and events get us to the next level? It is likely that for us to achieve the next level of improvements, we are going to have to improve ourselves; meaning you and I need to personally get better if our processes are going to get better. Don’t get me wrong, we love our technology and it plays an important role in improving our processes. However, as we often say here at InSource, “technology alone is not enough”; you need more.
There is no end to the possibilities when we talk about improving our skills – and most of us have been doing that in some manner for many years. When it comes to improving manufacturing, the science of Continuous Improvement has led the way and evolved over the past 60 years to bring proven know-how (real results backed by the data) across the world. Have you given any thought to what the data might tell you if you also had the skills to do deeper analytics using Six Sigma precepts and tools? Or understand how to establish and identify Root-cause through Lean Six Sigma methodologies? The data contains magic but do we know how to unleash those secrets and harness its power?
Continuous Improvements professionals are highly sought after in manufacturing because of the skills they have obtained over time, combined with their ability to use those skills to make a real impact. For our industry to improve and become more competitive, more of us need to take the plunge, using professional and proven methodologies like Lean Six Sigma. Taking these classes and getting certified not only helps improve your site’s bottom line, it also helps you increase yours.
InSource has made the investment to become a Continuous Improvement resource for you and your organization. Our new instructor-led (online or classroom) classes will help you on your journey to making a greater impact, no matter what industry vertical or process type you find yourself working in. And our class offerings are not just academic instruction, they are taught by folks who have lived life in manufacturing sites; the experience they bring is far more valuable than just the academic lesson.
You can start your journey with Yellow Belt training and work up from there. You may be surprised how differently you look at your data with just a little more knowledge of how to analyze it. Available classes include:
- Lean Six Sigma (Yellow, Green, Black, and Master Black belt certification)
- Lean Manufacturing (3 levels)
- Design of Experiments (DoE)
- Failure Modes & Effects Analysis (FMEA)
- Measurement System Analysis (MSA)
- Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
- Statistical Process Control (SPC)
Take your technician, process control, or engineering career to the next level and become certified in one of the Continuous Improvement areas above.