QMT News: March 2009
Editor's comment

If it was tough before, now it is ferocious, with survival the issue for some manufacturing sectors. More than ever, manufacturing companies are looking hard at how to increase manufacturing efficiencies, cut costs, and accelerate time to market for new products.

So in this issue , we look at the business case for Manufacturing Execution systems (MES) The lack of fully integrated top floor to shop floor systems within the manufacturing sector has historically left a missing link in terms of improving revenue growth from an automation perspective. An MES system can fill this void and enable streamlined manufacturing processes.

Data collection is also key to process monitoring and improvement .So this month, we look at the problems with paper based systems for data collection and the case for implementing a computer based SPC system.

You would think a correctly formulated SPC strategy would be a well established part of any manufacturing environment these days. But in a article on page 6, Ben Allister of Infodream asserts that although aerospace manufacturing is leading the way in terms of technology development, it is a long way behind other industries in terms of robust process planning and process control, with many companies being very slow on the up-take of proven Continuous Improvement methodology At the moment it is undoubtedly a case of ‘wrong metrics driving wrong behaviour'. Allister asks whether it is a lack of understanding which is to blame for the slow up-take of quality control tools in aerospace manufacturing.

Brendan Coyne

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