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Re: (All) Waste Prevention Technology

Callahan, Mike wrote:
> Bob,
> There is no resistance.  It is your need to label and pigeon-hole people
> as "incrementalists" that is the problem.  You fail to recognize the
> constraints that are placed on people when they are hired to consult.
> If I am hired by a car company to eliminate paint waste, I am
> constrained by the product design to "paint".  The paint can be
> solvent-borne, water-borne, powder, UV cure, etc. I can dip coat, flow
> coat, electrocoat, spray coat, etc.  As a consulting engineer, it is my
> job to eliminate the most amount of waste for the lowest capital and
> operating cost.  If I can retrofit a system, then I can save my client a
> lot of money.
> Some P2 systems make a lot of economic sense, but only if you are
> starting with a grass roots system.  If you walk into an operating
> facility, it is much harder to justify ripping out everything and
> starting over.  You are constrained by the existing infrastructure.
> Now if I am designing a brand new product or facility, then my choice of
> options is much greater.  With cars, I can use injection molded plastic
> and eliminate all painting.  The public may not want a plastic car, but
> it is an option available to the designer.  It is not available to
> someone who has to produce a steel-based car.
> Your examples are good but you need to consider the market.  Does the
> user care if his x-rays are produced by photographic means ?  No, he
> just needs an accurate image.  How it is produced is irrelavent to the
> end user.  If this system is cheaper, faster, better, more accurate, and
> easier to use than photographic methods, then it will succeed.  If its
> only benefit is that it doesn't produce waste, it will fail.
> What you need to do is define the product and establish what aspects of
> its design you can alter at will and which ones are cast in stone.  Once
> you have done this, you can begin to see where wholesale changes in
> production can be made and where only incremental changes will be
> tolerated.  You need to be doing this with the product designers because
> once it reaches the stage where engineers are involved, the design has
> been too locked down and all we can do is make incremental improvements.
> Just some more of my two cents,
> Mike.callahan@jacobs.com
> > ----------
> > From:         rpojasek@sprynet.com[SMTP:rpojasek@sprynet.com]
> > Sent:         Wednesday, January 14, 1998 6:09PM
> > To:   p2tech@great-lakes.net
> > Subject:      Re: (All) Waste Prevention Technology
> >
> > Response to Alexander Ross,
> >
> > Most firms still paint many colors.  They cannot affort the cycle time
> > hit for
> > cleaning out the booth between every color change.  Therefore there is
> > much waste powder paint to dispose of since the mixed colors do not
> > blend but
> > rather go on in a speckled version.  P2TECH had an extended discussion
> > of this
> > last year.  It is still a problem.  For the UV cure, what happens to
> > the liquid
> > that does not get on the part?
> >
> > I have given some examples of entirely new processes that do what the
> > old
> > wasteful processes do (Helios technology at Polaroid and etchless
> > printed wiring
> > boards at Printron) with almost no wastes.  These DO NOT violate the
> > laws of
> > thermodynamics as environmental engineers would suggest.  I have found
> > that
> > industrial engineers and process engineers can be very good at
> > eliminating waste
> > with quantum leaps in technology if we just direct them to do so.
> > Incremental
> > changes in efficiency seems to be the way we would rather see them go.
> > Is it
> > because it is safer to do this?  I am getting real curious as to why
> > there seems
> > to be so much resistance to the use of technology to help eliminate
> > waste from
> > certain process operations.
> >
> > Bob Pojasek
> > rpojasek@sprynet.com
> >

As a manufacturing engineering practitioner, I agree that incremental
improvements are a drag.  But, sometimes, it's either that or get led to
the door (in which case, nothing is done).  The fact that compromises
are being being made when trying to alter manufacturing processes in
order to eliminate material losses doesn't necessarily mean that those
involved don't see the larger picture.  Most of us do.

Over the past 15 years, it has been my experience that, although quantum
leaps are possible, causing a company to realize a huge shift in
manufacturing strategy often takes a series of incremental steps.

This approach is driven by an understanding of organizational dynamics,
not the need for "safety."    
Steve Isaacson
Northwest Wisconsin Manufacturing Outreach Center
278 Jarvis Hall
UW - Stout
Menomonie, WI  54751

Telephone	715-232-5031
Fax		715-232-1105