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Case Studies

10 Steps to Foster Innovation and Drive Growth

Innovate or die is a favored phrase among forward thinkers, and though perhaps hackneyed, the notion is exactly in line with the needs of retail today.
As James Vatalaro, a business consultant with Productivity Inc., which practices improving on its namesake for companies in need, noted in his presentation on strategy innovation at the...


Managing Complexity at a Major Insurance Broker

This affinity insurance broker manages policies for 100+ global brands, with millions of new insurance contracts annually covering policyholders in 10+ countries. Its banking, telecommunications, manufacturing, and retail clients offer their...


Blower Failure Case Study – Root Cause Machine Failure Analysis

The goal of Maintenance Improvement is to move away from reactive to a proactive or planned maintenance process. As part of this process, maintenance personnel analyze breakdowns to reveal equipment weaknesses and then modify equipment to improve its operation, maintainability and lengthen equipment life. Root Cause Machine Failure Analysis was introduced to this building products manufacturer’s maintenance reliability team as a method to eliminate a repetitive blower failure.


Everything in Pork Pie Order

Pork pie and sausage roll maker Pork Farms Bowyers has invested significant resource and time into creating its own tailored shopfloor organization program. Steed Webzell reports.


The Use and Abuse of OEE

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is fast becoming a widely used measure for the manufacturing industry, but it is also one of the more misunderstood and misused measures, causing much confusion...


Quantum Leap Yield Improvement

Production Preparation Process (3P)—Milestone 13
In the highly competitive world of vinyl siding production, “process yield is king.” A fraction of a percentage point change in yield traditionally is very difficult to attain let alone sustain. So you can imagine what was going through one plant manager’s head when he got the news that yield had to improve 2.4% above last year’s performance.


A Journey to World Class

The Samlesbury brewery, now owned by Interbrew, has used its Asset Care programme as a key tool for pursuing cost reduction through more intensive use of plant


United Seating and Mobility

As with many companies, the challenges facing United Seating & Mobility include increasing expectations of quality products and services, pressure from customers to reduce prices, and competition from numerous competitors in an industry suffering through consolidation. But by committing itself to becoming lean, United Seating – which produces customized wheelchairs, scooters and other mobility products – is not only surviving, but expanding as other companies fall by the wayside.


Operator Maintenance vs. Autonomous Maintenance

When Productivity Inc. came across the work of the Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance (JIPM), developers of total productive maintenance (TPM), as part of our research into Japanese manufacturing practices in the 1980’s, we encountered the same problem as with other systems: how do we teach this to people in the West?