Baseline Releases and Data Validation

In order to measure project performances, the quality assurance department of an organization releases baselines periodically. These may be variance of actual effort over planned effort, the variance of actual schedule over-planned schedule, organizational productivity ratio, defect density, etc.,

Baselines are released every quarter or periodically. An improvement in adherence to schedule or a reduction in the defect density would imply that the organization has made improvements. For example the release may state that the organizational baseline I for schedule variance is 8.9 percent and the organizational baseline II for schedule variance is 5 percent. The conclusions may hence be that the organization has improved its schedule adherence by 3.9 percent or in other words the projects are delivering to the customers on time.

Now let us understand that such an analysis has been done on two different data sets at two different times. One data set measured the effort,schedule and other project metrics during Quarter I, the second data set measured the effort,schedule, and other project metrics during Quarter II. The mean may have significantly shifted, or the variance may have shifted or in other words, the comparison may not be being made on similar data.

For example, during Q1 the company may be executing large scale projects and during Q2 the company may be executing medium scale projects. In the case of large projects,estimates tend to have more variances and so the mean of all schedule variances hence has lowered.

Similarly, the variability between individual data points in the distribution may be significantly different due to data collection methods. During Q1 the baseline may have used a manual data collection process and during Q2 the baseline may have used data entered in the automated time management system by the employees.

When conclusions regarding baselines are derived, it is essential to see if there is a significant change to parameters which are correlated to the metric being evaluated for process improvement. More specifically, a measure such as schedule variance is correlated with many parameters such as complexity of the project, training level of the employees, work timings etc., When a result related to improvement in the performance of the process is obtained, then one should make sure that the factors on which the metric is correlated do not change significantly.

For example a mean schedule variance of 9 percent where the mean size of the projects are 20 FP should not be compared to a mean schedule variance of 5.9 percent with mean project size 10 FP or a project or a mean schedule variance of 9 percent with employees with low skill should not be compared to projects with a mean schedule variance of 5.9 percent that have employees of high skill.

In such cases one should use a statistical regression equation which expresses schedule as a function of many other variables to scale the measurements to a common base.

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8 Advantages Of Aluminum Sand Castings

As far as aluminum sand casting is concerned, know that it can offer a lot of advantages. These advantages fall in a lot of categories including logistics, finance and so on. Let’s take a look at some prominent advantages.

1. Flexible Quantities

Flexible production quantity is the first main advantage. For instance, some castings can deliver up to 100,000 pieces per year. This is possible because of innovative mold designs that can balance unit and tooling costs.

2. High Strength

This process gives high strength. Molten aluminum is put into a strong metal mold that reduces the mold temperature. As a result, the metal solidifies into a fine-grain texture, which is free of trapped gas and porosity. Therefore, your castings enjoy much better quality metallurgical properties, higher strength and pressure tightness.

3. Less Machining

Machining costs a lot of money. The goal of manufacturers is to reduce the use and cost of secondary machining. They do so by offering close dimensional control, total repeatability and a smooth finish. Also, this process allows flat casting of the surfaces. At times, they are free from any taper or draft.

4. Low Cost

The biggest benefit of aluminum sand casting is low cost. Since machining is reduced during this process, customers can enjoy much lower unit costs. Engineers use their experience and knowledge in order to produce new mold designs. And this helps reduce the tooling costs considerably.

5. Molded Inserts

Aluminum sand casting allows you to cast molded inserts. Typically, the casting is cast with the help of a stainless steel insert in order to offer a wear-resistant, hard surface and keep the other part lightweight.

Also, the casting is designed to offer wear-resistant and durable threads. At times, cast-in threaded ones offer lower costs than CNC taping or drilling. Regardless of this, molded inserts offer cost-saving techniques.

6. Smooth Surface Finish

Fine surface is another great advantage you can enjoy if you follow this technique. The finish is smooth enough for gaskets and o-ring seals in a number of applications. Also, they are smooth enough. Aside from this, the castings feature a clean appearance that can help reduce the need for many expensive operations, such as mass finishing and polishing. Apart from this, it’s easy to tumble, paint, plate, coat, anodize and polish the castings.

7. Close Tolerance

Usually, metal molds are used to make castings. Therefore, the dimensional variation and close tolerance of the pieces is negligible. So, you can enjoy higher precision and accuracy. Also, you can cast a lot of parts without machining. As a result, you can save a lot of money.

8. High Quality

For guaranteed high-quality castings, upfront engineering and process control are quite important. The combo of these two can help exceed industry standards by reducing the failure rate and internal scrap. This is done by keeping an eye on all the processes and investing a lot of effort into designs and development processes.

How to Improve a Cage Nuts Manufacturing Business

Train Employees.

Every cage nuts company should train their employees to make them more efficient and safe in the workplace. Besides training programs on the industry and the like, they could let new personnel work hand in hand with the more experienced staff so the latter can coach them and teach the best practices.

Mentoring and in-house training programs will provide them with value and support plus increase retention rate.

Ask for Feedback

Product managers who want to be the best in their field of work should ask for feedback from both customers and employees. While businesses should primarily look after the interest of customers, they should also align the company’s values and vision with that of their employees and market.

It would be useless to manufacture cage nuts that people have no interest in, or lose money on operations by not knowing the costs of producing an item or batch.

Continue to Improve

Cage nuts manufacturing companies might think that it is enough to make some modifications in their business processes and go ahead with developing their facilities. However, they should not be complacent but instead, have a plan to continuously improve the company with the use of Lean principles.

They should try to observe if there are any inefficient processes and tell their staff to highlight such problems in time for them to step in. It would be helpful if they could let their managers undergo basic Lean training so they can apply these principles.

5S Lean System

The 5S Lean system is among the most important for cage nuts manufacturers. They will have to sort through materials needed to complete different tasks, organize all things in a logical way to maximize productivity, keep the working area clean and orderly for it to shine, come up with a set of standards to measure quality, productivity, risk and waste then finally, sustain these new practices.

Though these may seem easy, it will require a trained senior manager, who will be responsible in delivering the 5S Lean system in order to get the reports needed to deliver more improvements.

Six Big Losses

Cage nuts manufacturers should make cost-cutting and waste management their top priorities. When employees or machinery are not efficient, they will let the company lose money, time and resources. In their plan to improve processes, they need to consider the different types of waste, which include breakdowns, waiting time, small stops and rejects, among others.

They should address the most problematic big loss then work their way through so they can manufacture their products more efficiently, at a much lower cost and in turn, minimize their expenses.