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Grizz

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Join date : 2010-06-06
Age : 75
Location : Midland, Pa.

PostSubject: Any Engineers on this site   Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:25 pm



You don’t have to be an engineer to appreciate this story.
A toothpaste factory had a problem: they sometimes
shipped empty boxes, without the tube inside.
This was due to the way the production line was set up,
and people with experience in designing production lines
will tell you how difficult it is to have everything happen with timings so precise that every single unit coming
out of it is perfect 100% of the time.
Small variations in the environment (which can’t be controlled
in a cost-effective fashion) mean you must have quality assurance checks smartly distributed across the line so that customers all the way down to the supermarket don’t get
pissed off and buy another product instead.
Understanding how important that was, the CEO of the toothpaste factory got the top people in the company
together and they decided to start a new project,
in which they would hire an external engineering company
to solve their empty boxes problem, as their engineering department was already too stretched
to take on any extra effort.
The project followed the usual process: budget and project sponsor allocated, RFP, third-parties selected, and six months (and $8 million) later they had a fantastic solution — on time, on budget, high quality and everyone in the project had a great time. They solved the problem by using high-tech precision scales that would sound a bell and flash lights whenever a toothpaste box would weigh less than it should. The line would stop, and someone had to walk over
and yank the defective box out of it, pressing
another button when done to re-start the line.
A while later, the CEO decides to have a look at
the ROI of the project: amazing results!
No empty boxes ever shipped out of the factory
after the scales were put in place.
Very few customer complaints, and they
share. were gaining market
“That’s some money well spent!” – he says, before
looking closely at the other statistics in the report.
It turns out, the number of defects picked up by
the scales was 0 after three weeks of production use.
It should’ve been picking up at least a dozen a day,
so maybe there was something wrong with the report.
He filed a bug against it, and after some
investigation, the engineers come back
saying the report was actually correct.
The scales really weren't picking up any defects,
because all boxes that got to that point
in the conveyor belt were good.
Puzzled, the CEO travels down to the factory,
and walks up to the part of the line
where the precision scales were installed.
A few feet before the scale, there was a $20 desk fan,
blowing the empty boxes off of the belt and into a bin.
“Oh, that,” says one of the workers —
“one of the guys put it there ’cause he was
tired of walking over…..
“every time the bell rang”.



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Sportsman

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Join date : 2010-02-01
Location : Wild and Wonderful

PostSubject: Re: Any Engineers on this site   Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:49 pm

It didn't take $8 mil, to figure out an easy way to do the job. Laughing
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wacker

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Location : S/C PA

PostSubject: Re: Any Engineers on this site   Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:30 pm


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Prairie Pounder

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Join date : 2010-02-05
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PostSubject: Re: Any Engineers on this site   Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:47 pm

So true.

Another engineer question. Especially for an engineer that specializes in refridgeration that likes to eat out. Why do so many restaurants have to carry ice to their bar? Makes no sense. Not a trick question. New built restaurants that don't have an ice maker in their bar area that require someone to carry ice from the kitchen area in buckets...Must be a good reason for doing it the hard way. Anyone?
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Bascom



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Join date : 2010-02-05
Age : 41
Location : OH

PostSubject: Re: Any Engineers on this site   Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:05 pm


PP a couple of reasons come to mind quickly... Lack of space, not wanting the extra "noise" from the ice maker and the last reason if for older bars, lack of available electric in the bar area.
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wacker

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PostSubject: Re: Any Engineers on this site   Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:56 pm


Usually there's a centrally located ice machine that feeds all other "soda" machine stations
and even the bar area. Allows for only one install of this kind of large appliance.

Lot's of fast food places also have to carry ice to their soda & drink islands for customer use.

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Prairie Pounder

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Join date : 2010-02-05
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PostSubject: Re: Any Engineers on this site   Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:43 am

Bascom and DaddyO~~Ok. Buy WHY? Restaurants are about being efficient aren't they? That's what Chef Ramsey says. Laughing There has to be a better way to have ice where it is needed. Well, if I ever open a restaurant...Very Happy
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