Authored by John Clemons, MESA Marketing Committee Chair, based on an interview with Khris Kammer, MESA Model Sub-Committee Member
The new MESA International Smart Manufacturing Model is
under development and will be released very soon. It’s prescriptive, providing
very specific recommendations on how we can be smarter in managing the
lifecycles of manufacturing operations.
In the last post, I provided a little insight into the
production lifecycle. Let’s look a little at what’s going to be in the new MESA
Smart Manufacturing Model about the production lifecycle.
One question that’s addressed by the new model is “how
can we make sure that finished goods and product coming out of production are
consistently high quality?”
“And, as an extension to the above, what about when you
have a regulatory agency (like the FDA for example) requiring detailed
documentation of every step taken in the production processes?”
Again, I’m not going to give away all the answers here. I
really do want you to read the MESA Smart Manufacturing Model when it comes
out. But I will tell you that in answering these questions, the model discusses
many aspects of production agility and what it really takes to be agile in
First of all, and this is nothing new, it’s simply not
possible to test in quality. Testing has its place and there’s little
manufacturing anywhere that doesn’t do some type of testing on the finished
products. But quality has to be built in, not tested in. The production process
must be built to be error proof, to be self-correcting, and to ensure that
quality is being built in at every step.
That means operators must know exactly what quality means
and must know exactly what it takes to produce a quality product. So that in
the end, testing is simply done to verify that product meets the quality
Of course, it’s necessary to capture the test results and
identify exceptions when they occur. It’s necessary to track incidents and
deviations and have a continuous improvement process in place to take the
information from the exceptions and deviations and work to eliminate the
possibility of them ever occurring in the first place. Because in the end, it’s
all about building in quality, not trying to test it in after the fact.
Another question that’s addressed by the new model is
“How does the smart production make it easier to deal with new product
introductions and high product mix situations?”
There’s a lot here as well and space doesn’t permit me to
discuss much. But the new MESA model will include ways that we can answer this
question and be smarter when it comes to product design, to the management and
transformation of recipes, to the creation and dissemination of product
specifications and work instructions, to the management of the bills of
materials, and to the management of the linkages of all these items to each
other and to the other elements of the production lifecycle.
One final question I’d like to mention that’s addressed
by the new model is “Can smart production techniques ease the burden of
workforce and skills shortages?”
I really don’t have the space here to even start to
answer this question as there’s a lot to this but suffice it to say that the
new MESA model answers this question in terms of having highly skilled, highly
trained, high-performing resources, who have the right skillets, and the right
resources and tools at their fingertips. And then making sure those resources
are in the right place at the right time.
So, if you’re intrigued by these questions, and are looking for more answers than I had space to mention, then the new MESA International Smart Manufacturing Model is for you.