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Q&A with The Austin Company

In automotive, facilities, facility, interview, manufacturing, Plant Optimization, Q&A by Alicia CheungLeave a Comment

The environment facing automotive-related manufacturers is fierce. Changing regulations, competitor landscape, technology and customer preferences, along with a fluid global economy, create challenging conditions for automakers and their suppliers. The Austin Company understands this landscape. This is an excerpt from an interview Generis Group did with Brandon Davis, Vice President of Operations and General Manager at The Austin Company prior to the American Automotive Summit 2018. “How can automotive manufacturing facilities decrease project capital costs through engineering and re-design concepts? There are a few ways to look at reducing costs today, compared to how traditional automotive plants used to be designed and built. Throughout most of my career in the industry, we would build plants with what I would call ‘oversized’ structural steel. By doing this, we built in maximum flexibility for the plant, so equipment could easily move around and the plant could be easily adapted in the future, as much of the production processes were “hung loads” from the structure. As the industry has evolved, equipment has become lighter, many production processes can now be floor-mounted, and – in general – equipment has become more flexible and able to support different product types. In this setting, we are working hard in the production layout efforts to see what really needs to be supported from the structure and to design structures specifically for what is needed. That reduces the cost of the facility construction and saves the use of …

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How Does Technology fit with your Lean Initiative?

In Continuous Improvement, culture, Digital Transformation, Lean Implementation, manufacturer, manufacturing, Plant Optimization by Harshini SrikanthanLeave a Comment

With rapid innovation and the proliferation of data, technology promises improvements in nearly every area of manufacturing. The implications for increased efficiency are tremendous, but our experts warn that technology will not solve all your lean problems. At our 2016 American Manufacturing Summit, we spoke to some lean leaders about how you should think of technology within the framework of your lean initiative. The consensus is that while technology can be a great complement to your lean initiatives, providing you with insights you wouldn’t otherwise have, it cannot entirely replace the human aspects of lean. Learn what they had to say on this topic. 

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