Companies with a long history like United Equipment Accessories usually have several people in management positions that also have a long history with the company. These people have been around long enough to know the inner workings of the company and how functions and processes have arrived at where they are today. This can be a great asset in the aspect of not repeating the same mistakes that were overcome to reach the present “state of the art”. This can also be a detriment if the attitude of “this is how we've always done it” prevents exploring new methods. Some blend of the aged wisdom of the old timers and the fresh inquisitive outlook of a newcomer would seem to be a good mix for moving forward with great success.
Currently United Equipment Accessories is working in conjunction with groups of Iowa State University students from the Industrial Engineering Department on multiple capstone projects. Each of these groups will focus on an area to collect data, learn processes and evaluate the effectiveness of the present situations with the intent to make proposals on possible improvements based on their research and education.
The areas of focus are:
1) Inventory Control management analysis
2) Hydraulic Cell and Clean Room management and certification
3) CNC Machine utilization and process flow
These projects serve dual purpose, hopefully being mutually beneficial to the ISU students as well as United Equipment Accessories.
For the students this is an opportunity to spend time on a functioning “real world” manufacturing facility to get a better perspective of what the classroom examples attempt to represent.
For UEA this is a chance to have a new set of eyes look at the situation without the “noise” of day to day issues being a distraction. Being able to step away and focus on the data and observations in an unbiased way and come back with proposals that could be the next step to higher productivity and effectiveness.
Pictured left is the CNC area team I am fortunate enough to be working with.
L to R Ben Warrick, Amy Young, Trenton Klocke, and Austin Riesselman