Keeping pace with IIE in the February 2012 issue of Industrial Engineer
The right way to work
AEC keynote, featured speakers bring a wealth of ergonomics knowledge
Don Chaffin has his eyes on the future, and what he sees is a better platform for ergonomics to benefit workplaces of all sizes.
At the Applied Ergonomics Conference in March, Chaffin, a noted ergonomics academician, will give a keynote address describing how building a new digital manufacturing infrastructure will make it easier to bring ergonomics into small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
“We need to redesign a lot of workplaces that are harming workers,” he said. “This is particularly the case when we talk about the 280,000 SMEs that don’t have the resources, the expertise if you will, within their management and engineering organizations that can bring ergonomics into the organization and use it effectively to fix hazards and improve productivity.”
Chaffin is the R.G. Snyder Distinguished University Professor Emeritus in Industrial and Operations Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan. He is working on a team of academic and industry professionals who are charged with putting together a program to meet the expectations of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, an initiative President Obama announced last summer.
“My particular part of this team is currently assessing the use of better computer information systems for SMEs that will allow them to do engineering and ergonomics analyses of the type that can assist them in selecting and investing in new technologies. We are referring to this as providing a digital manufacturing infrastructure,” said Chaffin.
While Chaffin is focusing on how software will impact ergonomics solutions, Raymond Davis Layne, the other AEC keynoter, will discuss how to recognize musculoskeletal disorders as they develop and target basic changes that can reduce MSD risk.
“The real issue is recognition of the problem, especially for small employers, and getting them and their employees to understand that going home at the end of the day with a few aches and pains is not part of doing a hard day’s work at your job and … there are changes that can be made to address musculoskeletal disorders,” said Layne.
VPPPA, or Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association, is a nonprofit dedicated to cooperative occupational safety, health and environmental management systems. Layne says there have been many success stories through his work with VPP sites through OSHA and the Department of Energy’s volunteer protection programs.
“One of the building blocks of VPPPA is information sharing as it relates to workplace safety and health hazards. And we do an environmental survey to look at emerging hazards in the workplace or identify hazards that have not been fully addressed and provide our members info on how to recognize those hazards and [address them],” said Layne.
Chaffin is presenting at 9:45 a.m. on March 27, and Layne is scheduled to present at 9:45 a.m. on March 28.
To read the full interviews with Chaffin and Layne, go to www.appliedergoconference.org/chaffin and www.appliedergoconference.org/layne, respectively. Read more about the four featured speakers who will be giving special presentations at the conference at www.appliedergoconference.org/featured.
The spirit of AEC 2012, which will be held March 26-29 in Nashville, Tenn., and of the ergonomics profession was captured well when Layne stated, “Whether you’re industrial engineering or ergonomics, an industrial hygienist or safety and health specialist, safety director, an employee or whatever, ... the idea is that at the end of the day, your co-workers and you go home to your friends and families as whole, healthy people.”
Embracing the big picture
Enterprise Transformation Conference targets changing the whole organization
Not everyone who wants to overhaul their business is an industrial engineer. But they certainly need IE-type skills to make sure their changes mean improvement, not failure.
That’s where the Enterprise Transformation Conference 2012 comes in. You can liken transforming an enterprise to optimizing a manufacturing line, just on a bigger scale. Increasing throughput on one part of the line could lead to problems in other areas that aren’t prepared to handle more output. The same goes for revamping an entire organization, said IIE President-elect Doug Rabeneck.
“If everyone just focuses on themselves, you could be hurting the enterprise overall because what you do could mess up downstream processes or other parts of the organization that you don’t even think about or know about or have interaction with,” the senior manager for Accenture LLP said. “Organizations that proactively try to manage and change the enterprise are more successful than ones that do it piecemeal. So having people that are focused on this really helps the transformation or the change be more successful.”
Rabeneck said UPS is a good analogy. For years, the company’s main goal was delivering packages quickly and efficiently. As time went on, officials discovered that being able to provide customers information and where their package was at any time was important to UPS’ value proposition. So as an enterprise, the organization set out to capture that data and make it accessible to customers.
“Then they started building an infrastructure to manage all that infor-mation,” Rabeneck said. “So it’s kind of interesting how they changed their business to be more of an information delivery company focused around this service.”
Obviously, IEs are involved in many parts of transforming processes and procedures. But the drivers of such change, except in cases where IEs serve at the C-level, are not necessarily IEs.
“So the reason we thought it might be interesting to have a conference around this is that a lot of the skills you use are IE-like skills,” Rabeneck said. “For enterprise transformation you’re using project management, you’re using tracking and recording and reporting progress and all those kinds of things.”
Many people with IE backgrounds are doing enterprise transformation, so the conference is an ideal time for them to learn more, share experiences with others and network. And IEs aiming for high-level management positions can prepare themselves better for the day they sit in the corner office.
The Enterprise Transformation Conference 2012 will be held April 3-4 at the Westin Buckhead Atlanta. More information is at www.iienet.org/ETconference.
Expand work sampling’s horizons
Best practices conference can help practitioners yield more value from data
Following proper work standards is the only way a business can perform efficiently. With that in mind, the Best Practices in Managing Work Standards agile conference will present a day’s worth of presentations and speakers dedicated to gathering, analyzing and using the necessary data.
Manufacturing and industrial engineer Richard D. Elliott will present “Work Sampling – A Technical Perspective,” one of six sessions. Elliott, who has worked with Anheuser-Busch, Allegheny-Teledyne, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and Boeing Defense, Space and Security, notes that work sampling can move beyond its status as a standardized method for collecting data within the industrial engineering discipline.
Historically, the analysis of work sampling data has been simplistic, according to Elliott. Managers want to know if they have enough resources to complete the work; auditors want to know if contracts are executed efficiently. Both look at what portion of time each resource spends producing the end product versus the portion of time these resources spend on other things.
“Maybe there is more that can be learned from this data,” according to Elliott. “Maybe we should begin contemplating how this data might be useful beyond the blasé basics. Consider the notion that there is range of acceptability (an upper and lower bound) found within industry. When producing value, the lower bound may be somewhat related to the resource and task type, but what about the upper bound? What are the limiting factors on the upper bound, and should we be concerned with a trend on a control chart based upon work sampling data?”
The Best Practices in Managing Work Standards one-day conference is March 12 at the Doubletree O’Hare-Rosemont in Chicago. More information is available at www.iienet.org/workstandards.
Behind the lines for benchmarking
IIE is offering savvy business people the chance to tour and learn from a handful of the Atlanta area’s most efficient facilities next month.
Behind the Scenes 2012 will be held March 19-20. Attendees will have an opportunity to benchmark against best practices at MeadWestvaco, Macy’s Furniture and Bedding Distribution Center, the Georgia World Congress Center and other top-notch sites.
The highlights of giving
Students benefit from UPS scholarships and awards
Since 1994, UPS has funded scholarships for women and minorities through IIE.
Art Muniz, the shipping company’s industrial engineering manager, has had the pleasure of meeting many of the beneficiaries during the honors and awards ceremony at the IIE Annual Conference and Expo.
“Probably the highlight of the conference for me is an opportunity to sit down and talk to the young folks,” Muniz said during his annual holiday visit to IIE headquarters in Norcross, Ga. “I always find them extremely intelligent – way ahead of what I was at that age, I think.”
IIE Chief Executive Officer Don Greene agreed.
“I think speaking to the students is probably the most fun part of my job, too,” Greene told Muniz. “When I get to go to student conferences or just student chapter meetings, I always make it a point to go to the student track at the conference and address them a little bit. And the enthusiasm they have and the energy and the advanced maturity and professionalism they show – I mean they are way beyond where I was at age 20 to 21 as a college student.”
Muniz carried on tradition by handing over the $15,350 check during his visit. The money comes from the UPS Foundation, the company’s charitable arm. It pays for the UPS Excellence Award for Minority Advancement in Industrial Engineering and UPS-sponsored scholarships for female and minority industrial engineering students. Winners will be announced at the IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2012, scheduled for May 19-23 at the Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Fla.
Muniz said the students are grateful for the help. People are having a tough time paying for higher education, and schools and universities are not getting cheaper. His daughter is about to start college, and he called the forecasted expenses an “eye-opener.” The application process is stringent. The winners are the ones who put a lot of effort into it.
“If it wasn’t there, it’d be just one more hardship to going to school,” Muniz said. “The money in most cases is not going to cover a four-year education, but I think it’s enough to help. And in some cases it maybe puts them over that line.”
A youthful view
IAB YouTube contest spurs interest in industrial engineering
If you doze between sessions at the IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2012, you might miss the wave of the future.
Just as in 2011, this year’s conference will present the winners of the Industry Advisory Board YouTube student video contest on screens throughout the conference tracks. The winners, who created videos to promote industrial engineering to junior high and high school students, will be notified this month.
Kaz Takeda, manager of industrial engineering at Disneyland Resort, said the students who produce the videos have a great time. First-place winners get $1,000. Second- and third-place prizes are $300 and $200, respectively. The Industry Advisory Board (IAB) presents the checks at the annual conference’s student mixer, with a collage of the videos playing on screen. The prize money comes from IAB members and senior chapters. Judges are looking for creativity and fun.
“Some of it was tongue in cheek – actually most of it is,” Takeda said. “Sometimes they’re serious, but those are pretty boring. We don’t want that.”
Entries go through two judging panels, including one that is a hybrid of IAB members and high school or college-entry level students.
This will be the third year for the prize, although organizers did skip one year. IAB devised the award because, for the most part, students do not start out as IE majors. Instead, they pick industrial engineering after meandering through mechanical, civil or another discipline.
“Last year in Reno, because it got more and more attention, various universities made comments that they have had kids join in as freshmen or as sophomores because of our video,” Takeda said.
Below is a list of last year’s winning videos, along with where to find them:
For more details about the annual conference, visit www.iienet.org/annual.
Barany name lives on in award
Board honors longtime Purdue faculty member's outreach, mentoring
IIE has renamed its Student Award for Excellence in honor of the late James W. Barany, a mentor to numerous students during his career at Purdue University and the institute.
Chief Executive Office Don Greene announced the change, which was approved by IIE’s board of trustees.
“We recognize how dedicated Jim was to students as well as to IIE,” said Greene. “We feel it is only fitting to help keep his name and memory alive by annually awarding the James W. Barany Student Award for Excellence.”
The award recognizes students who have distinguished themselves through scholarship and campus leadership to bring distinction to industrial engineering at their institutions. It is presented each year at the IIE Annual Conference and Expo.
Barany had been on Purdue’s faculty since 1958 and taught until his death on Nov. 8, 2011. He was a 53-year member of IIE.
For more details about the James W. Barany Student Award for Excellence, go to www.iienet.org/honors and click on “Award descriptions and nomination forms.”
This year’s annual conference will be held May 19-23 in Orlando, Fla.
SHS conference pairs attendees with students for future success
For 23 years, the Society for Health Systems has lassoed together a conference full of educational sessions, keynote speakers, pre-conference workshops, exhibits and networking opportunities dedicated to optimizing healthcare systems.
This year is no different, as healthcare practitioners, academics and industrial engineers ride into Las Vegas for the 2012 Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference later this month.
Keynote speakers are Dr. Steve Markovich, president of Riverside Methodist Hospital of the OhioHealth system, and David W. Roberts, vice president of government relations for the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Educational sessions follow 10 concurrent tracks. A mentoring program will pair attendees with students to orient students to the conference environment, educate them on opportunities with SHS and give them advice for the future. Mentors will meet their students during the welcome reception and at breakfast and/or lunch during the conference.
The conference will be held Feb. 18-21 at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. More information is available at www.shsconference.org.
Celebrating member achievements
Wiljeana J. Glover, a postdoctoral associate with the Lean Advancement Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has received the $15,000 Philanthropic Education Organization Scholar Award for 2011-2012.
Jonna Gerken received the 2011 Pratt & Whitney Diversity and Inclusion Award during the company’s annual leadership award ceremony. She is a manager in the QDC Engineering Group of the company’s Hot Section Engineering department.
Industrial engineering professor Manuel Rossetti of the University of Arkansas has been named the John L. Imhoff Chair in Industrial Engineering for 2012-2013.
Process Industries Division President Vincent W. Howell recently received the Industry Innovation Award from the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering. Howell is an engineering projects portfolio manager at Corning Inc.
Alexandria Moseley, a student at Oregon State University, was named one of National Engineers Week’s 15 most promising college engineering students from around the world.
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