Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

March 2011    |    Volume: 43    |    Number: 3

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial Engineers

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Keeping Fido's helpers healthy 

Keeping Fido’s helpers healthy 

MSDs among veterinarians represent a serious work problem that needs to be addressed through ergonomic interventions in workplace and task design. The work described in this article focused on a small animal emergency vet clinic in the process of designing a new larger veterinarian hospital near Raleigh, N.C. To optimize the facility design from a work-safety perspective, the owners asked North Carolina State University’s Ergonomics Lab to conduct a study of ergonomics-related risks in clinic operations and recommend interventions that could reduce the potential for clinician and technician MSDs.
By Meghan Rogers, Shruti Gangakhedkar and David Kaber

The Babe Ruth Effect 

The Babe Ruth Effect 

Too many improvement programs fail because executives consider the magnitude of improvement successes more important than the frequency of improvement failures. Call it the "Babe Ruth effect." Ruth, who struck out a lot, still is considered one of baseball’s greatest hitters because of 714 career home runs. For example, if three stocks in a portfolio of four slightly lose value, but the fourth one substantially gains value, the total portfolio is considered to have performed well, even when the majority of the stocks did not. Executives often approach improvement programs the same way.
By Satya S. Chakravorty

Seven simple rules for solving problems 

Seven simple rules for solving problems 

Root cause analysis, or “problem solving” as it is commonly known outside the manufacturing realm, is one of the most frequently discussed, written about and, unfortunately, misunderstood topics in the world of industrial engineering. In the manufacturing world, the same mistakes have been repeated numerous times, mistakes that could have been avoided by adhering to a few fundamental root cause analysis rules. Here, in approximate order of importance, are seven simple rules for success in root cause analysis.
By Daniel Sims

Quality in reverse 

Quality in reverse 

Recovering and exploiting the remaining value in used products at the end of their use is an issue that attracts firms from a large variety of industry sectors. One determinant of the profitability of related operations is the process of configuring the quality assessment and classification of used products. This article presents the most important decisions regarding the configuration, the trade-offs involved, and a general characterization of the methods commonly used to achieve it.
By Luk N. Van Wassenhove and Christos Zikopoulos

Discovering the source of failures 

Discovering the source of failures 

As organizations are changing from their traditional hierarchical management approach to business process management (BPM), they face new challenges. One of these challenges is to discover why business processes fail. Organizations often use manual techniques to solve this problem, but these techniques consume a lot of time and money. This article introduces a novel process mining technique to discover the source of failures in business processes in an automatic and efficient way.
By Guillermo Calderón-Ruiz and Marcos Sepúlveda



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