Month: January 2019


Do you know what is process planning?

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Very few resources will teach you the practical process planning done in industry. If you are looking for details of what goes inside process planning of typical process then answers are below.

Let us consider that you have to manufacture a cricket bat. This example is taken to understand the basics easily and the same can be applied to any complex product.

Before starting a process planning one important thing which you should ask for is what is the production volume requirement?’ This means in a day/ or a year how many bats are to be manufactured. Let us assume your company produces bats and you need 100000 per year. You need to check the production days in a year leaving aside all the holidays and weekly off. Suppose your company has around 300 working days out of 365 then you will get the per day requirement of 100000 divided by 300 i.e. 333 per day approx.

Once you understood the daily requirement, the next question is what is the production per hour. If you are working in one shift and let us assume you have around 7.5 working hours approx. leaving aside lunch/tea break of a typical 8-hour shift. This will give you per hour requirement. In our case 333 divided by 7.5 ie 44 bats per hour approximately. This is also called as jobs per hour(JPH).

Now you know that you have to produce 44 bats per hour, you can calculate TAKT time.  60 min. divided by 44 gives 1.36 min for one bat. So every 1.36 min. one bat should be produced and 1.36 is called as TAKT TIME.

Suppose typical cricket bat can be manufactured through four processes such as cutting the profile of bat from raw material, shaping to size, polishing, applying stickers and all the processing takes around 30 min. then you will need 30 divided by 1.36 ie 22 stations approx. (assuming you deploy one person per station)

If you increase the manpower then probably you can reduce stations only if all the persons on that station can work independently. Let us assume that two persons can work simultaneously then you can deploy two people per station and 30 divided by ( 2 x 1.36 ) will give you 11 stations. This 30 min. is called as work content. Work content is the total time required to produce a particular product. If there is a sequence of processes which can not be done in parallel then you can not add extra manpower to reduce stations.

So in entire calculation TAKT time is important to allocate correct manpower to avoid over or under production. Overproduction is an inventory and form of waste. If there is a sudden decrease in market demand then overproduction is cost wasted. Underproduction is simply not meeting the demand and sometimes require working in two shifts rather than one shift to meet the demand. This is inefficiency in production.

There are a couple of other key factors such as following

% Utilization:- If a person is working on a station for complete 1.36 min. That means cycle time of that station is equal to TAKT time then it is 100% utilization. If your cycle time is less than takt time then remaining time is waste on that particular station.

% Value added work:-  In the entire process, only value addition on part comes under this %. All other motions such as picking, placing, unwrapping, moving come under non-value added work. Suppose there is a process of cutting the raw material to its shape then only cutting is value added. All other motions are non-value added. This % is a measure to reduce wastes in motion, packing, unwrapping, adjustment etc.

If the process of cutting takes 1 min out of 1.36 min cycle time then 1 divided 1.36 will be 73.5% value added. % value addition can be improved if other movements are reduced and thus increasing productivity.

Hope above explanation gives an idea of process planning to layman or beginners.

Note:- There are various small important factors in the above calculations which are not discussed here. These process specific details can be discussed separately.


Are you fresh engineer looking for a job in Automotive Industry?

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When an engineering students graduate from engineering college, most of them don’t know the details of typical jobs in the industry. Most of the engineering colleges don’t do enough to give on the job training to students to understand the industry operations.

Students end up in selecting the jobs which they dreamed of and land up in profiles which they regret throughout their career. There is a real need for correcting the pattern of engineering programs.

Anyway, are you here to find out the million dollar question of detail understanding of the job profiles in typical Automotive Industry then you are at correct place.

Before reading, please understand that typical jobs in industry use only 10% of engineering knowledge learned throughout the 4 or 5 years engineering degree. There would be very few job profiles which will use more than that. All you need is job specific knowledge and aptitude learned in engineering. Aptitude of quick learning, handling the pressure, stretching your boundaries, and facing the audience are the qualities engineering gives to a typical student and that is required most of the time in your job profile.

So here are a few key job profiles, which you can consider.

  1. DESIGN ENGINEER: Design engineer typically has a job of designing components of the car. No designer designs an entire car unless he is the original concept designer. Generally, Concept designing happens at the Design Studio located at homeroom ( mother plant or main design facility of the company). Sometimes concept designing is offloaded to design firms. So generally design engineers have the work of designing individual systems such as seating, dashboard. One system may have a number of engineers. You can learn 3D designing, GD&T, and working of typical systems of the car. If you are really fond of 3D modeling then it is a good choice. If you are fond of concept designing then you should have the design degree such Masters in Design or similar.
  2. MANUFACTURING/ PRODUCTION ENGINEER: This profile typically has a job of handling production. In day to day operation, you will learn to handle manpower, to build interpersonal relationships and to resolve design/ process issue. Generally, this job has a hectic work schedule due to on the toes kind of work. Stopping of production for minute means loss of car production and has a great impact on cost. Guys who are really good at handling manpower can think of this profile.
  3. MANUFACTURING ENGINEERING ENGINEER/ PROCESS PLANNING ENGINEER: This profile is a bridge between design and manufacturing. Typical job profile has a responsibility of planning a process to manufacture a car from the designs. Creating process sheets/ installing required machines and equipment for manufacturing/ achieving required quality out of all the facilities are the key responsibilities. Guys who are fond of project management and process planning can think of this profile. This job requires agility/ problem resolution/ thinking ahead/Leading from the front kind of qualities
  4. QUALITY ENGINEER: Quality Engineer has a job of developing quality targets for product and also maintaining the same during production. This profile has responsibilities of checking the car quality during production such as torques to the joints, gaps/ flushness, and functionality of systems. Quality Engineer is a key stakeholder of problem resolution and uses different tools such as SPC, why-why analysis etc. If you have an interest in working on problem resolution, analyzing data then you can go for this.
  5. LOGISTICS ENGINEER: Logistics department is responsible for different functions such as getting the parts from a supplier, managing supply of parts on production line, getting consumables and indirect parts. Getting the parts from supplier involves the use of supply chain strategies such as Just in Time, Sequencing, warehousing etc. Supplying part on production line involves the different supply methods such as direct on a production line, making kits and then supply etc. If you are fond of supply chain methods then you can opt for this profile. This profile needs the capability of dealing with a supplier, fluctuations in demand and supply, handling manpower on the shop floor for material supply.

These are key job profiles and do not cover the entire Automotive jobs portfolio. However, if you have any question then you can reach out and get all your doubts clarified.