Streamlining processes yields savings and efficiency gains

By Chip Johns, President and Chief Operating Officer, Butler Automatic Inc.

Why would a relatively small business choose to make the significant investment needed to implement an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system? There are many answers to that question, including streamlining engineering processes, improved inventory management, and better costing knowledge, and more efficient financial reporting.  This information is often extremely difficult to extract from legacy manual systems that rarely talk to each other.

Selecting the right ERP system is just the first step. Management commitment is needed for the software, training and implementation time required. Here’s an example of how implementing an ERP system allowed Butler Automatic to reduce its lead times for building machines, as well as improve its financial reporting.

Read the full article in Manufacturing & Logistics IT

One Point Lesson Plans – An Effective Learning Tool In a Manufacturing Environment

By William Brum, P.E., Manager, Aftermarket Parts & Service at Butler Automatic, Inc.

Today’s manufacturing equipment can be complicated in nature with many integrated components all controlled by computerized technology. The responsibility of running and monitoring the equipment and process can be an intimidating task to an equipment operator on the production floor. Manufacturers have learned a simplified design combined with operator engagement is the best recipe to deliver a highly reliable process and quality product. One of the leading tools to accomplish this engagement is the use of the OPL or One Point Lesson Plan.

The One Point Lesson Plans are the cornerstone of any good technology transfer and training plan. As the term states, a One Point Lesson Plan is intended to transfer knowledge on one specific feature or function of a larger process. The format incorporates pictures to aide in the visualization of the task. As the tool is also used as a training aide, a training date and signature record is included. A Butler Automatic Splicer OPL can be seen in Figure 1. The OPL in figure 1 teaches an operator how to inspect film role core adaptors. Although simple in nature, a quality core adaptor contributes to the precise application of the film splicer when integrated with the larger production process.

Read more about One Point Lesson Plans in Manufacturing Global.