Keeping pace with IIE in the February 2013 issue of Industrial Engineer
Building for the future
New chapter offers professional development in Silicon Valley
Khaled Mabrouk is working to build the new California IIE chapter into the same kind of longstanding organization as the IIE chapters that were so important for his career.
Mabrouk, operational engineering leader at Sustainable Productivity Solutions, is president of the IIE Bay Area/Silicon Valley Chapter, which was chartered on Aug. 30. Before moving out to California a couple of years ago to retire, Mabrouk had been involved with strong chapters in Detroit and Omaha, Neb. He said working with chapter members is important for professional development.
“It helped me become better at what I do,” Mabrouk said. “It helped me understand how to look at my problems differently, and it also helps you to come up with solutions that are a lot more flexible because I was able to learn from other people what they tried [that] worked and didn’t work.”
He credited IIE, professors and graduates from nearby San Jose State University, and Western Regional Vice President Michael Hogan with getting the new chapter off the ground. The chapter, which is still young and building, already has had student events and a couple of plant tours.
Mabrouk has noticed that some chapters rely on a few people to do everything, which he calls a good way to kill a chapter. In fact, a previous chapter in the area died out 10 or 15 years ago, he said. So Bay Area chapter leaders are paying attention to volunteer workload.
“If I can support it for five to 10 years, I hope by then that we have a good set of leaders that keep it going on its own, and that’s my long-term goal,” he said.
To that end, Mabrouk encourages local companies who want a bit of free advice to contact him for factory tours. On the chapter’s second tour, at data management company Equinix, the people giving the tour had questions about operations. So the group gave a quick consultation and now makes such question-and-answer sessions part of the package.
“Our members were getting something out of it because they were giving of themselves,” Mabrouk said. “At the same time we were learning from each other, and the people who did the tour, they were like ‘Wow. This is cool. Thank you very much.’”
As a result, Equinix is looking to hire industrial engineers, he said – a true win-win.
Quality healthcare systems
Once again, SHS improves program for its annual gathering
Program quality for the Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference has been improving, and 2013 promises to continue that trend.
This gathering, scheduled for March 1-4 at The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel in New Orleans, marks the 25th anniversary of the Society for Health Systems. The society will feature a poster display about its history along with a special celebration on March 2. The event will be an opportunity to recognize the SHS pioneers who significantly contributed to its growth over the past quarter century, along with a celebration of the application of industrial engineering principles to healthcare delivery.
Featured speakers come from highly recognized organizations like the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Shands Healthcare, the Mayo Clinic, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Intermountain Healthcare, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Ochsner Health System, ThedaCare, Geisinger Health System, Georgia Institute of Technology and Northeastern University.
Along with the sessions, the conference will feature approximately 100 poster presentations, and there will be designated time to visit with the presenters and those staffing the exhibit hall. Even lunch sessions will feature moderated small group discussions.
Outside of lunch, networking opportunities abound. They include the welcome reception, Dutch treat dinners and a joint reception with the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s (HIMSS) Management Engineering/Process Improvement Group.
To find out more details and register, visit www.shsconference.org.
Training expands in the Middle East
The IIE Training Center took its wares to the Middle East on Nov. 19-21, teaching a Six Sigma Green Belt course in Saudi Arabia.
The class was a contract course for a chemical company and the first time in the modern era that the Training Center has offered a course in Saudi Arabia. Twenty students were registered, and the class was taught through IIE’s Qualified Training Provider program.
To qualify as trainers, organizations must go through a thorough vetting and quality control process before they are approved to offer IIE-branded courses. It’s a good way to expand IIE’s reach outside of North America, said Larry Aft, director of continuing education and program development.
“We are trying to reach out to all parts of the world because the training seminars we have fill needs regardless of nationality,” he said. “We’ve got a quality product, and we can help a lot of organizations. We’re always exploring opportunities for corporate training internationally and domestically.”
View and learn any time
SEMS event was a hit; More virtual conferences are planned
The Society for Engineering and Management Systems’ first virtual global conference was such a success that IIE is offering it again – sort of.
More than 100 people logged in for Best Practices in Managing Continuous Improvement. They were able to get much of a conference “feel” and content without leaving their desks, paying travel expenses and forking out for food and accommodations. The technology worked well, and, more importantly, the presentations were rated very highly, and attendees asked for more.
One professor who attended said he would encourage students to attend future virtual conferences, and another attendee said companies often pay similar prices for one-hour webinars.
So for those who missed the November conference, IIE is offering a year’s access to members for $89 and access to nonmembers for $129. The price is $39 for student members and $59 for student nonmembers.
Viewers will be able to see the PowerPoint presentations synched up to the audio. They will hear the presenters, the questions asked and the answers given. The presentations are segmented, so you don’t have to listen to all seven hours to find what you need.
In an era when economic difficulties have led many organizations to cut back on professional development, virtual conferences are a perfect expansion upon IIE’s webinars. Two are planned for this fall and IIE aims to produce more in the future. SEMS’ second conference also will focus on continuous improvement, while the Society for Health Systems and the Georgia Hospital Association will target best practices in applying lean and Six Sigma within healthcare.
To purchase access to Best Practices in Managing Continuous Improvement, go to www.iienet.org/managingCI.
An important drop
UPS scholarships just part of company's engineering outreach
When Art Muniz made his December trip to IIE headquarters in Norcross, Ga., it was only a small part of UPS’ contribution to the profession of industrial engineering.
Since 1994, UPS has funded scholarships for women and minorities through IIE. Muniz, who usually drops off The UPS Foundation’s $15,350 check around Christmas, noted that the company has extensive involvement in industrial engineering through college connections, mentoring, scholarships, co-ops and internships.
Muniz, the shipping company’s industrial engineering department senior director, said that each UPS district engineering department works to give students professional contacts.
“There’s always a connection between our IE personnel development managers and the deans, professors and students at the local colleges and universities,” he said. “Even if we’re not looking [to hire], there’s always dialogue.”
IIE Chief Executive Officer Don Greene played up UPS’ importance to the world of industrial engineering.
“UPS is a tremendous supporter of the profession and always has been,” Greene said. “They are the No. 1 employer of industrial engineers in the world, and this scholarship fund that they provide to us is just a drop compared to what they provide in general to college students, but it will help. Several college students now will be better educated and better prepared to become industrial engineers because of it.”
The annual donation funds 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 2013, scheduled for May 18-22 at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“This is a very important program that should be funded to make sure that we can assist minority and female engineers [to] go to school and get the education that they deserve,” Muniz said. “And, frankly speaking, we need more engineers in the U.S.”
Look for enlightenment
Ergo Cup, facility tours among highlights at AEC 2013
You can sit around and talk about improving worker health and safety all day long, but seeing how improvements really work is the heart of advances in ergonomics.
That’s the idea behind the Applied Ergonomics Conference 2013, which this year adds a handful of facility tours to the always anticipated Ergo Cup competition. Keynote speakers for the 16th annual conference are Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, and William Marras, Honda Professor Chair of the Department of Integrated Systems Engineering at The Ohio State University. Daily sessions allow participants to learn from other practitioners. Networking events include various receptions, a mystery theater dinner and the ergo quiz bowl contest.
This year, an astounding 62 entrees fulfilled the stringent entrance requirements to compete for Ergo Cups in four different categories. Seventeen entrants are on tap for the Team-Driven Work Solutions category, 22 for Team-Driven Work Solutions with internal competitions, 16 for Engineering/Ergonomist-Driven Workplace Solutions and seven for the Ergonomics Program Improvement Initiative category.
The facility tours give attendees an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at ergonomics in action at various facilities in myriad industries. All tours require an additional fee, and some restrictions, such as no cameras or video equipment, apply to some of the tours.
The four optional facility tours will be held March 21 and include:
- Raytheon Dallas provides a wide array of manufacturing services ranging from design for manufacturing and design support, precision machining to mechanical assembly and testing.
- Abbott Laboratories will show off its manufacturing and design and development areas. Attendees can see how Abbott’s Prism blood screening analyzer is assembled and tested. Dr. Ila Elson will talk about the process and design data that incorporate ergonomics into product development.
- Participants will tour Texas Instruments’ state-of-the-art, 1.1 million-square-foot advanced wafer manufacturing facility. The site ergonomist will discuss ergonomics projects and the challenges of working in a clean-room environment.
- Attendees will see the production areas of Mary Kay, learn how products are produced and packed and view the ergonomic equipment used.
To find out more and register for the conference, visit www.appliedergoconference.org.
Take your time
Annual conference's pre-con workshops offer in-depth learning
For those times when an hour isn’t enough for in-depth learning, there are pre-conference workshops.
The IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2013 will offer attendees the chance to learn how hoshin kanri, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing; and people, process and leadership can accelerate continuous improvement in any organization.
Beth Cudney of Missouri University of Science and Technology will present “Using Hoshin Kanri to Accelerate Lean and Six Sigma” from 8 a.m. until noon on May 19. Middle and upper managers should bring their organization’s strategic mission, vision and objectives to the workshop.
Hoshin kanri was developed in Japan to drive the organization’s long-term strategic vision down throughout all its levels. It ties lean and Six Sigma projects to long-term success. Japanese Deming Prize winners often credit hoshin kanri for their organizations’ success.
Merwan Mehta of East Carolina University will teach “Basics of Using Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) to Lower Product Manufacturing Costs” from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. May 19.
Participants will learn how to create excellent, standard-compliant drawings, understand how to interpret and inspect geometrical requirements specified on drawings, and how all geometric dimensioning and tolerancing requirements can be combined into a product designing system that brings down manufacturing costs without undermining product functionality.
Finally, IBM’s Michael Testani and Sreekanth Ramakrishnan will oversee “Sustaining a Lean Transformation through People, Process and Leadership Focus” from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 19. They will demonstrate how important hands-on activities and case study exercises are for integrating people, process and leadership techniques.
The IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2013 is scheduled for May 18-22 at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico. For updates and to register, visit www.iienet.org/annual.