Curious about how working with Product to Production works? Look below to see answers to common questions about manufacturing improvement and our services.

That’s a tough question to answer on a specific basis because each plant and or operation is different and will require custom solutions. However, in genera, a good place to start is to evaluate the current condition. Start by gathering basic information. Ask yourself and your team; Does your team have the “mechanism” to capture production data? What is our real through-put (units per day, minute, etc)? What is the quality? What is the definition of “A good quality part / unit”?

Based on this initial understanding and clarity, many “low hanging fruit” opportunities for improvement will become self-evident. However, real sustainable long term improvement requires solid holistic understanding of the current condition, a realistic and well thought out plan to implement change, and most importantly, a “dashboard” of feedback to measure and indicate if the “improvements” are really working or if stuff is being changed for the sake of changing stuff.

Of course, it is also an excellent idea to contact Product to Production and ask for a free initial consultation; Describe in rough terms where your operation is today and where you would like to be in the future. Mr Wood, Founder and lead consultant for Product to Production is an expert in production data capturing and can assist your team in determining your current condition and can help facilitate the improvements that will move your operation to the new target level of performance you desire. By continuing to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) reflected in the data, you will directly see the real impact on performance as improvement changes are made.
Yes, Of course we will help you evaluate the manufacturability (how well suited is it for mass production) of your product, but we may not be the right team to address the marketability.

Product to Production has much experience in “tweaking” product design to better fit common production processes, and we can assist in defining, mapping, and documenting the new product’s manufacturing steps. PtoP can also help specify the correct equipment and layout and will even work with the machine builders engineers to ensure your equipment will meet your production needs and be easily serviceable and operational. To ensure a successful and sustainable manufacturing launch, PtoP can also provide production job descriptions, documentation and training to your production team.
There are far too many variations, details, and complexities to consider on every project to answer this question concisely, as each project will be unique, but in very general terms, Product to Production typically charges about $85/hr for most services performed on a “Time and Materials” basis. Projects performed on a fixed bid or quote will vary in price depending on the scale and scope of the job. Product to Production often does jobs in the $10K to $100K range.

A better question to ask is; What is the value or return on investment of my proposed project? For most common manufacturing improvement projects, especially ones requiring the purchase of major capital machinery, P to P can help companies develop project scope and budgets that will meet or exceed a simple two year payback, a common industry acceptance threshold.
There are far too many variations, details, and complexities to consider on every project to answer this question concisely, as each project will be unique, but in very general terms, typical projects range from 1 month to 12 months long depending on the scale and scope of the job.

To explore the timeline of you proposed project, call the experts at Product to Production for a free initial consultation.
It must be understood that “We cannot improve what we cannot (or do not) measure” The only way to ensure improvement efforts are effective and sustained is to design into the project from the start methods and processes to capture production data. Product To Production strongly promotes passive production data collection using modern technology. Several companies in the world today offer wireless sensor devices that can be applied to machines and non machine / non electrical work stations and processes to capture the real time ongoing activity of the manufacturing work. These companies also provide powerful data analysis software that will hep you see and evaluate the key performance indicators that are most representative of your operations / processes’ health.
Yes, these are common catch phrases used in manufacturing conversations and while they are related and similar, there are some distinct differences…

Lean Manufacturing is a systematic method for identifying and reducing waste in manufacturing systems. Basic concept is that reductions in materials, motions, effort, energy etc will lower the cost to produce the item being manufactured, thereby increasing the efficiency and profitability of the effort. There are at least 7 commonly defined types of waste, each type may require different approaches to control, but the underlying goal is the same.

Six Sigma, also known as statistical process control, is a set of methods or tools that analyze data to determine how stable the process is and what the likelihood of an error or quality defect will occur. Six Sigma methods alone cannot make changes or improvements to your manufacturing efforts, it is simply a tool to analyze and evaluate data about the current condition and or the successfulness of improvement efforts.

Continuous Improvement (AKA Kaizen) is on a philosophical level, a frame of mind, a way of life that recognizes and accepts that good things can always be improved upon, and that nothing good ever lasts forever. On a more practical applied level, Continuous Improvement is a systematic method to evaluate a current condition, determine what needs improvement, plan what to do to make the improvement, apply the improvement, and finally to re-evaluate the performance of the system to validate that the improvement occurred as expected. In simplified terms this process is commonly called Plan, Do, Check, Act.

The reality is that none of these concepts (and many others not described here) are useful by themselves; much in the same way that a hammer, a bag of nails, a saw, and a pile of boards is not yet a house, these manufacturing improvement concepts need to be used and combined together with skill and vision to build and maintain a solid and reliable manufacturing process.
Absolutely! We offer typical Continuous Improvement and Lean manufacturing skills training as well as generic maintenance skills training. We also offer specialized machine maintenance skills training on Vinyl window welders, Automated Processor saws, and wet glazing machines (PSAT).

If you need assistance developing a maintenance skills training program to formally document certain troubleshooting and maintenance tasks on your one-off machines, just ask, Product to Production can provide that support as well.
Kanban is just a fancy word to call any device that signals an action. Think of a traffic light, Green means go, red means stop; or your alarm clock signals it is time to get up, or even an empty egg crate signals its time to go get more. Your grumbling belly signals its time to eat.

In a manufacturing environment, Kanban concepts can and should be developed and applied to each movement of material or transition in the production process. Well-designed Kanban systems improve efficiency and encourage consistency and stability in the manufacturing process by ensuring the reliable and timely flow of materials. The trick is to design Kanbans that work so passively, so “naturally”, without extra effort that everyone will intuitively know what to do and gravitate toward always doing the right thing at the right time at the right place.