Project Management in for a Steel Project...

Project Management in for a Steel Project Project consists of a group of tasks, performed in a definable time period, in order to meet a specific set of objectives. It is a temporary activity. It is a one-time program hence different from operations where tasks are repeated in a routine way. Every project has a life cycle, with a specific start and end. The work scope of a project can be categorized into definable tasks. Project has a budget within which it is required to be completed. During the execution of the project, there is likely requirement of multiple resources. Many of these resources can be scarce and may have to be shared with others. Steel project like any other project has a life cycle (Fig 1) which includes (i) initiation, (ii) planning, (iii) execution, (iv) monitoring and control, (v) commissioning and handing over, and (vi) closing of the project activities. Fig 1 Project life cycle Steel project has four components namely (i) performance, (ii) cost, (iii) time, and (iv) scope. All these four components are interrelated and dependent on each other. Performance is the quality of the work being done. Cost is the expenditure made on the project work and is directly related to the human and physical resources applied. Time is the schedule which is required to be met for completing the work. Scope is the magnitude of the work to be performed. One of the key ingredients for successful project management in a steel project is having the right people on the job and managing them appropriately. Both of the two elements ‘having the right people’ and ‘managing people appropriately’ are important for the project success. However, in practice both conditions are frequently violated. There are several groups of activities in...

Product Quality and Manufacturing Technology Management...

Product Quality and Manufacturing Technology Management Manufacturing technology is defined as the act or process (or connected series of acts or processes) of actually and physically making a specified product from its material constituents. It is central to a production system which produces the specified product as required by the customer. Manufacturing process takes place when some input occurs in a production system and it appears as an output and provides result in the form of a product. On the other hand, manufacturing technology is that knowledge which is used in the production system during the process of manufacturing. Manufacturing technology is an interacting combination at any level of complexity, of people, materials, tools, machines, automation, software facilities, and procedures designed to work together for the common purpose of producing product of that quality which is needed by the customer. It provides the tools which enable production of the specified products.  These tools of the manufacturing technology magnify the efforts of individual workers and turn raw materials at the affordable cost into the quality products required by the customers The objectives of the manufacturing technology (Fig 1) are namely (i) low cost operation, (ii) high performance, (iii) consistent product quality, (iv) high productivity level, (v) high yield, and (vi) product customization. Fig 1 Objectives of manufacturing technologies There is a close link between the quality of the product and the manufacturing technology. An appropriate manufacturing technology is normally needed to produce product of quality since the technology is the principal quality determinant. In fact, manufacturing technology is to have capabilities to produce products of predictable quality at the productivity levels which keeps the product production cost under control. The technology needs not be unique, but it is to be mature and is to have innovative...

Quality of Products and Process Control...

Quality of Products and Process Control A product is said to be of desired quality when it complies with the specification as well as customer’s requirements and expectations and when it displays basic, performance and excitement functionalities. Products are produced by manufacturing processes. Also, quality cannot be tested into the product. It is to be built in the product by the manufacturing process during its manufacturing. One of the main factors which affect the quality of the product is the quality of the manufacturing process which produces the product. Sound and reliable processes produce quality products. Hence improving the quality of the manufacturing processes is a precondition for better product quality at an acceptable cost. Process as used in the terms process control and process industry, refers to the methods of changing or refining raw materials to create end products. Process control refers to the methods that are used to control process variables when manufacturing a product. Organization controls the production process for three reasons namely (i) reduce variability, (ii) increase efficiency, and (iii) ensure safety. Process control can reduce variability in the end product, which ensures a consistently high-quality product. Manufacturing processes have the many features which fall into one of the following categories Procedures – These are a series of steps followed in a regular, definite order. Methods – These are an orderly arrangement of a series of tasks, activities, or procedures. Equipment and supplies – These are physical devices and other hard goods which are needed to perform the process Materials – These are tangible elements, data, facts, figures, or information needed which along with equipment and supplies make up inputs required. People – They are numbers of individuals, skills they require, goals, and tasks they perform. Training – It is...

Building Customer Loyalty- A Necessity for an Organization...

Building Customer Loyalty- A Necessity for an Organization A customer is an entity (individual, group, society, company, and corporate etc.) who becomes accustomed to buying from the organization. Without a strong track record of contact and repeat purchase, this entity is not the customer, but a buyer. Loyalty is the attachment a customer feels for the employees of the organization, the products and the services. A true customer is grown over time. A loyal customer is one who has the following attributes. Makes regular purchases Purchases across product and service lines Refers the organizational products to others Demonstrates immunity to the pull of the competition Customer loyalty is defined as ‘a customer which over time engage one organization to satisfy entirely, or a significant part, of its needs by using the organization’s products or services’. Customer loyalty means that the customer is loyal to the organization and only turns to a competitor in exceptional cases. The importance of customer loyalty and customer satisfaction has become increasingly apparent to an organization since the industry is facing the situation of oversupply during the recent years. This oversupply condition is bringing to the forth the necessity of building customer loyalty and to have organizational policies which are oriented towards satisfying its customers. Customers can be fickle with their loyalty, and long with their memory. It can be demonstrated by many examples that a single negative incident can ruin a long standing relationship between customer and the organization since there are several viable alternatives are available to the customer in today’s competitive market. Building of the customer loyalty requires the organization to emphasize the value of its products or services and to show that it is interested in building a relationship with the customer. The organization recognizes that...

Quality Assurance and Quality Control...

Quality Assurance and Quality Control  In present day environment, ‘Quality’ is the focus area for the management of every organization for achieving the success. Quality plays a substantial role on the bottom line of the organization. Two terms related to quality that are frequently being used in the Total Quality Management (TQM) and different quality related standards such as ISO 9001 etc. are ‘Quality Assurance’ (QA) and ‘Quality Control’ (QC). Both QA and QC are the part of one circle under quality management techniques. QA concentrates on defect prevention while QC deals with the detection. This is shown in Fig 1. Fig 1 Circle of QA and QC  The terms of QA and QC are closely related to each other. Both the terms also have the same objectives.  In fact both QA and QC complement each other. They are so interlinked and inter-dependent that many persons find it difficult to distinguish them. QA is process oriented and focuses on defect prevention, while QC is product oriented and focuses on defect identification. There exists a lot of confusion in many organizations with respect to these two terms and the activities associated with them. The intended purpose of both QA and QC is to make the product defect free and ensure that it conforms to the requirements of product specifications. In fact both of these terms have got common objective. However the approach to achieve the objective is different. The route followed by both is also different for achievement of the objective. QA still has QC at its core to control the quality of service/product, but it goes beyond mere testing or inspection to also consider related activities or processes (such as training, document control and audits) that may be resulting in defects further down the line. Both QA and QC are essential for an...