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Q1. What is productivity? Write a brief note on capital productivity A.1 Productivity is a measure of the efficiency of production. Productivity is a ratio of production output to what is required to produce it (inputs). The measure of productivity is defined as a total output per one unit of a total input. A production model is a numerical expression of the production process that is based on production data, i.e. measured data in the form of prices and quantities of inputs and outputs. Productivity is necessary to identify the entity it belongs to. Such an entity is defined as production process. It goes without saying that productivity is a critical factor of production process in one way or another. To define the way is the object of this article. The benefits of high productivity are manifold. At the national level, productivity growth raises living standards because more real income improves people's ability to purchase goods and services, enjoy leisure, improve housing and education and contribute to social and environmental programs. Productivity growth is important to the firm because more real income means that the firm can meet its (perhaps growing) obligations to customers, suppliers, workers, shareholders, and governments (taxes and regulation), and still remain competitive or even improve its competitiveness in the market place.
CAPITAL PRODUCTIVITY Capital productivity characterizes the efficiency with which fixed capital stock is used. It is commonly employed in economic analysis and in the formulation of production plans and plans for capital expenditures, both for the national economy as a whole and for individual sectors, production associations, and enterprises. Data on the gross social product and on national income (from productive activities) are used in calculating capital productivity for the national economy as a whole; for calculating the productivity of individual sectors, data on gross (commodity) or net output are used. In sectors where the output is homogeneous (petroleum, coal, cement), physical units are sometimes used in the calculations. Capital productivity is calculated on the basis of the balance valuation of the fixed production assets (depreciation costs included), using either the
average value over the year or the value as of the end of the year. Capital productivity is the reciprocal of the capital-output ratio. Capital productivity differs from one branch of material production to another. Thus, the national income produced in current prices per ruble of fixed production assets in the USSR in 1975 amounted to 45 kopeks in the national economy as a whole, 50 kopeks in industry, 36 kopeks in agriculture, 13.4 kopeks in transport and communications, and 1.18 rubles in construction. Productivity is influenced by a number of factors. Its growth depends primarily on the level of technology, the organizational and technical measures employed in managing production capacities, and the proportion of capital investment earmarked for reconstruction and retooling. Many factors act to lower productivity. For example, the accelerated development of industrial branches with relatively low capital productivities may lower productivity for industry as a whole. The expansion of production in the country’s eastern and northern regions has the same effect because the cost of fixed capital stock is between 30 and 50 percent higher there than in the European part of the USSR. Various purification facilities included in industrial projects which do not directly influence the volume of production nevertheless raise the total cost of the fixed capital stock, thereby lowering capital productivity. The working of mineral deposits at greater depths requires additional expenditures in fixed capital, again leading to lower productivity. The level of capital productivity and the pattern of changes in productivity depend in large measure on technical and economic indicators describing the utilization of machinery and equipment and especially on increases in the equipment shift index. Capital productivity has fluctuated over the years because it is simultaneously influenced by a variety of factors. Thus, capital productivity in industry in the USSR rose through the 1950’s and declined between 1961 and 1965. During the eighth five-year plan (1966–70), productivity showed no change with regard to gross output but increased with regard to net output. During the ninth five-year plan, there was a slight decline (by 3 percent), caused primarily by construction programs launched in the country’s eastern and northern regions, by the deterioration of geological and mining conditions in the existing mineral deposits, and by difficulties encountered in supplying light industry and the food processing industry with agricultural raw materials because of extremely adverse weather conditions over a number of years. Improved use of fixed capital stock is reflected not only in higher capital productivity
but also in higher labor productivity, lower production costs, and improved product quality. Thus, if outlays for additional fixed capital stock can be recouped in the period prescribed by norms, the investment is economically warranted even if capital productivity is slightly lowered. The raising of capital productivity leads to increased efficiency of production. Fiveyear plans make provision for better use of fixed capital stock and for the development and implementation of programs to raise capital productivity in various sectors of the national economy, at enterprises, and in organizations
Q2. Describe briefly the automated flow lines. A2. When several automated machines are linked by a transfer system which moves the parts by using handling machines which are also automated, we have an automated flow line. After completing an operation on a machine, the semi-finished parts are moved to the next machine in the sequence determined bythe process requirements a flow line is established. The parts at various stages from raw material to ready for fitment or assembly are processed continuously to attain the required shapes or acquire special properties to enable them to perform desired functions. The materials need to be moved, held, rotated, lifted, positioned etc. for completing different operations. Sometimes, a few of the operations can be done on a single machine with a number of attachments. They are moved further to other machines for performing further operations. Human intervention may be needed to verify that the operations are taking place according to standards. When these can be achieved with the help of automation and the processes are conducted with self regulation, we will have automated flow lines established. One important consideration is to balance times that different machines take to complete the operations assigned to them. It is necessary to design the machines in such a way that the operation times are the same throughout the sequence in the flow of martial.In fixed automation or hard automation, where one component is manufactured using several operations and machines it is possible to achieve this condition-or very nearly.we assume that product life cycles are sufficiently stable to invest heavily on the automated flow lines to achieve reduced cost per unit. The global trends are favouring flexibility in the manufacturing systems. The costs involved in changing the setup of automated flow linesare high. So,automated flow lines are considered only when the product is required to be made in high volumes over a relatively long period. Designers now incorporate flexibility in the machines which will take care of small changes in dimensions
by making adjustments or minor changes in the existing machine or layout. The change in movements needed can be achieved by programming the machines Provision for extra pallets or tool holders or conveyors are made in the original design to accommodate anticipated changes. It is not possible to think of inventories in a flow line. Bottlenecks cannot be permitted. By necessity, every bottleneck gets focussed upon and solutions found to ease them. Production managers see bottleneck as an opportunity to hasten the flow and reduce inventories. However, it is important to note that setting up automated flow lines will not be suitable for many industries.
Q3. What is meant by Total Quality Management? Mention the 14 points of Deming’s approach to management. A3. Total quality management or TQM is an integrative philosophy of management for continuously improving the quality of products and processes. TQM functions on the premise that the quality of products and processes is the responsibility of everyone who is involved with the creation or consumption of the products or services offered by an organization. In other words, TQM capitalizes on the involvement of management, workforce, suppliers, and even customers, in order to meet or exceed customer expectations. Considering the practices of TQM as discussed in six empirical studies, Cua, McKone, and Schroeder (2001) identified the nine common TQM practices as crossfunctional product design, process management, supplier quality management, customer involvement, information and feedback, committed leadership, strategic planning, crossfunctional training, and employee involvement The TQM concept was developed by a number of American management consultants, including W. Edwards Deming, JoesephJuran, and A.V. Feigenbaum. Originally, these consultants won few converts in the United States. However, managers in Japan embraced their ideas enthusiastically and even named their premier annual prize for manufacturing excellence after Deming. The 14 Points 1. Constancy of purpose for continuous improvement 2. Adopt the TQM philosophy for economic purposes 3. Do not depend on inspection to deliver quality
4. Do not award any business based on price alone 5. Improve the system of production and service constantly 6. Conduct meaningful training on the job 7. Adopt modern methods of supervision and leadership 8. Remove fear from the minds of everyone connected with the organisation 9. Remove barriers between departments and people 10. Do not exhort, repeat slogans, and put up posters 11. Do not set-up numerical quotas and work standards 12. Give pride of workmanship to the workmen 13. Education and training to be given vigorously 14. State and exhibit top management’s commitment for quality and productivity
The 14 points are a guide to the importance of building customer awareness, reducing variation, and fostering constant continuous change and improvement throughout organizations
Q4. Describe briefly the Project Monitoring and control. A4. Any project aimed at delivering a product or a service has to go through phases in a planned manner, in order tomeet the requirements. It is possible to work according to the project plan only by careful monitoring of the projectprogress. It requires establishing control factors to keep the project on the track of progress. The results of any stage in aproject, depends on the inputs to that stage. It is therefore necessary to control all the inputs and the correspondingoutputs from a stage. A project manager may use certain standard tools to keep the project on track. The project managerand the team members should be fully aware of the techniques and methods to rectify the factors influencing delay of theproject and its product.To analyze the project, methodologies such as, PERT (Program Evaluation Review Technique) and CPM (Critical PathMethod) may be used. In the PERT method, one can find out the variance and use the variance to analyze the various probabilistic estimatespertaining to the project.
Using the CPM, one can estimate the start time and the finish time for every event of the project in its WBS (WorkBreakdown Structure).The analysis charts can be used to monitor, control, track, and execute a project. The various steps involved in monitoringand controlling a project from start to end are listed below. (See Figure 9.3 Steps for monitoring and controlling a project
Preliminary work: The team members must understand the project plans, project stage schedule, progress controls, tracking schedules, summary of the stage cost and related worksheets. All the members have to understand the tolerances in any change and maintain a change control log. They must realize the need and importance of quality for which they have to strictly follow a quality review schedule and frequently discuss the quality agendas. They must understand the stage status reports, stage end reports, stage end approval reports.
Project progress: The members must keep a track of the project progress and communicate the same to other related members of the project. They must monitor and control project progress, through the use of regular check points, quality charts, and statistical tables; control the quality factors which are likely to deviate from expected values as any deviation may result in changes to the stage schedule. The project manager ensures that these changes are made smoothly and organizes review meeting with the project management group. Thus all the members are aware about the progress of the project at all times. This helps them to plan well in advance for any exigency arising due to deviation from planned schedule.
Stage control: The project manager must establish a project check point cycle. For this, suitable stage version control procedures may be followed. The details are to be documented stage wise. Project files have to be frequently updated with suitable version control number and revision status should be maintained for each change. Team members are identified who will exercise controls at various points of the project.
The project manager has to plan the resources required for various stages of the project. He has to brief both the project team and the key resources about the objectives of every stage, planned activities, products, organisation metrics, and the project controls. This increases the visibility into the project performance and hence a quality control can be achieved. Allocating a right resource at the right place and the right time will significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the resource.
Quality control: Quality control is very important in any project. Quality control is possible if the project members follow the quality charts and norms very strictly. The following lists the possible ways to control quality.
Schedule quality review: Project members are recommended to schedule the quality review at the beginning and alsothe end of every stage. This helps the project manager and team members to plan well in advance for any unforeseendeviation.
Agenda for quality review: The project manager should create and distribute a quality review agenda specifying theobjectives, products, logistics, roles, responsibilities, and time frames. This increases the effectiveness of the reviewand also reduces the time gap.
Conduct quality review: The quality review is to be conducted in a structured and formal manner. Quality reviewshould focus on product development and its quality factors. The project members should check whether the reviewmeets the prescribed quality standards.
Progress control: The progress control of a project can be achieved by considering the following:
Monitor performance: The first step for any project control mechanism is to monitor the progress. There arenumerous ways to monitor and measure various project parameters. For example, the team
members log indetails of actual start date, actual finish date, actual hours worked per task, estimated hours to complete the task,elapsed time in hours to complete the task, any miscellaneous costs incurred during a stage. These inputs becomethe base to monitor the performance of the project and its stages.
Update schedule: Update the schedule for:
Actual start date for tasks started
Actual finish date for tasks finished Actual hours worked per task
Latest estimated work in hours to complete the task
Update costs: Update the stage cost summary worksheet with actual costs incurred during the period andestimated remaining costs. Miscellaneous costs will be automatically updated from the scheduler, since they arecalculated from actual work.
Re-plan stage schedule: Review the tracking Gantt and Cost workbook and identify any deviation from thebaseline. Analyse the cause of the deviation. Refer back to the project control factors to help determine theappropriate corrective action and adjust the schedule accordingly. Determine if the stage has exceeded theprogress, cost and quality tolerance levels agreed with the project management team. Review status of openissues and determine any further action required on these issues. Review the status of any outstanding qualityreviews. Review any new change requests.
Conduct team status review: Conduct a status meeting with the project team. This is important to bring everyoneon the same page of the project progress.
Create status report: The status report provides a record of current achievement and immediate expectations of the project. The status has to be effectively communicated to all concerned parties.
Create flash report: Summarize the accomplishments for the month, schedule status, upcoming tasks for themonth and any major issues. Distribute the same to all project team members and stakeholders.
Project status reports: As discussed earlier, the status report provides a record of current achievements andimmediate expectations of the project. This is generated on a regular basis depending upon the type,requirements and phase of the project. Typically it is generated for a week.
Approvals: In any project, it is important to have top management or project sponsors into confidence about allthe aspects of the project. This project stage reviews the decisions taken and
actions planned and get it approvedby the top management. The goals of such review are to improve quality by finding defects and to improveproductivity by finding defects in a cost effective and timely manner. The group review process includes severalstages like planning, preparation, overview of a group review meeting, rework recommendations and follow-up.
Q5. Write a brief note on Just-In-Time (JIT).Answer: A.5 Just-In-Time (JIT) manufacturing is a process by which companies don't keep lots of excess inventory; instead, theymanufacture a product as an order comes in. It is a management philosophy of continuous and forced problem solving.The objective of JIT manufacturing system is to:
Eliminate waste that is, minimise the amount of equipment, materials, parts, space, and worker’s time, which adds a great value to the product
Increase productivityJIT means making what the market demands when it is in need. It is the most popular systems that incorporate the genericelements of lean systems. Lean production supplies customers with exactly what the customer wants, when the customerwants, without waste, through continuous improvement.Deploying JIT results in decrease of inventories and increases the overall efficiencies. Decreasing inventory allows reducingwastes which in turn results in saving lots of money. There are many advantages of JIT. JIT:
Increases the work productivity Reduces operating costs Improves performance and throughput Improves quality Improves deliveries Increases flexibility and innovativenessFor industrial organisations to
remain competitive, cost efficiencies have become compulsory. JIT helps in this process. It isextended to the shop floor and also the inventory systems of the vendors. JIT has been extended to mean continuousimprovement. These principles are being applied to the fields of Engineering, Purchasing, Accounting, and Data
processing.However, for organizations to completely implement JIT manufacturing system, they need to have a proper commitmentalong with the following basic facilities - proper material, quality, equipment, and people involvement.
Q6. What is value engineering? Explain its significance.Answer: A.6 Value Engineering (VE) or Value Analysis is a methodology by which we try to find substitutes for a product or anoperation.The concept of value engineering originated during the Second World War. It was developed by the General ElectricCorporations (GEC). Value Engineering has gained popularity due to its potential for gaining high Returns on Investment (ROI).This methodology is widely used in business re-engineering, government projects, automakers, transportation anddistribution, industrial equipment, construction, assembling and machining processes, health care and environmentalengineering, and many others. Value engineering process calls for a deep study of a product and the purpose for which it isused, such as, the raw materials used; the processes of transformation; the equipment needed, and many others. It alsoquestions whether what is being used is the most appropriate and economical. This applies to all aspects of the product.
Value Engineering helps your organization in: Lowering O & M costs Improving quality management Improving resource efficiency Simplifying procedures Minimizing paperwork Lowering staff costs Increasing procedural efficiency Optimizing construction expenditures Developing value attitudes in staff Competing more successfully in marketplace
Value Engineering helps you to learn how to: Improve your career skills
Separate "Symptoms" from "problems" Solve "root cause" problems and capture opportunities Become more competitive by improving "benchmarking" process Take command of a powerful problem solving methodology to use in any situation.
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