Ervin Industries Inc.’s SPC Chart for Blastcleaning Operators and Management

VOLUME NO. IX: ISSUE No. 1


GOOD NEWS FOR BLASTCLEANING OPERATORS AND MAINTENANCE MEN!

A SURE-FIRE WAY TO GET EVERYBODY'S ATTENTION AND SUPPORT WHEN HELP IS NEEDED TO MAKE YOUR BLASTCLEANING SYSTEM WORK THE WAY IT'S SUPPOSED TO!

Over the past five years, Ervin Industries has presented several hundred blastcleaning seminars, in customers' plants, primarily to audiences of Operators and Main­tenance. More than 2,500Certificates have been awarded, testifying that the recipients "have successfully completed the Ervin Blastcleaning Training Session."

The purpose of these seminars is to share with the Blastcleaning Operating Team the findings of an Ervin Task Force Survey of blastcleaning operating practices across the U.S.A. — and, to help Operators and Maintenance better understand the blastcleaning process in order to produce the results their Company wants and needs — World-ClassQualityofFinish; OptimumProductivityfromtheblestequipment; and, the lowest possible total cleaning costs.

At the conclusion of the Ervin training sessions, we ask for questions and comments. Guess what we heard most often? Time after time, it was this:

"You have told us your Survey found 9 out of 10 blastcleaning operations were in trouble: Poor finish after blastcleanlng; about half the productivity they should have; and operating costs nearly double what they should be.

"You have told us, In great detail, what we, the Operating Team, have to do to get the operation back on track. We hear you—we understand you—we agree, BUT —

WHY DON'T YOU TELL MANAGEMENT WHAT IT'S SUPPOSED TO DO, TOO? SOME THINGS WE CAN'T DO WITHOUT MANAGEMENT'S SUPPORT!"

THERE DEFINITELY ARE TIMES WHEN MANAGEMENT DECISIONS ARE NEEDED.

Yet, somehow Ervin knew that the answer to "telling Management” was not in giving 2-hour training sessions to to all levels of Management. In our seminars we refer to some of MURPHY'S LAWS as they apply to blastcleaning. Like: "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong."Amen! Like: "Left to themselves, things go from bad to worse." Amen! There's another Murphy's Law that gives us some clues as to what won't work and what will work when Man­agement's attention and support is needed:

"The higher up the Management-ladder you go, the less time Management has for dealing with nut and bolt problems."

Then, way before Murphy's time, there was Old Confucius, who said: "One picture is worth 10,000 words."

Between them, Murphy and Confucius have offered the solution to the blastcleaning Operating Teams’ problems of how to get Management's attention and support—don't give Management a 10-page memo on nut and bolt details. Paint them a picture they can deal with.

For example, the Operating Team must understand that the Management Team (however far up the Management-ladder it was) that OK'd investing in the blastcleaning system was not just buying an assortment of nuts and bolts and miscellaneous lots of elevators and conveyors and scalp screens and blast-wheel components and dust-collector piping and dribble-valves, etc., etc., etc. That Management Team OK'd investing in a PROCESS!

They OK'd the investment of a lot of dollars in the BLASTCLEANING PROCESS, for what it could do to en­able the Company to produce and ship a world-class product that, because of the process' high productivity and efficiency, would be a winner in the marketplace. There is no metal-cleaning or metal-profiling process in the world that comes any way near matching blastcleaning with steel shot or grit for high volume output, cleaning or profiling effectiveness, with such overall low operating costs.

That Management Teams rates a 10. While they may not have known all there is to know about where the nuts and bolts go, or how the blast-wheel assembly goes together, they sure did know the positive things the blastcleaning PROCESS could do for the Company. AND, THEY ARE TOTALLY INTERESTED AND COMMITTED TO KNOWING THAT THE PROCESS IS DOING WHAT IT'S SUPPOSED TO! JUST LIKE THE OPERATING TEAM IS!!

So, let's tell them how the PROCESS is performing. Let's not tell Management that this bolt doesn't fit that nut. Let's tell them when the process is OUT OF CONTROL - WHEN IT'S NOT DOING WHAT IT'S SUPPOSED TO! And, will that ever get Management's attention? You bet! PROCESS RESULTS is the language Management understands and responds to.

MANAGEMENT'S ATTENTION-GETTER IS ... SPC — STATISTICAL PROCESS CONTROL

Don't panic! While the name itself, and the code­ language that goes with it sounds quite intimidating, it's really a very simple tool—sort of Management's picture­ book. What is important to the blastcleaning Operating Team is this: In today's SPC-oriented Management style, you can get your message all the way to the top of the Management-ladder—and every level of Management gets the picture, gets the message! A "nuts and bolts" problem they may not understand, but an SPC-Chart that says ''OUT OF CONTROL" is guaranteed to get Management's attention.

SPC — THE BLASTCLEANING OPERATING TEAM'S BEST FRIEND

SPC is not a management tool for finding out who is to blame. It's a tool—a picture—that shows a problem exists. Then, it's up to Management to give its support to those who know how to correct the problem.

There are over 2,500 blastcleaning Operators and Maintenance Men who earned Ervin's Training Session Certificates. They know what they have to do to keep the blastcleaning process in control. As reminders of what they learned in the training sessions, Ervin has published many Technical Bulletins and provided TROUBLE-SHOOTING POSTERS to be posted at the blastcleaning point of operation. The POSTER shows step-by-step guidelines for keeping the process in control.

The blastcleaning process will stay in control when the POSTER guideline steps are followed, and, the guideline steps have a better chance of being followed when Management encourages and gives support to the Operating Team's efforts to do what it has to do, when it it has to do it.

The next issue of the Ervin Technical Bulletin will be a follow-up dealing with this same subject. We'll relate a Case History that shows how quickly the operation can get out of control when Management fails to backup the Oper­ating Team—and how SPC came to the Company's rescue and saved the day.

The main message of this Ervin Technical Bulletin has been to get Operators and Maintenance to understand that SPC is their best friend. Management thinks SPC is their tool, but the Operating Team should understand that SPC is really their tool—to get Management's attention and support when it's needed.

Download the Technical Bulletin here.

or Call Ervin Today at 1-800-748-0055

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P: (734) 769-4600 / TF: (800) 748-0055 / F: (734) 663-0136
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Ervin Industries
3893 Research Park Dr
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
734-769-4600


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