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Impact Dakota Blog is a blog dedicated to supporting North Dakota’s manufacturing community improve People, Purpose, Processes and Performance. Entries provide information on opportunities, new ideas, quick tips, celebrations of success, and well, frankly, anything to help you become a better manufacturer.

August 3, 2017

The Lean Enterprise Certification Program (LECP) provides your key staff with a working knowledge of the principles and best practices of Lean. It is the only nationally recognized Lean Certification program; using standards developed and judged by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).

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July 19, 2017

GE recently released a great TV commercial to jumpstart an effort to employ 20,000 women in STEM roles by 2020 that asks, “What if we treated female scientists the way we treated famous actors, TV personalities and models?” I really love this ad because it shows the first woman to receive the National Medal for Science in Engineering, Millie Dresselhaus, getting full celebrity treatment including selfie requests, an emoji likeness, and an overflow crowd at a lecture.

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July 13, 2017

While we always hope for the best, we also must be prepared for all situations. In this second part series about strategic planning, we’re discussing Business Continuity Planning.

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July 6, 2017

Strategic and business planning is critical for manufacturers. Sometimes, companies are reluctant to engage in planning because they view it as an interruption to every-day productivity. It can seem challenging to justify investing time into planning while your products need to be made, but strategic planning is instrumental in saving your organization time and money in the long-term.

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June 29, 2017

Lean manufacturing, also known as lean production (or simply as "lean"), is the systematic method that eliminates various types of waste in a manufacturing process. Lean takes into account waste created through overburden and unevenness in production workloads. Lean reveals what processes or components add value and which processes do not add value. This is done by reducing or eliminating everything else in the process to find the most efficient work path. Value is defined from the customer’s perspective and is very intuitive.

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June 22, 2017

I’m a bit emotional these days. My youngest—my baby—just graduated from high school. It’s the end of an era for our family: The years of homework, packing lunches, attending sporting events, and endless nagging to study for exams are finally over. It’s a bittersweet time as a mom. If I think about it too much, I get a little teary-eyed. I’m so proud of my son—he got into his dream school with a full scholarship!—yet I worry if we’ve taught him everything he needs to know. I’ve been waking up at night, thinking of things I still need to tell him. He assures me, with an eye roll that only a teenager can do, that he knows everything. I just hope we’ve done enough to prepare him.

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June 15, 2017

3D printing of metal objects is a booming industry, with the market for products and services worth more than an estimated $2.3 billion in 2015 – a nearly five-fold growth since 2010.* For this type of manufacturing, a metal part is built up successively, layer by layer, over minutes or hours. Sometimes thousands of layers are added together to make a single piece – a reason why this process is conventionally referred to as “additive manufacturing” (AM).

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June 8, 2017

If you’re contemplating hosting a Manufacturing Day Event, you probably have a lot of questions, ranging from “What is a Manufacturing Day event?” to “What sorts of resources are available to help me make my event a success?”

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June 1, 2017

Chapter 4 “Context of the organization” of ISO 9001:2015 includes the requirement to understand the needs and expectations of interested parties. Section 4.2 states simple requirements to identify interested parties relevant to the quality management system, determine the parties’ needs, and review this information on a regular basis.

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May 31, 2017

Manufacturing is changing at an extraordinary pace and in unbelievable ways.

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