Quick Response Manufacturing

A group of Alexandria Industries employees recently took part in an in-house QRM simulation training course. The course included a combination of classroom lecture and hands-on training. The hands-on piece came from the Netherlands. It is the only training program like it in the United States. We chose this method of training because it is the most effective and innovative way to retain what we learn.

QRM Simulation Training
The goal of this simulation training is to help employees understand the “Four Core Concepts of QRM.”

  • The Power of Time
  • Organizational Structure
  • System Dynamics
  • Enterprise-wide Approach

At different intervals during the day-long training session, students participated in three rounds of hands-on simulation of a manufacturing process. To apply what they learn in the classroom portion of the training, participants could make process changes only in rounds two and three.

For each simulation round, students took on specific organizational roles for sales, purchasing, engineering, production, assembly, and quality control, shipping, billing. One person served the role as the customer who inspects the finished, delivered parts. Each student is responsible for their role in building 16 different airplanes using Legos®.

quick response manufacturingIn round one, most classes build an average of three different airplanes and deliver them to the customer in 20 minutes. By round three, students build and deliver 16 different airplanes in under 20 minutes by applying the QRM concepts.

The training teaches students how to remove wasted time in each of the work functions. It also teaches students how to quickly make more products, of different varieties, and deliver them to the client in shorter time frame.

What stuck with Roger Thomas, one of our engineers, is how much wasted time we can eliminate from our processes when we work together in a cellular environment, and as one team. “A huge benefit of QRM is that it allows us to take ownership of our work from the time the customer places the order until it ships to them.”

Simulation training is an effective way to show us how to apply the concepts of QRM to enable rapid delivery of existing products and rapid development and introduction of new products – all while course participants retain what they learn about QRM.

If you would like to learn more about QRM, visit https://qrm.engr.wisc.edu/.