NTC Sneak Peek#2 Deena Ebbert- Microscope to Binoculars

March 23, 2010

 

Meet Deena!

Deena Ebbert is Propellergirl, a passionate champion for personal and organizational performance. She will be the keynote speaker at PMPA’s National Technical Conference April 25, 2010 in Pittsburgh. Link here.  For more of her empowering positive energy come see her at NTC.
 
Miles Free is Director of Industry Research and Technology, and is blessed to have permission to work to his strengths by collaborating with great people like Deena- and blogging for great people like you!

Microscope to Binoculars

She said:

“Sometimes it’s the little things that make the big difference.  Being a little bit off in the short run can make things a lot wrong when you look at it long-term.”

 
He said:

“Specifically, discrete measurements.  They’re more important than most of us realize.  You know, we see it in bar straightness in our shops. The bars that we put into our machines need to run straight and true. The deviation of a bar of say, 0.0006 inches in one foot works out to 1/16th of an inch in 10 feet, and over 1/8th of an inch in fifteen. Its geometry.“
 
She said:

“Straight and true.  I like that concept.  Okay then, Captain Geometry, point zero zero zero zero six of an inch.  Precisely how big is that?”
 
He said:

“Approximately one fifth of the thickness of a sheet of paper. A sheet of paper is about 0.003”.
 
She said:

“So it is about Geometry- in other words a little shift, like that point zero zero zero zero six of an inch, can become really significant across distance.  I’ll bet that 1/8th of an inch off can mess things right up.”
 
He said:

“Yep. We call it  bar camber. Cosine error. Or gage stack up. That’s why it’s important to use the right scale or lens to calibrate. If you fail to use the microscope on the small details, you’ll need to use the binoculars in the long term.”

This microscope belonged to Charles Darwin.

She said:

“Binoculars.  Because you messed up on the measurement and missed the mark?”

He said:

“Precisely, Propellergirl.”
 
She said:

“You know, it’s not just the parts.  That same concept applies to the people in the shop too.”
 
He said:

“How do you mean?”
 
She said:

“Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t you known for saying people should be working at their ” highest and best use?””
 
He said:

“I know, I know.  Yes, I’m known for saying that. And I believe it.”
 
She said:

“Me too. Another way of putting it is “play to our strengths.” When we are doing what we are good at, when we make an impact and a contribution, then there’s less risk of fractional deviation in the near distance…”
 
He said:

Human geometry.  I like this calculation.  When someone is playing full on, bringing all their strengths and skills to the shop, they are pinpoint engaged.  I’m beginning to see what you are saying. If someone is not fully utilizing the scope of their talents, they might drift off focus as they follow their strengths.”
 
She said:

“Yep, and that drift is where organizations spend lots of management attention, trying to get people back on track.  Like your steel bar that wanders an eighth of an inch from only the tiniest deviation in that first single foot.”
 
He said:

“So how do we help our folks play to their strengths?”
 
She said:

“You let people know that they are both valuable and valued.”
 
He said:

“What’s the difference? Valued, valuable? It’s practically the same word. What’s the big deal?”
 
She said:

“It’s a discrete difference in the short term, and a big deal over the long haul.  People need to feel valued. Of course what they do is valuable. That’s why they get a paycheck. They get that. But PEOPLE want to know that YOU VALUE THEM. For who they are.  For their strengths. For their gifts. For the fact that they bring it, they have it, they do it, and that they get it done.”
 
He said:

“Well I did a blog a while back about 25 different ways to say “good job.” Link here. http://tinyurl.com/yftg9zl

She said:

”Right on, that an important part of it. Praising people is important. But in our organizations, we also need to ask ourselves, “Do we make a place for our people to do what they are good at? To do more than just what the work instructions say to do. To contribute?”
 
He said:

“I get it.  You’re not just talking basic compliance, but the freedom to do more than just what they are expected to do. To bring more to the playing field.”
 
She said:

“Totally.  It’s the difference between doing a “duty” and being “delighted” to give the best you’ve got.  It’s the bringing the beauty of our individual contribution to bear on the organization. The difference in your bar straightness was that incredibly tiny number- 0.0006”. For people, the difference between grudging compliance and joyful contribution is about that much when you measure it in terms of permission to contribute.”
 
He said:

“I guess we better use the microscope to see the permission we give our folks to play to their strengths.”
 
She said:

”Yep, if we don’t want to have to get out our binoculars to find where it is that their natural strengths and abilities and talents have taken them…”

Microscope photo credit.

U.S.Navy binoculars photo credit.
 

Binoculars for the further out effects.

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6 Ways Barstock Can Lose Straightness

September 16, 2009

Straightness is perishable in bars. Straightness is often lost during handling operations, loading and unloading.

Correct handling preserves straightness.

Correct handling preserves straightness.

Straightness is critical for holding position and tolerances on today’s highly engineered medical, aerospace, automotive and electronic parts.

Here are six ways that bars can lose their straightness.

Six Ways Bar Straightness Can Be Degraded

1) Mechanical damage to an end.   If the bundle is struck by a lift truck, or if the bars catch on a rack or table while being hoisted with the crane, this can cause the ends of the bars that are caught to be deflected out of the bundle and bent.

2) Improper blocking and support at mill or on truck. Cold finished barstock, especially smaller diameters, really needs to be supported at multiple points along its length. This reduces the possible radius that the bundle can sag or droop between supports. The mills that I’m familiar with, (PMPA Tech members) are pro’s and know the best way to support the product and to package it securely. Reputable mills put more bands on smaller ID bar bundles to preserve straightness when needed.

3) Truck loading  and securing. The binders used to secure the bars onto the truck can cause a permanent deformation if they are not matched up with the blocking beneath the bars. I saw a trucker once use a 4 foot piece of pipe as a “cheater” to secure the binding chains ‘one more notch.’ You could hear the wood  underneath the bundle being crushed. Chains are always bad news for cold drawn bars- nicks, and gouges and ‘low spots.’

4) Improper unloading. Putting a spreader bar on so that there are multiple points of support for the bundle is critical, especially with the smaller diameter bars and small bundles.

This is bad...

This is bad...

 I have seen shops unload bundles by using a single “hitch” at the approximate middle of the bundles. This causes a permanent camber over the length of the bars. Jerky crane lifts rather than smooth movements can magnify this effect.

5) Hand unloading or using a forklift. Small diameter bars especially can be bent by the way they are manually pulled out, lifted, and carried, instead of being placed on a table or rack. Using a forklift can also cause bars to be bent.

6) Frequency of handling. If you are buying from a service center, the number of times that the material has been handled can double or triple,  compared to a direct shipment from the mill. Given that you may be buying non-bundle quantities, it is a fact of life that the number of lifts and handling increases dramatically with the additional destination of the service center, as well as in the act of splitting the bundle. 

When you encounter bar straightness issues, characterizing the way the bar deviates from straightness can help you determine which of the above factors might be the cause.

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