SAE in Manufacturing

This month’s Learning to Think Lean column:

The Missing Link of Lean Success
by William Roper

Learning to Think Lean: previous issues

SAE established its Manufacturing Initiative in 1995. Why is an organization, which has traditionally served design engineers, now getting involved in the manufacturing process?

It’s simple. In the past, design and manufacturing engineers were on opposite sides of the wall, or in different “chimneys.” Today, the two functions complement one another and interact—at least in the most successful organizations.

The need for manufacturers to work collaboratively with design engineering has taken on a new priority in the automotive industry. Increasing demands from customers call for increased teamwork between the two functions. In order for automakers to deliver competitive and reliable products to their global customers in a timely manner, the gap that has traditionally existed between the two groups must be eliminated.

SAE is helping this happen by providing meetings for discussions and continuing education opportunities, publishing technical papers, standards, leading periodicals, and books on the subject, and by opening doors for collaboration between the two groups of engineers. In addition, SAE is a satellite office of the Best Manufacturing Practice Center of Excellence. The SAE Manufacturing Initiative is all about improving processes and systems for the mobility community—it’s all about addressing the total life cycle of the product—of which manufacturing is a key element.

What will the industry look like ten years from now? According to industry experts, one thing is for certain—it’s going to be difficult to tell the difference between design and manufacturing engineers.

Click here for "Identification and Measurement of Best Practice in Implementation of Lean Operation" ( SAE J4000).