"When Bob loads his parts, he says the machine stops running, Fix it!"
Well, Bob put his parts in backwards.
"You need to be proactive and make a jig so Bob can't do that"
OK I've done that! Now Bob can't put his parts in backwards.
"Bob says the machine won't run for more than an hour"
Well, that's because Bob unboxes the parts and the empty cardboard boxes pile up and block the photo-eye safety curtain of light, which shuts off the machine.
"Do something about that!"
OK, I've made a case crusher to flatten and bale Bob's trash. "Great! But why doesn't Bob just use the bin near his work station?"
I dunno, but you told me to fix Bob's unwillingness to break flat and throw out his trash.
"That's wasting money and we're already over budget!"
I kid you not! That is what goes on in every manufacturing plant in America these days.
solution, fire Bob and build unboxing robot.
I had a similar experience at one of my customers, Delphi.
They wanted to speed up a machine which partially assembled heater cores.
My systems controlled the stepping of the machine, acceleration and deceleration.
The engineer’s goal was to take 5 to 10 seconds out of the operation cycle per minute which was easy to do EXCEPT all while I was testing the program change and parameter changes, the machine kept stopping BECAUSE THEY COULD NOT PRODUCE enough parts to keep the machine occupied.
So I asked them, are you going to modify, improve, increase production of the upstream process so you have sufficient product? NO! Was their answer! So I asked then why do you want to increase the wear on this machine to reduce its cycle time? Because my boss told me too.
I used to explain to my manager and customers that one of the biggest challenges was the fact that the operator is unable to distinguish the logic that the system I designed used from magic.
Without some understanding of how the system works, the average operator is unable to grasp what the machine is capable of doing. Many is the time that an operator would reveal with his questions that he couldn't recognize that he was wanting the machine to read his mind.