Less is more manufacturing productivity

Recollections of an memorable project

Thinking about the concept of “less is more”, takes me back to a small and initially unpromising project that a maverick boss of mine persuaded me to get involved in many years ago. It provides an interesting example of counter-intuitive optimisation.

The scene…

There was a manufacturing plant which produced credit cards. The plastic cards were manufactured in sheets; this involved a lamination process which started with a “layup” of three plastic sheets and ended up with them laminated together as one sheet. The lamination was done in a press which was heated and then cooled; this caused the plastic sheets to melt slightly and to become welded together as one.  To produce cards with flat and clean surfaces, each layup also had shiny metal plates on either side to produce a smooth finish.

The instinct … Continue reading “Less is more manufacturing productivity”

Controlling the sequence of learning

Among the reactions to the article on sequences of learning is a post from Brett McLaughlin on the O’Reilly Radar blog, that poses questions about the design of the sequence.

Learning is important to us all  in so many ways; so learning (yup!) more about learning seems to be particularly important! However there are a considerable range of contexts in which learning occurs; and sometimes this causes the generic lessons to be more difficult to uncover. Continue reading “Controlling the sequence of learning”