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STIMS Strategy for life long learning for intrepreneurship

Professionals in every field must constantly equip themselves with the latest skills to achieve new solutions for process problems.

Being adept at ‘Transformational skills’ and ‘system thinking’ constitutes a lifelong learning strategy required to develop a stream of New Solutions, a must to survive and succeed in the 21st century economy

MMI Cover story image

Who exactly are ‘intrepreneurs’?
We hear a constant drum beat for professionals to be entrepreneurial, capable of handling a variety of jobs and problems. This is in total contrast to the standardized
and de-skilled task-oriented replication activities. There are many opportunities to integrate knowledge from various sources – from other workers, knowledge available across departments, with the suppliers as well as with the customers or end-users. The advent of smart phones, Facebook, Google and other search engines also augment this ability to aggregate information from across the globe and convert them into new knowledge. The result is a “new solution” of high added value. They are heralded as “entrepreneurial”. The new term used for such entrepreneur working inside a company – as opposed to a startup operation – is “Intrepreneur”.

Life Long Learning Strategy:

Modern Manufacturing India, a Publication of the Indian Machine Tool Manufactusers  Association (IMTMA) carries the cover page article authored by STIMS Institute. This article provides a strategy for life long learning for entrepreneurs and intrepreneurs.

STIMS Cover story MMI Jan. 2018 issue

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The MMI magazine January issue can be accessed at: http://www.mmindia.co.in/flipbook/jan2018/

Strategic Thinking and Career Development

STIMS Institute offered a workshop on Jan. 19, 2018 in the Bay Area, CA.  Sponsored by SME Silicon Valley Chapter, this workshop was hosted by De Anza College, Cupertino, CA. Thanks to Lisa Gregorson – SME SV and Mike Appio – Dept. Head, Mfg. education at De Anaza college for their help, support and collaboration.

Every one who studies the impact of AI and Automation forecasts a grave upheaval in the near term for large scale human employment. But they all conclude stating that “Innovation” and “Technology” will take care of it. May be they are right. Until that future comes there is no alternative for employees (and employers) today other than becoming “System Thinkers” and “Transformational” in their skills. A systematic outline of this need is followed by an even more systematized method and skill sets to be practiced are outlined in this workshop.

The details presented in this workshop can be seen at: SME SV Workshop  Follow the workshop contents and answer the class work questions contained in it.

Let us know what you think? Contact us

sme-sv-workshop-poster

 

STIMS Institute offers two key technical publications for Abrasive Finishing Processes

Professional societies like ASME serve the valuable role to archive and disseminate critical information and knowledge of near term as well as long term value. Two such publications present both the theory as well as applications pertinent to surface generation processes using abrasive tools. These processes are commonly known as grinding processes. They span a wide range of industries and applications and needs. We at STIMS Institute are pleased to offer these papers for broader use and dissemination of knowledge.

Please note that these publications may be copy right protected. For copies of these publications please contact ASME.

https://stimsinstitute.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/manu-17-1209-final-corrected-proof-1.pdf

https://stimsinstitute.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/published-paper-imece2015-52952.pdf

Developing a frame work for Effective Collaboration between Academic Research and Industrial Outcome.

We were invited to present a Key Note lecture on August 5, 2017 at the Chinese Conference on Abrasives Technology at Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China. Inserted below are main points, some images and a link to the full presentation.

Key Note lecture final

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Acknowledgements

  • Thanks to Prof. Zhang at HIT, to the organizers of CCAT and Harbin Institute of Technology
  • Thanks to Dr. Jinsheng Wang, GM, Intelligent Grinding   Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd., my friend and host for this visit
  • Thanks to many friends and colleagues across the globe in the industry as well as in the academia.
  • This talk is a summary of many years of experience  and successful collaboration between Academic researchers and Professionals in the industry across the globe.

Outline

  • 21st Century economy requires New Solutions with deliberate focus on Academic Research; That Integrates knowledge from all sources
  • New Solutions require three types of Knowledge:
    • Academic learning
    • Hands on Experience
    • Transformational Skills.
  • New Solutions in Grinding Processes are the result of collaboration between Academic Research and Industrial Applications enabled by Transformational Skills.
  • Transformational Skills are necessary for industry /   university collaboration
  • Examples and Case Studies.

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SUMMARY

  • 21st Century Research has to be targeted to deliver New Solutions
  • This requires integrating knowledge from all sources.
  • Knowledge Integration is enabled by System Thinking:
  • Every solution is integration of Science, Engg. And Mgt.
  • Focus on the big picture, not merely the dots.
  • Three sources of Knowledge are simultaneously required today:
    • Academic Education
    • Hands on Training
    • Transformational Skills.
  • During this talk we have described the “System Thinking” and “TS”.
  • We have also shown examples of how these are useful for promoting effective industry/university collaboration.

 

STIMS Institute offers Industry focused training for fifth year in a row, this time at Shenzen, China.

Student Feedback:

 “I conclude this course with 3 observations: Very important, Very timely and Very valuable”.

“I’m not an engineer. I feel this course in not only for technical person, but for system thinking and much more”.

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Education, Process Innovation and End to End Innovation are the focus areas of STIMS Institute. Each of these three focus areas are interconnected. education that is merely academic is less valuable today in the world where more than 80% of what is needed can be obtained through Google. Today education has to be holistic (i.e.) system oriented. That implies scientific fundamentals together with an emphasis on application of the science and the strategic reasoning required to make such education relevant and useful in the real world. Such Education was offered for the fourth year in a row . This leads to over 120 senior engineers, managers and teachers trained to meet the high end professional needs in the manufacturing sector.

The two day course was offered at Shenzen, China on August 9 and 10, 2017  in collaboration with Intelligent Grinding Technology (IGT) Ltd. http://www.grindoctor.com

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The System Approach for Precision Manufacturing – Grinding Processes.

  2 Day Course – Outline.

Day 1 – AM:

Introduction.

  1. Why should we grind?
  • Critical and enduring role of physical processes like grinding in manufacturing and especially in Precision Components Manufacturing as well as surface generation requirements.
  • Examples of grinding processes used in a wide variety of: Work materials, machines, components and applications
  • Role of grinding processes in traditional applications as well as emerging needs like high efficiency IC engines, computer parts, LED, PV and wind energy components manufacturing.
  1. The System Approach to Grinding Processes:
  • Every process is an Input / Transformation / Output system
  • “Transformation” represents the Science of the Process
  • System Approach requires integration of Science, Engineering and Strategy
  • Grinding Processes are Input /Transformation / Output systems for surface generation to meet critical functional needs and process economics.

BREAK

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  1. The Science of grinding: The microscopic interactions that occur at the grinding zone and their quantification
  2. Inputs to the grinding process and how they impact the microscopic interactions:
  • Work Materials and components
  • Abrasive and dressing tools, coolants and other consumables
  • Machine Tools (key element of investment and process design)
  • Process parameters (that are selected as part of process design and can be changed at the shop floor)

LUNCH

Day 1 – PM:

  1. Measurement and Analysis of grinding processes
  2. Case Studies Demonstrating the use of the above for shop floor problem solving

 BREAK for Dinner

After Dinner Session:

  1. Tutorials and data driven problem solving

DAY 2 – AM:

Recap of day 1 lessons.

  1. Technical Outputs – What are the requirements to be met when using grinding processes

BREAK

  1. System Outputs – the Why? strategic and economic considerations pertaining to grinding processes

LUNCH

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PM:

  1. Application of the System Approach – Case Studies
  • Truing & Dressing of CBN grinding wheels
  • Optimal use of CBN grinding solutions
  • Simple Solid Shape (S3) grinding – High MRR low WIP, short lead time and flexible processes
  • Processes for micro – chip, magnetic head and LED substrate fabrication.
  • Machining to Grinding Processes

BREAK

  1. Student Feed back
  2. Certificate Presentation.

The students in this course consisted of Senior Engineers, Business Head and V.P. of manufacturing companies.

Student feed back:

  • This course is worthy. My customer want to use CBN wheel, but machine tool can’t satisfy requirement. I still have not good method. From this course, I get some enlightenment on how to make the best use of the available machine and other resources.
  • Our parent company is from Belgium. Sometimes we want to change the grinding process, but it’s not permitted. After this course, I can use data to evaluate grinding process. If we have data support, Belgium can agree to that. I will use system approach to evaluate present method when I go back.

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  • This course gives a lot of help in supervising new product development.
  • In the past, I work with experience. I learned a lot of basic knowledge in this course, which is very helpful for designing machine tool. I learned in this course how to use knowledge to analyze and solve problem. We plan to develop single crystal silicon grinding machine tool with system approach.
  • It is the first time to learn grinding theory, which is helpful for my next work. In this course, I connect knowledge I learned in college with present work. In past, I always feel the knowledge I learned is not useful. Today I understand I didn’t connect them with my work. In future, I will promote my product with the knowledge, scientific method and data analysis.
  • I’m very impressed by the lessons on economic output. In the past, we deal with price with very simple and rough method. Now I know I can evaluate the value from variety of aspects. I can give customer a list, which makes customer understand the value we bring and accept our price. We should promote the product’s quality, but not just low price.

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  • System approach concerns input, interaction and output. It also can be categorized by the work of engineer, science and management. Before the course, I know the first three interactions, but I know there are 6 interactions. I feel it is more reasonable. I also learn how to connect all interactions with input and output by using power monitoring. When I go back, I plan to use knowledge I learn from this course to solve 2 to 3 problems. If it works, I want to spread system approach and do continuously improvement.
  • I feel this course is very worthy. Thanks for IGT for co- organizing this course.
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Dr. Subbu with STIMS Institute Alumni Dr. Xuefong Bi and Dr. Jinsheng Wang, start up entrepreneurs of Intelligent Manufacturing Co, in China.  They helped to co-organize this course.
  • We are now focusing on hard and brittle grinding. This course helps me to open the black box of grinding, and let me to see interactions and how to solve problem. I have more significant understanding to grinding process.
    • System approach will help me in work and life. Knowledge in this course is very deep, I need to learn more after this
    • After I go back, I will transmit system approach with my leader and colleagues. Now we are doing a project about ceramic material grinding, so I want to apply system approach on this project.
  • I conclude this course with 3 words: Very important, Very timely and very valuable. Dr. Subbu, is very professional. He has very clear logic. If Dr. Subbu have more opportunities to contact the market in China and spread system approach, the effects will be better.
  • I’m not an engineer. I feel this course in not only for technical person, but for system thinking and much more.

After the march for Science: MAKE AMERICA THINK AGAIN!

I was there at the Boston Common at the march form science. I was one among the thousands in support of Science and its vital role in our way of life. I could not agree more with all that I saw and heard. Yet, one poster got my attention the most:

MAKE AMERICA THINK AGAIN!

Every one who truly believes in Science have to step back and think hard on the cause – why we are here marching for Science? It requires analytical thinking and not merely repeating the slogans or expressing anger against one or the other. Science as it was explained by one speaker requires hypothesis, its validation through data leading to conclusions that help us progress or at least better understand the problem we have on hand. Let us practice this thought process on a few of our problems we face today.

Global warming is indeed a problem. It started when China and India started consuming energy in larger quantities. Their means and methods for energy consumption and the emissions are not new. They rely on the same practiced in the Western world for decades.

How did this explosive energy consumption come to be? It started with off shored manufacturing to produce lower cost goods for the Western world. This local economic activity in developing nations was followed by their consuming the same goods – such as automobiles and energy – in larger quantities. The collective effect of all these is more pollution and emissions and global warming.

The scientists and their supporters who marched yesterday can make a commitment that they will buy only products made through clean energy- no matter where they are manufactured – even if it costs a little more. It is the demand of this consuming public and their sacrifice that will push the politicians and business leaders to switch towards solutions leading to a reduction in global warming? Corporations move and make the right decision only when they are impacted at their pocket book.

But, what technology enabled the off shore manufacturing in droves? One would have to conclude the developments in Digital Technology – internet, e-mail, communication services and Digital data and information processing – and their indiscriminate deployment as one among the enablers. Global capitalism was the intended consequence; Global warming is the unintended consequence.

Recently I was speaking with an engineer implementing an automation project using robotics. I asked him, why are you doing this project? His response without hesitation was “I want to eliminate jobs”. I ventured to ask him if he would do this project if it eliminated the job of his friends, family members or neighbors. He seemed amazed at that question. He responded, “My boss wanted me to do this job”!

Every scientist and STEM worker need to understand causality of the growing economic disparity. Developments in Digital Technology (DT) applied without discrimination leads to smart machines with the potential to marginalize human contributions. Contributions of workers through their cognitive skills, their ability to process information as well as through their physical labor. three pathways for human dignity through work are being challenged today.

Any society with meaningful employment and broad economic prosperity is the employer as well as the consumer. Everyone who marched for Science  must come to grip with this reality (i.e.) their developments in Digital Technology must be channeled for the benefit of all, not for the benefit of a few at the exclusion of the many.

One cannot be in support of Science without also being responsible for the larger scope of their work and consequences of their own actions. This responsibility squarely falls on the shoulders of the leaders in Science community. During the march I informally polled a few to see what they understood as “Technology”. Every one gave similar general answers such as something good for the society, where science plays a key role, etc. Then I asked them if I give you $100,000 what stocks will you buy? Every one instinctively said Google, Microsoft, Facebook, etc. Nobody mentioned GE, P&W, Caterpillar or even Dell or HP! Every scientist needs to ask why is this preference?

Over the past decades the society has begun to accept Digital Technology as the “Technology”. The true meaning of Technology as the integrated outcome of Science, its application (Engineering) and effective exploitation of such use (Management) has been lost in the public discourse. Developments in the field of Nuclear Science are called “Nuclear Technology”. Developments in the field of polymers and plastics are called “Polymer Technology”; Innovation in space exploration is called “Space Technology”. But we obsessively refer to DT as the technology. Then we fail to recognize the developments in DT that preponderantly favor a few workers and their efforts to automate cognitive work and leave majority of citizens of zero economic value.

When thought leaders discuss the societal needs they describe “innovations through Technology” as the savior of the future. Implication here is technology as derived from all fields of sciences and not limited to DT. But when it comes to decision making and risk taking Digital Technology is favored depressing the effect and impact of all other science based technologies. The ills in the abuse of the DT are brushed aside as they are not identified as such.

Society has disdain for the widespread use of Nuclear Technology because of the fear it instills in the mind of the many despite its many positive uses and potentials. But the abusive role of DT enabled smart machines that promote indiscriminate off shoring of processes using energy inefficient and ecologically ill-fated outcomes are not openly addressed. The potential of DT enabled solutions to marginalize human contributions, automating all forms of work (i.e.) Physical, information and cognitive work and leaving society with large swath of citizens without any economic value is not yet fully appreciated and baked into the thinking and planning of thought leaders, large majority of whom are the “Science and engineering” workers.

The role of DT to spread hate and foster home grown terrorists is not met head on. The recent mishap in Facebook and the mild apology from Mr. Zuckerberg is another dimension to this pitfall of the unbridled use of DT. Instead of addressing them head on, they are brushed aside under fallacy and illogical arguments claiming first amendment rights and free speech. An eclectic circuit without proper protection will never be allowed for use by broad public. There are no such restrictions for faulty DT circuits.

Scientists and Engineers cannot merely march and expect solutions to be developed by economists and politicians. They need to start thinking as managers and solution providers and on their own personal roles and through their jobs, projects and outputs that impact the broader issues. Every scientist needs to think as an engineer and a manager and a leader. They cannot wait for someone else to fix the ills of DT dominated society.

Let us Make America Think Again!

 

Meaningful work

Recently I came across the essay titled: “Meaningful work should not be a privilege of the elite” published in the HBR.  The essay starts with the idea of inclusive prosperity (i.e.) wealth generated by the society and / or the economy should be for all to enjoy. Thought leaders and eminent economists are pursuing these three avenues according to the authors:

  • Re-distribute the rewards of the capitalism thus making the 1% pay for the needs of the 99%
  • Emphasis on over all wellbeing rather than merely in terms of economic well being
  • Prosperity in a society is the accumulation of solutions to human problems.

The authors then branch off to state that prosperity should also include engagement in the act of solving problems (i.e.) in the meaningful nature of work.

In all these discussions the macro and micro aspects of work get mixed up leading to perennial confusion and untold challenges to the society at large. For example: “What is the job that society needs to get done that it turns to competent managers to do”? In this sentence “work” has two distinct meanings: The job that the society needs to get done vs. the job that the manager needs to get done.

  • The job that the society needs to get done:

The job of the society – the work to be done – is to understand the need (i.e.) growing economic disparity as well as the cause for it. Developments in Digital Technology (DT) leads to “smart machines with the potential to marginalize human contributions, automating cognitive work and leaving society with hordes of citizens of zero economic value”. Human being can contribute as workers through their cognitive skills, their ability to process information as well as through their physical labor. All these three pathways for human dignity through work are being challenged today. Society needs to innovate as required with new solutions to address this crisis. The society with meaningful employment and broad economic prosperity is the employer as well as the customer.

Unfortunately customers do not hire anyone to address the economic disparity. The workers in this case are the investors in the society whose single minded goal is to increase the return on their investment. As long as they find ways to achieve their better ROI by eliminating labor cost (I.e.) human centered work that already exists or needed in the future, that will be their first choice.  The net result is the “smart machines with the potential to marginalize human contributions, automating cognitive work and leaving society with hordes of citizens of zero economic value”.

The above situation will be reversed if and only if the society at large realizes that its job is not to favor Digital Technology (DT) as the only “Technology”. Developments in the field of Nuclear Science are called “Nuclear Technology”. Developments in polymers and plastics is called “Polymer Technology”; Innovation in space exploration is called “Space Technology”. Society obsessively refers to DT as the only technology. Then the society fails to recognize the preponderant developments in DT that favor a few workers and their efforts to “automate cognitive work and leaving society with hordes of citizens of zero economic value”.

Yet, when the economists and thought leaders discuss the societal needs they describe “innovations through Technology” as the savior of the future, but the implication here is technology as derived from all fields of sciences and not limited to DT. The ills in the abuse of the DT are brushed aside as they are not identified as such. As an analogy recognize the disdain society has for the use of Nuclear Technology because of the fear it instills in the mind of the many despite its many positive uses and potentials. But the abusive role of DT enabled smart machines with the potential to marginalize human contributions, automating all forms of work (i.e.) Physical, information and cognitive work and leaving society with hordes of citizens of zero economic value is not yet fully appreciated and baked into the thinking and planning of economists and other thought leaders.

The first job or work of the society has to be to recognize this dichotomy and restore due emphasis and value for developments and exploitation of all fields of sciences and their impact for a more prosperous society. This will lead to a point of view that world problems and their needs are our opportunities. Mr. Rob Jones makes the following point in his response to the above essay: Discussions of “meaningful work” seldom include examples of “meaningless work.” Which is more meaningful: a STEM educated Microsoft coder building responsive applications for video gaming, or a ditch-digger working to bring water to a drought-stricken region? Which should get paid more? Which will have the longer lasting positive effects? We would all too often identify the coder as privileged and elite, yet also assign that job the comparative “meaningfulness” that clouds our reasoning and judgment on the nature of given work and its value. That is why hunger, thirst and poverty abound, alongside obesity and gaming addictions. To solve the problem of hunger, thirst and poverty, eventually someone is going to have to pick up a shovel. That’s pretty much what university level work design should teach…and require

  • The job that the managers need to get done:

Not every manager is an economist or thought leader. Every manager is a hired hand to get the job done. They should certainly strive hard to deploy the “increasingly capable machines that enable and empower people to collaborate more effectively, and make learning from experience scalable.”

They should also remind innovators who work for them of the importance of remembering the essential “job to be done” by their offerings – what is it that customers “hire” your product or service to do for them? Their job is not only to produce better goods and services more efficiently, but to organize individuals to collaborate and create together in unprecedented ways.  The business leaders who get that job done will be those who make the most of human potential, and manage to make prosperity inclusive.

In the DT enabled world is there really a distinction between a manager and worker? Aren’t they merely part of a chain or continuum? May be both the manager and the worker need to start thinking that they are part of the same “system”. In fact in a DT dominated world where  the use and value of every worker is threatened, may be it is better for all workers and at all levels to start thinking of themselves as Technology workers, where “Technology” truly means integration of Science, application of Science (Engineering) and exploitation of Science (Management) in every field. For such workers and pool of workers, the opportunities for meaningful work are limitless. Such workers also become very competent in their Transformational Skills.