Webster Industries Inside Sales Team – An Added Value
“For a team to truly be strong it has to be a chain with pressure spread evenly across the length; each link supporting the next.”
The Inside Sales Team at Webster Industries serves as a key component to the company’s customer-focused mission, functioning as the liaison between the customer and everything Webster.
Rebecca Hartman, Webster Industries Inside Sales Manager, said “We take every phone call that comes in from each Webster customer,” Hartman said, handling quotes, sales orders, expediting/processing, and order shipment, in addition to providing technical information per individual quote/order, as needed. The attitude of Webster’s inside sales representatives and the department as a whole is to go above-and-beyond to meet customers’ needs.
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Lean Fundamentals– Principles of Implementation
The term “lean” with regards to a business organization can be defined as a systematic method for the elimination of waste with a focus on maximizing value-added activities. Value is determined through the eyes of the customer – in other words, value is any action or process that the customer would be willing to pay for. A lean system is focused simply on getting the right things to the right place at the right time in the right quantity while minimizing waste and being flexible and able to change.
The goals of lean are to improve quality, eliminate waste, reduce time, and reduce total costs. The ultimate goal is to provide perfect value to the customer. In order to achieve these goals, processes must be evaluated to determine what is considered value and what is waste. There is a five-step thought process for guiding the implementation of lean techniques:
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The Fundamentals of Bucket Elevators and How They Work
Bucket elevators equipped with Engineered Steel Chain are designed to lift enormous quantities of heavy materials to considerable heights. Thus chain selection is key to the proper functioning of bucket elevators. Chain type is broadly based on the type of bucket elevator. In most applications, straight sidebar, hardened bushed rollerless chains are applied. Offset style sidebar chains have been used for years but with chain manufacturing technology improving, offset chains are far less common for new equipment.
Centrifugal Discharge Elevators
Centrifugal discharge elevators are designed so that the buckets are fed material from the inlet feed chute at the boot section and discharge material via centrifugal force. This style of elevator typically operates at a much higher chain speed, when compared to the other elevator styles, which usually fall in the 220-330 fpm (feet per minute) range. The use of a single strand rollerless chain with a K-style attachment (every 12-18”) is very common in such elevators with attachments ranging from every 2nd pitch to every 4th pitch. Chains which have a roller in this application will become loaded with the conveyed material between the rollers and bushings. The presence of the conveyed material along with any moisture will cause the rollers to cease onto the bushings preventing them from turning.
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Root Cause Analysis and Corrective Action – The Key to Continuous Improvement
An ISO 9001 certified company strives to maintain the highest level of quality, not only in their product, but also in their processes, which make up their quality management system. One of the key components of an effective quality management system is to continually improve. In order to continually improve, we must first identify issues or areas of concern and, more importantly, their causes.
One practice is root cause analysis, which is defined as a method of problem solving that tries to identify the root causes of faults or problems which, once removed, prevents the final undesirable event from recurring. By practicing root cause analysis, we are able to identify and correct the cause of failures, as opposed to simply addressing their symptoms. The goal of focusing on correcting the root cause of an issue is to prevent that problem from recurring. One way to practice root cause analysis is the 5-Why method. This is a method of asking “why” repeatedly until the root cause is identified.
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To Grind or Not to Grind Your Pins? When making field connections on your chain DO NOT grind your pins because this will only cause you more headaches in the upcoming months. When discussing chain, the old saying “Your chain is only as strong as your weakest link.” has never been so true and by grinding a pin you have just created a weak link.
As machining and hole punching processes get more precise we can use these processes to our advantage and add more value into the chain for our customers. Websters current processes allow us to reproduce a consistent and repeatable interference fit between the pins and the sidebar holes. With this repeatability, we solely rely on our press fit to keep the pins stationary in the sidebar. There are always a few exceptions to the rule based upon the geometry of the parts, but for the most part you will notice our pins with a full round end.
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