Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Lean Manufacturing (3)


I find it very hard here to get a real professional engineering career in Quality field. The companies or recruiters ask for the most updated techniques, among them are 6 Sigma and Lean Manufacturing. I lost a good opportunity last year in Winnipeg because I didn’t even know what Lean Manufacturing was! After that, I started surfing the net and found the basics. Last weekend I found another opportunity, this one in Medicine Hat, as a Quality Manager who is familiar with Lean Manufacturing, again. Therefore it seams I have to take this serious. 6 Sigma is taught by ASQ but is very expensive course and split to different levels.
In order to apply for that position I decided to study more detail in Lean Manufacturing and apply that in my resume. This is what I found, (Sentences in brackets are by me):
Many think that lean manufacturing means coordinating schedules so the parts and materials arrive at their point of use just in time to avoid inventory and the space it consumes. [This is exactly what I thought! But when I surfed the net, found that lean manufacturing is the application of different method, probably simultaneously, to achieve JIT] Indeed that is part of lean manufacturing, an important part. But there’s considerably more than that to lean manufacturing. Lean manufacturing actually is a strategy for achieving significant continues improvement in performance through elimination of all waste of time and resources in the total business process. [Note that it’s said the total business. It means the technique is not just used in manufacturing. Procurement, management and probably all other departments profit its advantages]
(Photo: Taiichi Ohno who is known as the founder of lean manufacturing)

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Gas Price is Soring

Today's gas price is 82.9 cents for a litre, I saw that when we were passing a Shell gas station in 36 St. SE. The price is going up and higher and it's because of high price of crude oil. OPEC's basket price for today is US $ 41.75. It's good for people who use public transportation or have car-pool but not good for people who drive to work and back home. It's also good opportunity for countries like Iran to pay off their debts or save money but I don't think they do so. They simply don't care about the next generations and they don't care that oil is not an unlimited resource. They dig it up, sell it and waste the money, mostly. The above chart shows the gas price changes in the last 12 months in Calgary. Note that Alberta has the lowest price among the Canadian provinces
(Photo: The chart shows the 12 month of average gasoline price, starting Oct.09 until Sep.22)

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

8766 Days Ago


I can’t help tearing while writing this but I guess it’s not easy for everyone to understand what I’m writing. Everyone's different. I might be too emotional or too devoted to my previous country.
8766 days ago in Sep.21.80 Iraqi forces invaded our lovely and beautiful country Iran and started a war that last 8 years and cost billions of dollars and numerous lives. No one really knows how many innocent people were killed during those days but I know something for sure and that’s the war changed the life of all Iranians forever. No mater they are rich, poor, living in Khoozestan province and other provinces near the border or the provinces far from the conflict.
Many of young men who fought and were killed were volunteers who were defending their home town, their country, their family and their friends. There were a few of them, especially in the last years of the war who went there to gain something. and that thing could be money, a permit to a school or anything else. We are proud of the first mentioned ones and always remember them, they are all in our hearts and minds. We, too, remember the second class, the apple-polishers and the people who just look for the opportunities like that. Damn them. Unfortunately there are many of them in today’s Iran and that’s just because of the Islamic Republic, they are the products of the Islamic Republic, the system that makes lazy, fraudulent and opportunist people.
Let’s not forget who we are and who we were and let’s not close our eyes to the truth. And let’s not be pessimists or optimists, Let’s see everything realistically. Hope that one help us in every aspect of life. I’m sure it does, without a shadow of doubt.
(Photo: Young Iranian volunteer takes care of himself in the operation liberation Khoram-Shahr a little after a year when the war began)

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Cutting Corners on Quality to Stay Competitive

A recent poll in Quality Insider: An Inside Quality Publication asked readers to ponder the possibility that their companies are cutting corners in quality. The question came about in consideration of the rash (a sudden outbreak) of product recalls in recent months. Quality Insider mentions that economists and analysts speculate that these recalls are due to the poor economy, that companies are cutting corners in quality to make up for competition and reduced sales. Here’s how their readers responded:
“Do you think your company is cutting corners in quality in order to stay competitive?"

Yes 49.4%
No 40.7%
Maybe 8.1%
I don't know 1.8%

Friday, September 17, 2004

Martin Is Optimist


Prime Minister Paul Martin said today in Quebec province that his government has nothing to do with the dispute between NHL and NHLPA. Some critics point to Bettman, the NHL commissioner as the guilty one here. But he stated that NHL clubs has lost US $1.8 Billion during last 10 years, while the average NHL player salary has soared to $1.8 million from $733,000 in same period. Martin believes NHL and its players will eventually overcome their acrimonious labour impasse. I really like the combination of words he used: Acrimonious impasse which means bitter situation!

(Photo: The Prime Minister in Calgary Flames jersey when the Flames was heading toward the Cup. Jarome Iginla the Flames captain one of the bests of NHL and Team Canada member in the recent World Cup of Hockey, is seen in the photo too)

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Deadline is Reached: No Proceeding

The deadline for NHL and NHLPA negotiation over players' salary cap was over almost an hour and quarter ago (EST) and more than 600 hockey players are locked out. It means there won't be 2004-05 NHL season. But that's not really what it means. Is it?
This problem arose two times, once in 92 and then in 94. The players, all, walked off the ice for 10 days in 92 and then the owners locked out the players for 103 days in 95. Therefore it seems there's still hope. There must be a way. Canada without hockey? I can't even imagine that.
But the good thing is hockey fans enjoyed Canada's triumph in the World Cup of Hockey yesterday. Team Canada defeated Finland 3-2 in Toronto last night and won the cup.
(Photo: The locker room for the defending Stanley Cup champion, Tampa Bay Lightning remains locked, today, at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon, Fla. NHL owners locked out their players until a new collective bargaining agreement is in place)

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Team work

One of the most important aspects of careers and jobs here in North America is being a good team worker, being able to have a good relationship with colleagues and harmonize with them. This attribute is seen in all works, fast food resturants, construction, sport, manufacturing, management, etc. Unfortunately Iranians lack this quality.
A good teamwork always starts with appointment of right team members. The US 4 x 100 women team lost a gold medal in the recent Olympic as Marion Jones couldn't pass the baton to her teammate Lauryn Williams. The team is perfect and the members know each other very well and have worked and drilled together but Marion erred and they collapsed. What was the real cause of such a big loss? I'd say many factors could've been involved: Rush, stress and nervousness, biorhythm situation, lack of focus, etc. But do any of the mentioned factors affect these superstars? One of them did, without a shadow of doubt.
(Photo: The moment that the US women 4 x100 team loses the baton is pictured here. Marion is the behind athlete)

Monday, September 13, 2004

Mussel


One good thing here in Canada is you can try different cuisines from almost everywhere. Canadian food, itself regardless of different kinds of burgers and steaks (I'll write about 'em later) comprises of seafood. Mussel is among them that I tried a few weeks ago. Actually Resurrect bought some and cooked for me. It's tasty and of course healthy, full of vitamins and minerals. Besides that it's not always good to have red meet. Mussel, according to The American Heritage Dictionary, basically is an edible bivalve (having a shell, consisting two hinged valves) mollusks, a blue-black one, often found attached to rocky surfaces or the sides of ships. It comes from Newfoundland or Nova Scotia all the way to the west. It won't be expensive, if you're not a big eater, otherwise you have to spend bucks on it!
(Photo: Mussel recipes usually offer vegetables as a side. Not like the one I had!)

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Canada Wrestling

Wrestling was one of the sports that Canadians took part in the recent Olympic. The Canadian wrestling team was comprised of 7 wrestlers: 3 men and 4 women in free-style. I couldn't see any of the Olympic's wrestling races but saw some photos of women's and really enjoyed. I know wrestling is a very tough sport, as I used to do that for almost 5 years when I was in the school and I was good at it. Therefore a woman who enters the world of wrestling is a very special one in my view and I like her. She must be fast, strong, having a flexible body, brave, etc.
Amongst the women wrestlers is Tonya Werbek from Beamsville, Ont., who won the silver in 55 Kg class of free-style. She lost to Japanese lady in the final match. Two of the other women were placed 5th and the lightest was eliminated.
(Photo: Lyndsay Belisle who's seen here on podium as silver medalist of Canada Cup '04 in class 48 Kg, from Hazelton B.C. was eliminated in the Olympic but I just brought this photo here to show how fit and shaped they are)

Friday, September 10, 2004

National Professional Practice Exam, the 2nd


I'm preparing to write N. P. P. Exam. (of APEGGA) in Oct. but I'm not satisfied with the amount of time I spend on it. I decreasd the time spent on the blog and now I mostly focused on studying and also workout as it's sth. pretty indispensable for me! When I look at my result paper from the previous exam. (July 2003) I see that if I studied enough, I could pass the exam with the skin of my teeth. I had enough time, I had one month off for my nasal surgery, but I didn't use that. Stupid me!
(Photo: I messed up categories D and E, got nasty scores, and that made me failed. the scores opposite mine shows other applicants' average)

Monday, September 06, 2004

NHL and NHLPA

NHL and NHLPA (NHL Players Association) have been fighting over salaries since the early Aug., I guess. It seems there won't be a NHL season this year, although it'll affect many things in Canada. The regular season usu. begins in Sep. The problem is NHL wants a salary cap for players and that's not what they accept. Imagine a year without hocky. You know what would be the effects? Newpapers, bars, magazines, sport goods manufacturers (CCM, Nike, ect.), Sport goods retailers (Sportcheck, etc.), cotches and all other employees of a team (Which are many) all would be suffering.

CBC has resently have a survey about the face-off. This survey was conducted Jan. 13-26, 2004, among approximately 1000 Canadians who have at least some interest in NHL hockey. Some questions also list results from a previous poll conducted in March and April of 2003. The result is disappointing, people are not optimist about this season.
As a result hockey fans are being amused by The World cup of Hockey. The tournament is being ran in both North America and Europe. Eight of the best hockey teams of the world are battling for the cup. The North American pool comprises Canada, the US, Russia and Slovakia. The European pool consists of Germany, Czech, Finland and Sweden.
Canada has the best result so far. They have 3 wins from 3 games. 10 goals for and 3 goals accepted.
(Photo: a cartoon about the recent debate over salary cap between NHL and the players)

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Ara

One of the wrestlers who got my attention in this Olympic is Ara Abrahamian. He is an Iranian-Swedish Greco-Roman wrestler in 84 Kg class who lost the gold medal to the Russian wrestler Alexei Michine. He must be Armenian who has migrated to Sweden. He should have gone there years ago as his profiles shows he was sixth in Sydney. His performance backs to 1998 and as his birthday indicates (July.27.75) he must has migrated there in early 90s or sooner.
Immigrant athletes r usu. seen in national teams. I remember there was an Afghan wrestler, Mir Mehdi Ghori Zadeh, in 48 Kg class of free-style fighting for Canada in early 90s, I guess. He was obviously the best in Canada but didn't get a medal in world championship.
(Photo: Ara after loosing the battle to the Russian challenger)