Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Recently, we met with a new client and discussed previously completed projects.  He said, “yeah, we worked on this issue a couple of years ago, but here we are again, [and production is] down for the same problem.”  The root cause of this production failure could have been prevented.  Prior to the failure a Lean/Six Sigma project was initiated by an employee who created a potentially good solution.  When the project was completed, implementing the process change and behaviors on the production floor were unchanged.  Management applauded the effort but the change never became a sustainable solution.

Continuous Improvement is challenging, especially when change is not followed-up or acted upon.  When improvement is considered finished and not sustained, the improvement ceases being continuous.  Continuous Improvement is not a continual line of discrete process improvement projects; it is ensuring change becomes a new standard in how things are done within the organization.

Sometimes follow-up activity is the responsibility of a Quality Assurance person or a Continuous Improvement Engineer, who can answer questions and make the necessary changes because of problems that weren’t revealed in the project.  However, change and improvement doesn’t really become effective until the reinforcement of modified behavior is part of a daily routine, for both the management team and the employees.  Once management establishes an expectation, which was derived from a revised process, it is important employee behaviors are modified.  The effective adoption of a changed process will become the accepted standard.

A Lean Culture, or a Culture of Continuous Improvement becomes highly effective when both the management team and the employees are working on improvement concurrently.  When improvement becomes part of your culture it is a common expectation and everyone is an agent of change.  Management is no longer concerned with administering change because it is a valued element of an organization’s identity; people are problem solving and working on the next issue.  The need to manage change becomes a minimal effort because systems and behaviors encourage improvement and problem solving.

Toyota says, when there is no problem, then that is a problem.  For them, there is a “healthy sense of paranoia” that always says that there is something left to improve.

Posted by ProSolve in Industrial Engineering, Lean, News & Events, Operations Management, Productivity
B620-14 Now in Effect

B620-14 Now in Effect


As of July 12, 2017, the new Regulations come into force, including the CSA Standards B620, B621, B622, B625 and B626.

As a transitional provision, a person may, for a period of six months that begins on July 12, 2017, comply with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations as they read on July 11, 2017.  This means that compliance is mandatory after January 12, 2018.

TCRNs which comply with B620-09 will need update or renewal by January 12, 2018 to comply with B620-14.

Please call us if you require any clarification or to discuss the impact this announcement will have on your business.


ProSolve’s Design Engineers have extensive experience in TDG highway tank vehicle modifications, new designs, and facility registrations. If you have any questions about your highway tank vehicle design, the new Regulations, the enactment schedule, or the Transitional Provision period contained in the Regulation amendments, please call us.

Posted by ProSolve in Mechanical Engineering, News Archives, TDG

TDG Bulletin – Crossover Pipes

Crossover pipesTDG Bulletin—Crossover Pipes

There are many requirements for highway tank compliance with Canadian (Transport Canada) and American (US DOT) Regulations for the Transportation of Dangerous Goods.

In recent months, crossover pipes on highway tanks have been questioned.  A crossover pipe on a highway tank connects two compartments separated by a bulkhead.  As such, these highway tanks become a single-compartment tank, since crossover pipes join the two compartments as one.

Why have crossover pipes been designed and manufactured on highway tanks?

  • To allow the loading of lading to distribute weight on the drive axles for adequate traction and load balancing.
  • To equalize the pressure between the two compartments.
  • To lighten the bulkhead.
  • To double the venting capacity during loading of one compartment of the tank.

Reasons why the use of crossover pipes is often not in compliance:

  1. The nameplates show the highway tanks as two-compartment tanks when the compartments are not isolated from one another. Inspections and tests of single-compartment tanks have passed when the nameplates identify the highway tanks as two-compartment tanks.  The nameplate does not comply with the requirements and the tank requires a modification.
  2. Independently pressure testing each compartment and validating bulkhead integrity are not possible. Also, an operator could load reactive ladings into each compartment, not realizing that the compartments are openly connected to one another.
  3. The crossover pipe extends above the rollover protection and does not have a leak tight closure located as close to the tank as practicable for any opening that is not an outlet.

Highway tanks with crossover pipes usually require at least one or two modifications for the tanks to comply with the requirements.  All modifications require the design review and approval of a Transport Canada-registered Design Engineer (B620-09 Clause

If you are being affected by this issue, please call 780-414-1895 or email us at  We will either answer your questions immediately or quickly get the answers that you need to continue your business operations safely and within full compliance of the regulations.

If you have any other issues about the design, manufacture, assembly, operation, inspection, test, repair, modification and / or retest of any highway tank, call now.  We can help.

This Bulletin titled TDG Bulletin-Crossover Pipes is Copyright © 2016, ProSolve Consulting Ltd.,  Release 20160922-02

Posted by ProSolve in Mechanical Engineering, News Archives, TDG

TDG Bulletin – Do You Know?

Double conical highway tank

Welcome to the first bulletin by ProSolve Consulting Ltd. that highlights current information, concerns, and trends related to highway tanks or cargo tanks for the Transportation of Dangerous Goods and the requirements of CSA Standard B620 and US 49 CFR.

There are many requirements for highway tank compliance with Canadian (Transport Canada) and US DOT Regulations for the Transportation of Dangerous Goods.  There are several topics that are currently affecting our highway tank industry, including:

  • Compliance or warranty issues have been identified for cargo tanks manufactured in the United States and sold or operating as highway tanks in Canada:
    • Cross-over piping
    • PRV sizing
    • Securement
    • Protection—rear end, bottom damage
    • Early repairs

How do you solve these problems?

  • Highway tanks have been auctioned in Alberta due to the industry downturn caused by low oil prices and reduced oilfield activity. Do you know if what you bought complies with all of the requirements of the Regulations and CSA Standard B620?
  • Some highway tank manufacturers have either changed or ceased their operations. What do you do when your tank manufacturer is no longer available for sales, service or solution of warranty issues?  How do you respond?  What actions do you take?
  • When you initiate or complete inspections and tests of highway tanks, are the highway tanks really in compliance?
  • Why is there a shortage of qualified, highway tank inspectors? What should an inspector examine, check and verify?  What areas or requirements are often missed?
  • When your highway tanks need maintenance and repairs, how do you know when to go to a registered facility and when a local repair shop will do? What questions do you ask about the qualifications of those who work on your highway tanks?

If one or more of these issues affects you, please call 780-414-1895 or email us at  We will either answer your questions immediately or quickly get the answers that you need to operate your business.

If you have any other issues about the design, manufacture, assembly, operation, inspection, test, repair, modification and / or retest of any highway tank, call now.  We can help.

This Bulletin titled Do You Know? is Copyright © 2016, ProSolve Consulting Ltd.,  Release 20160822-01

Posted by ProSolve in Mechanical Engineering, News Archives, TDG
Using Productivity Practices During Downtimes

Using Productivity Practices During Downtimes


Organizations feeling the impact from the recent energy industry downturn can use this time to their advantage.

“The best time to make operational changes are during the slow times,” says David Hall, P. Eng, President of ProSolve Consulting. “Now that projects are being put on hold and offices are slowing down, this is a good time to reflect on how to improve the efficiency of operations, reduce costs when it is most valuable, without layoffs, and prepare for even greater profits when the industry starts to recover.”

Hall says organizations can do several things during this downtime to better position themselves in the future:

  1. Revise strategic plans
    1. Reduce your risks by making more effective use of existing resources and assets.
    2. Review expenditures and consider timing: Is this the right time to buy that new equipment? What other options do you have? Consider application of Productivity Principles to draw the most value from your existing resources. Returns can be achieved in weeks, which makes you more nimble to attack new opportunities.
    3. Review labour requirements: Do you reduce staff and run the risk of losing exceptional talent? Consider the people you have to get the current work done as well as to review current processes, document best practices and increase training to enhance manufacturing capability, system quality, and reduce waste.
    4. How much has your company invested in hiring and training people? You risk losing that investment if people are laid off. Consider how much it will cost you to replace and train new people when industry eventually recovers. Develop people to their full potential.
  1. Review working capital
    1. Consider your supply chain, current inventory levels, and purchasing plans in light of your lower revenue expectations. What can you return to vendors or sell at a reduced price while there is still demand, to return working capital back into cash?
    2. What commitments have you made to suppliers? Is there an opportunity to reduce the size of deliveries, and implement just-in-time strategies to match the timing of payments to the timing of collections from your customers? Your suppliers are as concerned as you are about the changing business environment. Partner with your suppliers and build trust so that you can rely on their support during slow periods.
    3. Consider where and how you store your inventory. Do you have a warehouse lease or agreement coming up that you can renegotiate in favour of leasing a smaller footprint? Effective inventory management can dramatically reduce operating expenses and reduce negative cash flow.
  1. Find new opportunities: We’ve all heard the expression “when a door closes, a window opens”. Consider thinking outside the box.
    1. Are there other markets into which you could sell your products?
    2. Are there other products your customers use that you could adapt and produce as well, using your existing capacity and infrastructure?
    3. What other products can you move through your distribution network?
    4. How else can you utilize your technology? What needs can your technology serve?
Posted by ProSolve in Lean, News Archives, Operations Management, Productivity