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Successful ProSolve event demonstrates industry commitment

TDG B620 and You image

On April 17th, 2019 ProSolve Consulting Ltd. hosted a CSA B620-20 event that engaged the transportation of dangerous goods industry in Canada. A panel of experts was assembled from the federal and provincial governments with experienced and knowledgeable individuals from industry. The purpose of this event was to heighten awareness of changes to regulations that will come into effect in 2020 and to discuss common challenges within the industry.

There are a number of changes to the current requirements in CSA Standard B620-14 and the proposed CSA Standard B620-20, now under review. ProSolve’s experienced, TC-registered Design Engineers have prepared a white paper outlining those differences. Click here to download a free copy of the report.

The success of the event was due to the diverse range of individuals who attended, consisting of operators, manufacturers, assemblers, modifiers, testing / inspection providers, and members of regulatory and compliance organizations. The audience engaged the panel and speakers, and offered a great deal of value to the discussion. The conversations were meaningful and constructive; it was evident that organizations and individuals present want to improve the industry and contribute to transportation safety.

This commitment to industry improvement and support will develop further with the establishment of a Canadian Highway Tank Industry Association, in which a significant number of participants expressed an interest. If you would like to contribute or learn more, please contact us. We will communicate more in the coming days and weeks.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this event.

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Western Manufacturing Technology Show

Western Manufacturing Technology Show

ProSolve Consulting is pleased to be a participant in the Western Manufacturing Technology Show on June 4-6, 2019 in Exhibit Hall C at the Edmonton Expo Centre in Edmonton, Alberta.

Come visit us at booth #642.

To register, please visit our feature page.

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TDG, B620 & You

TDG, B620 & You event invitation

B620-20 VISION – Insights on TDG

ProSolve Consulting Ltd. is host and sponsor for a one-day event for the TDG industry.

Are you compliant with the CSA B620 Standard? Will you be compliant when the new B620-20 Standard becomes law? Do you know the new and revised requirements in 2020? What are the repercussions if you are not compliant?

This one-day event for the TDG industry brings like-minded individuals together to learn from experts about requirements and imminent changes. Our long-term goal is to accelerate TDG industry compliance and ultimately enhance safety on our roads.

This event is valuable for anyone involved in the TDG industry in Canada, including:

  • Manufacturers
  • Assemblers
  • Modifiers
  • Repairers
  • Testers
  • Inspectors
  • Engineers
  • Equipment Operators
  • TDG Service Providers
  • Equipment Suppliers
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B620-14 Now in Effect

B620-14 Now in Effect

HIGHWAY TANKS AND TC PORTABLE TANKS FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF DANGEROUS GOODS

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.

CONTACT US

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.

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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 7.6.5.1).

If you are being affected by this issue, please call 780-414-1895 or email us at info@prosolve.ca.  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

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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 info@prosolve.ca.  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

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Using Productivity Practices During Downtimes

PROSOLVE’S PRESIDENT OFFERS ADVICE TO IMPACTED ENERGY INDUSTRY COMPANIES

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?
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Get Lean in 2015

GET LEAN IN 2015 – SIX TIPS TO SHAPE UP YOUR ORGANIZATION

Most of us are no strangers to New Year’s resolutions. At this time of year, we look back on the past, and resolve to make productive and healthy changes for ourselves for the New Year. The most common personal New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight, stop excess consumption, spend more time with family, get out of debt, help others and enjoy life more. However, how many people apply the same personal resolutions to their organization?

Just as we have personal improvements we want or need to make, so do many organizations. By applying Lean principles, you can shape up your organization while working on those personal improvements.

Tip 1Improve your culture: In Lean, there are two main pillars. The first is Continuous Improvement. The second is Respect for People. Most Lean projects focus on Continuous Improvement, but this will not truly happen without a focus on people; your customers, your suppliers, and most importantly, your staff.

In order for Continuous Improvement to work, you need to create an atmosphere of continuous learning, where people are given the ability and freedom to challenge the status quo, and even encouraged to do so.

In 2015, encourage your staff to make suggestions on how to improve their work on a regular basis. This could be anything from getting another hand tool so there is one at each workbench, or providing training on the scheduling software to improve its use. The most important part though, is to actually implement some of the suggestions.

Tip 2Lose some “weight”: Organizations that have not implemented Lean may not recognize or be able to quantify how much waste they have in their system. You may be surprised to find as little as 10% of your organization’s time is actually spent on value-added activities.

Pick a process in your organization and look for one of the eight wastes. Once you have identified a waste, brainstorm ideas with your staff on how that waste can be reduced. Here are some questions you can ask:

  • Do you have material handling equipment moving pallets of parts between workstations?
  • Is there a lot of work-in-progress?
  • Do staff members have the tools they need when they need them?
  • Is equipment sitting idle?
  • Are four different signatures required on an order?
  • Do you create reports that no one actually reads?
  • Do staff members spend time fixing errors that others have made?
  • Are skilled staff members being used to their full potential?

 

Be moTip 3re “takt”-ful: Takt time is a common term in Lean. It is the pace at which production needs to work to keep up with customer demand. By examining your customer demand, you can determine your organization’s takt time then work to balance the work so each step in the process is close to takt. This, in combination with waste elimination, will reduce the lead time of your process. Full Lean implementation can result in a 25 to 50% reduction in lead-time, which ultimately increases your customer responsiveness. 

Tip 4Don’t make the same mistakes: Everyone knows the saying “learn from your mistakes,” but we often don’t do this in our organizations. Many times, if a defect is found in a product, or a mistake is made in shipping, the problem is corrected and everyone moves on. Next time, rather than re-soldering that part (for example), challenge yourself and your team to examine the cause for the faulty solder. Was the flux missed? Is the soldering iron too small or not properly cleaned? Is appropriate training in place? You can use tools like “5 Whys” and fishbone diagrams to really dig into the root cause of the problem. By doing so, you can work on preventing the same mistake from happening again rather than just applying a Band-Aid. 

Tip 5Drive less: Material handling equipment and inventory racking are an important part of many operations. However, once material is moved onto the assembly or manufacturing floor, the focus of Lean is to provide each workstation with the supplies they need as they need them. This often means moving raw material, parts and work-in-progress between workstations in smaller batches, and therefore on a cart instead of with the forklift. When Lean is fully implemented in a manufacturing organization, the company can expect material handling savings on the order of 25 to 50%. 

Tip 6Clear the clutter: Are there items in your workspace that you have never used? This can happen on the shop floor with tools or manuals for equipment that has long been discarded, as well as in offices with out-dated procedures, or keeping around that broken chair that might one day get fixed. You will find many things that are being kept “just in case.” The New Year is a perfect time to conduct a “red-tagging” exercise. Go through your workspace and place a red-tag on anything that you haven’t used or opened in one year. Once complete, place all of the red-tagged items in a designated space. If no one claims them in 90 days, they will be discarded or donated – just in time for “spring cleaning.”

Just like cutting out that second cookie as part of your healthy eating New Year’s resolution, a simple modification in your organization can lead to vast differences to your productivity and bottom line. So, while you’re making your personal resolutions list this holiday season, don’t forget you can also improve your organization by going Lean in 2015.

If you’d like more information on how your organization can be more Lean in 2015, the ProSolve team is here to help. One of our consultants would be happy to provide you with some additional information. Contact us via email info@prosolve.ca, or phone us at 780.414.1895.

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What is Slotting?

Slotting is a process to allocate storage locations and space for different skus in warehouse inventory. Slotting many skus in their correct places results in faster stock selection times, higher productivities, and greater satisfaction for customers.

SIGNS OF POOR SLOTTING
There are many indicators that your current product slotting may need attention, including:

  • Inefficient use of storage space;
  • Excessively large facilities and high facility costs;
  • No space to accommodate new SKUs;
  • Low productivity of order picking and replenishment operations;
  • Frequent ergonomic related injuries.

 

REQUIRED INFORMATION
There are three main types of information required to perform a slotting optimization:

  • SKU Information – Information related to the dimensions, weight, demand, and other characteristics of the SKUs in inventory.
  • Storage Information – Information related to the existing (or desired) configuration of the storage equipment, pick zones, and pick paths.
  • Slotting Rules – Definition of the criteria used to determine the improved slotting plan.

 

BENEFITS OF WAREHOUSE OPTIMIZATION
With efficient slotting to improve your warehouse operations, you can:

  • Avoid the cost of moving to a larger facility to handle more SKUs or higher inventory levels;
  • Compress the footprint required by your existing operation, creating free space for other value-added activities;
  • Improve the productivity and ergonomics of your order picking and replenishment processes.
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Excessive Workplace Walking Hazardous to Productivity ‘Health’

How can a reduction in excessive walking lower an organizations’ carbon footprint?

20131021-LEAN800It’s common knowledge that walking has great benefits to a person’s health, and numerous fitness and health professionals highly encourage walking to enhance an individual’s health. However, an Edmonton-based management consulting company is encouraging organizations to reduce excessive walking at the workplace.

ProSolve Consulting, Ltd. says companies need to realize that too much on-the-job walking can be detrimental to the organization’s productivity health, and actually contributes to increasing the company’s carbon footprint.

As Canadians take efforts to be more lean and green during Waste Reduction Week, ProSolve would like to encourage people to eliminate their “walking waste” in the workplace.

“Wastes from walking are one of the leading causes of ‘death’ to an organization’s bottom line,” says David Hall, President of ProSolve Consulting, Ltd. “In our experience, few employers realize that by simply reducing the number of movements their employees need to take to accomplish their daily work tasks can significantly improve their organization’s productivity, eliminate wastes, and reduce their carbon footprint.”

Hall also notes that, “Organizations that have too many employees walking unnecessarily spend more money on space, time and quality than organizations that have eliminated their walking wastes.”

The effects of excessive walking in the workplace can have a negative impact on employees, as well as the organization, including:

    • fatigued employees with reduced levels of alertness, impacting safety and product quality.
    • wasted space that inevitably fills with work-in-process, scrap, or garbage; areas that are difficult to clean and contribute to poor housekeeping. There is a direct correlation between housekeeping and safety.
    • poor space utilization is expensive, costing extra heating, lighting, taxes, and rent, which produce nothing in return for the organization, and increases the organization’s carbon footprint.
    • extra space that hides process inefficiency; as the cost of the hidden factory goes up, productivity and profitability goes down.

 

ProSolve prescribes the following simple steps to reduce excessive workplace walking:

    • start small. Pick an area that seems to have lots of people movement, but not a lot of productivity. Are employees moving from station to station empty-handed? Are they carrying tools instead of product? Are they moving around searching for things?
    • create a process flow diagram of the area, and compare it to the physical layout of work stations? Are the workstations placed in the same order as they are on the flow diagram? If not, re-order the workstations to match the flow diagram, so products (not people) move from station to station.
    • move the work stations closer to one another. This will reduce walking and free up space that can be used more profitably.
    • Are the employees walking around stacks of inventory? What is the source of this additional inventory? You can reduce the waste of too much walking by addressing another source of waste – over-production. Eliminate the extra inventory and further reduce walking distances, while opening up areas for more profitable activity.

 

So, as everyone is gearing up to do their part during Waste Reduction Week, ProSolve advises people to walk to work, but take note of their step count during work shifts, and implement small ‘step-saving’ techniques to be waste wise while at work.

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