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City surrenders to free trade with Walmart built
in steel industry graveyard. Major celebrates the event.
In the years following World War 2 until about 1975, as a sales
and national accounts manager for a tab card manufacturer and later with major computer manufacturers, I drove past factories
with a banner on their building saying Zero Defects Manufacturing. The federal government pushed this manufacturing process
and many of their bids had it as part of the requirements. During this same time government agencies were in Japan introducing
the new concepts of In-process manufacturing where everything is accomplished during the actual manufacturing process. Zero
Defects Manufacturing ( it really wasn't Zero Defects since it is too cost prohibitive to do it this way. ) required a
great deal of human intervention in pre-manufacturing quality control steps, the manufacturing cycle and then the post-manufacturing
quality control and testing phase. I will give you an example later related to the production of computer tape. While In-processing
manufacturing cut out the pre and post manufacturing cycles and had everything done during the actual manufacturing of the
products. A 3 percent defect rate was considered to be a good yield rate and could cut the cost of making something
in half. Zero Defects Manufacturing required alot of production engineering too and was set to provide a total zero
defects yield rate although it usually never happened.
Here is an example of the situation related to computer
tape. When computer tape took over as the main storage media for data processing, the first tapes were about $25 to $30
dollars a reel. This was a tremendous cost with larger data processing departments using the tapes by the thousands.
The first tapes were advertised as zero defects 100 percent error free. However the technology was still evolving and
there really was not anywhere a perfect product yet and the price was slowing the use of reel tape as a storage
device. The first tapes were manufactured in common three cycle way with the first be a quality control
testing of the materials, the coating and slitting came in the manufacturing cycle with both processes
very crucial. After manufacturing, there was burnishing, cleaning, testing and certification process which took human
intervention. With the price of tapes needing to be reduced the process was changed. New coatings were introduced
which added more oxide in the formula and this was called a hard formula versus a soft one that needed burnishing. However,
the hard formula did not cause debri and shedding but it wore out the read/write heads on the tape drive faster.
Some of the manufacturers who used the soft formula stopped the burnishing phase to cut costs but sold the tapes as being
easy on the read/write heads. Then most tape manufacturer cut out the post manufacturing cylce completely and went to statistical
tesing methods where only batches of tapes were tested and if they failed the test, the whole larger batch was rejected
and put into storage. However, by the end of each month, manager who needed the numbers to look good , let
the rejected tape be shipped out to customers. This change from Zero-defects manufacturing to In-process
manufacturing cut the costs of computertape in half from about $30 to $15 and then the price dropped even lower
to about $10 a reel with most vendors coming out with a premium product for about $15 dollars a reel. There were
many problems in the field and users had to be well informed about the realities of the product but few would listen
to me as a computer tape salesman. I would hover around the large data centers that used a certain major brand
that had a soft formula and did not to any burnishing. The soft forumla was the best to use but without
burnishing process it shed debri. I watched what data center used most of their tapes in processing and just waited
knowing that in six months or so their entire library would be contaminated and would need a total replacement. I got
sever thousand reel orders this way. I did the same with the data center using the cleaner hard formula tapes because
I knew there would be many read/write head problems and they would finally believe me. These coating problems
continued with floppy diskettes later on and then rigid and hard disk storage.
Here is another comparison related
to differences in manufacturing. The computer tapes that were used to calibrate the tape drives had to be perfect and only
a few tapes made it through a stringent process. The cost of a calibration computer tape was about $125 each and so
you can see the vast cost differences between real Zero Defects Manufacturing and In-process manufacturing. In fact, a calibration
tape was not a possible product through In-process manufacturing alone. Yet this type of manufacturing took over in
foreign lands and this is what led me to being a trouble shooter supplyer to industrial accounts for about twenty years in
my own business.
Doors opened to me in various ways. Evidently, I had gained
a following related to my media storage know how. A new cat scan manufacturer called me for help. They were about to
ship their first cat scan machines when they found out they did not have provisions in their operating system
to correct disk storage errors. They needed 100 percent error free disk packs. I did not know if this was possible.
The best disk pack in the industry at that time had an average of about sixty correctable errors on its surface. It took a
program to correct or bypass these areas in computers and the cat scan machine were different. I subsequently
found out that this was a general problem throughout the cat scan industry. I found a new rigid disk coater and disk pack
manufacturer who was on the cutting edge of a new generation of disk packs and rigid disks. They already produced a
100 percent error free 8" diskette which I was selling to the first computerized typesetting machines. No one else was
capable of producing it. They told me they could produce a 100 percent error free disk pack for just a small difference
It was a success and I supplied the new cat scan manufacturer and others including GE Medical System
with the 100 percent error free product. I did this for five years and then joined the company directly opening their first
branch office. I wrote on error correction codes and advised government accounts about using error free disk storage
media proving to them it was not only more reliable but saved expensive computer time.
Prior to joining the
new company, I was also involved with some of the first micro computers and also supplied China with calibration tapes and
diagnostic devices plus some new disk drive subsystems. I also received orders for some vintage mainframe computers but was
unable to get past the red tape. It is difficult to believe that things were so difficult in selling high technology
to China today when people like President Clinton came and gave it to them on a platter.
At the end of the 1980s,
everything in the computer region was going badly. I fought to the end for the last pc computer made in the USA and
had others built for me usings as many parts possible that were still made in the USA. I had lost most of my
customers due to this including those where I was a trouble shooter supplyer. The U.S. manufacturers were closing down
so fast that I could not keep up with it. The one industrial computer manufacturer who I thought would find their
way through the maze went out of business too. Their production engineers did not know how to deal with all the foreign components
that changed their parts constantly. The engineers were from the old school of Zero Defects Manufacturing and field tested
a component for about six months and then did destructive testing after that. However, in six months, the foreign component
was entirely different from the first purchases with no changes in product codes or having any code that revisions had
Zero Defects Manufacturing may have been more costly and dependent on human intervention but it
was a way where many more were employed at middle class wages that supported all the entitlements and other services. It
supported local value added economies that in turn supported all of society in better ways. In-process manufacturing cut out
workers and the middle class. It played a part in force feeding free trade which betrayed the American workers and workers
everywhere. In 1992, IBM and ATT/NCR layed off 250,000 workers. More than a million lost their jobs in the computer
industry alone surrounding that time. Most of all my customer and clients closed down too. About a 1000 computer
businesses similar to mine closed down in just a tri-state area in my region. Hundreds of computer manufacturers big
and small closed down too. I have a partial lists of these companies at my main site at http://tapsearch.com/tapartnews and will be adding more.
The biggest business mistake I made was trusting the American people would not shop their
way out of their jobs. They held the key to stopping the surrender of our American way but they did not heed
the warnings and shopped their way out of their jobs and are still doing it to this day while President Obama
bails out the investment communities that caused all the problems. We took tariffs off our products and moved our factories
outside the USA and now tariffs have been put on future generations to come with the bail outs and the massive trade deficits
that will never be recovered.
Tapsearcher finds rare vintage computer product
collectibles with extra free bundle deals
Ray Tapajna work experiences includes : Raised
in family food store, Advertising Art, Artist- Several years in factory production - Assembly Line Set up Man, Inventory
Control, Spot Welder, Machine Operator and general factory work- U.S. Army Transportation Officer in Ocean Shipping
and harborcraft- Cargo Airlines rep -Insurance and Personnel Investigator- International Air France Rep -passenger
and cargo- Rack Jobbing business -Church furniture and renovations - Asst Factory Manager- Computer industry for more
than fourty years includes Mainframes, National Communication Networks, Data Entry Systems, Disk Storage expert, Micro Computers,
Software, Help jump start Cat Scan and Computerized Typesetting manufacturers and systems, Weather Software and Hardware Systems,
PC compters, Calibration and Diagnostic devices = Part of every computer generations and their innovations. National
Accounts Manager / Started several Branch and Regional Offices for major Computer Manufacturers. Sold directly
to China and Canadian accounts and in own business for more than 25 years as trouble shooter supplier to major manufacturers.
College background - Art, Diplomatic History, Geopolitics, Philosophy - Attended several Corporate Computer Schools and Seminars.
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