Thursday, February 22, 2018

Largest transport aircraft ..

The Antonov An-225 Mriya is, quite simply, the largest airplane in the world. At 275 feet in length with a 290 foot wingspan and a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tons, it dwarfs 787's. When it debuted in 1988, the An-225 was 50 percent bigger than any airliner ever built before it.Jun 6, 2013

he An-225 utilizes six Progress D-18 turbofans, each producing 51,600 lbf of thrust to haul its massive loads of cargo. This massive plane holds the world records airlifting a single-item payload—a gas power station generator weighing 418,834 pounds—and for airlifting a total payload of 559,577 pounds.

The An-225 loads and unloads through its nose—the rear ramp and cargo door were removed to save weight—and actually kneels using its retractable nosegear, allowing deliveries to drive directly into the cargo bay and more easily position loads. The Mriya also differs from the earlier Ruslan in its tail assembly. The An-225 uses a split, twin tail—rather than the single vertical fin—that allows it to carry large external items up to 440,000 pounds. -

A3 thinking ..

The A3 thinking is based on the Deming PDCA cycle. 

A3 is a structured problem solving and continuous improvement approach, first employed at Toyota and typically used by lean manufacturing practitioners.[1] It provides a simple and strict approach systematically leading towards problem solving over structured approaches. (

The A3 approach is divided into a number of steps which can vary. Most often, eight (8) problem-solving steps are used.

Some examples of A3 Problem Solving Steps are:

  1. Problem description, Initial Perception (PLAN)
  2. Breakdown of the Problem, Problem Clarification (PLAN)
    • Mapping out for this step can be driven by a set of questions. For example, the "5 W's (whatwherewhenwhywho) and 2H's" (howhow many).
  3. Point of Cause, Setting Target (PLAN)
  4. Containment (PLAN)
  5. Cause and Effect, Ishikawa (PLAN)
  6. Follow Up Action, Corrective Actions (DO)
  7. Effect Confirmation (CHECK)
  8. Share the successfully implemented actions (ACT)

These steps are followed by any Follow Up Actions.

Planning gets pride of place and it shows how important is planning in the whole quality improvement process. It is said that on an average a Toyota engineer spends about 70% of his time planning and only 30 % in execution and monitoring.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

From market capitalism to surveillance capitalism ..

Surveillance capitalism is a term first introduced by John Bellamy Foster and Robert McChesney in Monthly Review and later popularized by academic Shoshana Zuboff that denotes a new genus of capitalism that monetizes data acquired through surveillance. -
During the dawn of the automobile age, we had Ford capitalizing on the concept of Mass Production and benefiting from it, building plants and dominating the world by means of the products that came out of these assembly factories.

Nowadays we see a similar revolution of a new economy and power centre, this time though not with physical assets or products, rather with access to tools that can collect vast volumes of data and then analyse / process them to generate information that could be used for the benefit of society or otherwise.

What does Google do to all the data it collects on all our physical and virtual life movements ? If we have an Android phone or a Google phone, all our movements are tracked to the minutest detail and monetized.

Click here to find how Google gets our complete data and monetizes on it .. 

The technologies to capture data and the tools to analyse this data have helped us move from the centuries old Market Capitalism model to the new Surveillance Capitalism model ..

Click here for the article - The new Surveillance Capitalism

The Harvard academic Zoshana Zuboff has been at the forefront of research to understand the dynamics of surveillance capitalism and has come up with exciting papers, the more important one titled - Big Other - Surveillance Capitalism and the prospect of an Information Civilization

Hope this field emerges stronger over the years with sufficient research and knowledge to understand how data will influence our lives in the future.


Reference :
1. Zuboff, Shoshana. "Big Other: Surveillance Capitalism and the Prospects of an Information Civilization." Journal of Information Technology 30, no. 1 (March 2015): 75–89.

Where are gun laws taking US to ?

17 teenagers from a school in Miami lost their lives on February 14 to a shooter Nicholas Cruz.

The government is still silent on why they are unable to control the free handling of guns by the citizens.

Why is the US government unable to control the great craze among US citizens for carrying or possessing personal firearms or other lethal weapons for ensure their personal safety ? Does the govt have the duty to ensure the personal safety of its citizens by default and why is the US government abjugating that responsibility from itself onto the people to carry it out themselves bringing great risk to society and its members ?

This is a very recent BBC article which gives excellent statistical data on the American gun culture in 10 charts. Of all the developed communities in the world, we observe it is the American people who are at greater risk of the use or misuse of guns in their own societies. While offering oneself, a good control over ones' own security, it also makes the whole society very vulnerable to misuse as everyone, sane and insane, is carrying one or possesses one and could use or misuse it for good or bad.

It is indeed shocking to understand how guns are being misused by a small fraction of members in the society making the lives of everybody in the society at great risk. in the US alone, it is estimated to have 280 million guns as per latest statistics for a population of 315 million. ie. almost 88% of the population have legally licensed firearms.

The problem with carrying so much of lethal firearms is the very high risk of a misuse happening by an insane person and which results in so much of pain, shame, suffering etc to the members of the society.

while proponents of gun culture, argue that guns can instill a fear in the minds of the people that it could be used on them, opponents of gun culture argue that an insane person with a gun can indeed cause great damage to society and innocent young lives, like what happened in Florida over the past four days.

What could be a permanent solution to this crisis gripping US society and the people living there ? Should the government further relax gun control laws and give everyone the right to protect themselves or prevent its widespread use and limit the use to only licensed sane people.

Another point that could be discussed across US communities is should the US government think of having yearly wellness / soundness of mind checks on gun holders to ensure there is less misuse and less attacks on innocent civilians in revenge attacks ?

Whatever happens, the issue of gun control is a grave issue the US government finds itself caught in these days and unless some drastic measures which restrain the freedom of individuals to protect themselves in taken up, the issue could become quite serious and grave for the rest of the population. This is a matter of grave concern not only for the US citizens, but also for the innumerable visitors who keep coming to US on business, personal and study reasons and who in turn stand at a great risk of being subject to such attacks and atrocities.

In the mean time, the only prayers we could offer to the US and rest of the world is let better sense prevail and let people look at the long term impact of their short sighted actions and not just work for immediate economic and political gains.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Alliance Uty Bangalore students implement RFID ATT ..

What is RFID tech - a primer ..
Great news from Operations !! Alliance Uty goes Hi-Tech, with great support from students ..

The fourth sem and second sem MBA Operations students in their class now have 125 Khz passive RFID based automated attendance tracking system implemented by the students in the class. 

As part of a mini-project / mini- challenge, the project was posed to the students. The biggest challenge for the students, being from Business Management classes, was not only to identify the technological aspects, but also to identify the best technology / vendor combination that could offer the best VALUE-FOR-MONEY ..

As we understood, there were three phases in the project implementation.
Phase I - identifying the relevant technology, the correct accessories for the design, evaluating the design 
Phase II - identify the suitable vendors to give the different components and evaluate the software at the best cost and the earliest delivery date and 
Phase III - implement the technology in the classroom in the shortest time available after doing the analysis and required programming etc.
The students had to identify the best RFID technology available, design the suitable frequencies to work along, design the complete system, including the software or purchase it. After completing phase I, the students had to identify the vendors, talk to them, talk the financials and thirdly, plan the implementation project in as short a time as possible.

Wide and varied RFID real-life applications ..
Since the Shivarathri holiday came in between, the students had enough time to work around with the system, test its implementation, fool-proof it and get it ready for field application, ie. to be taken to the classroom.

Being Management students, all along we have been stressing on the second most important constraint, after technology, COSTSto reduce item costs and implementation costs of this high-tech Asset Tracking Technology (ATT). As of our information, no other business school or central or state government funded academic institute in Bangalore has accomplished this feat through the students.

The following five second semester MBA students, (2017-19 batch)
Vignesh Kumar S,
Jai Kiran Kumar,
Chandan S
Dinesh Pasupathy
HariGanesh Shekar 
carried out the RFID tech job (incl software) in just under a week at a cost of Rs 1400/-, total expenses less labour and transportation. They did it for a class of 70 taking the subject of Logistics and Supply Chain Management. These students deserve all kudos and motivation to continue their efforts to master more advanced technologies and their practical field implementation.

We shall seriously look at automating the attendance recording in other operations classes and the whole Uty too. Having understood the different aspects and facets of this technology, scaling this technology to other streams and Colleges, including ACED in the University is quite  tractable.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Top international passenger aircrafts in the world ..

Boeing 787, Dreamliner .. Carbon composites materials make it economical
for capex and opex ..
Supply Chain Management is not only concerned about purchasing and storing raw materials and finished goods, it is also interesting to know how these goods are moved. A peek into the growing commercial airline market is very necessary for the time being.

Here is a list of the top ten international passenger aircraft in the world ..(Click here..) listed in terms of their capacity, uninterrupted flying distance, no of engines.

As we know most of the top aircraft manufacturers of the world use aircraft engines from three major manufacturers of the world, namely, Rolls Royce, Pratt and Whitney and General Electric.

The top 11 passenger aircrafts of the world are like this  - in terms of distance covered on a single fuel charge and passenger capacity (

11. Airbus A330-300     335 (2 classes)       11750 km          (2 engines)
10. Airbus A340-300     295                         15000 km  / 2011 (discontinued)
(4 engines)
09. Airbus A340-500     372                         15725 km  /2011 (discontinued) 
(4 engines)
08.  Airbus A350-900    325 (3-class)           15000 km        (2 engines)
07. Boeing 787-9           280 (3 class)           14100 km        (2 engines)  
(Dreamliner)                                                              (My addition ..)
06. Boeing 777-200       440                          14,260 km       (2 engines)
05. Airbus A340-600     400                          15,725 km / 2011 (discontinued)   
(4 engines)
04. Boeing 777-300       550                          11,135 km        (2 engines)
03. Boeing 747-400       624                          13,446 km        (4 engines)
02. Boeing 747-B          700                           14,816 km       (4 engines)
01. Airbus A380-800     880                          15,200 km        (4 engines)

A390, prototype is ready, but are the passengers ?
The Airbus A390 can accommodate 1760 passengers and can travel upto 16000 km in one go, but it is still not commercially released ..

The 3 engined McDonnel Douglas DC 10 could carry 380 passengers max upto 10,000 kms but was discontinued in 2007. It was known as the death trap, it has not been very popular.

China is slowly entering the commercial jet engines
passenger plane market with the Comac C919
The Chinese jet passenger aircraft Comac C919 is expected to enter Chinese airlines by 2020. It can carry upto 165 passengers for a distance of 5555 km and is twin engined.

Because of the low passenger load factor, between 72 % in Africa to 82% in US and Europe, airlines find it difficult to get larger planes loaded to capacity even on heavy traffic routes, even after deploying their best marketing and pricing strategies. This is the reason why all private airlines in US are slowly selling off their Boeing 747 aircraft and taking recourse to small Boeing 737s and Boeing 787s, which is easy to have full capacity and offers better fuel economy.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner, built majorly using Carbon composites, is lighter than other aircraft of equal capacity and hence gives better fuel efficiency and more profits for the airlines. It is the recent darling of airlines world over ..


Largest transport aircraft ..

The  Antonov An-225 Mriya  is, quite simply, the largest airplane in the world. At 275 feet in length with a 290 foot wingspan and a maximum...

My popular posts over the last month ..