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Martin Fairbank

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Speaking up for forest products

Speaking up for forest products

If you're working in the forest products industry you've probably had a similar experience to this. At a social occasion, somebody asks you what you do for a living. Then he or she brings up something they've heard in the media – deforestation, clearcutting, destruction of ancient forests, the paperless office killing the paper industry, etc. How do you respond? Each of these is a complex issue that the media have distorted, exaggerated, misunderstood or just plainly got wrong. If you give too long an answer, you are regarded as either a zealot or a bore, but if you give too short an answer, it suggests the media are correct, and you are hiding something!

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Blogs - Martin Fairbank

Industry 4.0 – a fancy label for continuous improvement

Industry 4.0 – a fancy label for continuous improvement

Marketers are always coming up with new names for improved products, but it seems they don't expect their customers to be able to count higher than five. Remember Intel's...

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Blogs - Martin Fairbank

Opening the door to innovation

Opening the door to innovation

Patents are supposed to spread knowledge by making those filing for a patent describe the innovation in detail. But patent lawyers are masters of obfuscation, and try to ...

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Blogs - Martin Fairbank

Poka Yoke for easier and safer work

Poka Yoke for easier and safer work

If you've had any exposure to Lean Manufacturing, you'll be familiar with the term Poka Yoke, invented by lean guru Shigeo Shingo in the 1960s. It means mistake-proofing....

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Blogs - Martin Fairbank

Reduce, Recycle, and Rethink

Reduce, Recycle, and Rethink

According to the OECD , Germany recycles or composts 65% of its waste. The remainder is incinerated, since there are no landfills in the country. Compare this with the situ...

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Blogs - Martin Fairbank

The Evolution of Maintenance Philosophies

The Evolution of Maintenance Philosophies

Maintenance philosophies have come a long way in the last few decades. In the beginning there was reactive maintenance, i.e. only fixing something if it breaks or causes ...

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Blogs - Martin Fairbank

Data Mining 101

Data Mining 101

I heard it said recently that in the last ten minutes, more data have been generated than since the prehistoric era until 2003. Measuring things and storing the acquired ...

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