The Environmentally Friendly Paper Cup

APRIL 14, 2014

Jamba Juice, McDonald’s, and several other food chains are starting to serve their drinks in paper cups. Drinks stay just as hot and cold in  new doubled-walled paper cup as in the old non-biodegradeable foam variety. The paper industry likes it a lot too. Demand for paper cups is growing 5% a year. Environmental concerns from consumers and new bans on plastic foam in more U.S. cities are prompting food chains to make a switch, reports The Wall Street Journal (April 11, 2014).

Jamba Juice said last year it would adopt paper cups for its smoothies and other cold drinks “to improve our environmental footprint.” McDonald’s is replacing plastic-foam cups with double-walled McCafe paper cups at all 14,000 McCafes across the country. The company says it is trying to be more environmentally conscious and cut costs on trash. Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. has said it is testing paper cups. These companies join Starbucks, which has been using paper for years.

Environmental advocates say paper is easier on the environment than plastic foam because the latter tends to break up in landfills and then is mistaken by animals for food. Plastic foam is difficult to recycle unless it is kept clean and separated from other types of plastics—so many plants in the U.S. don’t take it. It isn’t biodegradable.

Paper cups are slightly more expensive than foam. Extras like double walls for insulation or plant-based lining to make it compostable add to the price. While the paper cups cost a few cents more, McDonald’s says it will make up the difference in the trash. Most of the chain’s waste is paper-based– wraps, fry cartons and Big Mac boxes—so paper cups can go into the same trash bin, and eventually into recycling bins.

This post provided courtesy of Jay and Barry’s OM Blog at www.heizerrenderom.wordpress.comProfessors Jay Heizer and Barry Render are authors of Operations Management , the world’s top selling textbook in its field, published by Pearson.

Delta’s Unorthodox Scheduling System

APRIL 11, 2014

Delta's Control Room

“The crew of Delta Air Lines Flight 55 last Thursday couldn’t legally fly from Lagos, Nigeria, to Atlanta unless they waited a day due to new limits on how much pilots can fly in a rolling 28-day period,” writes The Wall Street Journal (April 3, 2014). The trip would have to be canceled. Instead, Delta headquarters told the captain to fly to San Juan, which they could reach within their duty limits. There, two new pilots would be waiting to take theBoeing 767 on to Atlanta. The plane arrived in San Juan at 2:44 a.m., quickly took on fuel and pilots, and landed in Atlanta only 40 minutes late.

The episode, unorthodox in the airline industry, illustrates the fanaticism Delta now has for avoiding cancellations. Last year, Delta canceled just 0.3% of its flights. That was twice as good as the next-best airlines, Southwest and Alaska, and five times better than the industry average of 1.7%.

As it cut cancellations with a more-reliable operation, overall on-time arrivals improved and Delta has fewer delays. Managers in Delta operations center (featured in our Global Company Profile  in Chapter 15) move planes, crews and parts around hourly trying to avoid canceling flights. How well an airline maintains its fleet and how smartly it stashes spare parts and planes at airports affect whether a flight goes or not. Delta’s new analytical software and instruments that can help monitor the health of airplanes and predict which parts will soon fail. Empty planes are ferried to replace crippled jets rather than waiting for overnight repairs. Typically the airline has about 20 spare airplanes of different sizes each day. About half are stationed in Atlanta and the rest spread around other domestic hubs and two in Tokyo.

This post provided courtesy of Jay and Barry’s OM Blog at www.heizerrenderom.wordpress.comProfessors Jay Heizer and Barry Render are authors of Operations Management , the world’s top selling textbook in its field, published by Pearson.

 

The Danger of Workplace Noise

APRIL 9, 2014

Extremely loud noise on the job, as well as hearing loss from noise exposure, may cause workers to miss danger warnings, reportsNewsmax Health (April 3, 2014). Workers regularly exposed to noise levels of 100 decibels – about the volume standing next to a lawnmower – have more than doubled risk of being hospitalized for a workplace injury. Workers with hearing loss were also more likely to be seriously hurt.

“Noise induced hearing loss is a public health issue – in the US, up to 30 million workers are exposed to noise,” said a Canadian researcher. “From an occupational safety perspective, work-related injuries remain an important issue that generates significant costs for businesses, workers and compensation organizations.” Exposure to high noise levels increases fatigue, decreases the ability to concentrate and impairs the quality of communication between workers.
Both noise and noise-induced hearing loss could be involved in the occurrence of accidents. For every decibel of hearing loss, the risk of hospitalization due to work-related injury increased by 1 percent. Workers exposed to noise levels above 100 decibels had 2.4 times the risk of being hospitalized for work-related injuries compared to workers not exposed to loud noise. Workers with the combination of severe hearing loss and working in an environment where noise exposure is overly intense the risk of being hospitalized with a work-related injury is 3.6 times that of workers with neither factor.
Workers who can’t hear properly, either because of hearing loss or wearing hearing protection that’s too strong, might miss important communications and signals on the job. One thing that might help is if workers and supervisors devise special safety signals that don’t rely as much on hearing.
This post provided courtesy of Jay and Barry’s OM Blog at www.heizerrenderom.wordpress.comProfessors Jay Heizer and Barry Render are authors of Operations Management , the world’s top selling textbook in its field, published by Pearson.