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Walkmen In Assembly Area

I just returned from visiting a nice assembly shop. Virtual... - Dec 09, 2002 by davef  

#22628

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 9 December, 2002

I just returned from visiting a nice assembly shop. Virtually every person in touch labor was wearing headphones and listening to a "walkman". We don't permit use of personal gear on the line that for a variety of reasons.

What's your practice and thinking on the issue?

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Jon Fox

#22629

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 9 December, 2002

We currently have a factory radio that plays through speakers in the ceiling. It becomes an issue from time to time over the current format that is playing (especially during the holidays). If quality does not become an issue and there is no hand motion or moving around by the operator that would tangle the wires, why not let them listen to what ever they want to? As long as there is no "air guitar", head bopping, and singing I don't see a problem with it.

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#22630

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 9 December, 2002

Several places I've worked did not allow radios/players of any kind, with or without headphones. The one place that did had a policy that I thought was pretty good - Operators had to be there at least 6 months before they could wear one (that way they had learned their job fairly well). At least one ear had to be uncovered, and the volume had to be low enough that others could get their attention without having to yell. If the Operator worked around anything moving that could snag the headphone cable they could not wear them. If anyone abused the privilege, they all may lose it.

I think the key part was the Operators realized it was a privilege, and peer pressure kept anyone from abusing it.

Mike

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MA/NY DDave

#22633

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 9 December, 2002

Hi DaveF,

Well I don't agree with the process, depending on job, since the management of the workers output gets more complex. Boy would I be killed some places for writing the "No Music" policy. Personal Headphones are better than Speakers since they tend to argue over genre, yet I don't like them either.

If they are doing something that doesn't require any thinking or any quick change to accomodate what they see or what they are doing, it is probably OK and won't affect output.

If they require sporadic thinking then music will take them away and they will miss things. Inspection is one such place.

If you are thinking of doing this do a study pre and post music using a 200% top pro redo study to see the affects of pre and post music. Do the first study blind before they know future music is at stake.

YiE, MA/NY DDave

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Tony

#22644

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 10 December, 2002

I work alone in my SMT department so I listen to whatever I want, and loudly. It helps me work I believe. BUT..... You have to take each case seperatly. I know some people I could trust to do a good quality job while asleep. But then you have those that, no matter how competent they are on a regular basis, they just cannot give a job their full attention with headphones or speaker music. Unfortunatly you cannot have two sets of rules. I vote no music (except for me that is...).

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#22657

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 11 December, 2002

Lets take it a step farther. What about letting them use tapes or CDs in those walkmans? Would you allow them on the factory floor? Any ESD issues with the plastic cases? If not, would you limit the amount of tapes or CDS they could have with them?

For those who allow walkmans, ever have issues when the operator didn't want to get interrupted during their favorite song?

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#22662

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 11 December, 2002

I think it's a question of how boring and repetitive a job is. also, I seem to remember background music in most office environment improves productivity, and that there a special music programs that adapts music styles for different period of the day. It works for chickens and cows...

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MA/NY DDave

#22678

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 12 December, 2002

Hi

Gee I am going to have fun with each of these messages.

Thank goodness you are alone, and maybe you are able to use the tempo of the music to speed up your work or create greater concentration. I know it can happen. And then you probably turn off the music when you know you need to for greater concentration.

Yet imagine two or three other workers one wanting religious, one punk, and one moslem (arbian) music. They would kill each other. Well actually I saw this managed one place as best as it could, yet the management in my opinion was too difficult.

YiE, MA/NY MrDave

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MA/NY DDave

#22679

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 12 December, 2002

Hi

Excellent.

You are right that many areas due to ESD or cleanliness requirements would not be appropriate for Walkmans, personal CD players and such.

YiE, MA/NY DDave

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MA/NY DDave

#22680

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 12 December, 2002

Hi

You know I heard a show recently that said they used music for the mating of a great race horse. I don't remember his name yet it tickled me.

Also this year for Christmas a company offers a music product that slows down your heart rate via breathing techniques linked to music. It is a combo monitor and helps people that have anxiety that turns into fast rather than slower diaphram breathing. Neat product and it works.

It depends on what you or the animals or even the plants are doing and whether it is a strongly supporting mechanism applied at the right time and situation.

Usually at SMT type work places many people don't really want to be there and may have life problems. Certain music even if soft with words could be upsetting if their lives weren't OK. Others I know can't stand soft music. At an SMTA meeting the other day a lady described how a co worker went balistic over Seasonal music played in her private cube.

So even though I like it, I think it is easier and more productive to stay away.

YiE, MA/NY DDave

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#22685

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 12 December, 2002

How about someone on a drum like they used to have in the bowels of a ship to control the speed of the unfortinuate ones that were rowing. The beat could be increased to speed up production or slowed down to adjust for a bottleneck.

We had a manager that retired a while back that would have gone for this idea. Hell, he would have loved to have had a whip to help "manage" those that were out of beat with the others.

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#22694

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 13 December, 2002

You asked for opinions, here's mine. If you feel you need to wear a walkman to get thru the day then you can go wear it in the unemployment line. Anyone who says they are more productive when wearing a walkman and listening to music in a dynamic work environment such as a SMT assembly facility is not a company oriented person. They have serious communication issues and probably refer to their company as "they" instead of "we". In these times of economic slowdown I would think it is a good opportunity to scale down to the core "company oriented" employees. Can you imagine an employee who is wearing a walkman tracking down his manager to ask him for some more work because his process is running smooth and he has idle time? Of course not, he'll just sit there and listen to his music with the attitude "this is what they pay me to do". In the words of Charles Barkley, "I may be wrong, but I doubt it".

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#22697

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 13 December, 2002

Hmmmmmm, one part per beat, per operator. Consider using your Radial lead inserter as your canned drummer.

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#22700

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 13 December, 2002

Have you considered at all that some employers offer less, and thus should expect less as well?

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Stephen

#22702

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 13 December, 2002

I used to work in the field and have worked at various companies since then. Always management determines the attitude and workers mirror it. Anyplace workers have a "they" attitude, so does management. Anywhere management has a "we" attitude so do the workers. Every manager that complains about employees having bad attitudes, has a bad attitude him/herself. I have found no long term exceptions. Employees that don't mirror employer attitudes either move on to somewhere better or get moved on.

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Vic

#22708

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 13 December, 2002

We had the overhead music from speakers for about three years. When the bickering over station and/or content became too hard to deal with, we stopped all music. Disaster! For the last six years, we have had a policy of no Walkmans for new employees until they have proven their ability to do the job. However, it is still a priviledge and if the quality or productivity suffer, the priviledge is lost. Our employees understand this and it is not an issue. The previous comment about "we" & "they" is very valid. The atmosphere is dictated by management's attitude. "We" employees are cultivated by positive attitudes from supervisors.

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#22718

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 16 December, 2002

We simply don't allow any 'walkman' type systems to be used by anyone in our factory. It's simply from a health and safety point of view. Think of this scenario: everyone in a department wearing walkmans, a fellow worker in someway gets injured/falls etc and shouts for help....everyone else sitting tapping their feet to their favourite music, poor bugger lies there until someone changes their tape.

Companies that do allow their workers to wear them, how do you get their attention?

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#22719

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 16 December, 2002

It is surprising how a simple question sometimes reveals complex issues. It seems from reading many replies that an employee wearing a walkman while working is making a statement about his attitude toward his work and his employer. This is similar to how we regard hair, tattoos, clothes, etc, that a person wears or displays. The first impression we have upon seeing someone listening to music while working is that he is not fully concentrating on the task at hand.

If this is the case, then a law should be passed to remove all sound systems in cars. When is the last time you drove anywhere without the car radion turned on?

I have observed that society has evolved to a point that silent environment has become more disturbing than a noisy one. Notice any situation involving a group of people stuck together in a room, the silent moments never last more than a few seconds.

What activities nobody would even consider wearing a walkman? Team sports, hunting, race car driving...

Focusing on the task at hand is the key. If the source of music is isolating you from your surrounding, that is not a good idea. But if the source of music stays in the background and is not distracting, then it contributes to a more pleasant environment. A walkman covering only one ear and set low enough to allow normal hearing of the environment falls in the latter category, IMO.

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#22730

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 16 December, 2002

Your analogy of radio use in a car is not fair. In fact, I believe in many states the use of walkman headphones while driving a car is illegal. Just like in your work environment, you wouldn't be able to hear sirens (emergency vehicles or pick and place machine stoppages). I would consider workers on a dynamic assembly line more along the lines of your team sport analogy. Of course, if the line is not dynamic (i.e. mass production, no changeovers, minimal machine issues, etc.) then perhaps one ear to the music would be a compromise. What makes it difficult is whatever is allowed for one must be allowed for all.

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#22750

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 17 December, 2002

Ever been in one of those "rolling boombox" with the thumping bass shattering every windows a mile around? Those should be illegal, if only for the fact that the brains of the occupants is turned to jelly by the decibel levels.

But my point was using the music as a background to an otherwise bland environment. When the music becomes the main focus of a person's attention, the task at hand becomes secondary. I wonder if radios are allowed in nuclear plant control rooms?

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V.RAMANAND KINI

#22821

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 21 December, 2002

cool Music soothens one's emotions. It should be mild and not loud. No voice. Just music...Solos.

We have used this successfully in our plant. Every hour we have a two minutes break to give rest to our operators who use microscopes for all the work. During this time, they close their eyes and relax.

We decide the music ourselves.

But walkmans will certainly divert the attention.

bye

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#22824

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 21 December, 2002

> cool Music soothens one's emotions. It should be > mild and not loud. No voice. Just > music...Solos. > > We have used this successfully > in our plant. Every hour we have a two minutes > break to give rest to our operators who use > microscopes for all the work. During this time, > they close their eyes and relax. > > We decide the > music ourselves. > > But walkmans will certainly > divert the attention. > > bye

I just argree with GregP. As I saw in the past. People enjoy their walkman and ...fall to sleep. Even got caught with in conveyor (no injury but scare enough). Sometime as the Operator leaned over for the better look.. their headphone got laid on the wet paste and smear and dragged the parts out of the pads (poor quality). As if I am working with an outsource team to visit your company (any contractor) This would be on my reports to the boss that is those operators are relaxing. So, Can we trust them on the Quality in First time Passes? I know each one got their own opinions, ideas and diff. way to manage and operated. to me Its should be banned. They got paid to coming and do the works and moving around assist others. Not Playing!

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Jkhaiar

#22832

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 23 December, 2002

Hi Dave F As usual a simple Question with a complex issue My view to the music Walkman or any other entertainment at work place issue is a matter of Principle. When accepted to sell my Working hours for a pay "The entire working hours should be totally devoted to the best interest of the job which I am paid for". I.e. mentally and physically. I don't like the idea that when I buy My Burger & Mr. Mack has to have a say on it. The same principle should be applied. Do your job at work place and keep your music at your private time .

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Garth

#22860

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 27 December, 2002

I allow my staff to wear them and apparently I must have the best staff. I have never had to supervise the issue. I have never seen an employee wear them when they are running the line. I have never walked past somebody and been able to hear whatever it is they are listening to.

My employees are smart enough to know when it is appropriate and when it is not. I feel bad for those of you who are forced to supervise this issue and must have rules of when or if the employees can do this. I guess it really is true, common sense appears not to be very common.

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MA/NY DDave

#22875

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 31 December, 2002

Hi

This has been an interesting topic.

I agree and I remember an older guy or two, some of which I knew, who agreed that common sense isn't exactly common place. The idea always drove me crazy, for a while.

YiE, MA/NY DDave

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#22946

Walkmen In Assembly Area | 9 January, 2003

One shop picked up productivity with walkmen. The hand assemblers were jammed in tight and frequently face to face. It cut down conversation significantly and reduced complaints about music in general. The policy was eventually changed to only one headphone. Visitors saw a heads down, busy enviorment.

Material handlers did not wear them and there was no powered material handling in the assembly area, it would not fit. There were short lines that created a pace in on 1/2 the floor.

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