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Operation Management

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  • Jan. 2013
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Introduction
The Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing company, or more commonly known and abbreviated as 3M, was found in 1902 in Two Harbors, US. The company started out by mining corundum which was to be used to make sandpaper and grinding wheels but soon seized operations when artificial replacements made the mineral worthless. 3M then turned to producing grinding wheels and sandpaper themselves, and only then were things were then looking up. Having difficulty with quality and marketing its products, the management supported its workers to innovate and develop new products which became its core business. Over the years, 3M and its division have produced many unique and inventive products for households and production alike. Popular Innovations from 3M:

 Waterproof sandpaper
 Post-it notes
 Scotch tape – Masking tape
 Imation Corporation
Nowadays, with the vision of “the ability to not only develop unique products, but also to manufacture them efficiently and consistently around the world”, 3M operates with over 80,000 employees in more than 60 countries producing in access of 55,000 different products.

3M Business Unit: Abrasive Systems Division
3M Abrasive Systems is the core business that the company started with over 100 years ago. Part of the Industrial and Transportation business, today, it produces a complete line of coated abrasives, abrasives, microfinishing and microreplicated abrasives, plus hardware accessories which are available in sheets, rolls, belts, discs, wheels and brushes. The division offers expert knowledge and innovative products enabling industrial manufacturers and transportation customers to complete processes quickly, more cost effectively and safely.

Problem Statement
In 2003, the performance and reliability of 3M Abrasive Systems products were receiving a lot of complaints from customers. More specifically, their abrasive belts – which were mainly used by production and manufacturing plants rather than end-users –...