Articles The Basics

Manufacturing Fun-damentals
Primary principles and practices for large-scale industrial production

Toyota Production System
Yes, the Toyota Production System (TPS) was invented by the Japanese car manufacturer Toyota, which is now a multinational conglomerate.  But it’s relevant to your small- or medium-sized business too!   See, TPS is just one of many different models for Lean Manufacturing.  And while lean isn’t the best approach... Read More...
5S Methodology for Organization
Don’t be like Rhonda.   If you’re a regular here at Zattatat, you know that Rhonda is a retired nurse who now runs a small business making and selling wooden items.  In general, things were going really well – Rhonda enjoyed being free from all the bureaucracy of her hospital... Read More...
Using Basic Science Research
You understand the importance of doing experiments when you need to figure out something for your making or manufacturing process.  But did you know that sometimes (even often), you can save a LOT of time and money by taking advantage of research that’s already been done? And you can... Read More...
Manufacturing Cost
Believe it or not, most maker/manufacturer businesses start out not knowing exactly how much their manufacturing costs!   That’s because the calculation isn’t as straightforward as you might assume.   Now, if you’re getting something made by a contract manufacturer, of course, you can just get quotes from several companies and... Read More...
Core Competencies
You’ve never struggled with deciding what to delegate and what to do yourself. … Wait a minute, you HAVE???? Don’t worry, you’re not alone 🙂 Here at Process Cat, we encourage DIY-ing manufacturing for companies of all sizes. But, not even the most dedicated Maker or do-it-yourselfer could completely... Read More...
Traceability in Manufacturing
You don’t care about traceability in manufacturing! Because as a small manufacturer (or Maker or Entrepreneur or whatever you call yourself!) you’re busy enough making good products and getting people to buy them.   But (and of course, there’s a but!) that’s something you may want to change.  See, traceability... Read More...
Scale-up: bottlenecks
When you’re having trouble producing your product fast enough, that’s a great problem to have!  It means people like your product and you’re doing a good job of getting the word out about it with your marketing efforts. But it’s still a problem you need to address! In this... Read More...
Manufacturing: what is it? (And what isn’t it?)
You want manufacturing advice. (If you don’t? You’re reading the wrong website, my friend!) Yes, at Process Cat we talk about manufacturing – how to make improvements in your own processes or advice on working with a contract manufacturer, for example. Today we’re going to back up and answer... Read More...
Profitability: It Is All About Yield!
Profitability is simple in theory: your business makes money by selling things. Specifically, you spend (invest) money to make your products, then people pay you money to buy your products, and the difference between what you took in and what you spent is your profit. Earth-shattering, right? Ok, no.... Read More...
What are Supply Chains?
You’ve heard about supply chains. You know they must be important (and they are!)  But if you never quite understood exactly what they were?  You’re in good company. Rhonda didn’t know what supply chains were. If you’re a regular PCat reader, you know that Rhonda is a retired nurse who... Read More...


Meet the characters with the skills & Zattatudes who can help engineer your manufacturing success

Princess Capybara

Age: 35

Background: Biotech

Current Gig: Mold-Making

Zattatude: Seeks to geek out with the top tech she knows best


Age: 44

Background: Accounting

Current Gig: Baking

Zattatude: Lives to figure out how everything in life adds up

Process Cat

Age: Timeless

Background: Manufacturing

Current Gig: Helping People

Zattatude: Loves to teach others how to scale up their businesses


Age: 53

Background: Nursing

Current Gig: Woodworking

Zattatude: Celebrates ditching her bureaucratic hospital job for her hands-on craft business