Why “Smart” Manufacturing Will Grow in 2016
MAY 26, 2016
Factories are typically thought of as dark places with people standing on an assembly line working side by side with machines, doing the same thing over and over again. But, that “vision” of the traditional factory has changed thanks largely to the influx of technological advances in how factories operate. The Labor Force. Indirect jobs will be a necessity for these types of factories to function.
Are Robots About to Take Over E-commerce Warehouses?
FEBRUARY 9, 2016
You could say that implementing robotics in warehouse operations is nothing new. After all, “dumb robots” have been used for some time now for performing repetitive tasks. The advancements in artificial intelligence have also introduced us with their smart counterparts, which can perform duties on their own or cooperate with humans. We are the Robots. Tech Magic. The Age of Automation.
Is the Automotive “Factory of the Future” Closer Than We Think?
MARCH 8, 2016
In the automotive business, we’ve been hearing about the Factory of the Future for years now. It’s easy to dismiss the whole idea as just one more round of hype and promises. But not too long ago people were saying the same thing about the Internet, and we know how that worked out! think we’re in a similar situation with the automotive Factory of the Future. They’re not the only ones, either.
What’s Missing From Your Manufacturing Processes?
MARCH 17, 2016
Creating a more streamlined and efficient manufacturing process can improve revenue, optimize worker productivity, increase operational agility and even reduce the overhead and operational costs for your company. Making due with an outdated manufacturing process could wind up costing many businesses far more than they might realize. To Soliciting Worker Feedback and Ideas. Greener Upgrades.
How Rail Freight Companies Get Back in the Black
With revenues down across the board for freight railroads, how can operators boost profits? When enabled by predictive analytics, pricing can be the key to maximizing revenue. Find out how freight rail operators can use price optimization to keep profits on track.
Do Forklifts Have a Place in the Warehouse of the Future?
APRIL 19, 2016
Today, just as it’s been for several decades, forklifts are a common sight in warehouses. They are a vital part of the entire warehousing process – from taking new products off the truck for storage, to moving them to different shelving areas, to putting them back on a truck for delivery. Are they becoming obsolete? An Increased Use of Automation. Everything is done quickly and efficiently.
How the Industrial Internet of Things is Changing the Electrical Industry
MAY 19, 2016
Automation is an inevitable part of many industries, and the logical next step is automated systems that essentially communicate with one another. It’s commonly known as the Internet of Things (IoT) and it is transforming how businesses operate. It’s an exciting trend and one that has accelerated dramatically in just the last few years. What Is the Industrial Internet of Things? Tracking. Cohesion.
5 Ways 3D Printing Is Changing the Manufacturing Industry
MARCH 3, 2016
With 3D printing becoming more versatile and less expensive, we’re starting to see more and more companies take advantage of the technology. While additive manufacturing has been around for decades, advancements in 3D printing technology are creating a number of significant changes in the industry. Here are five of the most interesting. 1. More Custom-Built Products. New Design Possibilities.
Alan Mulally’s Perspective on the Digitization of Manufacturing
MARCH 31, 2016
Former CEO of Ford and Boeing Commercial Airplanes says all companies are becoming digital, connected. Alan Mulally is not your average retiree. Today, Mulally is still very much in demand for his talent, his ideas and for knowing how to gain competitive advantage through organizational culture, serving on the boards of two high-tech companies. Traditional Industries Versus Digital Ones.
5 Manufacturing Practices that will be Outdated within the Decade
JUNE 30, 2015
Do your manufacturing processes still rely on analog or paper-based components? Perhaps now is the time to embrace digitization as a strategy? As you read this article, the manufacturing industry is moving towards a fourth massive revolution. The addition of the Internet to devices promises to further accelerate the innovation that is to come. Reliance on Human Labor. Analog to Digital Management.
5 Ways the Cloud Can Impact Manufacturing
MAY 14, 2015
According to a survey by NSK Inc., 82 percent of companies surveyed saved money by moving various parts of their business to the cloud. Interestingly, however, according to another survey by a renown analyst firm, only 3 percent of manufacturers have a cloud-based Manufacturing Execution System installed. Clearly, we have a world where cloud adoption is not ubiquitous! Better Forecasting.
10 Steps to Establish Best Practices in Maintenance Management
JANUARY 20, 2015
Establishing best practices in production maintenance is an achievable goal. But it’s a goal that many talk about but few achieve. So why is it so difficult? And, why are so many manufactures still running at over 90 percent reactive? Many blame it on the age of their manufacturing assets and the repairs they require. Now look through the variables in your operation. But where do we go next?
Optimizing the Supply Chain with the Use of ERP Software
A summary of ways you can improve supply chain optimization and move things forward for your business.
9 Ways to Gain Efficiency in Warehouse Management
MAY 3, 2016
As with most businesses, efficiency can make the difference between profit and loss. In warehouse management, this is particularly true. The most resourceful warehouse operators use some or all of these techniques to stay ahead of the competition. 1. Smart Layout. Successful warehouse operators have a carefully thought out plan for storage. Applying Lean Principles to Warehouse Management.
5 Lean Best Practices for the Warehouse
OCTOBER 13, 2015
While most of today’s warehouses have some plan to operate as efficiently as possible, it is likely new opportunities still exist to squeeze out inefficiencies. There is a reason why Lean methodologies are considered a “continuous” process improvement. Things change; suppliers get added; new employees are hired; and new facilities are added to the mix. Data Governance. Cross-Docking.
Q&A with Tom Greco, Vice President of ThomasNet.com
JANUARY 15, 2016
Recent reports, such as what was announced by the MAPI Foundation , suggest that during the next few years manufacturing production could outpace GDP growth, starting in 2015. Output in the U.S. is anticipated to advance by 2.6% in 2016, 3.0% in 2017 and 2.8% in 2018. Experts are pointing to strong consumer demand and brisk hiring as the major drivers behind this expansion. The rest is history.
What Global Manufacturers Can Learn From the Insurance Business
FEBRUARY 11, 2016
Can manufacturers learn something from the insurance industry? Perhaps so, at least according to this article published here. The author suggests that “risk pooling” is the single most important concept in supply chain management. While this concept is not new, there are reasons why it is becoming more important than ever before. Risk Pooling for Manufacturing. So far, so good.
How do You Measure Manufacturing Resource Productivity?
MAY 5, 2015
Manufacturers have done a good job in recent years of squeezing the inefficiencies out of their operations and improving productivity. Most large enterprises have a Lean manufacturing program in place to one degree or another. The competitive global marketplace now requires it. But there’s one area of potential improvement that has received only minimal attention, and that’s resource productivity.
Supply Chain Trends in the Digital Age
This research explores the implications of leading trends for supply chain officers.
Why Manufacturers Can’t Afford to Ignore Digital Transformation
SEPTEMBER 17, 2015
Manufacturing organizations are becoming increasingly global and their ecosystems more and more complex. As a result, manufacturing executives are required to redefine their marketplace, service models and create new symbiotic business relationships. Additionally, the introduction of new technology is threatening business operations and the sustenance of market leadership.
Adaptability is Transforming Robotics
MARCH 22, 2016
It’s more than 50 years since the first industrial robot went to work. Today some 1.5 million are in use around the world, yet there is not a single Jetson’s Rosie or (fortunately) T800 Terminator among them. The reality is, despite a public perception that robots think and reason, none of them are anything more than a machine, obeying programmed instructions. Structured Environments.
Is Data the New King of Manufacturing Technology?
MAY 12, 2016
There’s an old saying, “The tail wags the dog.” It refers to any situation where a secondary offshoot of the main operation ends up taking control. Broadly, it can mean a shifting of the power base: the servant becomes the master. think we may be looking at exactly this scenario in the world of manufacturing technology. major disruption is underway, and it’s all about the data.
How Hackers Are Targeting Manufacturing Businesses
OCTOBER 29, 2015
Manufacturers now operate in an increasingly connected world. The Industrial Internet of Things promises to expand connectivity and access to. equipment, machines and processes to a level never seen before. Manufacturing businesses are seeing an increased level of cyber-attacks directed at them using a variety of attack methods. Drive-by Downloads. Cross-site Scripting. Watering Hole Attacks.
3 Practices Sure to Deliver Big Time Transformation in the Warehouse
MARCH 24, 2016
The surge of modern technology has shifted our outlook on warehouse operations. The market is heading towards new business frontiers, facing managers and owners with challenges in the areas of shipping, storing, inventories and human resources. It has become increasingly important to take advantage of cutting-edge tech solutions. Watch this video to see it in action. 2. Chain Reaction.
What Manufacturers Need to Know About Demographic Trends
FEBRUARY 4, 2016
We have all read much about how the Baby Boomers impacted consumption patterns. Just as one example, according to Census data , this demographic is credited with driving up the average home size every decade following WWII to a peak 2,521 square feet in 2007, at which point it began falling. 2016: A Milestone Year. Further, our global population of workers will shrink by 5% by 2050. What to Do?
Modern Mining Innovation: The Bright Future of the Industry is Now
MARCH 10, 2016
Innovation is essential to the mining industry. New technology and techniques are constantly being used to make improvements, and new equipment is being produced to increase efficiency, especially when it comes to advances in automation. Along these lines, here are some of the main areas these manufacturers should look at in 2016. Technological Advances. Growth of 3D Printing.
The Advantages of Procrastinating in a Fast-paced Manufacturing World
FEBRUARY 23, 2016
Never put off till tomorrow, what you can do the day after tomorrow. –Mark Twain (also attributed to Oscar Wilde). We live in such a “faster is better” world that sometimes we overlook the value of putting things off. But as an article on supply chain management points out, in some manufacturing supply chain scenarios, postponement actually makes good business sense. Voila!
How Emerging Green Technologies Are Impacting Manufacturing
DECEMBER 15, 2015
Figure 1: Source: US EPA. Over the following decades, the manufacturing industry will continue to transform into an industry that will be almost unrecognizable by today’s standards. New levels of interoperability, collaboration and remote monitoring are just a start – other new technologies and strategies may not even yet exist! Reduce Energy & Water Usage. According to the U.S.
How Smart is Your Factory?
DECEMBER 17, 2015
Much has been discussed about Smart Manufacturing, or the use of the Industrial Internet of Things in manufacturing environments. But it seems everyone has a different opinion of what that actually means. In this post, I want to make an attempt at defining what a Smart Factory is. If you want to rate how smart your factory is, give yourself a score of 0 to 5 for each of these categories.
6 Ways To Help Eliminate Unscheduled Downtime
FEBRUARY 4, 2015
A surefire way to hurt a manufacturing company is through unscheduled downtime. Planned downtime is one thing, but unplanned disruptions in the production and delivery process can end up costing significant time and money — and that’s why finding ways to stop unscheduled downtime from happening is so important. Then, figure out why each instance occurred.
In Medical Device Manufacturing, Smaller Companies Have Big Advantages
DECEMBER 8, 2015
Photo credit: Paolo Bona via Shutterstock. The medical device industry is driven by innovation to find new cures or approaches to help people live better lives. This drive for innovation, however, extends beyond what products to make – it also applies in the context of safety and compliance. In fact, this is not always the case. Adopting new technologies.
What Is Defining the Future of Aerospace Technology?
APRIL 28, 2016
Innovation has always been the cornerstone of the aerospace industry, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Like any industry, aerospace faces its share of challenges. But since aerospace touches so many other industries, including defense and passenger aviation, there should never be a shortage of new technologies to keep the industry thriving. The Future of Passenger Aircraft.
Despite all the Change in Manufacturing Operations Today, Safety Must Still be a Constant in Process Improvement
APRIL 7, 2016
There are many responsibilities business owners and plant managers must juggle. While you have duties to your customers, business partners, and the government, your responsibilities to your employees are perhaps the most important of all. All businesses have to ensure its workforce remains safe while on the job and you can’t do that without the proper equipment. One of those activities is safety.
How Packaging and Shipping Requirements are Evolving with Today’s Global Supply Chain
SEPTEMBER 10, 2015
Long gone are the days of simply packaging goods and shipping them to distributors. As the world has changed, so too has the world of packaging and shipping requirements. The list of “must have’s” and “must do” has grown exponentially. One example is the transportation of hazardous materials. The Origins of Hazardous Materials Regulations. Since that time, these regulations have evolved. Cosmetics.
Why Your Factory is Failing in Its Green Initiative
FEBRUARY 2, 2016
Embarking on a green initiative can be a great boon for your industry, your factory, and your workers – if it succeeds. Nothing feels more frustrating than setting high expectations and working to meet them, only to feel yourself falling further and further behind. Here are some reasons why your green initiative might be under-performing your goals, and how to resolve this.
Technology Reboot: Newest Machines in Medicine Today
MARCH 1, 2016
As technology improves, the ability to treat complex medical conditions continues to evolve. Machines are now being developed to better detect and treat different cancers, and robotics manufacturers are continuing the surge towards the development of Nano-technology. Taking a look at some of the current new medical devices can give a glimpse into what to expect in the future. Help for the Blind.
The 4th Industrial Revolution is Coming – But What Is It?
MARCH 26, 2015
Click to enlarge. Image credit: Report on Recommendations for implementing the strategic initiative INDUSTRIE 4.0. It’s been called the Factory of the Future, the Smart Factory, the Industrial Internet, Industrie 4.0 and the 4 th Industrial Revolution, among other names. Whatever you call it, everyone seems to agree that it’s coming soon, and it will change manufacturing as we know it. vision.
Social Networking in Manufacturing: Like or Unlike?
AUGUST 7, 2014
Do you take social networking seriously in your manufacturing enterprise, or is it just another fad? Social networking used to be considered about as far from manufacturing concerns as one could get. The session uncovered a lot of interesting facts, trends and ideas, so I thought I’d share some of them here. These future workers use these tools in their daily lives. They’ve grown up with them.
Fixing Manufacturing IT Project Failures
JUNE 25, 2015
When rolling out a new technology deployment in the enterprise or on the factory floor, the last words a project manager wants to hear from the CIO are, “Let’s deliver this on time and within budget, failure is not an option.” That’s because in all likelihood, failure is the biggest option. Many—if not most—IT projects fail. million per projects. What Can be Done? So, who—or what—is to blame?
Applying Lean Principles to Warehouse Management
FEBRUARY 10, 2015
Changes in manufacturing, along with globalization, are creating new challenges to those in warehouse management. Allowing stock to sit on shelves waiting for an order is no longer standard procedure. Managers are presented with many ways to operate efficiently, but may be searching for ideas on how do reduce costs. Embrace the Technology. Barcode systems are low in cost. Reduce the Handling.
From Real to Virtual and Back: Current and Future Trends In 3D Imaging
MARCH 24, 2015
By now, you’ve probably heard a lot about 3D data acquisition and reconstruction. The 3D revolution is quickly changing our modern world. Fast-evolving technologies have made it increasingly simple for even home users to translate objects from the physical world into digital data that can be stored, manipulated, edited, and otherwise tweaked in cyberspace. Endless Possibilities. Image Acquisition.
The 4th Industrial Revolution is Coming – We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat!
MARCH 31, 2015
There’s a famous line from the 1975 movie “Jaws,” when the characters finally see the killer shark they’ve been chasing in their boat for days—a huge, 25-foot monster. The sheriff takes one look at the shark and says, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” Connected World. According to an article on techradar.com , AT&T already has more than 18.5
Open Source in Manufacturing: Why Pay for Software?
AUGUST 4, 2015
Open source solutions are everywhere in today’s world. Linux continues to grow as an OS alternative to Windows and other platforms, with millions of users. Hadoop developed as an open source solution for storage, and is now contending as a new operating system for the Web. We can think of open source software as a specific type of crowd sourcing. The obvious is initial cost. Made for Big Data.
What’s Making Your Processing Plant Less Productive than it Could Be?
JANUARY 12, 2016
A processing plant faces daily challenges to maintain productive results. The processing plant manager is responsible to tie up all loose ends between employees’ performance and their productivity, and set higher and higher goals and standards to make the plant more productive. Another factor is lack of well-designed industrial engineering planning. What Makes Your Processing Plant Less Productive?
3 Technologies Transforming the Manufacturing Industry
OCTOBER 22, 2014
At this point, there’s hardly an industry in existence that has not been dramatically transformed by technology. Everything from education to music to mass media is different because of technological advances, many of which have occurred only in the past quarter century. Manufacturing is an industry that seems to be one of the most impacted by the tech revolution. Robotics. 3-D Printing.
5 Steps To Building A Safety Culture In Your Manufacturing Plant
NOVEMBER 11, 2014
Maintaining a safe work environment in your manufacturing plant is vital for your employees’ well-being and continued productivity. Accidents cost you money with a loss of trained workers, reduced production and increased insurance premiums. Here are five steps you can take to integrate safety as a core company value. 1. Embrace a Culture of Safety. Safety really starts at the top. The problem?