7 min read

Blockchain in the Supply Chain: Procure or Pass?

By Steven Calhoun on Feb 21, 2022 4:11:37 PM

Blockchain has been a hot topic since 2017, although most probably know about the technology because of the craze around cryptocurrencies. However, companies have started to pursue other uses for the technology in supply chains, such as material tracing. You might have heard of big players such as Walmart using the blockchain to trace food, but what does this mean for small businesses in the supply chain?

Topics: Digital Manufacturing Megatrends
5 min read

The Benefits of Data Collection for Manufacturing Companies

By Matthew Babich on Jan 14, 2022 1:45:37 PM

Imagine yourself sitting at a table, attempting to complete a puzzle blindfolded. Without the use of your eyes, you find your hands scrambling around the table, hopelessly feeling edges and shoving pieces together at random. With the use of your eyes, the information needed to complete the task efficiently is clear, like where the colors match and where they don’t.

Topics: Digital Manufacturing Operational Excellence
4 min read

Augmented Reality in Manufacturing: What is It and What Does it Do?

By Pete Conrad on Jan 5, 2022 9:39:00 AM

From metaverse to augmented reality, these terms are spinning a bunch of buzz around them, but what do they really mean? There continues to be a lot of discussion around augmented reality in manufacturing. However, we have not seen a breakthrough use case to date that has uncovered a trove of value creation.

Topics: Digital Manufacturing Megatrends
4 min read

Three Human Barriers to Labor Digitization and How to Promote Buy-in

By Seth Canner on Oct 1, 2021 2:00:00 PM

As a company decision-maker, you know that continuous improvement is critical to competing, and digitization is all but required to win in today’s market. However, stakeholders don’t always agree on the best way forward. Often the introduction of any new technology to your long-standing operations is a battle, and buy-in at all levels is necessary to maximize value creation.

Topics: Digital Manufacturing Operational Excellence
6 min read

Best Manufacturing Execution Systems 2021

By Steven Calhoun on Sep 15, 2021 1:19:04 PM

The following list of manufacturing execution software (MES) will help you choose the right tool for getting a clear picture of what’s going on inside your operation, so you can wrangle it under your control to achieve greater business results.

Topics: Digital Manufacturing
6 min read

The Metaverse and Manufacturing: Hype vs Reality

By Steven Calhoun on Aug 27, 2021 11:00:00 AM

Manufacturing has long had the concept of a “digital twin” of physical facilities and their machines. The consumer-oriented version of this concept has been branded the “metaverse” and is catching on among Silicon Valley figureheads and social media companies.

Topics: Digital Manufacturing Megatrends
8 min read

Best Digital Work Instruction Tools for Manufacturing

By Steven Calhoun on Aug 13, 2021 1:00:00 PM

Transitioning from paper manuals to digital work instructions might not seem like a big deal, but this is an important step into the future of manufacturing.

Topics: Digital Manufacturing
5 min read

Lean 4.0: How Industry 4.0 Is Evolving Lean Manufacturing Concepts

By Pete Conrad on Jan 13, 2021 2:30:00 PM

In today’s world, Lean is being challenged as never before due to higher customer requirements and the digital revolution of Industry 4.0. The challenge to keep up in the landscape leads to the questions: Are Lean principles in conflict with the digitization that is Industry 4.0? Are Lean principles in conflict with serving your customer in the manner in which they have requested? The short answer is mostly no, and we’ll dig into the alignments and variances below. But, in order to keep up in today’s world, Lean does need to evolve to match today’s quick response, digital environment.

Topics: Digital Manufacturing
2 min read

Average: You are what you plan for

By Adam Rubatt on Jul 20, 2020 8:00:00 AM

When you’re in operations, you're always thinking of the future.  Whether it’s for the next shift, next week or next quarter, you’ll need to create a forecast that will help you prepare for the demand coming your way.  And for all businesses, there is a common practice of how those operations plans are created.  You look at historical demand, take the average, and build your forecasts off that.  

Topics: On-Demand Labor Digital Manufacturing US Manufacturing
2 min read

Be Robust by being Local

By Pete Conrad on Jul 13, 2020 8:30:00 AM

The US Department of Commerce's GDP analysis of manufacturing estimates the industry represents ~11% of the economy and has 1.4x multiplier effect for every dollar spent.  Those figures are already quite significant; however, this article outlines research from the MAPI showing that the US manufacturing sector’s economic contribution is actually 32% and has a multiplier effect of 3.6x for every dollar created. Suffice to say, US manufacturing creates significant economic contribution to our national economy as a whole, as well as local economies across the country.

Topics: Digital Manufacturing US Manufacturing