Posted By David Brousell, November 6, 2017
Except for having to make a connecting flight in September on my way to China, I hadn’t been in Chicago in about a year. Late last month I had an opportunity to visit the Windy City to speak at the third annual Smart Factory World Symposium, organized by shop floor management technology vendor FORCAM and held at the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, one of 14 such institutes established under the Obama Administration as part of the Manufacturing USA national effort to enhance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness.
The DMDII, a public-private partnership whose mission is to help U.S. manufacturers to become more competitive in the digital age, was the perfect venue for the symposium, whose theme this year was the rules of Manufacturing 4.0.
Digital transformation has been touted by many as a key way to keep U.S. manufacturers competitive, but a number of other issues, including better coordination between industry, academia, and the government, will play important roles in ensuring U.S. manufacturing strength in the years ahead.
Smart, connected products offer manufacturers a wealth of opportunities to reduce operational costs while also driving new sources of revenue and higher levels of customer intimacy. But, in order to realize the promise of smart products, manufacturers will need to drive much more internal, cross-functional collaboration; cultivate new, closer ties with customers; and invest in upgrading legacy product and technology infrastructure. Read More →
Manufacturing leaders who still harbor doubts about the serious nature of the cyber attack campaigns today targeting their companies should take a close read of an alert recently issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI. The document, officially called a Technical Alert, details what it calls an ongoing and persistent cyber attack campaign that has been underway since at least May of this year and that targets “critical manufacturing sectors” as well as government entities and organizations in the energy, nuclear, water, and aviation sectors, according to the report. Read More →
Speakers at the third annual Smart Factory World Symposium debate whether the U.S. manufacturing industry is still competitive as well as the challenges and opportunities of embracing Manufacturing 4.0, the next wave of industrial progress. Read More →
"It was after the downturn in 2010 when we decided to shed 60% of our customer base." John Sammut, CEO of electronic manufacturing services provider Firstronic told members of the Manufacturing Leadership Council at a recent plant tour at his company’s Grand Rapids, MI, plant. How many CEOs have you met that would walk away from 60% of their customer base? Regardless of the scale, this is a bold move. Done for the right reasons with the right focus, these pruning measures can position the business for the right type of growth. Here is my take on how Firstronic’s market insight, organizational alignment, and customer focus paved the way for a great turn-around story. Read More →
The Manufacturing Leadership Council invites you to participate in this year's Manufacturing Sustainability 4.0 Research Project. The results of this survey will be published in the December 2017 issue of the Manufacturing Leadership Journal. Read More →
After a 16-day, four-city trip to China, ML Council co-founder David R. Brousell reflects on what he saw and learned about China and the country's manufacturing direction. Read More →
We at the Manufacturing Leadership Council are of the belief that the journey to a next-generation manufacturing model isn’t just about aggressively adopting emerging digital technologies. Yes, IIoT, advanced analytics, modeling, smart products, and machine learning technologies are emerging as important components of M4.0 transformation, giving manufacturers unprecedented power to optimize operations in response to or even in advance of market and other changes. Read More →
In a bid to accelerate the European manufacturing industry’s journey to a digital future, the European Union’s Institute of Innovation and Technology’s digital division (EIT Digital) has launched a new initiative to provide European manufacturing companies with easier access to the technological facilities and advanced skills of the multiple manufacturing innovation hubs now in place across the region. Read More →
The second and final day of MIF2017 focuses on analytics and digitization, and includes presentations from ML Council members and an award winner. Read More →
On the first day of the MIF2017 manufacturing conference in Tianjin, Chinese manufacturing executives say they are determined to change China's manufacturing image from a mass producer to one based on high quality brands. Read More →