Everything you need to know about flexible manufacturing systems

In recent years, flexible manufacturing systems have become a significant part of manufacturing businesses around the world, as they offer a number of production benefits and help companies achieve greater success in improving speed of delivery. Wikipedia defines a flexible manufacturing system as one in which there is some amount of flexibility which allows the system to react in case of changes, whether predicted or unpredicted. These systems are designed to quickly adapt to changes within the production process when unexpected issues or problems occur, giving organizations the freedom to create products quickly and more efficiently.


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5 emerging technologies manufacturers should look out for in 2017

The manufacturing industry is undeniably going through a technological revolution that is transforming the way modern factories operate. Despite the risks associated, manufacturing companies cannot afford to ignore the advances. In order to remain competitive, manufacturers must start embracing them now and invest in new processes and technologies. This will help them improve productivity in their factories, compete against rivals, and maintain an edge meeting ever-increasing customer demand.

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4 Women-owned manufacturing businesses

The Manufacturing Institute mentioned in a report that although women represent nearly 47% of the total US labor force, they make up less than a third (27%) of the manufacturing workforce. However, despite these numbers, modern women manufacturers have created noteworthy strides in what has been traditionally perceived as a male-oriented industry. Women in manufacturing are not just leading in their chosen fields, they are also owners of some of the biggest companies. Let’s take a look at some women-owned manufacturing companies. 

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6 Mistakes to avoid in Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing

Every manufacturing company that uses drawings to develop a manufacturing plan and estimate the production time might calculate product costs incorrectly if there are errors in those drawings. Such errors may also extend the product cycle time by causing manufacturing to tool up with incorrect equipment. Other engineers may have to guess at the designer’s intent, leading to a poor quality finished product that may not function properly.

To increase profitability, it is important for manufacturers to reduce issues like time delays and poor product quality. However, these issues can be expensive due to Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing violations. Hence, eliminating tolerancing errors will help a manufacturing company decrease waste, rework, errors, confusion, and downtime. The outcome will be in the form of quality products manufactured on time.


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A manufacturer’s guide to digital transformation

The manufacturing industry is headed towards a fourth industrial revolution. With the Internet enabling unprecedented levels of communication between machines, products, and people, a digital transformation is underway. Today, manufacturers are able to virtually create any design, initiate production and distribution processes, and analyze data to optimize performance in order to achieve operational excellence. The new digital trends will be driving the manufacturing industry, creating new challenges and opportunities.

To transition into a fully digital enterprise, an organization will require a new mix of capabilities. Digital transformation is not just about technology and its implementation; it also means a lot of cultural and organizational changes. The best way is to start at the top and analyze what the business is trying to accomplish.

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Applying machine learning to the manufacturing world

The self-driving car by Google, online recommendations from Amazon and Netflix, fraud detection, and knowing what your customers are saying about your brand. These are some of the known examples of machine learning applications. 

Similarly, by aligning core technologies of machine learning with the complex problems manufacturers face, manufacturers can gain predictive insights into their production workflow, become more competitive, identify profitable opportunities, and start to avoid previously unknown risks.


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Have you incorporated servitization yet?

In the manufacturing sector, customer service is becoming an important driver for delivering improved customer experience and gaining customer loyalty. Manufacturing organizations have started to recognize the value of customer service as a business tactic for growth, and are now focused on providing a complete solution leveraging services. 

With the amount of rich digital content present across different channels, the chance to connect any time of the day and from anywhere, and proactive services made available for the life cycle of a product, there has been a shift in customer expectations. They are now looking for a business-to-customer (B2C) kind of experience in comparison to the previous traditional business-to-business experience.


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A cupola furnace supervisor’s experience with THORS

aband-foundry-oakland-california_image.jpgWe spoke with Enrique Ramirez from AB&I Foundry in Oakland, California to learn more about his experience using THORS. Ramirez was recently appointed Cupola Furnace Supervisor at this foundry that manufactures pipe fittings and custom castings. Read on to learn how he got the manufacturing knowledge he needed to excel at his new position. 

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Green technologies are driving the manufacturing industry

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the industrial sector accounted for 21% of all greenhouse gas emissions in 2013, which is right behind electricity production and transportation as some of the leading causes of emissions. Since 22% of U.S. GDP relies on good and services produced in water-scarce areas, increasing the cost of water and energy has become a concern of manufacturers. If this continues to be the trend, up to 45% of U.S. GDP will rely on production from these areas by the year 2050. Moreover, customers today are more aware of environmentally responsible practices, and expect that organizations will use them. As a crucial driver of competitiveness and economic growth, manufacturing is one of the primary industries being targeted for green technology use. This means traditional manufacturing methods are giving way to the use of lean, green, conserving machines that benefit the planet.

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Mobile learning is the key to blended training

Mobile learning, or mLearning, includes all the benefits of traditional eLearning, while also utilizing a blended learning approach. In blended learning, the student get to learn, at least in part, with content and instruction delivered via digital and online media with some element of control over time, place, path, or pace for learning. As mobile phones already give their users control over the time, place, and pace at which information is received, a blended learning approach works perfectly well with mobile devices. The result is an enhanced learning experience.


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