Manufacturers sometimes focus erroneously on techniques and tools when choosing an analytics solution, write Greg Gorbach and Mike Guilfoyle of ARC Advisory Group. Instead, look at how a solution affects employees, processes and things in terms of maturity and outcomes.
Electroless metal plating, performed through chemical reactions rather than external electrical current, is becoming popular because it does not require a power source and enables more control over coating thickness, writes Megan Nichols. Electroless plating is also safer, she notes.
Mobile devices, whether personal or corporate, add numerous points of attack for hackers looking to get into industrial systems, writes Seth Hardy of Appthority. Being proactive with mobile threat defense and man-in-the-middle protections are two ways to reduce risks, he writes.
The possibility of multiple autonomous drones collaboratively transporting one object without GPS or external location services increases their potential usefulness in warehouses. Giuseppe Loianno of the University of Pennsylvania says the primary challenge is ensuring system stability despite each drone being independently controlled.
Variety among collaborative robot options is increasing as artificial intelligence, the cloud and the internet of things become more mainstream, John Santagate of IDC writes. "Anyone can build a robot that does one thing well; the real opportunity lies in deploying a modular platform that can be extended to a wide variety of solutions," Melonee Wise of Fetch Robotics says.
Automation can play a part in mitigating common causes of injury, such as electrical wiring flaws and ladder instability, Amanda Rosenblatt of Shop Floor Automations writes. Replacing cabling with a wireless system, for example, can reduce the need to use ladders.
Once people accept technology, they can put insight from collected data in context to improve quality and reduce expenses, says Rick Boggs. A $1,000 investment in technology led to a savings of roughly $16 million over the life cycle of one airplane component, he says.
Robotic process automation, which replaces manual and routine operational tasks using machine learning, can provide benefits to the back office as well as the factory floor. Earl van As writes that this technology will improve efficiency throughout the business-to-business supply chain by redefining operations.
GM is using third-party logistics contractors in its 17 joint-venture general assembly facilities in China to handle material transport and parts warehousing delivery to the plant. By outsourcing the material handling jobs to logistics companies such as DHL, GM workers can focus on critical efficiency and quality jobs.
Leaders who borrow concepts from stage performances have a better chance of engaging the audience because the crowd becomes part of the story, writes Edmund Chow. Such a presentation requires an antagonist, a protagonist, staging with appropriate props and getting into character, he writes.