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Flexible Metal takes steps to defang EKANS ransomware

FortiGaurd Labs recently reported that malware designed to attack industrial control systems is still a very lucrative attack method for cybercriminals. The EKANS ransomware family does just that, and manufacturers must be prepared for it.

MTConnect Exec: Standards Help See Into Future, Integrate Diverse Equipment

Russell Waddell, managing director at the MTConnect Institute, dives into why so many standards exist, what manufacturers can gain from a digital factory project, and how they can cut through the hype—to at least achieve shop floor monitoring. MTConnect, a standard with more than 10 years of history, frees up manufacturers to focus on value-add functions instead of normalizing data. And it has been installed on more than 50,000 devices worldwide. Today, the use case is not just what happened or what is happening “what is going to happen: looking at … anything that is forward-looking and anticipating what will happen next.” Perhaps most important, embracing standards allows for quick and easy integration of all types and brands of equipment.

Getting Supply Chain Risk Under Control

William Crane, CEO of IndustryStar, an on-demand supply chain services and software technology company, dives into what manufacturers concerned about supply chain risk can do to worry less. In his estimation, “on-demand supply chain risk management resources have really been taking off.” It is possible, he said, to build a “supply chain competitive advantage.” Heard of agile supply chain? If not, he explains it.

What Supply Chain Professionals Are Learning From The Pandemic

Smart Manufacturing magazine Contributing Editor Karen Haywood Queen speaks with Sridhar Tayur about what supply chain players are learning from COVID-19. The Carnegie Mellon professor covers the roles AM and cobots are playing. He also looks at what manufacturers should consider doing to be prepared for the next hugely disruptive event.

American, German, Swedish manufacturers gladly adopt factory-within-factory concept

Manufacturers of all sizes see an uptick in productivity after adding a factory within a factory via an automated machining cell. The cells are small-scale, clearly defined production units, often for a family of similar parts or a product, and they typically include a robotic arm and one or more machine tools. These can include horizontal and vertical lathes, machining centers and grinders. The cell may also include a conveyor component.

Sensors Help With IT/OT Integration … Outside the Factory

Smart sensors, already an integral feature of many manufacturing plants that are integrating IT and OT, are now making their way into the supply chain where they monitor reliability and shipping conditions, improve predictive maintenance and make just-in-time delivery (the innovation from the 1980s) easier.