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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.

Flexible Automation for Automotive

As the automotive industry’s reawakening continues, less-expensive high-payload robots are gaining traction over more conventional fixed tooling among automakers focused on cutting costs while improving manufacturing productivity and processes.

At Smart Manufacturing Experience, Focus Is on Speed, Action, Preparedness

Smart Manufacturing Experience 2018, produced by SME and AMT—The Association for Manufacturing Technology, was held April 30 to May 2 at the Boston Convention Center. More than 2000 industry professionals attend the trade show and conference, which focused on the latest advanced manufacturing technologies.

Digitalization Boosts Auto Parts Cell Production By 20%

Increases in size and quantity of its orders led Wisconsin-based auto parts manufacturer Felss Rotaform LLC (New Berlin, WI) to expand operations through a new dual-robot machine-tending cell. The company is a supplier of precision parts using its rotary swaging, axial forming and tube end-forming processes.

What to Do About Spare Part Supply Issues for Aging Assets

Aging assets have long been the culprits behind common supply chain disruptions like unexpected downtime and production delays. They can have a direct impact on revenues and service levels, and the older they get, the more costly the risks they pose are.