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The Digital Transformation of Manufacturing

Digital transformation has been a major topic for manufacturers, but what exactly is it, and how can manufacturers use it to their advantage? In this episode, Alan Rooks, Editor in Chief of Manufacturing Engineering Magazine talks with Mo Abuali, Ph.D., Managing Partner at IoTco, about what Industry 4.0, IIoT, AI, and machine learning mean to the North American manufacturing industry; how manufacturers can create value from these tools; use cases that manufacturers should focus on; and the first steps manufacturers should take in order to get started in their own digital transformation.

Targeting the Skills Gap in Forming and Fabricating

As in other industries, U.S. forming and fabricating companies are experiencing a critical shortage of skilled labor. In this SME Media podcast, Alan Rooks, Editor in Chief of Manufacturing Engineering magazine, talks with Robert Tessier, National Director of Advanced Fabrication Technologies for Airgas about the skills gap in the forming and fabricating industry; changes needed in the education system to fill the need for skilled labor; how automation factors into efforts to reduce the skills gap; and efforts at Airgas to develop workers for manufacturing operations, including a special program for military veterans.

How Manufacturers Can Cope with COVID-19 While Becoming More Resilient

COVID-19 has been a major challenge for manufacturers, not only in dealing with the economic fallout but also in how to keep operating while maintaining employee safety. In this episode, Alan Rooks, Editor in Chief of Manufacturing Engineering magazine, talks with Robert Tessier, National Director of Advanced Fabrication Technologies for Airgas, about how companies can become more resilient and competitive during the COVID-19 pandemic; how they can enforce social distancing and use PPE to protect the health of employees, and with COVID-19 creating furloughs and reduction in force layoffs, consider how to recruit talent that fits their long-term needs.

Scaling Digital Additive Manufacturing for Medical Applications – Opportunities and Challenges

The response of the 3D printing community to the specific shortages during the Covid-19 pandemic has helped to quickly raise the level of awareness of 3D printing and created a lot of buzz, but the realistic, scalable response has been somewhat different than what has been in the headlines. Matt Koons/Director of Business Development for Forecast 3D discusses this in this podcast, hosted by Bruce Morey, Senior Technical Editor for Manufacturing Engineering Magazine.

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.

The Growing Role of Automation in Finishing Operations

Finishing operations have traditionally been manual, but automation and robotics are making major inroads in this key manufacturing process. In this podcast, Alan Rooks, Editor in Chief of Manufacturing Engineering magazine talks with Normand Stoycheff, Business Development Manager for AV&R, and Giovanni Bevilacqua, Business Development Manager also with AV&R about emerging trends in automation/robotics; the main reasons allowing robotics to evolve from traditional pick-and-drop usage to more elaborate processes; how robots help the surface finishing process throughout the industry; and how surface finishing operations are developing the capability to inspect and repair.

The Steps to Digital Transformation

Bruce Morey, Senior Technical Editor for Manufacturing Engineering Magazine discusses with Tom Jones, Principal Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services on how manufacturers can work more efficiently and speed time to market with cloud based digital services.

Weathering Any Storm with Operational Agility

Manufacturers and businesses around the globe are facing an entirely new environment for operating and selling due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s not just global pandemics than can test an organization’s ability to succeed. Associate Editor Chris Mahar speaks with Ankit Shah, Senior Manager, Product Marketing at Quick Base, about how low-code platforms can help businesses become more flexible and adapt quicker to market and operational changes. Building operational agility that can enable them to flourish in difficult times and markets.

Fusion OEM Embraces Cobots, Invests In Future Expert Machinists

Craig Zoberis and Davin Erickson detail how Fusion OEM discovered and implemented collaborative robots, or cobots. The company is now investing in future expert machinists by using cobots—and making headway in closing the manufacturing industry skills gap. They explain the phases of training for cobots, as well as how cobots “talk” with other machines—and how machines perform “handshakes” (and are therefore envied by humans who today are struggling with social distancing).

The Role of Abrasives in Automotive Body Shops

Auto collisions have long been a fact of life but taking care of the damage has become a more complicated task for auto body shops in recent years. In this episode, Alan Rooks, Editor in Chief of Manufacturing Engineering magazine, talks with Shawn Moody, owner of Moody’s Collision Shops, based in Gorham, Maine, about how automotive products have evolved over the past four decades; how abrasive products have evolved during that same time; what are the costs and benefits of using higher-end abrasives; and the types of new equipment body shops need to purchase to keep up with new technology.