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Driving a New Normal

2020 was certainly an unusual year—for SME, for our industry, and for the world. There is no question that these unusual times will carry over into 2021. Unusual does not necessarily mean bad; it just means different. Often hidden within those differences are opportunities.

Use the Swiss Cheese Model to Fight COVID-19

In 2020, most manufacturers focused on mitigating the impact of COVID-19, but mitigation is too little too late. Many companies learned that lesson after seeing how COVID-19 outbreaks affected either their own facilities or other manufacturing firms.

Where is Manufacturing Tech Headed in 2021?

Manufacturing technology is constantly changing, both in terms of the types of products produced and the ways those products are made. As we ease into 2021, here are some interesting trends I’ve heard about.

When ‘Tried and True’ Won’t Do

During times like these, editors turn to “tried and true” sayings to frame their opinion columns. One of these sayings is, “May you live in interesting times,” supposedly a translation of a traditional Chinese curse. The saying is used ironically, in that “interesting times” are times of trouble and difficulty.

Process Reliability: The Springboard to Efficiency

I’m among the first to dive into the latest manufacturing innovations and see how they can improve our customers’ operations. Yet, I’m also among the first to advise them to pause and ensure that the fundamentals of their manufacturing processes are in place before adding something new into the complex mix of functionality and desired outcomes.

Software: The Road to Zero Defects

Reducing the risk of automotive defects is one of the most critical issues facing manufacturers today – to protect the well-being of consumers, as well as their own reputations and financial health.

Securing OT in the Energy and Utilities Sector

Convergence-enabled cyberattacks—where criminals exploit traditionally isolated operational technology (OT) devices through their new connections to the IT network—may be motivated by the desire to hijack and demand ransom for services, steal trade secrets through industrial or national cyberespionage, or commit cyberterrorism or engage in cyberwarfare.

Busting the Myths about Artificial Intelligence

Manufacturers face a difficult task juggling the current “innovation agenda.” Today, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), robotic automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are all poised to be the next big thing.

The Quest for Safer 3D Printing Materials

When Desktop Metal introduced its “office-friendly” Studio metal prototype printer earlier this year, the company renewed attention on the issue of safer materials for binder jetting, an additive manufacturing method.