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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.

What defense firms can do to ensure industrial security

Defense systems are, by design, built to defend against threats. Today, however, manufacturers of these systems are focusing on an entirely new kind of threat: security breaches targeting their automation systems.

Removing mental roadblocks to improving operations

It’s a familiar scenario at the factory. Quality issues have reared their ugly heads, requiring rework, causing backorders, delaying shipments, and driving tense daily customer calls. Meanwhile, the team works to address production issues using a mix of day-old post-mortem reports, shop-floor observations captured on notepads, and other operational data summarized on spreadsheets and sticky notes.

Agile hardware development can quicken product lifecycle

In today’s booming software landscape, you see highly dynamic teams quickly iterating to develop and improve their products. Yet while the world’s software creators have learned to “move fast and break things,” hardware developers are still (slowly) moving to adopt a more agile product development methodology.

When is it best to make your own components?

Most manufacturers have relied on third-party vendors to make parts that are then incorporated into the final product. From automakers sourcing stereos and aircraft makers contracting for jet engines to a small bakery ordering plastic bags or a woodshop buying nails, producers of all types have supplemented their internal capabilities through a painstakingly developed supply chain of external vendors.

Hexagon Thinks Big, Gets Bigger

It’s easy to become dazed by the continuing stream of buzz words. For those of us in manufacturing, all this buzz creates a sense of impending change, but no clarity on what that change might be. Uncertainty means anxiety.

Lasers Grow Manufacturing

Today, laser technology in manufacturing touches all of our lives on a daily basis; lasers cut air bag material and weld air bag detonators for our in-car safety; lasers weld the batteries in many of our mobile devices; lasers drill aero-engine components for planes; lasers cut the glass for our smart phones and tablets screens; lasers weld the drivetrains in our cars and trucks; lasers cut medical stents that increase and enhance our lives, just to name a few.