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Skills gap solutions, straight from those on the front lines

With the September issue, Smart Manufacturing introduces Collective Intelligence, a new initiative under which we gather experts in one room to go deep on one important topic. We focused this first roundtable on the intractable problem of the workforce skills gap.

SME to deliver third digital transformation report at IMTS

Throughout 2018, SME has published a series of Smart Manufacturing Industry Reports, with the third being released at IMTS this month. The reports, available at sme.org/reports, detail the necessity and advantages of smart manufacturing, the challenges to implementing digital solutions, and, finally, keys to implementing the technologies and tools.

Best to proactively address environmental compliance

As the momentum to go green continues to build across the globe, the number of environmental regulations for reducing hazardous substances keeps growing. At the same time, more and more customers are now setting their own environmental requirements, adding more complexity to the mix.

Calculating true ROI for robotic automation

When considering a new robotic automation system, one of the biggest concerns can be the weight of the initial costs. While such a large capital expense may be hard to swallow at first, it’s industry-proven that manufacturers see an average ROI of 24 months from robots.

How Factory Intelligence is Evolving

Intelligent factories have existed since manufacturing’s historical inception, but intelligence—defined as the acquisition and application of manufacturing knowledge—resided only with the factory’s staff.

Will Automation and Robots Change the World?

I’ve had quite a month, again, covering clever software and gadgets that continue to inch their way into performing tasks once reserved for humans. These tasks range from mundane material handling to highly skilled engineering design. It has made me think quite a bit about how our world of manufacturing and engineering will be affected by all this artificial cleverness.

Which Technologies Should Come First, Second, Third?

Analytics solutions. The industrial Internet of Things. Robotics. Automation. Manufacturers looking for tech solutions that will help them control costs and gain a competitive edge have many great options. In fact, deciding what type of technology to invest in and why can seem overwhelming.

Real Thinking About Artificial Intelligence

My instincts tell me we need a sense of urgency around the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in manufacturing. The urgency is driven by how quickly technology can move today, and how an unexpected breakthrough can quickly dominate.

Savvy systems open door to extreme customization

New systems, software and processes are replacing so-called islands of automation with seamless, automated manufacturing lines that boost overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) from 30 to 80% or more.