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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.

Business Outlook for Tooling, Workholding on the Shop Floor Is Bright

Manufacturers are always looking for signs of what the economy and the business outlook have in store for them. Since the election of President Trump and, more recently, passage of the tax reform law in December, confidence among businesses of all sizes has been overwhelmingly positive.

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.

Updated standard encourages proactive weighing of hazards

When the new ISO 9001:2015 certification standard was announced in late 2015, it made waves in manufacturing due to its heavy emphasis on risk management. In our experience, in helping companies become ISO 9001:2015 certified, we’ve seen first hand how the value of embracing a risk-averse culture and the other core aspects of ISO 9001:2015 extends to all aspects of operations.