Manufacturers expanding in the US share common challenges, including finding skilled workers and determining the corporate culture. UGN has grappled with instilling a shared lean culture across several facilities in the US and one in Mexico.
Identifying overprocessing in lean manufacturing requires a hands-on approach because most issues are happening on the factory floor, not in the boardroom, says Tim Murray of UK consultancy Newton. "Manufacturers should challenge themselves: '[I]f it's not adding value, then why are we doing it?' " he says.
Augmented reality, when paired with strong security, is an opportunity for manufacturers to work faster, improve workflow and access plant data more easily, write Epson's Leon Laroue and Lenny Kontsevich of Redrock Biometrics. "Embracing a secure, user friendly way to authenticate the access to sensitive data only increases the benefits of using augmented reality in the manufacturing space," they write.
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Retailers including Dollar General and Costco Wholesale, and manufacturers like Hostess Brands and Hormel Foods, are making changes to the supply chain amid rising freight costs and shipping delays. Dollar General has added distribution centers, expanded its private truck fleet and added more trucking companies to encourage competitive pricing.
EC Electronics, a company providing manufacturing support for original equipment manufacturers, is working to incorporate flexible integrated circuits and other hardware innovations to make supply chains more flexible. "These flexible integrated circuits could revolutionize supply chain and stock control, allowing companies to identify and track products from manufacture throughout their life cycles, even until a product ends up in the refuse or recycling," says company official Phil Simmonds.
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The latest edition of the IEC 61511 standard requires many companies to re-examine whether they can grandfather in their safety instrumented systems, writes Angela Summers, president of SIS-TECH Solutions. Summers outlines several scenarios where existing SIS can be left "as is."
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Siemens' global outlook on talent acquisition spans more than 100 countries and allows it to recruit more than 35,000 new hires each year, says executive Sebastian Hubert. "Thinking globally but being relevant locally is key to success when creating impact and transforming a global function like talent acquisition," Hubert says.
As expected, the Federal Open Market Committee ended its June 12-13 meeting by hiking short-term rates by 25 basis points. This action -- the second increase so far in 2018 -- was widely expected, with markets already pricing it in. More importantly, the Federal Reserve's economic projections signal that there could be four hikes in the federal funds rate this year, up from a consensus estimate of around three. With the Federal Reserve's action, the target range for the federal funds rate is now 1.75% to 2%. The projections show that range rising to 2.4% by the end of 2018 and 3.1% in 2019. The latter would indicate three hikes next year. With that said, the FOMC will hinge future interest rate increases on incoming data. The acceleration of rate hikes likely stems from expectations of faster growth, especially in the labor market. Read more.