Toyota Material Handling has found success scaling internet of things technology by approaching each project individually and carefully testing options for improvement, executive Alan Cseresznyak says. When deploying IoT, consultant W. David Stephenson says it's important to empower workers, analyze old processes and to remember IoT isn't static.
Companies should view digital disruption as a benefit instead of something to defend against, by considering long-term investments and research and development, and by focusing on enhancing current offerings, according to a Deloitte analysis. "Starting small and expanding beyond 'defensive' spending can unlock new organizational capabilities, and move an organization along the path toward innovation," the authors write.
Midwest Rubber Co. meets the unique needs of its customers and shows them how much they matter by producing only 100% customized products, writes Ken Jehle, the company's president and general manager. "No matter the company, the goal remains the same: providing service that demonstrates understanding of your customers as unique entities," Jehle writes.
Luxottica has consolidated its North American manufacturing and fulfillment operations into a single three-story, 713,000-square-foot hub in McDonough, Ga. The facility streamlines the eyewear brand's logistics and production operations, optimizes customer service and allows for selecting and packing SKUs quickly and accurately.
Retailers that use radio-frequency identification tags instead of bar codes can expect to increase inventory accuracy from 63% to 95%, according to a report from Auburn University RFID Lab and GS1 US. The report said retailers using RFID tags also reduced retail out-of-stocks by up to 50%.
Internet of things technology is improving the field of vibration analysis, making it easier for companies to detect imbalance, bearing issues and other industrial equipment problems, though there isn't a standard solution for every company.
Dock areas that are designed with safety in mind are optimally poised for best performance, says Rite-Hite's Walt Swietlik. The best docks, he says, meet specific requirements for door centerlines and overhead space, dock heights and drive approach.
General Motors is helping 33 workers, 31 of whom are female, who have been underemployed or entirely out of the workforce for at least two years, return to employment through its Take 2 program. In addition to promoting diversity, the program, which is now in its sixth round and also seeks minorities, helps GM simultaneously find the engineers it needs while bridging the skills gap.
Industry 4.0 is an overarching and unavoidable movement in manufacturing, bringing plants, processes, products and people together in entirely new ways. Don't let the technology jargon intimidate you: Industry 4.0 offers real ROI for every manufacturer, regardless of its size or current level of digital sophistication. This report from BDO USA provides a road map for middle-market manufacturers to take advantage of Industry 4.0. Join leaders from BDO for a webinar with NAM discussing this topic on 10/23. Register now.
Empowering manufacturing women across the nation
The Manufacturing Institute's STEP Ahead Awards provide manufacturers with a national platform to recognize outstanding female leadership in science, technology, engineering and production (STEP) careers, from the factory floor to the C-suite. Through a two-day leadership program and awards gala, the STEP Ahead program empowers honorees to lead in their companies, communities and networks on the importance of manufacturing and issues related to attracting, advancing and retaining strong manufacturing talent, and motivating this generation of leaders to engage the next generation of manufacturing workers. Nominations for the 2019 STEP Ahead Awards will close Friday, Oct. 12. Learn more about the STEP Ahead Awards here.