A project that normally would take three months came together in a weekend when Twin City Die Castings was asked by General Motors to make pistons for hospital ventilators. Twin City Die Castings CEO Todd Olson says the effort succeeded with the help of a third company, Die-Tech & Engineering, and round-the-clock factory operations.
Sharing intellectual property in the manufacturing space has becoming necessary because of the pandemic, argues Mark Pesce. "If we don't construct a distributed, global build-it-here-now capacity, we might burn through our existing inventories without any way to replenish them," he writes.
Circumstances in manufacturing are such that "instead of sailing through the recovery, we'll have to row," writes Stephen Gold, president and CEO of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation. A second wave of coronavirus cases could be especially difficult for manufacturers because the US is lagging on "early, vigilant and broad-based testing," he writes.
Building business resilience in times of change Few businesses, if any, were prepared to face the current environment brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. But the businesses that have reacted quickly and incorporated planning for times of change into their strategies for the future will be the ones that emerge successfully in the age of COVID-19. Hear from prominent industry leaders in this webinar.
An area easily automated for efficiency is sales order handling, which eases pressure on customer service staffers, writes Ray Grady. "The COVID-19 crisis has revealed that digitization is the route by which manufacturers can safeguard critical business objectives during disrupted times," and will continue to generate returns after the crisis, he writes.
Moving Industrial systems to the cloud can be a multifaceted, complex process, and so companies should understand what applications need replacement before setting a budget and consider bringing in outside help, says Paul Gomez of consulting firm Columbus Global. That said, your staff might be able to handle many aspects of these cloud migrations, although it might not be the best use of their time.
Touchless paper towel dispensers and hands-free door openers are just some of the operational best practices outlined in a report released this week by the Manufacturing Leadership Council. "We're all looking to get back to some sense of normalcy, but that's not possible unless we can protect manufacturing workers," says Jay Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers.
Part of the "next normal" for carbon-intensive industries after the coronavirus pandemic will be building a more sustainable future while curbing emissions. McKinsey experts and corporate leaders examine opportunities including hybrid-electric equipment, artificial intelligence and circular supply chains.
Developing the craftspeople of the future starts with internships, co-op programs and apprenticeships, writes Christopher Tate, a manager for Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas. "To succeed, we in industry must lead students, educators and government representatives through our direct involvement," he argues.
Manufacturers are stepping up to jumpstart the US supply chain and meet the need for personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 response and recovery process. Join the effort now. Connect with 140,000 manufacturers in the US to find what you need and be found by those who need what you make. Explore how the Manufacturers Marketplace plays a role in this effort.