Manufacturers can begin working toward integrated digital factories by developing a strategy for digital, testing where and how new technologies can create value and figuring out where investments are needed, write Todd Benigni and Juliane Stephan.
Yetter Manufacturing in Illinois got its start in 1930 producing mud scrapers for tractor wheels and now is a supplier for original equipment manufacturers, says fourth-generation owner Pat Whalen. Working with OEMs, he says, means always thinking about solving things in different ways and exploring new processes.
Original equipment manufacturers will need to rethink design, production, marketing and sales, and procurement as they add artificial intelligence, write Brian Irwin and Eric Schaeffer of Accenture. "OEM supplier strategies will need to become more technology-centric -- enlisting the aid of telematics, onboard software, wireless connectivity and analytics providers," they write.
Handheld scanners, sensors, two-dimensional bar codes and other technologies make it easy to gather the quality data needed to inform supply chain improvements. "With better visibility into what's actually happening, management teams can identify the right investments in the long term," says Mark Wheeler, director of supply chain solutions for Zebra Technologies.
Many operators and engineers may lack safety training, which is why it's every individual's responsibility to take safety seriously and to be aware of their surroundings, Dirk Willard writes. It's important, he writes, to take pictures of equipment during shutdowns and keep detailed histories of components.
High-schoolers in Connecticut and Massachusetts recently attended the Aerospace Alley Trade Show at the Connecticut Convention Center, where they learned about potential careers in the industry. Representatives from area firms were on hand to inform students about careers and demand for skilled workers.
Ninth-grade students in an Arkansas school district recently learned about potential career pathways in the skilled trades during a Manufacturing Day program. The event showcased careers and provided information about training programs at an area community college.