Just knowing an alert has occurred and sending it to a human user may not be the ideal outcome. Again, just like in the previous sections, depending on humans to handle tasks introduces variability and more important, excess cost. Let’s look at an example of a machine that is experiencing abnormally high hydraulic temperature. We have determined this is abnormal based on the specific machine, the in context item / part specific parameters and perhaps external sensors such as ambient temperature. An alert gets raised . . .Read More
With huge amounts of data coming in from machines, some IoT vendors would make you think that’s all it takes. They can set up some alarms, alerts and flashing lights - and perhaps even send emails. From the surface, that may look interesting and bring some perceived value. The truth is, there is much more to it than simply aggregating data and when a threshold is hit, ringing the bell.
Machines on the production floor make items – that’s your life’s work and why you are in business. Each of these items have unique requirements in the production system. Perhaps it’s a tolerance, or an oven temperature something must be cured at. Perhaps it’s the punch press dwell time that’s critical – too quick and you get cracking, too slow and you get parts that are too weak to perform. Most times, production equipment will...Read More
Currently, you cannot avoid the deluge of hype and pitches around the ‘Internet of Things’ – IoT and how this is going to revolutionize the world in which we live. As a manufacturer you may be asking yourself how IoT can benefit your organization by making you more profitable, reduce risk and grow your business. Indeed IoT can play a major role in doing this and helping you achieve your goals, but you need to take a careful look - and not get caught up in the hype that providers of IoT with no manufacturing experience are pitching.
For IoT to work properly in manufacturing, the supplier of the tools and systems needs to have a deep understanding of how manufacturing works. Let’s face it, we can have appliances in our homes connected and talking but this is not the same as manufacturing production equipment providing real time production operation data and as well since IoT is bi-directional in nature, having costly and potentially dangerous machines being controlled via IoT. Let’s take a few minutes to put IoT into the context of manufacturing and see how it can be deployed properly for companies in the manufacturing and assembly environments.Read More
Over 600 million apps are downloaded worldwide each day. Moore’s law observes that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. With computing moving into nanotechnology, this continues to be true. I recently read that knowledge is doubled at least every year (soon to be measured in hours?). Just a few years ago it was unheard of for a mid-sized manufacturing company to have a terabyte of data. But, now I have a quarter of a terabyte of storage on my iPhone. How do you keep up? How do you keep your business systems up-to-date? How much of your competitive advantage is based on this ever changing technology? How much better are you than your competitors? It’s such a blessing to have all this incredible technology and data storage available. What’s hard is sifting through all the noise and settling on what’s right for your business. You want to upgrade, but is your upgraded business system going to result in “Better, Faster & Cheaper”?Read More
I just returned from the 2016 IBEX boat show in Tampa, getting out right before the hurricane, and the winds outside could not compare to the energy and invigoration of the marine suppliers and buyers on the exhibit floor. The industry is definitely alive and well which is going to push the limits of the boat industry supply chain if the upward trends continue. We all keenly remember the near death of the industry just a few years ago and during that time it was a survival mode operation only. Little investment was made in business systems technology, supply chain optimization and systematic efficiency improvement.
Turning to today where the industry has been seeing near 20% annual growth in many segments, this...
With the economy on a continued recovery the demand for boats, especially small to mid-sized styles is increasing dramatically according to the recent NMMA U.S. RECREATIONAL BOATING STATISTICAL ABSTRACT. While not yet back to pre-2007 numbers, it’s still significant growth. This level of growth has opened up the need for boat builders to become more efficient and streamlining of production. Prior to 2006, many builders just made capital investments in plants and equipment which during the downturn put many of them out of business. Cash flow dried up and the capital equipment became a major liability.
Learning from the missteps of the past during those pre-2006 growth years, how can the smart boat builder gain production levels to meet today’s demand without breaking the bank with capital investment? Other industries have faced similar issues such as the automotive markets. Suppliers to the automotive industries have felt the same pain and been in the same scenario. So what did they do to avoid the problems of the past?
Production efficiency in boat assembly can be increased and optimized thorough the use of ...Read More
If you took advantage of the Labor Day holiday to spend some time on the water, chances are you saw a lot of boaters. The number of boats on lakes, waterways, and oceans during holiday weekend is incredible. It makes you wonder how many people own the boat they are driving or are they renting it for the weekend. Regardless, of the number of boats on the water and who owns them, boating is a huge industry with many possibilities.
If you are in the market for a boat, and looking to join the ranks of other boaters, how do you know what you want? If you look...Read More
The FAA estimates that nearly 100,000 aircraft will need to equip with ADS-B Out between now and 2020, but does the U.S. aviation industry have the time and resources to get them done in time? (As reported in Avionics Today)
Companies that supply advanced navigation and electronics systems for private, commercial and military are facing ever increasing challenges to meeting regulatory requirements such as the new requirements for ADS-B. Requirements such as this not only affect the ability for companies to ramp up to the production demand but also the engineering, ERP and business systems that are used to design and build these products. Extending from . . .Read More
Take a step outside and listen to what you hear, take a deep breath and take in the smells around you. If you are like some of the rural population in the United States, that is a refreshing moment. However if you live in an urban or city with a high population, it’s not refreshing. You will more likely hear the din of traffic, harsh sounds of diesel city buses, their engines clamoring and with the stench of diesel exhaust. In extreme cities such as Mexico City, and multiple cities in China and India this is more than just an annoyance, it’s a major heath issue.
Cheap fuel of the...Read More
We all know that to be ahead of our competition we need to get there fast. The question I would pose, “Is it necessary for ALL things”? We realize that technology has driven the universe to run at a much faster pace. We think we need it now - not later. So does that mean that we should all be doing things exactly the same way? Should everything have a cookie cutter approach? Does one size fit all?Read More
ERP Software isn’t just for big companies anymore. There has often been the perception that investing in ERP Software is impossible for smaller companies. However, an examination of the current ERP Software landscape would probably surprise small businesses that have shied away from investing in ERP software in the past.
There are two substantial concerns for small businesses when it comes to ERP Software.
The first concern focuses on . . .Read More
Most customers go through a rigorous evaluation and selection process before making an ERP software purchase decision. Of course, it’s important to verify that the purchased software meets or exceeds all of the company’s business requirements and has a proven, successful track record within their industry. However, the ERP software is only a suite of tools that can be configured to meet functional requirements. Obtaining the real benefit to the purchase of a new ERP system is achieved through the implementation. A well planned, managed, and executed ERP implementation project is what will deliver the optimum results, improve overall operational processes, and provide an immediate return in terms of more efficient business procedures and customer satisfaction.
The objective of this article is to discuss different ERP implementation strategies and how realistic resource planning is important to success.
There are several common ERP implementation approaches or strategies. These are . . .Read More
Excel is probably one of the most widely used software programs among students, businesses, and manufacturers. It is incredibly versatile and relatively simple to use. Despite its simplicity, it can even compute and perform complex mathematical operations. It is a useful tool and an accessible way to analyze and communicate data.
Despite its usefulness, you may soon find yourself in a love / hate relationship with Excel.
As business develops, so does the amount of data. If your business operations are being managed from spreadsheets there is . . .Read More
SaaS or Software as a Service (Cloud) is a hot topic of conversation everywhere. Software as a Service is not remote hosting of your enterprise system, it is a subscription based service that hosts your business application in a multi-tenant data center somewhere. There are many stated advantages and disadvantages to this model and I hope to cover most if not all of them in as unbiased a way as I can.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of a SaaS deployment:
Some of the biggest concerns with ERP Implementations are “will my people learn fast enough, will they retain what they need to know after the ERP Consultant has left, and will we lose core ERP knowledge if key people leave the company”.
If you are a multi-site manufacturing company and have implemented your ERP in at least one of your sites, but still have others on the implementation to-do list, one way to mitigate all of these concerns is to use an internal Mentor Program.
A Mentor Program is a concept of utilizing your previous investments . . .
Typically, a relationship starts with expectation and excitement. And you invest in it to see where it will lead you. Investment comes in many forms, and varies based on the type of relationship. You may invest resources, money, time, and assets, not to mention emotional equity into something that has value to you.
Over a period of time you either discover that the relationship is working for you, or you determine that it's not. In the event that the relationship isn't working, there is usually a natural parting of ways, a "conscious uncoupling", or a dramatic scene that finally spells "the end". No matter how it happens, getting out of a bad relationship is liberating.
Think of all the business relationships you have developed over the years. Often, these relationships are good and built on mutual benefit. On occasion, you will find yourself clinging to something that just isn't working. This can happen for a number of reasons:Read More
If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.”
- Lawrence J. Peter 1977
Sounds simple enough. If you use GPS, you have turn by turn directions that will take you from point A to point B. But if you don’t plan well enough or your GPS is out of date, even when think you’re sure of where you’re headed, you don’t always end up where you expected.
I see a lot of businesses that know that they need to improve “where they are”. They’re pretty sure they know “where they should be” but lack experience driving the bus. What they need is a business GPS! Let’s simplify the examples. If you don’t have . . .Read More
Top 5 Benefits of Owning a VCR:
- You can own a rewinder shaped like a race car
- Remembers where you left off after 15 years on shelf
- Find hit movies for $1 in the looney bin or flea market
- You get to hear the audio in FastFoward too
- FF though anti-privacy warnings with ease
Of course, in theory you'd have to travel 6 miles to and fro twice a week to rent and return videos . . . if video stores still existed!
Recently there was a . . .Read More
Manufacturing jobs have been a hot topic in the last 12 months. Chances are, if you read any manufacturing related industry news, you have read something about reshoring, FDI, and the need for more skilled manufacturing workers.
FDI, Foreign Direct Investment, is an acronym that is becoming more familiar to those in the manufacturing industry. Foreign Direct Investment is becoming more prevalent as there is a resurgence in the manufacturing industry. According to Paul Davidson of USA Today, the U.S. has become more appealing to foreign companies because of its assets, its position as one of the world's largest markets, a cheap dollar (at the time of his writing), low energy costs, and its proximity to their customers.
Another boost to the American Economy is . . .Read More
The numbers are in for 2014, and it proved to be quite the notable year for reshoring jobs in manufacturing. It seems that for the first time in two decades America brought more jobs home than were shipped overseas.
60,000 manufacturing jobs were added in the USA in 2014, either through reshoring, or FDI (foreign direct investment) in which foreign companies move production to the U.S. - according to a study from the Reshoring Initiative. It appears that as many as . . .Read More