Impact Dakota Blog is a blog dedicated to supporting North Dakota’s manufacturing community improve People, Purpose, Processes and Performance. Entries provide information on opportunities, new ideas, quick tips, celebrations of success, and well, frankly, anything to help you become a better manufacturer.
Connecting sensors and devices to our industrial control systems (ICS), and the increase in remote work and monitoring, results in manufacturing networks with greater vulnerabilities to cyberattack. This is an increasingly challenging dynamic as manufacturers sort out how to adopt commercial information technology (IT) standards that are compatible with their operational technology (OT) standards.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented big challenges for small manufacturers. That was the message of three leaders from manufacturing companies located in two Southwestern states. Fortunately, the MEP National Network is here for the small (and medium-sized) manufacturer!
During a “National Conversation with Manufacturers” session, panelists sent a clear message to the MEP National Network: Don’t let up now. It may take years for manufacturers to fully recover from the current crisis. The Network’s expertise and broad reach can help drive the understanding of manufacturing best practices — from training to lean production to technology adoption and integration — that will help drive recovery. The Network should seize on its heightened brand awareness to champion innovation and efficiency.
“National Conversation with Manufacturers” session panelists’ interest in what’s next for their own operations extended to what’s next for manufacturing as a whole. The MEP National Network, they said, could be the trusted resource helping shepherd them and other small and medium-sized manufacturers to the next stage of the economic cycle and their business development.
The growth path for small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) with robotics is increasingly focused on applications and added capabilities, not just efficiency and continuous improvement. The key to increasing adoption of robotics in SMMs is making the robots easier to use and re-use.
Sometimes you just have to go fishing. Seriously. That’s one of the messages manufacturing executives from West Coast and Mountain states passed along during a conversation about their experiences handling the near-term jolt of the COVID-19 pandemic and their expectations of the future. Lucky for two of the manufacturing operations represented, consumers have opted to go fishing and embrace other outdoor activities as recreational options that allow for necessary physical distancing.
In a conversation with manufacturing executives, their most impassioned concerns were about daycare and entrepreneurship, which they cited as key to reinvigorating the U.S. economy and sparking future growth.
Manufacturing leaders have told us the current health situation has really made them think about risk. They see risk in their supply chains, their workforces, their standard practices and in pulling back from innovation. Mitigating those risks, they say, comes in the form of local partnerships, long-term agreements, internalizing some outsourced supply, and automation.
Beginning the process of “going digital” doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With a little guidance and education, all manufacturers can start to implement digital manufacturing concepts in a staged approach that best fits your individual work environment. Here are our top five recommendations for digital applications that can help you get started.