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.

January 2, 2018

Manufacturing remains a critical force in both advanced and developing economies. But the sector has changed, bringing new opportunities and challenges to business leaders and policy makers.

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December 28, 2017

Lean Certification is an evolutionary journey where your knowledge and experience work together to create a depth of expertise upon which you can keep building. It weaves innovative ways of thinking and doing business with real-world applications and results. Lean Certification not only helps you attain the knowledge, it validates it. It is the only nationally recognized Lean Certification program; using standards developed and judged by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) in partnership with Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) and the Shingo Institute.

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December 21, 2017

Every year, I take some time to look at what manufacturing clients across the MEP National NetworkTM are saying about the future and the challenges they face. It’s usually part of my New Year’s resolution to take the time to step back and consider what is happening with our manufacturing clients and their businesses. This exercise provides a peek into the hearts and minds of the CEOs who run the over two hundred thousand small manufacturers across the U.S. whom MEP supports. It always provides me with some insight into important market intelligence to guide future activity.

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December 14, 2017

Bismarck, ND – Impact Dakota and the ND Trade Office, along with the support from a number of planning partners and sponsors, will be holding ExporTechTM. This proven program is designed to help North Dakota manufacturers and other interested companies who want to be proactive internationally by helping them boost their sales through profitable exports. The program will be held in the first quarter of 2018.

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December 7, 2017

It's no secret that Amazon is changing the way American manufacturing works. But there's more to the issue than just the idea that retail is different. People are buying things online much more today, instead of shopping local. That's changing whether some companies can stay in business, and is a problem especially for smaller stores and shops that cannot compete with Amazon's prices or selection. Looking beyond that, though, to manufacturing, means considering much more than just the retail sector. Here are three important issues to consider when it comes to how How the "Amazon Effect" is Changing the American Manufacturing Industry Forever.

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November 30, 2017

NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is pleased to announce the publication of NIST Handbook 162 "NIST MEP Cybersecurity Self-Assessment Handbook For Assessing NIST SP 800-171 Security Requirements in Response to DFARS Cybersecurity Requirements.” The Handbook provides a step-by-step guide to assessing a manufacturer’s information systems against the security requirements in NIST SP 800-171 rev 1.

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November 28, 2017

These "eye" diagrams reveal how much noise is present in a digital signal. As the signal grows noisier, its characteristic shape grows distorted, shrinking the center so it resembles an eye closing. NIST's new 3-D chip-testing method passes microwaves through chip material, allowing researchers to quickly detect flaws that would create noise and make the diagram change from the open-eyed clarity of the top image to the squintier distortion on the bottom. Credit: Y. Obeng and N. Hanacek/NIST

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November 20, 2017

No standard exists for determining when ice accumulation is severe enough that it will endanger workers. Most times, safety managers and supervisors must use their own judgment to alter work practices based on changes in weather conditions. We recommend that you plan ahead for anticipated hazards so you’ll be ready when conditions start to get dicey.

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November 16, 2017

There’s no question the digital manufacturing revolution is racing at us. As a small or medium-sized manufacturer, how close are you to already being “smart”? Here are five steps in the journey to becoming a smarter digital enterprise.

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November 13, 2017

Buyers generally have a good understanding of their company’s needs, however, too many assumptions and too little structure can result in mistakes when selecting suppliers. To ensure the best decisions are made, buyers need to reflect on their current decision making process. Dr. Cuneyt Altinoz has a long history of working in supply chain and offered frequent pitfalls made when selecting a supplier. Review the following list of common mistakes to make sure your company is on the right track.

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