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.

June 29, 2017

Lean manufacturing, also known as lean production (or simply as "lean"), is the systematic method that eliminates various types of waste in a manufacturing process. Lean takes into account waste created through overburden and unevenness in production workloads. Lean reveals what processes or components add value and which processes do not add value. This is done by reducing or eliminating everything else in the process to find the most efficient work path. Value is defined from the customer’s perspective and is very intuitive.

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June 22, 2017

I’m a bit emotional these days. My youngest—my baby—just graduated from high school. It’s the end of an era for our family: The years of homework, packing lunches, attending sporting events, and endless nagging to study for exams are finally over. It’s a bittersweet time as a mom. If I think about it too much, I get a little teary-eyed. I’m so proud of my son—he got into his dream school with a full scholarship!—yet I worry if we’ve taught him everything he needs to know. I’ve been waking up at night, thinking of things I still need to tell him. He assures me, with an eye roll that only a teenager can do, that he knows everything. I just hope we’ve done enough to prepare him.

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June 15, 2017

3D printing of metal objects is a booming industry, with the market for products and services worth more than an estimated $2.3 billion in 2015 – a nearly five-fold growth since 2010.* For this type of manufacturing, a metal part is built up successively, layer by layer, over minutes or hours. Sometimes thousands of layers are added together to make a single piece – a reason why this process is conventionally referred to as “additive manufacturing” (AM).

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June 8, 2017

If you’re contemplating hosting a Manufacturing Day Event, you probably have a lot of questions, ranging from “What is a Manufacturing Day event?” to “What sorts of resources are available to help me make my event a success?”

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June 1, 2017

Chapter 4 “Context of the organization” of ISO 9001:2015 includes the requirement to understand the needs and expectations of interested parties. Section 4.2 states simple requirements to identify interested parties relevant to the quality management system, determine the parties’ needs, and review this information on a regular basis.

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May 31, 2017

Manufacturing is changing at an extraordinary pace and in unbelievable ways.

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May 24, 2017

Are you frustrated with the number of leads in your pipeline? Are you unsatisfied with the lack of brand awareness for your organization? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, you have opportunities to leverage your marketing efforts.

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May 18, 2017

Energy costs can be significant expenses for manufacturers of all shapes and sizes. Your processes may require vast amounts of energy to keep production moving—heating, cooling, lighting and more. Scaling back your energy expenses can improve your bottom line and lead to increased profitability. If you do not have a strategic plan to conserve energy, it is time for action.

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May 11, 2017

A manufacturer can be innovative in various ways beyond the use of technology. Innovation can include the utilization of new business models, the development of new processes and services, and the enhancement of existing products too.

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May 4, 2017

Manufacturers today need to be well-equipped to handle a variety of pressures to improve the effectiveness of their product while simultaneously looking for ways to cut costs. At face value, “going green” might seem like an impossible task for your business, but there are a surprising number of benefits.

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