A Modern ERP for Manufacturing: The Must Have Technology for 2020

| January 14, 2020
A MODERN ERP FOR MANUFACTURING: THE MUST HAVE TECHNOLOGY FOR 2020
A modern enterprise resource planning solution is essential for any manufacturer moving into the new decade. As doing business of any sort gets more complex, you must have reliable technology to manage your business functions in one centralized system. Manufacturers were some of the earliest adopters of ERP technology.

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Lighting Services Inc

Lighting Services Inc is the premier independent manufacturer of Track, Accent, Display, and LED Lighting Systems. It is our reputation for creativity and innovation that is unrivaled in our industry. It is our continued commitment to these principals, which makes LSI the manufacturer of choice among the most discriminating specifiers in lighting.

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Filmmaking is Manufacturing

Article | July 27, 2021

Filmmaking is manufacturing. To date, no one has made the direct correlation between the two. As many entertainment professionals know, the budget gap between indie productions and big studio blockbusters continues to grow. The day of mid-budget, independent (indie) movies is disappearing as fast as the middle class in the American economy. According to newbiefilmschool, the average budget is barely at $2 million for these pictures and producers have been forced to adapt by discovering creative ways to decrease costs, while maintaining a high production values for a sophisticated audience with high expectations. Though there are many ways to cut costs, any business professional will agree to go with the options that bring down the budget the most. Just as dog is man’s best friend, here are three reasons why manufacturers have become the same for a filmmaker by saving money and time for every type of production. Film equipment manufacturers No long may a film lack quality in picture, sound, and bad acting. Once acceptable, these older movies were produced with the technology and film equipment constraints and from limited funding. Film equipment manufacturers from cameras, sound equipment, and computers cost less to achieve high production values. Film equipment companies face increasing competition, which has driven down the purchase price. Better equipment with significant technology improvements has reframed the indie film industry with high-level sound and image capture quality. The transition of cameras from film to digital was a notable shift for manufacturers. Many industry-insiders believe that digital is free, and film is expensive, but there is more the manufacturing construct. Digital cameras, when compared to film cameras in the same market price bracket, are much more expensive than analog counterparts. It is true that film costs money and is single-use. Digital memory cards are relatively expensive and can be reused. Film also needs to be developed and there is a cost associated with that production cost. There are other ways in which digital modalities save filmmakers. Automation Across all industries, efficiency always wins. Innovative manufacturers have developed machines to make numerous jobs easier for everyone. Machines have been assisting filmmakers since the invention of the camera. AI (artificial intelligence) is poised to change film even more and continues to augment human creativity. Storytellers work with computers during every process of creating a motion picture which has sped up the time it takes to complete each-step in film making. Automating pre-production processes, such as creating a budget and writing a script, is analogous to an ERP (enterprise resource planning) software for a traditional manufacturing operation. The Movie Magic budgeting software by Entertainment Partners has made creating a budget more efficient and accurate. Screenwriter programs vary from the downloadable Final Draft, and the purely cloud based, Celtx, are the reasons automated scriptwriting is the norm. These programs also automatically format writing to industry standards, facilitating the creative process. Automation in post-production is equally advanced through editing software for video, sound, effects, and colors all the way to distribution and promotional content. Editing footage from digital rather than film saves time and money. Industry favorites include Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple’s exclusive Final Cut Pro and are used on almost all well-known movies and TV shows. The impacts of COVID-19 on entertainment manufacturers Without question, the pandemic has affected every industry by creating an unanticipated production standstill. Entertainment manufacturers have sacrificed countless productions, lost billions of dollars, and major talent agencies have furloughed hundreds of employees. This negative impact is not just difficult for indie filmmakers, big studios are suffering just as much with production delays and cancellations still happening as this article goes to press. Any way back to the set is better than no set at all. A new necessity for productions to safely reopen includes epidemiologists and other public health specialists; they provide detailed strategies dealing with large crews who work in cramped spaces, makeup artists who get face-to-face with actors who kiss, hug, and fight on set. These COVID-19 consultants rely on the manufacturing industry for PPE supplies and carry out regular PCR tests. Face coverings and hand sanitizing stations have also become the norm, just like most other manufacturing operations.

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Content Marketing for Manufacturers: How to Build a Successful Plan?

Article | January 4, 2022

Content marketing for manufacturers has become an essential component of every organization, and the manufacturing industry is no exception. Manufacturers are concentrating more on increasing their presence in both the digital and physical markets. As a result, the content market is seeing a boom as novel techniques are aimed at reaching the end objective of the manufacturing company. According to PRNewswire, the worldwide content marketing industry is expected to increase by USD 417.85 billion between 2021 and 2025, at a CAGR of over 16%. “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” – Seth Godin Why Is Content Marketing Critical to Your Business's Success? Promotes trust Helps in the formation of your brand's identity Enables you to take advantage of organic search results Performance is easy to assess Produces leads and attracts ideal buyers It balances the playing field, resulting in a higher ROI It enables you to benefit from social shares It entices visitors to return to your website on a regular basis Manufacturing Content Marketing Strategies That Work Recognize the Buyer's Pain Points Writing amazing content requires knowing your target audience. Knowing your ideal customers helps you generate content that is relevant to them. When your potential buyer visits your website and finds content that answers his or her inquiries, you've already removed one hurdle for your sales staff. How does your sales team define a good prospect? Who are they? What do they do? Why are they visiting your business? What is their industry knowledge? The answers to all such questions influence what and how you write. Once you start recognizing your buyers, you can get the prospect and confidence in your organization to address your buyer’s difficulties. Do Research on Keywords Everyone appears to believe that skipping keyword research is acceptable. However, this is not the case. If you want to focus on marketing activities that yield big returns, you need a best manufacturer content marketing strategy backed by solid SEO. Keyword research is the first step. Use one of the numerous internet keyword research tools to find terms with high search traffic, low competition, and relevance to your manufacturing company's activity. The better your keyword research, the better your content approach. Create and Schedule Consistently Excellent Content Writing outstanding content is by far the greatest strategy to increase your manufacturing company's SERP rank. Hire a good content writer or content strategist who can combine your technical expertise, keywords, and purpose into a meaningful blog, case study, or content offer that gets results. Your material must be good to rank well. Irregular content, like scattered production, always spells disaster. Having a defined timetable that your audience understands is essential to successful content marketing. Whether you produce material weekly, monthly, or quarterly, a timetable ensures that content is consistently released and updated. Make Your Content More Visible Once your content is ready, make your content visible to your target audience. Get your content marketing for manufacturing plan going to promote it in every way. You're in a tough spot when it comes to content marketing for manufacturers. To stay ahead of the competition, you must constantly monitor the performance of your materials. Keep an eye on everything you create and promote. Analyze which content form is performing well. Is it a blog? A time-lapse video? Or infographics? Identify your best-performing content so you can develop more of it. Also focus on the content that doesn't perform well. Consider why that content didn't work for your audience. Is it too hard to rank that post? Is there a better platform or medium for the content? All of these queries must be answered to establish a strong content strategy for your company. Optimize Your Content Marketing The lack of industry-specific content marketing tactics is a major challenge for manufacturers. Many businesses use a generic strategy that ignores their particular customer connections, making different types of content marketing for manufacturers ineffective. As the manufacturing business is a specialized business in any particular area, they also need specific content marketing strategies. Hence, focus on building a unique content marketing strategy that would help you optimize your business reach to your target audience. General Electric Is Taking the Lead on Social Media GE has come a long way from its 1892 beginnings. While it has retained basic product streams such as lighting, transportation, and power transmission, the goods themselves have developed dramatically. Social media marketing has become increasingly important as new technology transforms the corporate scene. GE's Instagram Presence GE's Instagram feed is an excellent illustration of widespread appeal. GE always shares attractive photographs with full explanations. It recognizes the power of pictures and captures common scenes in fascinating ways. Final Words Utilizing cutting-edge content marketing methods for manufacturing businesses is critical for increasing your business's visibility and reach with your target audience. Ascertain that you select the appropriate techniques to advance your digital and physical presence in the industry. Discover the most effective plan for manufacturing content marketing and change your present marketing methods into more refined and up-to-date ones. FAQ What are the best ways to market a manufacturing company? The best approaches to advertising any manufacturing business are to concentrate on improving content, email marketing, SEO, press releases, and event sponsorship. Is marketing vital for manufacturers? Yes, since marketing opens up a whole new world for manufacturers, and a strong brand helps any business stand out from the competition.

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Which Additive Manufacturing Process Is Right for You?

Article | December 6, 2021

Additive Manufacturing (AM) uses computer-aided design (CAD) or 3D object scanners to create accurate geometric features. In contrast to traditional manufacturing, which frequently involves milling or other processes to eliminate superfluous material, these are produced layer by layer, as with a 3D printing process. The global additive manufacturing market is expected to grow at a 14.42 percent annual rate from USD 9.52 billion in 2020 to USD 27.91 billion in 2028, according to reports and data. Overall, the worldwide 3D printing industry is gaining traction due to various reasons, some of which are listed below. Significantly, greater resolution Reduced manufacturing costs as a result of recent technology breakthroughs Ease of creating customised goods Increasing possibilities for printing with diverse materials Funding by the government for 3D printing ventures Additive manufacturing is available or may be implemented in various procedures, which is the primary objective of this article. First, we'll look at the seven additive manufacturing processes and which one is the best to use. So let us begin. “Don’t be afraid to go outside of your industry to learn best practices. There might be something that surprises you or inspires you to try in your line of work.” – Emily Desimone, Director of Global Marketing at SLM Solutions Additive Manufacturing Processes There are numerous diverse additive manufacturing processes, each with its own set of standards. Here are the seven additive manufacturing procedures that many manufacturers consider based on their benefits from each process, or whichever approach best suits their product requirements. Material Jetting This additive manufacturing process is quite similar to that of conventional inkjet printers, in which material droplets are selectively placed layer by layer to build a three-dimensional object. After completing a layer, it is cured with UV radiation. VAT Photo Polymerization This procedure employs a technology called photo polymerization, in which radiation-curable resins or photopolymers are utilized to ultraviolet light to generate three-dimensional objects selectively. When these materials are exposed to air, they undergo a chemical reaction and solidify. Stereo lithography, Digital Light Processing, and Continuous Digital Light Processing are the three primary subcategories. Binder Jetting Binder jetting is a process that deposits a binding agent, typically in liquid form, selectively onto powdered material. The print head deposits alternating layers of bonding agent and construction material and a powder spreader to create a three-dimensional object. Material Extrusion S. Scott Crump invented and patented material extrusion in the 1980s using Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). The continuous thermoplastic filament is fed through a heated nozzle and then deposited layer by layer onto the build platform to produce the object. Powder Bed Fusion Powder bed fusion procedures, particularly selective laser sintering, were the pioneers of industrial additive manufacturing. This approach melts the powdered material and fuses it using a laser or electron beam to form a tangible item. The primary kinds of powder bed fusion are direct metal laser sintering, selective laser sintering, multi-jet fusion, electron beam melting, selective laser melting, and selective heat sintering. Sheet Lamination Sheet lamination is a catch-all term encompassing ultrasonic additive manufacturing, selective deposition lamination, and laminated object manufacturing. All of these technologies stack and laminate sheets of material to form three-dimensional objects. After the object is constructed, the parts' undesirable areas are gradually removed layer by layer. Directed Energy Deposition Directed energy deposition technology employs thermal energy to melt and fuse the materials to form a three-dimensional object. These are pretty similar to welding processes, but are much more intricate. Which Additive Manufacturing Process is best? Why? Based on three fundamental factors, additive manufacturing techniques are categorized into seven types. First, the way material is solidified is determined first by the type of material employed, then by the deposition technique, and finally by how the material is solidified. The end-user often chooses an additive manufacturing technique that best suits his requirements, followed by the explicit material for the process and application, out of the seven basic additive manufacturing processes. Polymer materials are commonly used in AM techniques because they are adaptable to various procedures and can be modified to complicated geometries with high precision. Carbon-based compounds are used to strengthen polymers. Polymers, both solid and liquid, have been widely used due to the variety of shapes, formability, and end-use qualities available. Wherever the light-activated polymer contacts the liquid's surface, it instantly solidifies. Photo polymerization, powder bed fusion, material jetting, and material extrusion are the most common additive manufacturing procedures for polymers. The materials employed in these processes can be liquid, powder, or solid (formed materials such as polymer film or filament). How BASF is Using Additive Manufacturing BASF is a chemical company. BASF, one of the world's major chemical companies, manufactures and provides a range of 3D printing filaments, resins, and powders within its extensive material portfolio. The company, well-known in the 3D printing sector, has formed major material agreements with several 3D printer manufacturers, including HP, BigRep, Essentium, BCN3D, and others. BASF went even further in 2017 by establishing BASF 3D printing Solutions GmbH (B3DPS) as a wholly-owned subsidiary to expand the company's 3D printing business. In addition, BASF stated last year that B3DPS would change its name to Forward AM. BASF's role in the 3D printing business, however, is not limited to material development. BASF has made several investments in 3D printing companies over the years, including the acquisition of Sculpteo, one of the significant French 3D printing service bureaus, last year. BASF sees 3D printing as having a bright future. With the growing popularity of professional 3D printers, all of these systems will eventually require robust, high-quality polymer materials to perform at their best – and BASF has been paving the way to becoming one of the leading solution providers. Final Words All additive manufacturing procedures are unique and helpful in their way. Still, some have additional advantages over others, such as the material used, highresolution, precision, and the ability to build complicated parts. Because of these added benefits, photopolymerization, material jetting, powder bed fusion, and material extrusion are preferred over others. Therefore, choose the AM process that is best suited to your manufacturing business and will assist you in achieving the desired final product output. FAQs What are the benefits of additive manufacturing? AM enables manufacturers to reduce waste, prototyping costs, and customization while conserving energy and increasing production flexibility. Additionally, it benefits the supply chain and the environment, encouraging businesses to increase their manufacturing sustainability. What is the major challenge in additive manufacturing? Many businesses are struggling with the current difficulty of producing large and odd-sized parts using additive manufacturing. So, this can be considered a significant challenge in additive manufacturing. What are the steps of additive manufacturing? The additive manufacturing steps are divided into four steps as below, Step1 - Design a model with CAD software Step2 -Pre-processing Step3 -Printing Step4 - Post-processing { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the benefits of additive manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "AM enables manufacturers to reduce waste, prototyping costs, and customization while conserving energy and increasing production flexibility. Additionally, it benefits the supply chain and the environment, encouraging businesses to increase their manufacturing sustainability." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the major challenge in additive manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Many businesses are struggling with the current difficulty of producing large and odd-sized parts using additive manufacturing. 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This Is How You Can Lower Your Manufacturing Overhead

Article | December 21, 2021

When it comes to developing a budget for the following financial year of your manufacturing business, many operations managers start with direct labor and material expenditures. But, what about manufacturing overhead costs? Manufacturing overhead is any expense not directly tied to a factory's production. Therefore, the indirect costs in manufacturing overhead can also be called factory overhead or production overhead. Outsourcing and globalization of manufacturing allows companies to reduce costs, benefits consumers with lower-cost goods and services, and causes economic expansion that reduces unemployment and increases productivity and job creation. – Larry Elder So, this article focuses on some highly effective overhead cost reduction methods that would help you build a healthy budget for the following year. Manufacturing Overhead Costs: What Is Included? Everything or everyone within the factory that isn't actively producing items should be considered overhead. The following are some of the variables that are considered overhead costs: Depreciation of equipment and productionfacilities Taxes, insurance, and utilities Supervisors, maintenance, quality control, and other on-site personnel who aren't producing signs Indirect supply from light bulbs to toilet paper is also included in the overhead cost. Manufacturing Overhead Costs: What Is Excluded? Everything or everyone within or outside the factory that is actively producing items should be excluded from the overhead costs. Factory overhead does not include the following: Product materials Employee costs for those making the goods daily External administrative overhead, such as a satellite office or human resources Costs associated with C-suite employees Expenses associated with sales and marketing - include pay, travel, and advertising How to Calculate Overhead Costs in Manufacturing To know the manufacturing overhead requires calculating the manufacturing overhead rate. The formula to calculate the manufacturing overhead rate i.e. MOR is basic yet vital. To begin, determine your overall manufacturing overhead expenses. Then, add up all the monthly indirect expenditures that keep manufacturing running smoothly. Then you can calculate the Manufacturing Overhead Rate (MOR). This statistic shows you your monthly overhead costs as a percentage. To find this value, divide Total Manufacturing Overhead Cost (TMOC) by Total Monthly Sales (TMS) and multiply it by 100. The final formula will be: Assume your manufacturing overhead expensesare $50,000 and your monthly sales are $300,000. You get.167 when you divide $50,000 by $300,000. Then increase that by 100 to get your monthly overhead rate of 16.7%. This means your monthly overhead expenditures will be 16.7% of your monthly income. Being able to forecast and develop better solutions to decrease production overhead. Five Ways to Reduce Manufacturing Overhead Costs A variety of strategies may be used by manufacturing organizations to reduce their overhead costs. Here is a summary of some of the most important methods for reducing your manufacturing overhead costs. Value Stream Mapping – A Production Plant Process Layout A value stream map depicts the entire manufacturing process of your plant. Everything from raw material purchase through client delivery is detailed here. The value stream map provides you with a complete picture of the profit-making process. This overhead cost-cuttingmethod is listed first for a reason because every effort to reduce manufacturing overhead costsstarts with a value stream map. Lean manufacturingis also one of the techniques of eliminating unnecessary time, staff, and work that is not necessary for profit and has gained undue favor in the manufacturing process. You must first create a value stream map of the whole manufacturing process for this technique to work. Once the lean manufacturing precept is established, the following strategies for decreasingmanufacturing overhead expenses can be examined. Do Not Forget Your Back Office Management Before focusing on factory floor cost reduction techniques, remember that your back offices, where payment processing and customer contacts occur, may also be simplified and increase profitability. Fortunately, automation can achieve this profitability at a cheap cost. Manufacturers increasingly use robotic process automation (RPA) to sell directly to customers rather than rely on complex supply networks. This automation eliminates costly human mistakes in data input and payment processing by automatically filling forms with consumer data. Moreover, the time saved from manual data input (and rectifying inevitable human errors) equates to decreased labor expenses and downtime. Automating Your Manufacturing Plant For a long time, manufacturers saw factory automation as a game-changer. As a result, several plant owners make radical changes in their operations using cutting-edge technologydespite knowing it realistically. Over-investing in technologies unfamiliar to present industrial personnel might be deemed a technology blunder. Investing in new technology that doesn't generate value or is too hard for current staff to use might be a mistake. It's usually best to start small when implementing newtechnology in manufacturing. Using collaborative robots in production is one way to get started with automation. They are inexpensive, need little software and hardware, and may help employees with mundane, repeated chores that gobble up bandwidth. It is a low-cost entry point into automation that saves labor expenses and opens the door for further automation investments when opportunities are available. Reuse Other Factory Equipment and Supplies Check with other factories to see if they have any unused equipment or supplies that may be "redeployed" to your manufacturing plant. Redeployment would save you time and money by eliminating the need to look for and install new equipment while lowering your overhead costs. Outsourcing a fully equipped factory, equipment, or even staff can also assist in lowering overhead costssince you will only pay for what you utilize. As such, it is a viable method to incorporate into your production process. Employ an In-house Maintenance Expert An in-house repair technician can service your equipment for routine inspections, preventive maintenance, and minor repairs. This hiring decision might save money on unforeseen repair expenses or work fees for an outside repair provider. Having someone on-site who can do emergency repairs may save you money if your equipment breaks after business hours. Final Words Manufacturing overhead costis an essential aspect of every manufacturing company's budget to consider. Smart manufacturingis intended to be productive, efficient, and cost-effective while effectively managing production expenditures. Calculating the manufacturing overheadcan provide you with a better understanding of your company's costs and how to minimize them. Depending on the conditions or geographical needs, each manufacturing plant's overhead expensesmay vary. As a result, identify your production overhead costsand concentrate on reducing and improving them. FAQ What are manufacturing overheads? Manufacturing overhead cost is a sum of all indirect expenses incurred during production. Manufacturing overhead expenses usually include depreciation of equipment, employee salaries, and power utilized to run the equipment. What is a decent overhead percentage? When a business is functioning successfully, an overhead ratio of less than 35 % is considered favorable. How can I calculate the cost of manufacturing per unit? The overall manufacturing cost per unit is determined by dividing the total production expenses by the total number of units produced for a particular time.

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Spotlight

Lighting Services Inc

Lighting Services Inc is the premier independent manufacturer of Track, Accent, Display, and LED Lighting Systems. It is our reputation for creativity and innovation that is unrivaled in our industry. It is our continued commitment to these principals, which makes LSI the manufacturer of choice among the most discriminating specifiers in lighting.

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