Accelerating the Transformation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Here’s How VxWorks Can Help

MICHEL CHABROUX| April 03, 2020
ACCELERATING THE TRANSFORMATION FOR THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. HERE’S HOW VXWORKS CAN HELP
I have always been interested and somewhat fascinated by machines, especially the ones that are used to build other machines. I have good memories of my visits to an enormous foundry or a ship factory. This dates back 30 years when I was working in a machine shop as a high-school senior. I loved the industrial saws used to cut 2 thick sheets of mica or the G-code programmed CNCs. Enough of this and back to the topic of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. I am no history buff so I will not provide history lessons here. However, I will go over this quickly.

Spotlight

Thompsons Limited

Thompsons Limited is a dynamic, progressive and growing agricultural business whose goal is to add value to our customers through innovative solutions. Our strength begins with grower relationships in procuring grains, specialty crops and organics with IP traceability, quality processing, packaging, and freight logistics to bring wholesalers and manufacturers food products of the highest quality.

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The packaging journey: Is it an important factor for your brand?

Article | June 8, 2021

The last 12 months saw a considerable increase in e-commerce, driven by the global pandemic with many retail commentators believing this is an irreversible behavioural shift. If correct, this will further underline the importance of the packaging journey, since the likelihood of consumers primarily interacting with brands through deliveries increases, potentially becoming the standard purchasing process. Robert Lockyer, CEO and founder of Delta Global, a sustainable packaging solutions provider for luxury fashion brands, considers the impact of the packaging journey amid these new retail dynamics. How much impact could a single packaging box have when it comes to consumer engagement and marketing? This is a question that all retailers and brands should reconsider, given the tumultuous nature of the retail landscape. If Deloitte’s recent report into the Danish consumer’s permanent shift to online shopping can be viewed as a microcosm of imminent global trends, then businesses must adapt packaging to incorporate the entire journey. Last year, the fashion and luxury markets were forecast to decline by an astounding $450 - $600 billion. A market previously thought too-big-to fail is taking a huge financial hit. The long-term effects of Covid-19 on retail as whole are unclear. But packaging has become too integral to the sales journey to ignore. Packaging, therefore, can work as a core marketing tool, beyond the basics of the primary recipients’ experience. In this article, I’ll highlight how best to consider and exploit the entire packaging journey, ensuring that packaging realises its complete potential. Materials Manufacturing that avoids the use of sustainable materials is becoming impossible to justify, from both an economic and environmental perspective. In fact, they are, practically speaking, one and the same. We know that a significant majority of consumers expect businesses to adopt a sustainable ethos – and are willing to pay more for it. Therefore, the economic viability of sustainable packaging is fortified by consumer expectation. It is both a market and environmental inevitability. Beginning a packaging journey should start with the selection of sustainable, recyclable, reusable materials. This is a stage in the packaging voyage that is easily achieved, with manufacturers increasingly switching to eco-friendly methods. At Delta Global, sustainability is incorporated into every packaging product we produce. We’ve seen demands for sustainable services increase, but more can be done to mark this initial step as a marketing footprint rather than a footnote. There are some great recent examples of how to do this right, from Burberry’s elegant reinvention of the ordinary cardboard box which will go even further to remove all plastic from its packaging by 2025, through to Gucci’s opulent Victorian wallpaper design packaging that is fully recyclable. And so, step one - the initial consumer experience and expectation, is met through sustainable materials, and when done correctly, is easily exceeded. Design Once the correct materials are selected, brands should start think about design beyond creating an attractive, secure container. The goal here is to inspire the consumer to utilise the packaging in a way that positions them as a virtual brand ambassador. Consider the rise of the unboxing video. YouTube reported a 57% increase in product unboxing videos in one year, with these videos having in excess of a billion yearly views. Together with Instagram, where 58% of its estimated 1.074 billion users log-in to follow trends and styles, visually oriented content platforms provide an unmissable marketing opportunity. It is important to underline that this type of viral marketing need not rely on paid celebrities. In fact, I am advocating for a completely organic approach where possible. From a brand’s perspective, recipients of well-executed sustainable packaging must progress this initial positive experience by innovative and thoughtful design. That way, authentically persuasive content will occur naturally. And it's this type of spontaneous, highly engaged micro-influencing that rewards brands that have fully considered the packaging journey. To achieve this requires innovation. You might consider implementing technology and connected packaging, where apps and QR codes are integrated into the packing itself. A favourite example of this is Loot Crates brilliantly innovative unboxing experience which connects, via an app, to new products and exclusive items. While technological innovation provides a novelty that encourages unboxing videos, simpler approaches can equally inspire the consumer through personal touches like VIVE Wellness’ individually packaged and addressed turquoise vitamin tubes, or M.M Lafleur’s curated and detail-oriented ‘bento box’ styling solution. These packaging creations work because they provide memorable experiences, centred on discovery, individuality and, ultimately, shareability. Packaging after purchase The third and most under-utilised part of the packaging journey is post-unboxing usage. Brands should ask themselves who the packaging is seen by – and does the packaging have the function to be seen and used by others? At this point in the packaging journey, we are hoping to harvest as many positive impressions as possible. This can include, for example, delivery drivers, photographers and stylists. The concept is not abstract. Reflect on the reaction felt by a fashion photographer the first time they received, from an enthused stylist, a Gucci item in its new opulent emerald green packaging. Or the response of a delivery driver when seeing, in amongst the more mundane boxes, MatchesFashion’s reimagining of the a cardboard parcel. Is it likely that the impression made by those stand-out packaging designs will be talked about, purred over, recommended and revered? The answer is obviously a resounding yes. When this happens online, we call it influencer marketing. And we should not dismiss this type of marketing when it happens offline. Word of mouth matters. In an increasingly online consumer market where the first – and perhaps only – physical interaction between brand/consumer is through the packaging experience, it will matter more. To our imaginary trio of driver, photographer and stylist, let’s introduce the general consumer. How likely it is that any of those would throw such packaging away? They are so wonderfully designed that reusability and repurposing are inevitable. When a packaging compels secondary usage - deployed around homes and offices as containers, storage or decoration – you are creating an item that symbolises what marketers spending entire budgets pursuing: brand as central to an aspirational lifestyle. If the retail market is moving irrevocably online, the offline journey of packaging – from manufacturer, deliverer, consumer and user – can ease that transition and become a perpetual marketing tool. This way, brands and retailers can enjoy the journey and the destination.

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Rex Moore Proves Project Business Automation Provides Predictive and Proactive Resource Requirements

Article | July 28, 2021

Rex Moore Group, Inc. is a Top50 electrical contractor delivering unmatched integrated electrical solutions. As an early adopter of Lean manufacturing principles, Rex Moore has created a company-wide culture of continuous improvement that drives significant value to their clients. The firm contracts and performs both design/build and bid work for all electrical, telecommunications, and integrated systems market segments. Rex Moore has a full-service maintenance department to cover emergency and routine requirements for all facilities, whether an existing facility or one that has been recently completed by the company. The ability to negotiate and competitively bid various forms of contracts including lump-sum, fixed fee, hourly rate, and cost-plus work as a prime contractor, subcontractor, or joint venture is enhanced with Project Business Automation (PBA) from Adeaca. This solution permits the company to propose work only if they are in a position to be competitive in the marketplace and provide excellent service with fair compensation. Rex Moore used Adeaca PBA as a construction management software for builders and contractors to integrate and facilitate its business processes in its ERP system. Together with Microsoft Dynamics, PBA integrated processes across the company on a single end-to-end platform. This allowed the company to replace 15 different applications with a single comprehensive system, eliminating the costs and inefficiencies associated with multiple systems and silos of information.

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Business Models for Sustainable Manufacturing

Article | December 23, 2021

Sustainable business strategiesare bringing significant financial and environmental benefits to manufacturers. Sustainable manufacturingcreates goods while minimizing environmental consequences and preserving energy and natural resources. In addition, sustainable production improves the safety of workers, the community, and the products they produce. Allied Market Research projects that the worldwide renewable energy market will reach $1,977.6 billion by 2030, increasing at an 8.4% CAGR. As a result, we can conclude that many businesses are transitioning from traditional manufacturing to sustainable manufacturing. It’s a good time to be a part of the renewable energy industry. New technologies are coming to market every day, and we work in an industry that is trying to solve an enormous challenge. – Susan Stone, Chief Executive Officer at Ubiquitous Energy, Inc., in conversationwith Media 7 Though many organizations are pioneering the sustainable manufacturing approach, we have selected five of the most well-known companies making serious attempts to be sustainable manufacturing companiesby all means. In addition to the list of sustainable manufacturing businesses, this article will discuss the advantages of sustainabilityand how organizations may become carbon neutral. So let's get started. Top 5 Companies with a Sustainable Business Model The following are five manufacturing businessesthat are investing in sustainable manufacturingmethodsacross their production processes to become more responsive to our mother earth. Philips Electronics The company is reducing its environmental effect by engaging with suppliers, taking climate action, and driving the shift to a circular economy. Climate change is a key concern for Philips. So they are rethinking their business strategies and decoupling economic development from environmental and social impacts. They met their aim of becoming 100% carbon-neutral in their operations and procuring 100% of their power from renewable sources by 2020. They intend to obtain over 75% of their total energy usage from renewable sources by 2025 and to reduce CO2 emissions across their whole value chain to meet the 1.5°C global warming state. Schott Sustainability is profoundly embedded in SCHOTT's DNA. It derives from their distinctive business concept, which dates back to 1896. Their sustainability plan includes responsible governance, workers, society, environment, and climate. “Regarding climate change, it is high time to act. Everyone must take responsibility – politicians, companies and society. We are ready to play our part. We want to become climate neutral by 2030.” - Dr. Jens Schulte, Member of the Board of Management with responsibility for the “Zero Carbon” strategy program Long-term thought and responsible behavior are guiding principles of SCHOTT, which is why they care about the environment and climate. They are entering a new era of sustainable management with their “Zero Carbon” strategic program. Long term, they seek to eliminate fossil fuels as soon as technologyallows it. They are focused on the most energy-intensive stage of glass melting to create new solutions. IKEA IKEA's low-cost furniture utilizes a lot of wood. But because the company employs sustainable forestry practices, your new minimalist nightstand didn't cost the globe a rainforest. The business is also investing heavily in solar and wind energy. This year, the corporation intends to increase its already significant expenditures in renewable energy, to reach 100% clean energy by 2020. It also leads in offering cleaner, greener products. Nike In addition to encouraging people to walk, this footwear manufacturer uses recycled aluminum frames in its headquarters in the Netherlands, and underground energy storage to reduce its carbon footprint. Moreover, it has implemented stringent emission regulations at all of its manufacturingfacilities and has cut its overall carbon footprint by around 80 % since the late 1990s. The company also sells the most environmentally-friendly soccer sneakers on the market. Johnson & Johnson According to the company, Johnson & Johnson has just begun transitioning a significant portion of its energy reliance to solar power in an effort to become the world's most socially responsible organization. Currently, it is the second-largest user of solar energy in the United States, with more than half of its power coming from environmentally friendly sources. Rewards of Adopting Sustainable Manufacturing Practices Many businesses are seeking sustainabilityfor many reasons, including: Reducesoperating expenses and waste Respondsto new consumers and get a competitive edge Buildspublic trust and protect brand and reputation Createslong-term business viability Recognizesand address regulatory constraints What Can We Do to Make Sustainable Manufacturing a Reality? Every business must support green energy projects. Here are some fundamental actions that every business should take to transform itself into a sustainable manufacturing organization. Maximize the Efficacy of Fossil Fuels In today's society, energy conservation is a win-win situation. Approximately half of the world's known oil reserves have been exhausted, which means we are near to the point of diminishing returns in terms of supply. As far as we know, there hasn't been a shortage of supplies. Shutting down unwanted equipment might help you save money immediately. Replace a single-speed motor with a variable speed or servo drive. Use a hydraulic pump with variable speed. Wind, solar, and hydropower can also be used to conserve energy. Reduce or Eliminate Waste Don't overindulge; merely take in what you need to get the task done. At this point, we may all agree that it's easy, but in the past, our primary focus was on reducing productioncosts or time to market. Whether we were wasting resources was unknown or irrelevant to anyone. Metal, paper, and packaging are all examples of industries where this is true. The potential for waste reduction may justify the purchase of highly accurate production equipment. Recycle As a byproduct of manufacturing, metals may be easily recycled and used for new products. In addition, recycling metal saves money and energy since it uses less energy in the manufacturing process, allowing for a 60 % or more reduction in the energy needed to make new products. Final Words Sustainable manufacturing practicesare making manufacturing industries more socially responsible and carbon neutral. This new manufacturing method is necessary for today's period because we must consider future generations while improving today's. Natural resources must be conserved before depleting, and we have nothing left to offer future generations. Responsible organizations have already used this sustainable approachin their manufacturing processes, and we anticipate that every company should consider this method to be more sustainableand environmentally responsible. FAQ What is the difference between green and sustainable manufacturing? The main difference between green and sustainable is that green addresses a single aspect i.e., environmental health, but sustainability addresses the entire system, including economic, social, and environmental aspects. Which business is more environmentally friendly? According to Corporate Knights, Alphabet, Tesla, and AstraZeneca were among the world's most sustainable companies in the Global 100 Index for 2021. What are the four sustainability factors? The word sustainability refers to programs, activities, and actions to preserve a resource. But it relates to four unique key areas. Human, social, economic, and environmental are the four pillars or factors of sustainability.

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American Manufacturing Statistics

Article | May 20, 2021

The transformation of raw materials through mechanical, physical, or chemical processes into a new product is the definition of manufacturing in the U.S. These businesses include plants, mills, factories, and warehouses and they rely on power-driven equipment to produce their products. Small businesses and home-based businesses are included in the scope of U.S. manufacturing - this includes sectors like tailor-made clothing, bakeries, candy stores, or toy/crafts creators. Additionally, companies that contract with the businesses in these industries are included in the sector of American manufacturing. It is worth noting: U.S. manufacturing does not include anything relating to housing or commercial construction. Read more...

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Spotlight

Thompsons Limited

Thompsons Limited is a dynamic, progressive and growing agricultural business whose goal is to add value to our customers through innovative solutions. Our strength begins with grower relationships in procuring grains, specialty crops and organics with IP traceability, quality processing, packaging, and freight logistics to bring wholesalers and manufacturers food products of the highest quality.

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