Actions C-suite Executives Can Take to Get the Most Out of Cloud Computing

Bhagyashri Kambale | April 26, 2022 | 82 views
ACTIONS C-SUITE EXECUTIVES
Cloud implementation alone will not provide value for a company. Executives at the highest levels must take the initiative towards digital transformation. C-suite executives play an important role in a business's digital transformation, which is critical to its success.

C-level executives must consider cloud computing plans over the long term and ensure appropriate money and resources for cloud adoption.

When it comes to cloud computing's objectives and benefits, C-level executives must take the lead and be involved in the strategies to ensure that the blueprint meets the business's requirements. CEOs, for example, must collaborate with CTOs and CIOs to maximize the benefits of cloud computing and ensure a smooth transition to digital transformation.

In this article, we will discuss the five essential activities that the organization's c-level executives must undertake to get the most out of cloud computing.


Five Cloud Adoption Actions C-suite Executives Must Take


Maintaining a Consistent Financial Flow

Cloud computing's objectives and benefits can be realized only with enough funding. As a CEO, it is critical to establish a financial funnel that supports each stage of the organization's cloud migration journey. It may take time for your firm to benefit from cloud computing fully. As a result, it is critical to ensure the financial backing is steady and consistent.


Develop a Cloud-based Business Strategy

A business transition is only as efficient as the planning that supports it. Therefore, to maximize the value of cloud computing, it is critical to developing a business strategy and an accompanying technology operating model. A model of this type harmonizes processes for collaborative engagement between IT and business, thereby unleashing potential.


CIOs Can Help CFOs Grasp the Cloud Business Case

Cloud is a business priority, not an IT one. Because it is based on technology, the CIO must convince other C-suite members, including the CFO. The CIO may directly address the CFO's business priorities by demonstrating how cloud technologies improve business processes and overall enterprise performance.

The CIO can also explain how using cloud-based solutions saves money by letting an external provider handle maintenance and hosting. With technical knowledge of data and infrastructure requirements, the CIO can help the CFO understand the dangers of cloud computing and how to solve CFO concerns like data governance and compliance. The CIO and CFO can collaborate along with CEO to derive better results from the benefits of cloud computing. 


Collaborate on a Deployment Plan

Cloud technologies can be disruptive, whether they solve a problem or add new capabilities. Co-developing a deployment strategy that minimizes downtime, quickly trains employees on the latest technology, and establishes clear success indicators helps minimize interruption.

The discussion should begin with an evaluation of the company's requirements, followed by comparing the various cloud technologies. The CIO can assess the company's current technological environment and identify new technologies that can cover the gaps.


Understand the Financial Consequences of Cloud Computing

The adoption of cloud technology will significantly alter expenses and cost structures. It will take the CIO's expertise to predict these changes. Cloud computing offers more than just long-term cost benefits. Also, CFOs must be aware of the initial costs and their possible influence on corporate efficiency and revenue.

The CIO will understand a cloud vendor's service level agreements (SLAs), prices, and requirements to migrate legacy systems and train personnel on the new technology. Because the CIO will be actively monitoring the company's move to the cloud, they may advise the CFO on predicted cost and cash flow changes. This is crucial for the CFO, who must give Wall Street quarterly capital and operating expense predictions.


Final Word

In summary, the benefits of cloud computing can be reaped by applying high-level strategies. A flawless collaboration between the CEO, CIO, and CTO can transform a business's digital transformation journey into a successful venture. Right communication is critical during the cloud migration process. Employees should get this communication from C-suite executives to foster trust and assure compliance with governance requirements.


FAQ


How does cloud-computing help in the manufacturing industry?

Cloud computing enables manufacturers to run their operations more intelligently, which is enabled through increased use of data analytics. Indeed, for the majority of manufacturers, the cloud is rapidly becoming the primary location for data storage, analytics, and intelligence.


Why do manufacturers adopt the cloud?

Cloud adoption is a strategic decision made by businesses to save costs, mitigate risk, and increase the scalability of their database capabilities. Cloud adoption varies from organization to organization, depending on the degree of acceptance.


What are the 7 R’s of cloud migration planning?

Refactor/re-architect, re-platform, repurchase, re-host, relocate, retain, and retire are the seven R’s in cloud migration planning.

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Trends to Boost Your Manufacturing Business in 2022

Article | October 27, 2021

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Industry 4.0 is rapid technological progress in production and is transforming the worldwide manufacturing industry. According to bccresearch's market research, the global manufacturing and process control market is predicted to increase from $86.7 billion in 2020 to $117.7 billion in 2025, a CAGR of 6.3 percent. What is the industry 4.0 technology in the manufacturing industry? IoT, industrial internet of things (IIoT), Cyber-physical systems (CPS), cloud computing, artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning, robotics, virtual reality, augmented reality, and additive manufacturing or 3D printing are some technologies that are used in industry 4.0 factories. What are the current technology trends in the manufacturing industry? AI, robots, 3D printing, and the like are all the latest manufacturing trends in manufacturing technology. Additionally, enterprise resource planning (ERP), cloud computing, and machine vision all play a significant part in advanced manufacturing. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the manufacturing industry's future?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Industry 4.0 is rapid technological progress in production and is transforming the worldwide manufacturing industry. According to bccresearch's market research, the global manufacturing and process control market is predicted to increase from $86.7 billion in 2020 to $117.7 billion in 2025, a CAGR of 6.3 percent." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the industry 4.0 technology in the manufacturing industry?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "IoT, industrial internet of things (IIoT), Cyber-physical systems (CPS), cloud computing, artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning, robotics, virtual reality, augmented reality, and additive manufacturing or 3D printing are some technologies that are used in industry 4.0 factories." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the current technology trends in the manufacturing industry?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "AI, robots, 3D printing, and the like are all the latest manufacturing trends in manufacturing technology. Additionally, enterprise resource planning (ERP), cloud computing, and machine vision all play a significant part in advanced manufacturing." } }] }

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How to Find a Suitable Contract Manufacturing Partner?

Article | December 10, 2021

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Any work force shortage might cause production delays. Gear & Expertise Check for machines and equipment as well as human labor in your possible CM. Many CM lease equipment to complete a project. So always check how the CM will organize the essential equipment for your project. Expertise in using the equipment is also necessary. Verify which machines were used and whether or not professionals were involved. Whereabouts The CM's location is the main factor to check. Because the CM may have numerous plants, knowing which plant is assigned to your product is essential to knowing every aspect of its production. Also, the assembly location must allow you to visit and inspect the manufacturing between cycles. Business Stability Finding a reliable contract manufacturer with solid financial backing and market roots is essential to avoid market scams. However, you must also analyze and solve risk factors like equipment failure, supplier capacity, and unreasonable expectations. Selection Myths of Contract Manufacturing Partner Once you've produced a list of shortlisted contract manufacturing partners who meet all of the criteria described in the preceding heading, you can proceed by following the steps below to select the best contract manufacturing partner. Look for Who is Willing to Invest in Your Business Incorrect. The objective is to find a vendor prepared to manufacture at a loss. A contract manufacturer's strength is that they can stay competitive and make a profit for both parties. Focus on Tier 1 CM Partners from the Market This one is indeed not acceptable. Tier 1 is a financial phrase used to separate large corporations from smaller ones. You want a contract manufacturer who understands your business and your needs. Don't worry about the manufacturing partner's size. Go Ahead with the One Who Offers the Best Services at the Lowest Price Trying to get the cheapest quote isn't always the best idea. You should get a quote from your contract manufacturing partner, but the quote may not always reveal the complete story. Cost per unit frequently captures approximately 75% of total supply chain cost. Some contract manufacturers charge the OEM the remaining 25%. Consider the complete picture while selecting a CM partner. Final Words Manufacturers use contract manufacturing to meet their commercial goals. Therefore, contract manufacturing is a win-win situation for both industrialists and contract manufacturers. Finding the proper contract manufacturing partner for your company is not straightforward, but our brief guide can help you identify the right manufacturing partner. FAQ What makes a good contract manufacturer? The most significant contract manufacturing firms are more than just supply chain partners. They recognize and treat your items as if they were their own, are meticulous in their operations, and are concerned with quality and capital. What differentiates contract manufacturing from outsourcing? A contract is a legally binding arrangement. It involves two or more parties. For example, outsourcing is outsourcing some tasks to an outside organization under a contract agreed upon by both parties. What's the difference between contract manufacturing and licensing? Contract manufacturing only outsources production phases, while licensing is far more complex. In return for fees, a corporation sells the right to utilize its intellectual property to another company. Licenses are like franchises. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What makes a good contract manufacturer?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The most significant contract manufacturing firms are more than just supply chain partners. They recognize and treat your items as if they were their own, are meticulous in their operations, and are concerned with quality and capital." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What differentiates contract manufacturing from outsourcing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A contract is a legally binding arrangement. It involves two or more parties. For example, outsourcing is outsourcing some tasks to an outside organization under a contract agreed upon by both parties." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What's the difference between contract manufacturing and licensing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Contract manufacturing only outsources production phases, while licensing is far more complex. In return for fees, a corporation sells the right to utilize its intellectual property to another company. Licenses are like franchises." } }] }

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How Collaborative Robots Are Revolutionizing the Manufacturing Industry

Article | December 10, 2021

A new form of robot is entering manufacturing plants all around the globe. Instead of being locked away in their own work cell, collaborative robots work side by side with their human counterparts. Together, they form the manufacturing crew of the future. Collaborative robots, or cobots, are more flexible, easy to use, and safer than industrial robots. Instead of ending up abandoned in a corner, they are proving to be serious expansions of production capacity leading to better ways of creating superior quality products. 1.1 A New Breed of Bot Cobots are a new type of automation product with their own ISO standards for safety and usability. For a robot to qualify as a cobot, it has to be used for tasks of a collaborative nature while sharing all or part of its reach space with human operators. So it is not the product alone that classifies it as a cobot. Industrial robots must be expertly programmed for one specific job along the production line. This requires hard line coding and endless tweaking and testing, which together with other factors make for a sizable upfront investment. Not so with collaborative robots. Cobots may look similar to traditional robots in some ways, but they are much easier to install and program. This foregoes the need to cooperate with a robotic integration service. Their lightweight and friendly form factor lets manufacturers conveniently relocate them on the shopfloor from one project to another. This renders the robotics technology perfect for a data-driven, Industry 4.0 work environment. 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Driverless transport systems are wheeled mobile robots that immediately halt when their lasers detect the presence of a nearby human being. • Accuracy. Cobots score well on accuracy with 0.1mm precision or well below that. While they do typically sacrifice speed, dual-mode cobots can be converted to fully-fledged tools of mass production that run at full speed in their own safeguarded space. • Easy to program. Many brands offer user-friendly programming interfaces from beginner to expert level. This reduces the need for continuous availability of expensive and scarce expertise while giving current employees an incentive to upskill. And because they can be deployed within hours, cobots can be leased for temporary projects. • Research. Small processing plants, agile start-ups, and schools can invest in cobots to experiment with ways to automate processes before committing to full automation. 1.3 Cobot Activity Repertoire Cobots are perfect candidates for taking over strenuous, dirty, difficult, or dull jobs previously handled by human workers. This relieves their human co-workers from risk of repetitive strain injury, muscle fatigue, and back problems. They can also increase job satisfaction and ultimately a better retirement. 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Brands are releasing more and more kits for quick installation and specific use cases. Instead of being all numbers and line-coding, current user interaction is exceptionally people-focused. At the lowest skill level, lead-through programming lets operators physically guide the cobot’s end-of-arm-tool (EOAT) through the desired motion path, after which it will flawlessly replicate the instructed behaviour. It is also possible to enter desired waypoints as coordinates. At the highest level, it is of course still possible to have full scripting control. An intermediate step is visual programming interfaces. These let users create blocks of functionality that they can string together into more advanced action sequences, while entering the appropriate parameters for each function such as gripping strength, screwing tightness, or pressing force. These UIs come in the form of in-browser or mobile apps. Based on a 3D-CAD model of the machine and its industrial environment, a digital twin of the cobot can simulate and optimize its operations, for example to prevent collisions. It also lets operators remotely monitor and adjust the machine while it’s running. All the while, back-end artificial intelligence can do its analyses to find further efficiency improvements. 3D models of the to-be-manufactured product can be imported for edge extraction of complex surfaces. These will then be converted into the cobot’s desired movement trajectories instead of tedious manual programming. This makes them feasible to implement for highly dexterous tasks like welding curved hydroformed metal parts or sanding and polishing the most intricate of 3D printed geometries. Interfacing directly with the robot is becoming increasingly human-centered as well. Future cobots will respond to voice interaction as well as touch input, eradicating the screens-and-buttons paradigm of current devices. Some brands are giving the cobot a face with emotional expressions, hoping to lower the barrier to adoption. The upcoming generation of cobots can even respond to body language, as well as show its intentions by projecting light to where they are about to reach or move next. 1.5 A Human World Ultimately, the objective of any company is to create value for people. It is not an option to completely remove humans from the shop floor in an attempt to stay at the forefront of innovation. Attempting to leap to full automation and the utopian “lights-out factory” does not work anyway, as automotive giants such as Ford, Chrysler, GM, and Tesla can testify. A significant portion of human employees will indeed need to give up their roles. On the other hand, improved productivity levels open up space to retain personnel and uplift them to more creative, managerial, analytical, social, or overall more enjoyable jobs. For certain tasks, humans still need to be kept inside the manufacturing loop. For example: • Complex assembly routines and handling of flexible components. • Large vehicle subassemblies contain many variable components and require more hand-eye coordination than one cobot can handle. Humans are needed to make sure everything lands in the right position while the cobot provides assistive muscle power. • Fashion, footwear, jewellery, art pieces, and other products where creation borders on artistry rather than mechanical assembly require the aesthetic eye of humans. People are also needed to spot aesthetic deficiencies in custom one-offs in order to correspond with customers before finishing the production batch. • While intelligent automation software can spot bottlenecks in efficiency, humans are required for creative problem solving and context-awareness to make decisions. A spirit of flexibility and innovation is just as important as the accuracy of perfect repetitions. 1.6 Mission: Install a Cobot Cobots have numerous advantages over industrial solutions or people-only workspaces. They enable faster, more precise, and more sophisticated operations while reducing downtime and maintaining employee satisfaction. Low-voltage operation and reduced material waste fits with sustainable innovation and corporate social responsibility programs. Many companies are reporting surges in production capacity and staff generally experience the presence of cobots as favorable. For example, industry leviathans like BMW and Mercedes-Benz are reaching the conclusion that in many parts of the production process implementing a cobot has been the right decision. Connecting all parts of the production line with full automation solutions is a pipedream. It works only when all steps are perfectly attuned, and in reality this never happens and one misstep can be catastrophic. Whether to hire a human, a robot, or a co-robot is a complex and ever-more pressing decision. Statistical process control is paramount for large organizations to make unbiased data-driven decisions. Determine the key performance indicators, then find the most critical bottlenecks and major opportunities for leaps in production efficiency, product quality, or staff unburdening. Talk to employees for their insights and probe their level of skill and enthusiasm needed for working with their new artificial assistants. Digital transformation should be an exciting shift in the organization and its people, so apply new technological advancements only where it makes sense. Despite common beliefs about robotization, the cobot is an entirely separate product category that can be a surprisingly plug-and-play solution for simple tasks, with programming apps becoming increasingly intuitive. A cobot’s flexibility makes it perfect to run early experiments to help companies find its best spot on the factory floor. Its unbelievable precision, consistency, and level of control generally can make a strong first impression on customers. Not only can cobots increase production capacity while reducing idle time and cycle time to accelerate manufacturing across many vertical markets, but they also enrich the work environment resulting in happier and more involved employees. For many companies, a cobot can be the next logical step in their digital transformation.

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Spartan Motors, Inc.

At Spartan Motors, we know the road our customers face and travel. From our beginnings in custom chassis engineering to our emergence in specialized vehicle design, custom manufacturing, and contract assembly, we combine expertise in what best fits beneath your vehicle with the ability to fully optimize what sits above it.

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

HWAFUNE Breaks Through Textile Difficulties with Porlite by Creating New Trends in Functional Fabrics

HWAFUNE | June 28, 2022

When mentioning Taiwan's traditional manufacturing, what pops into your head may be the textile industry. As a global hub for textile manufacturing, Taiwan has undergone significant changes over the past 30 years. Two of the most important changes are the relocation of industries to China and the government's New Southbound Policy. While Taiwanese textile manufacturers' decision to relocate is mainly driven by the need to reduce costs using cheap overseas labor, the rising labor costs in Southeast Asia have forced the manufacturers to constantly move their production to other regions, turning them into textile industry nomads. Despite these two relocation trends, HWAFUNE Textile which specializes in manufacturing functional fabrics has insisted on keeping production in Taiwan to provide reliable, high-quality products for esteemed customers. Instead of blindly pursing low costs and low prices through contract manufacturing and ending up in the red ocean, HWAFUNE Textile has strengthened the foothold of the Taiwanese textile industry in the global luxury market. One of the hot topics in the functional apparel market in recent years is the European Union's ban on fabrics containing PTFE. Currently, membranes made of PU, TPU, and PTFE account for the majority of functional apparels. With superior moisture permeability and breathability, PTFE has been adopted more widely than the other two materials. However, when heated to high temperatures during the manufacturing process, PTFE will generate PFOA which is classified as a possible human carcinogen. In addition, greenhouse gas is produced when fabrics containing this material are incinerated. Even if the fabrics are buried in landfills, PFOA will not decompose and will be washed into the ocean by rain. It then gets into the atmosphere via evaporation and is transported to everywhere by airflow or rain. PFOA has even been found in polar bears' livers. Considering the potential impact of the EU's ban on the clothing market and consumers' fear of toxic substances, upmarket brands have been looking for alternative functional fabrics. Therefore, HWAFUNE has joined hands with Phoenix Innovative Materials to develop the functional fabric brand Porlite, which has rapidly won the heart of high-end functional apparel brands. "In Light of Future Trends, HWAFUNE Develops Porlite Fabrics with Phoenix Innovative Materialsto take interest in PP membranes five years ago. Although HWAFUNE has the ability to mass produce fabrics featuring PTFE, PU, and TPU membranes, he believes PP membranes will become a trend in the functional apparel industry since the lifecycle of the material, from the production of the membrane and the manufacturing of the fabrics to the disposal of the clothing, is more in line with increased environmental awareness, I can guarantee that Porlite is capable of replacing existing functional fabrics and can fully address high-end brands' product development requirements" -Jackson Chang,ChairmanHWAFUNE. Turning the ambitious vision into reality is not easy. In the past three years, these two companies worked closely on the manufacturing, testing, and modification of the membrane. Besides functionality, HWAFUNE also considered the needs of consumers during testing, such as waterproof, moisture permeability, and even the appearances of the fabrics after washing. The reason that Chairman Chang is so committed is because he has put himself in consumers' shoes in the first place. He thinks environmental protection, safety, non-toxicity, and practicability should be combined perfectly. Product developers should not need to choose between them, nor should they force consumers to compromise on environmental protection, price, or quality. Dr. Chang, who is responsible for technology development at Phoenix Innovative Materials, explains the three major advantages of Porlite which is produced through non-toxic manufacturing processes in Taiwan. Firstly, there are 10 billion pores arranged in an orderly manner on the membrane. As the pores are smaller than water molecules and bigger than air molecules, the fabric can resist water penetration, even under pressure, while maintaining breathability. Moreover, since most outdoor exercises are relatively intense and will create a lot of sweat during the process, Porlite can also transport moisture from the clothing to the atmosphere by diffusion through the membrane, thus providing moisture permeability and breathability that no other functional apparel on market can achieve. Porlite Captures Top Brands' Heart with Non-Toxic Manufacturing, Sustainability, Fastness to Washing, and Moisture Permeability In line with the HWAFUNE's commitment to sustainability, the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) for Porlite can endure at least 30 laundering cycles and rain-resistant for period of time, thus providing a longer life span. Manufacturing in Taiwan is one of the main reasons that Porlite has won favor with Europe-based tier-one sportswear brands. The high quality enables Porlite to stand out from other competitors and meet customers' needs for upscale and reliable products. Both the PP membrane developed by Phoenix Innovative Materials and the Porlite fabric created by HWAFUNE are manufactured in Taiwan. Thanks to their insistence on domestic production, the companies have established a high-tech brand image for Taiwanese textile companies widely recognized by overseas esteemed customers. These are valuable experiences for both Phoenix Innovative Materials and HWAFUNE. Instead of pursuing short-term profits through contract manufacturing services, Chairman Chang and Dr. Chang spent five years developing the Porlite fabric whose overwhelming advantages for environmental protection and functionality have spoken for itself. The goal is to establish bio-based manufacturing processes by using natural materials such as weeds as raw materials and to provide biodegradable products in 10 years.

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

Time Manufacturing Company Acquires France Elévateur

France Elévateur | June 28, 2022

H.I.G. Capital ("H.I.G."), a leading global alternative investment firm with over $49 billion of equity capital under management, is pleased to announce that its portfolio company, Time Manufacturing Holdings, LLC (“Time Manufacturing” or the “Company”), a leading, global provider of vehicle-mounted aerial lifts, has acquired France Elévateur (“FE Group”). The pairing of the two companies, who share a mutual dedication to quality and safety, strengthens the combined platform’s global manufacturing capabilities while enhancing value to customers through a broader portfolio of complementary products and services. Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Flavigny, France, France Elévateur is a leading manufacturer of vehicle-mounted aerial platforms for customers in various trades including public lighting, electric utility, roofing, telecommunications, rail networks, and other fields requiring access solutions. Through its two manufacturing sites in France and Spain and its footprint of 15 service facilities, France Elévateur provides quality machinery and comprehensive after-market services across Europe. “The France Elévateur acquisition represents a meaningful step forward in our global growth plan by adding more than 450 experienced professionals, a world-class regional product line, and over a dozen facilities across France, Belgium, and Spain. Leveraging our existing reach in Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Switzerland, The FE Group improves our reach in the important national markets of Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Ireland, Eastern France and Spain.” -Curt Howell, Chief Executive Officer of Time Manufacturing Company. “Together, Time Manufacturing and France Elévateur can leverage their combined portfolio of vehicle-mounted access products to bring additional solutions to all customers.” -Charles Goffin, Chief Executive Officer of France Elévateur. France Elévateur is a highly complementary addition that brings further diversification to Time Manufacturing’s suite of aerial lifts, and strengthens the Company’s global leadership position, said Tenno Tsai, Head of North American Industrials at H.I.G. Klaas Reineke, Managing Director at H.I.G., added, We are thrilled to continue supporting management and the Company in their efforts to enhance our European operations, particularly in the utility and telecommunications end markets. About Time Manufacturing Company- Time Manufacturing Company is a global manufacturer of bucket trucks, digger derricks, cable placers, truck bodies, buckets, and other specialty equipment for electric utility, telecommunications infrastructure, bridge inspection, tree care, and other fleet-supported industries. Selling via the Versalift, BrandFX, Aspen Aerials, Ruthmann, Steiger, Ecoline and Bluelift brands, the Company employs more than 2,000 associates worldwide. For more information, visit https://timemfg.com. About France Elévateur- France Elévateur is a leading manufacturer of vehicle-mounted aerial platforms for customers in various trades including public lighting, electric utility lines, roofing, telecommunications networks, rail networks, equipment rental, and other fields requiring access solutions. Through its two manufacturing sites in France and Spain and its footprint of 15 service facilities, France Elévateur provides quality machinery and after-sales services across Europe. For more information, visit https://france-elevateur.fr. About H.I.G. Capital- H.I.G. is a leading global alternative assets investment firm with over $49 billion of equity capital under management.* Based in Miami, and with offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta in the U.S., as well as international affiliate offices in London, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Bogotá, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, H.I.G. specializes in providing both debt and equity capital to small and mid-sized companies, utilizing a flexible and operationally focused/ value-added approach: H.I.G.’s equity funds invest in management buyouts, recapitalizations and corporate carve-outs of both profitable as well as underperforming manufacturing and service businesses. H.I.G.’s debt funds invest in senior, unitranche and junior debt financing to companies across the size spectrum, both on a primary (direct origination) basis, as well as in the secondary markets. H.I.G. is also a leading CLO manager, through its WhiteHorse family of vehicles, and manages a publicly traded BDC, WhiteHorse Finance. H.I.G.’s real estate funds invest in value-added properties, which can benefit from improved asset management practices. H.I.G. Infrastructure focuses on making value-add and core plus investments in the infrastructure sector. Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than 300 companies worldwide. The firm's current portfolio includes more than 100 companies with combined sales in excess of $30 billion.

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

Akoustis Signs New DARPA Contract to Advance XBAW Technology

Akoustis Technologies | June 27, 2022

Akoustis Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKTS) (“Akoustis” or the “Company”), an integrated device manufacturer (IDM) of patented bulk acoustic wave (BAW) high-band RF filters for mobile and other wireless applications, announced today that it has entered into a new multi-year, multi-million dollar contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to pursue new materials and device manufacturing methods. As a result of the expected advances, the program could extend the Company’s patented and proprietary XBAW® technology to 18 GHz, opening up significant new commercial and defense applications to Akoustis. Traditional scaling of BAW resonators to X and Ku bands typically results in unacceptably low Q (quality) factors, degraded electromechanical coupling and much lower power capability driven by leaked energy from much smaller resonators. One approach to BAW frequency scaling is simple overtone mode operation which severely degrades electromechanical coupling. In this DARPA program, XBAW® technology utilizes a novel approach to circumvent trade-offs inherent in traditional BAW frequency scaling approaches. Akoustis plans to introduce, at the completion of the program, XBAW® filters and resonators that fully exploit the entire kt2 of the underlying piezoelectric material. “A different frequency scaling approach is required for BAW resonators to operate at higher frequencies above 10GHz, such as X and Ku bands.In this DARPA-funded effort, we intend to introduce a new method of BAW overtone operation that can maintain high Q factor while mitigating the decrease in coupling. Combining our existing, patented XBAW® technology along with the successful mode overtone operation which we plan to develop under this program, we expect to advance the state-of the-art in BAW RF filter technology at lower frequencies for 5G and Wi-Fi—specifically in terms of power handling, Q factor and frequency operation relative to incumbent BAW technologies in the market today.” -Jeff Shealy, founder and CEO of Akoustis Akoustis is actively delivering volume production of its Wi-Fi 6 tandem filter solutions, shipping multiple 5G small cell XBAW® filter solutions, delivering initial designs of its new 5G mobile filter solutions to multiple customers and has entered the market with its new Wi-Fi 6E coexistence XBAW® filter solutions. Given the rapidly growing sales funnel activity as well as ongoing interaction with customers regarding expected ramps in 5G mobile, Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E in calendar 2022, the Company is increasing the annual production capacity at its New York fab to approximately 500 million filters per year. About Akoustis Technologies, Inc- Akoustis® is a high-tech BAW RF filter solutions company that is pioneering next-generation materials science and MEMS wafer manufacturing to address the market requirements for improved RF filters - targeting higher bandwidth, higher operating frequencies and higher output power compared to incumbent polycrystalline BAW technology deployed today. The Company utilizes its proprietary and patented XBAW® manufacturing process to produce bulk acoustic wave RF filters for mobile and other wireless markets, which facilitate signal acquisition and accelerate band performance between the antenna and digital back end. Superior performance is driven by the significant advances of poly-crystal, high-purity and single-crystal piezoelectric materials and the resonator-filter process technology which enables optimal trade-offs between critical power, frequency and bandwidth performance specifications. Akoustis plans to service the fast growing multi-billion-dollar RF filter market using its integrated device manufacturer (IDM) business model. The Company owns and operates a 120,000 sq. ft. ISO-9001:2015 registered commercial wafer-manufacturing facility located in Canandaigua, NY, which includes a class 100 / class 1000 cleanroom facility - tooled for 150-mm diameter wafers - for the design, development, fabrication and packaging of RF filters, MEMS and other semiconductor devices. Akoustis Technologies, Inc. is headquartered in the Piedmont technology corridor near Charlotte, North Carolina.

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

HWAFUNE Breaks Through Textile Difficulties with Porlite by Creating New Trends in Functional Fabrics

HWAFUNE | June 28, 2022

When mentioning Taiwan's traditional manufacturing, what pops into your head may be the textile industry. As a global hub for textile manufacturing, Taiwan has undergone significant changes over the past 30 years. Two of the most important changes are the relocation of industries to China and the government's New Southbound Policy. While Taiwanese textile manufacturers' decision to relocate is mainly driven by the need to reduce costs using cheap overseas labor, the rising labor costs in Southeast Asia have forced the manufacturers to constantly move their production to other regions, turning them into textile industry nomads. Despite these two relocation trends, HWAFUNE Textile which specializes in manufacturing functional fabrics has insisted on keeping production in Taiwan to provide reliable, high-quality products for esteemed customers. Instead of blindly pursing low costs and low prices through contract manufacturing and ending up in the red ocean, HWAFUNE Textile has strengthened the foothold of the Taiwanese textile industry in the global luxury market. One of the hot topics in the functional apparel market in recent years is the European Union's ban on fabrics containing PTFE. Currently, membranes made of PU, TPU, and PTFE account for the majority of functional apparels. With superior moisture permeability and breathability, PTFE has been adopted more widely than the other two materials. However, when heated to high temperatures during the manufacturing process, PTFE will generate PFOA which is classified as a possible human carcinogen. In addition, greenhouse gas is produced when fabrics containing this material are incinerated. Even if the fabrics are buried in landfills, PFOA will not decompose and will be washed into the ocean by rain. It then gets into the atmosphere via evaporation and is transported to everywhere by airflow or rain. PFOA has even been found in polar bears' livers. Considering the potential impact of the EU's ban on the clothing market and consumers' fear of toxic substances, upmarket brands have been looking for alternative functional fabrics. Therefore, HWAFUNE has joined hands with Phoenix Innovative Materials to develop the functional fabric brand Porlite, which has rapidly won the heart of high-end functional apparel brands. "In Light of Future Trends, HWAFUNE Develops Porlite Fabrics with Phoenix Innovative Materialsto take interest in PP membranes five years ago. Although HWAFUNE has the ability to mass produce fabrics featuring PTFE, PU, and TPU membranes, he believes PP membranes will become a trend in the functional apparel industry since the lifecycle of the material, from the production of the membrane and the manufacturing of the fabrics to the disposal of the clothing, is more in line with increased environmental awareness, I can guarantee that Porlite is capable of replacing existing functional fabrics and can fully address high-end brands' product development requirements" -Jackson Chang,ChairmanHWAFUNE. Turning the ambitious vision into reality is not easy. In the past three years, these two companies worked closely on the manufacturing, testing, and modification of the membrane. Besides functionality, HWAFUNE also considered the needs of consumers during testing, such as waterproof, moisture permeability, and even the appearances of the fabrics after washing. The reason that Chairman Chang is so committed is because he has put himself in consumers' shoes in the first place. He thinks environmental protection, safety, non-toxicity, and practicability should be combined perfectly. Product developers should not need to choose between them, nor should they force consumers to compromise on environmental protection, price, or quality. Dr. Chang, who is responsible for technology development at Phoenix Innovative Materials, explains the three major advantages of Porlite which is produced through non-toxic manufacturing processes in Taiwan. Firstly, there are 10 billion pores arranged in an orderly manner on the membrane. As the pores are smaller than water molecules and bigger than air molecules, the fabric can resist water penetration, even under pressure, while maintaining breathability. Moreover, since most outdoor exercises are relatively intense and will create a lot of sweat during the process, Porlite can also transport moisture from the clothing to the atmosphere by diffusion through the membrane, thus providing moisture permeability and breathability that no other functional apparel on market can achieve. Porlite Captures Top Brands' Heart with Non-Toxic Manufacturing, Sustainability, Fastness to Washing, and Moisture Permeability In line with the HWAFUNE's commitment to sustainability, the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) for Porlite can endure at least 30 laundering cycles and rain-resistant for period of time, thus providing a longer life span. Manufacturing in Taiwan is one of the main reasons that Porlite has won favor with Europe-based tier-one sportswear brands. The high quality enables Porlite to stand out from other competitors and meet customers' needs for upscale and reliable products. Both the PP membrane developed by Phoenix Innovative Materials and the Porlite fabric created by HWAFUNE are manufactured in Taiwan. Thanks to their insistence on domestic production, the companies have established a high-tech brand image for Taiwanese textile companies widely recognized by overseas esteemed customers. These are valuable experiences for both Phoenix Innovative Materials and HWAFUNE. Instead of pursuing short-term profits through contract manufacturing services, Chairman Chang and Dr. Chang spent five years developing the Porlite fabric whose overwhelming advantages for environmental protection and functionality have spoken for itself. The goal is to establish bio-based manufacturing processes by using natural materials such as weeds as raw materials and to provide biodegradable products in 10 years.

Read More

MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

Time Manufacturing Company Acquires France Elévateur

France Elévateur | June 28, 2022

H.I.G. Capital ("H.I.G."), a leading global alternative investment firm with over $49 billion of equity capital under management, is pleased to announce that its portfolio company, Time Manufacturing Holdings, LLC (“Time Manufacturing” or the “Company”), a leading, global provider of vehicle-mounted aerial lifts, has acquired France Elévateur (“FE Group”). The pairing of the two companies, who share a mutual dedication to quality and safety, strengthens the combined platform’s global manufacturing capabilities while enhancing value to customers through a broader portfolio of complementary products and services. Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Flavigny, France, France Elévateur is a leading manufacturer of vehicle-mounted aerial platforms for customers in various trades including public lighting, electric utility, roofing, telecommunications, rail networks, and other fields requiring access solutions. Through its two manufacturing sites in France and Spain and its footprint of 15 service facilities, France Elévateur provides quality machinery and comprehensive after-market services across Europe. “The France Elévateur acquisition represents a meaningful step forward in our global growth plan by adding more than 450 experienced professionals, a world-class regional product line, and over a dozen facilities across France, Belgium, and Spain. Leveraging our existing reach in Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Switzerland, The FE Group improves our reach in the important national markets of Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Ireland, Eastern France and Spain.” -Curt Howell, Chief Executive Officer of Time Manufacturing Company. “Together, Time Manufacturing and France Elévateur can leverage their combined portfolio of vehicle-mounted access products to bring additional solutions to all customers.” -Charles Goffin, Chief Executive Officer of France Elévateur. France Elévateur is a highly complementary addition that brings further diversification to Time Manufacturing’s suite of aerial lifts, and strengthens the Company’s global leadership position, said Tenno Tsai, Head of North American Industrials at H.I.G. Klaas Reineke, Managing Director at H.I.G., added, We are thrilled to continue supporting management and the Company in their efforts to enhance our European operations, particularly in the utility and telecommunications end markets. About Time Manufacturing Company- Time Manufacturing Company is a global manufacturer of bucket trucks, digger derricks, cable placers, truck bodies, buckets, and other specialty equipment for electric utility, telecommunications infrastructure, bridge inspection, tree care, and other fleet-supported industries. Selling via the Versalift, BrandFX, Aspen Aerials, Ruthmann, Steiger, Ecoline and Bluelift brands, the Company employs more than 2,000 associates worldwide. For more information, visit https://timemfg.com. About France Elévateur- France Elévateur is a leading manufacturer of vehicle-mounted aerial platforms for customers in various trades including public lighting, electric utility lines, roofing, telecommunications networks, rail networks, equipment rental, and other fields requiring access solutions. Through its two manufacturing sites in France and Spain and its footprint of 15 service facilities, France Elévateur provides quality machinery and after-sales services across Europe. For more information, visit https://france-elevateur.fr. About H.I.G. Capital- H.I.G. is a leading global alternative assets investment firm with over $49 billion of equity capital under management.* Based in Miami, and with offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta in the U.S., as well as international affiliate offices in London, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Bogotá, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, H.I.G. specializes in providing both debt and equity capital to small and mid-sized companies, utilizing a flexible and operationally focused/ value-added approach: H.I.G.’s equity funds invest in management buyouts, recapitalizations and corporate carve-outs of both profitable as well as underperforming manufacturing and service businesses. H.I.G.’s debt funds invest in senior, unitranche and junior debt financing to companies across the size spectrum, both on a primary (direct origination) basis, as well as in the secondary markets. H.I.G. is also a leading CLO manager, through its WhiteHorse family of vehicles, and manages a publicly traded BDC, WhiteHorse Finance. H.I.G.’s real estate funds invest in value-added properties, which can benefit from improved asset management practices. H.I.G. Infrastructure focuses on making value-add and core plus investments in the infrastructure sector. Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than 300 companies worldwide. The firm's current portfolio includes more than 100 companies with combined sales in excess of $30 billion.

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

Akoustis Signs New DARPA Contract to Advance XBAW Technology

Akoustis Technologies | June 27, 2022

Akoustis Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKTS) (“Akoustis” or the “Company”), an integrated device manufacturer (IDM) of patented bulk acoustic wave (BAW) high-band RF filters for mobile and other wireless applications, announced today that it has entered into a new multi-year, multi-million dollar contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to pursue new materials and device manufacturing methods. As a result of the expected advances, the program could extend the Company’s patented and proprietary XBAW® technology to 18 GHz, opening up significant new commercial and defense applications to Akoustis. Traditional scaling of BAW resonators to X and Ku bands typically results in unacceptably low Q (quality) factors, degraded electromechanical coupling and much lower power capability driven by leaked energy from much smaller resonators. One approach to BAW frequency scaling is simple overtone mode operation which severely degrades electromechanical coupling. In this DARPA program, XBAW® technology utilizes a novel approach to circumvent trade-offs inherent in traditional BAW frequency scaling approaches. Akoustis plans to introduce, at the completion of the program, XBAW® filters and resonators that fully exploit the entire kt2 of the underlying piezoelectric material. “A different frequency scaling approach is required for BAW resonators to operate at higher frequencies above 10GHz, such as X and Ku bands.In this DARPA-funded effort, we intend to introduce a new method of BAW overtone operation that can maintain high Q factor while mitigating the decrease in coupling. Combining our existing, patented XBAW® technology along with the successful mode overtone operation which we plan to develop under this program, we expect to advance the state-of the-art in BAW RF filter technology at lower frequencies for 5G and Wi-Fi—specifically in terms of power handling, Q factor and frequency operation relative to incumbent BAW technologies in the market today.” -Jeff Shealy, founder and CEO of Akoustis Akoustis is actively delivering volume production of its Wi-Fi 6 tandem filter solutions, shipping multiple 5G small cell XBAW® filter solutions, delivering initial designs of its new 5G mobile filter solutions to multiple customers and has entered the market with its new Wi-Fi 6E coexistence XBAW® filter solutions. Given the rapidly growing sales funnel activity as well as ongoing interaction with customers regarding expected ramps in 5G mobile, Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E in calendar 2022, the Company is increasing the annual production capacity at its New York fab to approximately 500 million filters per year. About Akoustis Technologies, Inc- Akoustis® is a high-tech BAW RF filter solutions company that is pioneering next-generation materials science and MEMS wafer manufacturing to address the market requirements for improved RF filters - targeting higher bandwidth, higher operating frequencies and higher output power compared to incumbent polycrystalline BAW technology deployed today. The Company utilizes its proprietary and patented XBAW® manufacturing process to produce bulk acoustic wave RF filters for mobile and other wireless markets, which facilitate signal acquisition and accelerate band performance between the antenna and digital back end. Superior performance is driven by the significant advances of poly-crystal, high-purity and single-crystal piezoelectric materials and the resonator-filter process technology which enables optimal trade-offs between critical power, frequency and bandwidth performance specifications. Akoustis plans to service the fast growing multi-billion-dollar RF filter market using its integrated device manufacturer (IDM) business model. The Company owns and operates a 120,000 sq. ft. ISO-9001:2015 registered commercial wafer-manufacturing facility located in Canandaigua, NY, which includes a class 100 / class 1000 cleanroom facility - tooled for 150-mm diameter wafers - for the design, development, fabrication and packaging of RF filters, MEMS and other semiconductor devices. Akoustis Technologies, Inc. is headquartered in the Piedmont technology corridor near Charlotte, North Carolina.

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