Additive Manufacturing Workshop for Plastics 2019 Recap

BARBARA SCHULZ| June 24, 2019
ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING WORKSHOP FOR PLASTICS 2019 RECAP
The Additive Manufacturing Workshop for Plastics, a half-day event held during the recent Amerimold 2019 in Chicago, brought together mold builders, technology providers and companies providing industrial 3D-printing services. These mold builders, technology and service providers gave insights into digital modeling, design considerations, how AM is used in mold shops, how it complements injection molding and how AM can succeed in production.

Spotlight

Blue Prism

Blue Prism is the global leader in intelligent automation for the enterprise, transforming the way work is done. At Blue Prism, we have users in over 170 countries in more than 2,000 businesses, including Fortune 500 and public sector organisations, that are creating value with new ways of working, unlocking efficiencies, and returning millions of hours of work back into their businesses. Our digital workforce is smart, secure, scalable and accessible to all; freeing up humans to re-imagine work. Blue Prism’s vision is to provide a digital workforce for every enterprise. To learn more visit www.blueprism.com and follow us on Twitter @blue_prism and on LinkedIn.

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Five Lean Manufacturing Principles to Empower Your Manufacturing Business

Article | December 16, 2021

Lean manufacturing is an operational approach used to create value. Businesses adopt lean manufacturing to improve productivity, reduce waste, increase customer value, and employee satisfaction. Many businesses are accelerating their adoption of lean principles and practices due to the emergence of the industry 4.0 transformation. As a result, companies such as Caterpillar, Intel, Textron, Parker Hannifin, and John Deere are all reaping the benefits of lean manufacturing. So, where did the idea of "lean manufacturing" first originate? In this article, you'll learn about the origins of lean manufacturing and its key principles. The Origins of Lean Manufacturing The principles of lean manufacturing were developed in Japan in the mid-20th century. Toyota, a famous Japanese automaker, experienced major delivery issues at the time. Its production chains were excessively long; thus it couldn't supply enough products on time. As a result, Toyota needed a new Performance measurement system. The company's managers identified a solution. They created a new project management method called the Toyota production system. Its basic idea was to improve product distribution by reducing waste. It was a good concept. It helped the company shorten manufacturing chains and deliver products faster. Toyota's production method created a simple and effective waste definition. Any step that did not improve the end product's functionality was called a waste. Later, other manufacturing industries adopted the system. It was renamed as lean manufacturing. It's now a global phenomenon and is used by large and small businesses worldwide. When should you implement the Lean Manufacturing Method in your business? Lean is a waste-reduction methodology, approach, and a lifestyle. While it is commonly used in manufacturing, lean techniques are applied to reduce waste while keeping high quality in any business. Waste reduction of 80% plus Reduced production expenses by 50% Decreased inventories by 80-90% Producing quality items is 90% less expensive. Workforce productivity improved by 50% If you want your business to get the above benefits, you need to adopt lean manufacturing principles. Five lean Manufacturing Principles Lean manufacturing benefits businesses in multiple ways, and this lean lifestyle has the potential to empower any organization and increase its market competitiveness. So, let us observe the five fundamental principles of lean manufacturing. Value For the first principle of defining customer value, it is vital to understand what value is. For customers, value comes from what they're willing to pay for. The customer's actual or hidden demands must be discovered. Customers are not aware of what they want or cannot express it. When it comes to new items or technologies, this is a regular occurrence. Assume nothing; ask about the pain points being experienced and then craft a unique value proposition. Never force a solution into a problem that does not exist.” – Thomas R. Cutler, President & CEO at TR Cutler, Inc. For example, you can use various methods to find out what customers value, such as surveys and demographic information. With these qualitative and quantitative methodologies, you may learn more about your clients' needs, their expectations, and their budgets. Value-Stream Identifying and mapping the value stream is the second lean principle. By starting with the consumer’s perceived value, all activities that contribute to that value may be identified. Waste is anything that does not benefit the client in any way. It can be divided into two categories: non-value-added and unnecessary waste. The unnecessary waste should be removed, while the non-value-added should be minimized. You can ensure that clients get exactly what they want while minimizing the cost of creating that product or service by removing unnecessary processes or steps. Flow The next operations must proceed smoothly and without interruption or delays after removing wastes from the value stream. Value-adding activities can be improved by breaking down tasks, reorganizing the manufacturing process, distributing the workload, and educating personnel to be flexible and multi-skilled. Pull The fourth lean principle requires a pull-based manufacturing system. Traditional production systems use a push system, which starts with purchasing supplies and continues manufacturing even when no orders are placed. While push systems are simple to set up, they can result in vast inventories of work-in-progress (WIP). On the other hand, a pull method pulls a customer's order from delivery, causing new items to be made and additional materials to be acquired. Kanban, one of the lean manufacturing tools, can help organizations develop a pull system to control material flow in a production system. An efficient pull system maximizes available space, reduces inventory, eliminates over-and under-production, and eliminates errors caused by too much WIP. Perfection While completing Steps 1-4 is a great start, the fifth and possibly most critical step is incorporating lean thinking and process improvement into your organizational culture. As benefits accumulate, it is vital to remember that lean is not a static system that requires continuous effort and awareness to perfect. Each employee should get included in the lean implementation process. Lean experts sometimes state that a process is not truly lean until it has undergone at least a half-dozen value-stream mapping cycles. How Nike Demonstrated the Benefits of Lean Principles Nike, the world-famous shoe and clothing powerhouse, has embraced lean manufacturing principles and practices. Nike experienced less waste and increased consumer value, as did other businesses. It also shared some unexpected benefits. It is proven that lean manufacturing can minimize terrible labor practices at a company's overseas manufacturing unit by up to 15%. This result was mostly due to implementing the lean manufacturing practice of valuing the workers more than earlier routine labor practices. It provided greater significance to an employee and, as a result, greater significance to the organization as a whole. Final Words Implementing lean manufacturing principles is a good way to run any organization. Businesses that build their operations on the two pillars of lean manufacturing, constant improvement, and personnel respect, are well on their way to becoming a successful and productive organizations in the modern era. To become a lean company, an organization must fully grasp the benefits and added value that it may get by adopting lean manufacturing principles. FAQ What is Five S's of lean manufacturing? The 5S of lean manufacturing are Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain, and they give a framework for organizing, cleaning, developing, and maintaining a productive work environment. What are the two pillars of lean manufacturing? Lean, as modeled on the Toyota Way values, has two pillars, first is ‘Continuous Improvement’ and second is ‘Respect for People’. Why are lean principles beneficial for any business? Lean manufacturing is a business strategy that has proven to be highly successful since it can help you decrease costs, remove waste, enhance production, maintain excellent quality, and thus increase business profit significantly.

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The Unrelenting Growth of Technology in Manufacturing

Article | May 13, 2021

When the manufacturing industry began to embrace digital technology a decade ago, it adopted a new identity — smart manufacturing or Industry 4.0. Applying cloud, automation, analytics, machine learning and big data to production operations created a connected ecosystem for manufacturing and supply chain management, and became a high-growth market. At the start of 2020, the sector was on track to grow into a market worth more than $300 billion in the coming five years. Then the pandemic hit. By spring, millions of workers had lost their jobs. Some plants closed temporarily or slowed production so workers could spread out to maintain a safe distance from one another. Investment in smart manufacturing fell too, by 16 percent between March and April alone. Some researchers predicted that such a pull-back would dampen investment through 2025. But the conversations we’ve had with C-suite manufacturing executives and service providers suggest investment in smart manufacturing will intensify. By 2025, it could be worth more than $400 billion. It’s no wonder.

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How to Improve Production Scheduling: The 5 Crucial Elements

Article | December 8, 2021

The manufacturing production schedule is a critical aspect that enables the manufacturing business to complete each production activity precisely and on time. Allocating different raw materials, resources, or processes to distinct project phases is called a production schedule. Its goal is to make your manufacturing process as efficient and cost-effective as possible in terms of resources and labor — all while delivering products on schedule. As technology takes over and enhances many of the processes we used to handle with manual labor, we are freed up to use our minds creatively, which leads to bigger and better leaps in innovation and productivity." – Matt Mong, VP Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist at Adeaca So, how is the overall production schedule managed? According to businesswire, the global APS (Advanced Production Planning and Scheduling) software market was valued at $1,491.22 million in 2020 and is anticipated to raise $2,941.27 million by 2028 expanding at an 8.86 percent CAGR from 2020 to 2028. Some software and tools are available to assist manufacturing organizations in properly scheduling production planning, including MaxScheduler, TACTIC, MRPeasy, and Gantt charts. Though there are numerous software programs available on the market for production scheduling, the most crucial aspect is determining which elements to consider when planning production. This blog will look at the five most important factors to consider while planning the production schedule. Five Elements to Consider When Scheduling Production As we saw in the introduction, production scheduling is used in the manufacturing process to assign plant and machinery resources, schedule human resources, plan production processes, and purchase materials. So, what are the primary components or stages of this production scheduling process? Let's take a quick look at each of them. Planning to Make the Best Use of the Company's Resources The role of planning in production scheduling is to use the company's resources to maintain a regular production flow. As a result, downtime is decreased, and bottlenecks are minimized, allowing production to be optimized. For production scheduling, two forms of planning can be used: Dynamic Planning: Dynamic planning is carried out under the idea that process stages will alter. So, materials must be ready, but production cannot begin until demand is decided. Static Planning: Static planning is done keeping in mind that all process steps will be completed on schedule and without adjustments. Routing to Determine the Order of Actions A “bill of materials” is used in discrete manufacturing to specify what things are needed and in what quantities. Routing determines the path and sequence of required phases of the process. It may involve in-house operations, but it may also comprise sub-contracted components that must be returned to the production flow for final assembly. Scheduling to Make Use of Predetermined Planning Levels To manufacture products from components or raw materials, scheduling makes use of the previously set planning level. As a result, it is time-dependent and must meet the demand outlined at the planning level. Each department, product, and procedure can have their own unique set of timetables. Sub-schedules for sub-assemblies or mixes and blends may be defined by department-specific master production schedules, utilized at the highest level to define product timeframes. Dispatching to Decide on Immediate Actions Dispatching assigns the following jobs to be done from a subset of the production queue. Dispatching is utilized to make quick decisions. This is in contrast to planning, which involves the planning of future actions. Dispatching is utilized in both pull and push production systems. Execution to Ensure that all Processes are Carried out Correctly Production scheduling must rely on proper execution to ensure that all processes are completed appropriately and in the sequence planned. It requires everyone to know what they are expected to do and when they are expected to do it. Execution requires knowledgeable management decisions, well-trained employees, correct data in the manufacturing plan and schedule, and consistent sales statistics and forecast numbers. All must be present for the organization to carry out its production plan and fulfill orders. How MRPeasy – A Production Scheduling Software Assist Manufacturing Companies in Scheduling Their Production? MRPeasy is a cloud-based material requirements planning (MRP) application explicitly designed for small manufacturing units. Its primary functions are purchase order management, forecasting, and inventory management. This software simplifies the process of scheduling production. It enables you to evaluate all of your anticipated manufacturing orders (MO). The bill of materials (BOM), purchasing, and stocking are all maintained in one location, allowing you to quickly book inventory and increase purchase orders (PO) for acquired parts. MRPeasy enables you to: Obtain all of the detailed information on all of your MOs Consider MOs as a single block or as distinct operations. Drag-and-drop operations and operations to reschedule Calendar or Gantt chart views are available for monitoring scheduled orders. Additionally, you can manage MOs smoothly. With the production planning component, you may create, amend, and update MOs. This app compiles an exhaustive list of all your MOs. You can track their progress based on the status of an order or a part's availability. Additionally, you can search for, filter, and export your MOs. Final Words How to schedule production for your organization requires extensive research, planning, and analysis of overall product demand as well as a grasp of the time required to meet the demand. Production scheduling techniques such as job-based planning, batch method, flow method, and others help develop a productive manufacturing production schedule. Include the elements mentioned above in your manufacturing scheduling to get the best possible benefits, such as better production efficiency, lower production costs, and on-time product delivery for your manufacturing in 2022. FAQ How production planning differ from production scheduler? Production planning and scheduling are often mixed. But there is a difference. Planning decides what and how much work must be done, whereas scheduling specifies who and when the work will be done. What is real-time manufacturing scheduling? Real-Time Scheduling is a production planning, scheduling, and tracking tool that enables manufacturing organizations to improve customer satisfaction and achieve optimal operational performance cost-effectively. How can scheduling be improved? Communication with staff is a great way to improve scheduling. This is true for all businesses, software or otherwise. However, management should not burden employees with ambiguous or unclear communication, and vice versa. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How production planning differ from production scheduler?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Production planning and scheduling are often mixed. But there is a difference. Planning decides what and how much work must be done, whereas scheduling specifies who and when the work will be done." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is real-time manufacturing scheduling?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Real-Time Scheduling is a production planning, scheduling, and tracking tool that enables manufacturing organizations to improve customer satisfaction and achieve optimal operational performance cost-effectively." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How can scheduling be improved?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Communication with staff is a great way to improve scheduling. This is true for all businesses, software or otherwise. However, management should not burden employees with ambiguous or unclear communication, and vice versa." } }] }

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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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Spotlight

Blue Prism

Blue Prism is the global leader in intelligent automation for the enterprise, transforming the way work is done. At Blue Prism, we have users in over 170 countries in more than 2,000 businesses, including Fortune 500 and public sector organisations, that are creating value with new ways of working, unlocking efficiencies, and returning millions of hours of work back into their businesses. Our digital workforce is smart, secure, scalable and accessible to all; freeing up humans to re-imagine work. Blue Prism’s vision is to provide a digital workforce for every enterprise. To learn more visit www.blueprism.com and follow us on Twitter @blue_prism and on LinkedIn.

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