Content Marketing for Manufacturers: 7 Ways to Power up your Business Digitally

ANUSREE BHATTACHARYA | March 18, 2021 | 894 views
There have been rising examples of manufacturers doing impressive things with content marketing to scale up their business.  Manufacturers have been slower than others in different industries to adopt the practice of content marketing. CMI’s annual survey indicates that 59% of manufacturers said their organization’s approach to content marketing was more successful than in the past. And 82% of them attributed that success to excellent content creation.

The pandemic has enabled manufacturers to shift their marketing strategies and invest in online content creation. Yet, many manufacturers are still struggling due to the pandemic.

If you are among these B2B manufacturers struggling with content marketing, you’re not alone.

Let’s face it. Content marketing is crucial if you want to grow your manufacturing business. It’s undoubtedly one of the most efficient ways to connect with B2B buyers searching for manufacturing solutions online. Ignoring this strategy means losing leads to your content-savvy audiences. So, whenever you are ready to embark upon content marketing strategies in your business, there are a few things you need to know to get in full swing. This blog breaks down all the tried and tested strategies to help you power up your business.

Before that, take a sneak peek into how content marketing for manufacturers is working today.

Content Marketing in Manufacturing: Recent Stats

Here are the top areas of content marketing for manufacturers, where estimations are significant in terms of investment in 2021.
  • Content creation: 76%
  • Website enhancement: 73%
  • Social media engagement: 47%
  • Event (digital, hybrid, or in-person): 42%
  • Content contribution (organic/unpaid): 39%
  • Content contribution (paid): 37%
  • Content marketing related technologies: 27%
  • Earned media (PR/media/publications): 20%
  • Others: 2%                                                    
As per a new research by Content Marketing Institute, 70% of manufacturers have modified their targeting/messaging strategy.

60% have altered their editorial calendar.

And, 57% have put more resources towards social media or other online communities.

Content creation and website enhancement are at the top of different areas of content marketing for manufacturers. Manufacturing marketers are considering optimistic results with their content marketing efforts. According to a report, 30% of manufacturing organizations have been successful. And 61% of them are indicating moderate success.

Through the above figures, it's understood that content marketing will remain an essential tactic of B2B digital marketing strategy. But you need to stick to what works to keep your audience's attention, and then, you can generate revenue for your business.

Stick to What Works

In content marketing for manufacturers, there’s plenty of precedent for what works. This should serve as welcome news for you when the notion of business overhaul daunts you.

Keep in mind, your business’s website does not need to infuse tons of novel features or overly designed factors. Instead, it should offer visitors and audiences unique options about your brand. They should get what they’re looking for an appearance that builds trust, an experience that converts visitors into loyal customers, answers their questions and addresses their pain points. All these factors empower visitors to make decisions. 

This blog breaks it all down into six easy steps to understand how the entire process of content marketing should be regulated. And you will be able to take your business to the next level.

Step 1: Conduct an In-Depth Keyword Research

In content marketing, keywords are search terms that are picked up by search engines. After you type, the keyword entered shows related results. Manufacturing companies must strive to optimize their digital content to rank at the top in search engine result pages. So that implementing an effective keyword strategy drives higher-quality traffic to your website and creates valuable conversation opportunities. To do this, here are some tips you can follow when implementing a keyword strategy.

Think of keywords as a way to connect "human" searches (terms your audiences or visitors use when they search online) to the vast library of digital content. So, start from the human side.  What are the primary areas you want your business to be known for? What are the buzzwords that are critical to your industry? What might your target audience be searching for your solutions?

For instance, a 3D printing manufacturer might include keywords such as rapid prototyping, 3D printing market, enterprise 3D printers, 3D printing applications, and more. Then, think about the pain points of the target audience or customers. Include 'problem-driven, 'benefits-driven, 'usage driven' keywords. By doing this, you can create a long list of a manageable set of priority keywords.

Now consider the algorithm side. How will you show your viable search terms in search engines? In this case, start by entering professional words in search engines to get a sense of what other competitors are doing. Then, research deeper using tools like SEM Rush. It will tell you the most important keywords ranking on search engines.

Further, if you find little or no reported search volume for your keyword, broaden it slightly. Or use an alternate angle of that keyword phrase. If a search term is too broad and the difficulty level is too high, try making that keyword more specific. This way, you will create intent-based keywords, which will clear all challenges in manufacturing content. 

Step 2: Develop a Written Strategy

CMI research has consistently shown that compared to 33% of complicated content marketing strategy for manufacturing, only 10% of marketers have documented the initial phases of their content marketing strategy. Apart from this, approximately 32% have a verbal strategy, 47% plan to have a strategy in the coming month. Whereas 11% have no plans to develop a content strategy.

These figures show that manufacturers’ written documented content marketing strategies are one of the most crucial parts of creating successful content marketing tactics. Even if you’re on the verge of starting, formulate a content marketing strategy and write it down. The pages of the plan will benefit over time. The important thing is to document a starting point.

Step 3: Create an Editorial Calendar

Creating an editorial calendar may sound complex, but it’s not. Mapping an editorial calendar will help you set content marketing ideas and goals for the future. It offers an at-a-glance marketing roadmap, which will help you formalize your keyword findings into actionable ideas and ideate for other marketing activities. This includes social media posts or email newsletters to be created quarterly.
                        
Strategically, your editorial calendar can also help you plan details of your monthly blogging modulation, content types, and target publication dates. Doing this will help you determine various types of content for manufacturers.   
 

Step 4: Incline Heavily on Subject Matter

Sometimes, even with a generic topic in mind, you may still have a few compelling cases or finer points to mention in your content piece. So, why not take help from your team of experts?

In cases like this, speak to the team that manages your customers and sales representatives to industry-related partners and experts. Also, conducting interviews with them and considering how your company has helped them through an industry challenge can be an excellent source for your content creation.

Following these steps can generate a plethora of new content ideas. Questions like, what problems do they face? What questions are they asking? Which mistakes do they see most? Are there any industry obstacles they face? These are all considerations, to begin with. Remember, to ensure that your content marketing offers a helpful solution, and you must first relate to the problem.

Step 5: Get your Content Production Process in Order

A survey mentions that only 20% of manufacturing marketers felt that their organization’s rate of content creation is either good or excellent. CMI research shows this as a challenging part for content marketers in the manufacturing industry. The good news is that as an organization grows with content marketing, project flow improves. 37% of manufacturing marketers say that the project rate flow has been excellent because of content marketing.

To improve your content marketing activities in manufacturing, you need to develop valuable processes to scale and create content. If you don’t prioritize the process, you’ll struggle to make strides. This shows the value of content marketing for manufacturers. For which, they need to scale their business to survive in this challenging time.

Step 6: Observe the Content Competition

As stated, you always want to Google your content topic ideas to see what else comes up. The goal is to write something better than what is out there.

Have you noticed that the same few competitors always seem to appear in manufacturing-related searches? That’s no coincidence. They are your content-savvy competitors who are likely stealing the lion’s share of online traffic using the right strategy. By doing this, you can find the holes in their strategy and capitalize on them.

The Future of Content Marketing for Manufacturers

  • Here are some stats from a recent analysis of content marketing for manufacturers.
  • 65% of manufacturing marketers say their organization is much or moderately successful with content marketing than their past years.
  • 48% of manufacturing marketers have a small (or one-person) content marketing team that serves the entire organization.
  • Content marketing is a massive investment in time, resources and dependent on your staff size and dollars. In the end, by having the right strategy for it, the ROI can be huge.
  • A manufacturing business leader, Kardex Remstar saw a 40% surge in business growth with the help of the content marketing and digital strategy team for its global website    

Before you start with content marketing, make sure you consider these starter steps. This   will ensure that you invest your time and money in content marketing strategies that truly work. There has been a substantial surge in content marketing investment in the industrial manufacturing landscape. So, getting ahead of the curve online will be instrumental to your success. Ensure that your content marketing is operating as efficiently as your manufacturing floor!

Frequently Asked Questions


What is content marketing?

Content that is strategically approached and distributed in different platforms like social media, third-party blogging websites to reach out to the right target audiences comes under content marketing.

How content marketing for manufacturers is crucial?

Content marketing for manufacturers owns greater importance. Practicing it, the marketing manufacturers can easily target and attract their potential buyers by creating informational content, a responsive website, and an excellent social media presence. 

How content marketing for manufacturers can be powerful?

Content marketing for manufacturers can be powerful by following the three Ps: Punctuation, Polish, and Power. Marketing has evolved that now focuses on advertising and design to grab the audience’s attention, interest and creating a call to action.

Spotlight

Int'l Mechanical and Electrical Co. (IMECO)

IMECO was established in 1977 as an electro-mechanical contracting company in Abu Dhabi. In the first decade, the company proved its capability to compete in various fields of engineering, construction and maintenance in both oil and other government sectors. IMECO started working for ADNOC Group companies, government sectors and international contractors from the early 1980's. It has a strong presence in the oil sector having maintained good relations and completed contracts for all the oil related companies based in the Abu Dhabi region. Since its establishment, IMECO has executed over 500 projects in the field of engineering involving over 120 million documented man hours. Consistently growing, our 6000 strong permanent workforce is largely made up of technical field personnel and skilled labour.

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Article | January 20, 2022

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Article | June 15, 2022

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Article | February 3, 2022

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Ensure that products are delivered out in the order in which they were received (first in, first out) to maintain product freshness and reduce shelf life. Use a warehouse inventory management system. This is the simplest and most effective method of maintaining a steady inventory flow. Invest in Warehouse Inventory Software A warehouse management system (WMS) is a software solution designed to automate, optimize, and support the operations and activities of a business warehouse. It can automate and simplify a variety of warehouse management operations and maintain a real-time inventory record of all available goods. When goods arrive and depart the warehouse, your warehouse inventory management system will accurately show all inventories and its whereabouts. Warehouse inventory management software may be configured to automatically replenish stock when a predefined minimum number of items are reached. The finest software analyzes previous sales data automatically to identify the appropriate minimum number for automated reordering. It also determines the minimum quantities at which each product should be replenished. Warehouse Inventory Challenges and Solutions Limited Visibility & Solution Inventory visibility refers to the ability to view and track inventory in real-time. It also helps gain insight into the exact number of units of each SKU in stock at all locations, along with its location within a warehouse or fulfillment center. When inventory is difficult to identify or find in your warehouse, it can result in incomplete, inaccurate, or delayed shipments. Receiving and locating the correct stock is essential for smooth running warehouse operations as it helps to maintain a positive customer experience. Solution: To optimize purchasing and receiving operations, increase accuracy, and eliminate missing goods. Including photos with correct product descriptions in your inventory database can also be helpful. Investing in inventory management software is, once again, the best way to overcome low inventory visibility. These systems are meant to automate the process of inventory management across the supply chain, all from a single dashboard. The adoption of digital and data-driven procedures allows businesses to have a comprehensive view of inventory management in warehouse. Inventory Depletion & Solution Unsold goods are considered a loss in inventory. Multiple factors contribute to inventory depletion or shrinkage. Sometimes stocks can become obsolete or out-of-date before being sold. In addition, spoilage, damage, or theft are a few other reasons for inventory loss and can be referred to as a serious supply chain issue. Therefore, it is necessary to identify, track, and measure trouble areas. Solution: Using a third-party logistics (3PL) or fulfillment service (fulfillment solution) increases security. To reduce inventory shrinkage, they'll take the necessary steps to keep your goods secure. They'll provide you with the technology and reports you need to keep an eye on stock levels. Using an Old Excel Spreadsheet & Solution The expansion of a company will be hampered if inventory is managed manually using paper-based techniques. A lack of digitalization and an ineffective inventory management procedure yield dismal outcomes when sales volumes rise and inventory increases. It is time to replace excel spreadsheets with newer technologies like business intelligence and to analyze and track large businesses better. Solution: Having an inventory management system will make the process more efficient and provide you with real-time data. Businesses utilize various inventory management systems, depending on their type of operations. 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Article | December 13, 2021

Lean manufacturing principles enable manufacturing businesses to achieve spectacular results and overhaul their conventional operations. A wide range of industries have adopted lean manufacturing because of its enormous advantages, and they have seen excellent results as a result. The 2010 Compensation Data Manufacturing survey indicated that 69.7% of manufacturing organizations employ lean manufacturing principles. By consuming this data, we can understand how far organizations have progressed toward incorporating lean principles into their operations. “Many companies are not willing to change or think they are done once they make a change. But the truth is technology, consumer demands; the way we work, human needs, and much more are constantly changing.” –Michael Walton, Director, Manufacturing Industry Executive at Microsoft Let's look at some examples of lean manufacturing from some well-known companies. These leading-edge examples of lean manufacturing will shed light on how lean principles positively affect. Leading Companies Using Lean Manufacturing Effectively Successful manufacturing businesses like Toyota, Nike, and Caterpillar are currently employing lean manufacturing ideas in their production processes. In addition, Intel, Parker Hannifin, and John Deere embrace these techniques. From them, we've described three different organizations in various sectors that are successfully adopting lean manufacturing. JOHN DEERE John Deere has also implemented a lean manufacturing strategy. As a result, many of their quality control procedures are automated, which means that more components can be checked for flaws in less time. This means that more supply can be released each day, and the product can be supplied at a lower price to the consumer. Additionally, these controls monitor the manufacturing process for each component of their products, ensuring that they never manufacture more than is required and waste essential materials in the process. INTEL Intel, known for its computer processors, has used lean manufacturing techniques to provide a higher quality product for an industry that requires zero defects. In the past, it took more than three months to get a microprocessor to the manufacturer, but this principle has helped shorten that time to less than ten days. Intel rapidly learned that creating more but worse quality was not the way to raise revenues and increase consumer satisfaction with its products, which were extremely precise and technical. Instead, both parties gain from quality control and waste reduction initiatives. This is even true in the tech industry, where goods are constantly changed and upgraded. TOYOTA Toyota, the world's largest automaker, was the first to implement lean manufacturing in its manufacturing operations. But, even more importantly, they've learned how to limit products that don't match customer expectations by eliminating waste. To achieve these goals, Toyota employs two essential procedures. The first is a method known as Jidoka, which loosely translates as "automation with the assistance of humans." This implies that, although some of the work is automated, humans always ensure that the result is of the highest quality. When something goes wrong, the machines have built-in programs that allow them to shut themselves down. Known as the Just In Time (JIT) model, this is the second stage. Once the last part of a process has been finished, the next phase can begin. No unnecessary work will be done if there is a problem with the assembly line. This lean manufacturing technique has inspired thousands of other businesses. Final Words Lean manufacturing principles and their execution require discipline and patience to get the results out of them. When we see the successful lean manufacturing examples, it is not a fraction of a second success. They have devoted their time, energy, and efforts to modifying every single operational process in order to become a part of lean manufacturing. Lean manufacturing is not a method; it is a way of life that transforms your business practices and takes your firm to a new level of operations. Gain insights from renowned organizations' lean manufacturing success stories to help you become a part of the lean companies of 2022. FAQ What is the effect of lean manufacturing? Lean is a performance-based, continuous-improvement strategy that removes waste and unnecessary processes from organizational operations. As a result, your company becomes more focused on the results. Is it possible for lean manufacturing to fail? It is conceivable in some circumstances, such as failing to focus on a single system implementation or implementing too many system changes at once and failing to have a sound follow-up system to check that everything is working effectively. Why do certain businesses struggle with lean manufacturing? Most businesses fail to see that lean is a management philosophy, not a set of tools. As a result, most corporate leaders either don't understand or lack the patience and control to implement lean manufacturing. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the effect of lean manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Lean is a performance-based, continuous-improvement strategy that removes waste and unnecessary processes from organizational operations. As a result, your company becomes more focused on the results." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Is it possible for lean manufacturing to fail?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "It is conceivable in some circumstances, such as failing to focus on a single system implementation or implementing too many system changes at once and failing to have a sound follow-up system to check that everything is working effectively." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Why do certain businesses struggle with lean manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Most businesses fail to see that lean is a management philosophy, not a set of tools. As a result, most corporate leaders either don't understand or lack the patience and control to implement lean manufacturing." } }] }

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Spotlight

Int'l Mechanical and Electrical Co. (IMECO)

IMECO was established in 1977 as an electro-mechanical contracting company in Abu Dhabi. In the first decade, the company proved its capability to compete in various fields of engineering, construction and maintenance in both oil and other government sectors. IMECO started working for ADNOC Group companies, government sectors and international contractors from the early 1980's. It has a strong presence in the oil sector having maintained good relations and completed contracts for all the oil related companies based in the Abu Dhabi region. Since its establishment, IMECO has executed over 500 projects in the field of engineering involving over 120 million documented man hours. Consistently growing, our 6000 strong permanent workforce is largely made up of technical field personnel and skilled labour.

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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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