Does your business have the right manufacturing workforce skills for the future?

MARK DINGLEY| January 31, 2018
DOES YOUR BUSINESS HAVE THE RIGHT MANUFACTURING WORKFORCE SKILLS FOR THE FUTURE?
Automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, data, augmented reality, 3D printing. Today’s manufacturing world looks a lot different to five or 10 years ago. But it’s not only the factory floor that’s changing; the shift towards Industry 4.0 demands a new set of skills in the workforce too.

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Federal Equipment Company

Federal Equipment Company is a reliable resource for used processing and packaging equipment in pharmaceutical, chemical, plastics and rubber markets, with over 60 years of expertise buying and selling machines. For companies with surplus equipment, Federal Equipment Company takes away all the headaches of asset management.

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Digital Manufacturing Marketing Plan - Five Checklists

Article | September 22, 2021

Marketing for manufacturing companies hasn't always been easy. Because of the rising volatility in the economy, trade shows and face-to-face sales meetings have changed their manufacturing purchasing patterns. On the other hand, buyers are seeking for more convincing market reasons to buy your product. This means your manufacturing marketing strategy needs to evolve to answer each of these questions from the buyer angle in order to convince them in choosing your products over other competitor products. Manufacturers must do more than simply focus on product awareness to attract new buyers. Instead, they must concentrate on the content and intent of promotional activities that will reach target buyers through manufacturing advertising. The promotional message has always been the critical factor to be delivered at the right time and place. To hit the rock at the right spot, you must first understand the buyer's expectations in the manufacturing industry. So, let's get started. Buyers' Expectations from the Manufacturer Faster production cycles, higher-quality components and products, and affordable pricing are all expectations among manufacturing buyers. Therefore, marketing professionals in the manufacturing domain must consider these factors while developing a digital marketing strategy to outwit other competitors in the industry. What Is the Importance of Digital Marketing for Industrial Products? Going digital is the necessity of time. For example, almost 94 percent of B2B buyers conduct online research before making a purchase. Similarly, after using the correct digital marketing techniques for their industrial products, 82 percent of manufacturing enterprises increased their yearly sales within a year. This one-on-one discussion with one of the manufacturing industry's top leaders will give you a better understanding of manufacturing marketing's relevance. Marketing is VERY important to any company, although I generally see it being justified by the number of web hits or ‘leads’ that come in. - John Hayes, Director of Sales at BALYO So, small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) must recognize that utilizing digital platforms is the most significant way of marketing for manufacturing companies.Effective digital marketing campaigns demand sound investment and planning. Hence, to stand out in this digital game, SMMs must review their digital marketing strategies to improve website traffic and conviction in their product on multiple digital platforms. To do so, look at the five checklists points at the top of the digital marketing trends for manufacturers. Five Priorities for Your Digital Manufacturing Marketing Plan Leading manufacturers are all getting good ROI for their industry digital marketing strategy. Let’s check out how are they doing it? Recognize the Buyer's Persona In the context of the increasing instability of the industrial ecosystem, manufacturers must better understand their target groups to develop product marketing strategies tailored to their needs. The potential buyer's digital activities also help understand the target buyer's persona through their digital activities on various digital platforms. For example, some customers prefer textual content to learn about a product, while others prefer to watch a video that explains everything in detail. So, as per the target buyer's demand, manufacturers can modify their product marketing content. It will also help you create an effective digital marketing strategy for your manufacturing company. Interact Effectively with Important Constituents To be visible in the eyes of your buyer, you must communicate with them frequently and effectively. In every industry, technology has altered the meaning of buyer communication. So, here are some of the most popular ways that all industry leaders are using to exchange information with their potential buyers. This strategy will also help you establish a positive rapport with potential buyers and stay in touch with them. Start a Newsletter: Prepare some research and conversion phase content, solution-oriented blogs, interviews, or success stories, as applicable for your company's profile. In this strategy, you must always be consistent and distinct. Create an Email Campaign: Use emails to build a more personal connection with your potential buyers. Create a buyer persona based on the interests of your target audience and segment them properly when crafting your emails. This practice will help your recipients feel recognized and involved. Use Social Media Networks to Your Advantage: Each of your buyer personas uses social media as a primary source of information. Use this platform to your advantage by developing specific techniques for staying top-of-mind among your target audience. Make the Website Content Appealing to Potential Buyers Manufacturing digital marketing content serves as a thread to draw your target buyers to your website. When the target buyer visits your website, the website content will play a critical role. As a result, every manufacturing company must have the concise, engaging, and appealing website content. Make sure that your website contains everything you require to connect with your target buyer persona. So, how do you know if your website's content is on track? Check out the list below for some key points that should be available on your website to make visitors feel valuable about your company. Key-informative content: This type of content should assist buyers in expanding their existing knowledge of your company, product, or services. It must include your brand’s story, services, product catalogs and brochures, FAQs, and solution-focused blogs. Trust-building content: This type of content encourages anxious buyers to trust your product or service, which may be entirely new for them. It includes previous buyer product reviews, client references, testimonials, buyer success stories, expert opinions, and business awards if any. User-friendly content: This is the most Crucial aspect of your website's content. As covered in the buyer persona section, buyers have diverse interests in consuming information. Some prefer to read text, some prefer to watch videos, and others prefer to consume information through CAD drawings, diagrams, or infographics. As a result, ensure that your website contains various forms of content so that each visitor is comfortable consuming what you are serving them about your product. SEO-optimized content: Ensure that your website contains your target buyers' keywords when searching for products. Creating SEO-friendly website content allows you to rank higher in Google searches and makes it easier for readers to find you. Use Marketing Automation Platform Because of the growing use of marketing automation tools, even the smallest manufacturers can now benefit from them. They're the easiest and most cost-effective way to gauge the success of your digital marketing efforts. So what benefits have you reaped from using the marketing automation software? Helps you keep track of your prospects' locations Assists you in obtaining the lead score, which tells you who your best leads are and where they originate Keep track of the conversions throughout the buying cycle with this tool As a result, the marketing automation technology helps you evaluate the return on your investment in numerous ways. Do a Competitor Analysis Analyzing your competitor's marketing strategies will help you develop sound business tactics for your next move. Competitor analysis aids you in understanding the market's demands and new prospects that you may have ignored previously. This strategic approach also aids in your understanding of where you stand in the market and what you need to come up with to stay ahead of competitors. Final Words Every buyer's attention isn't only focused on making a purchase. They also want a simple and pleasing purchase experience. Providing a delightful buying experience encourages customers to return to you for future purchases of the same or different products you have introduced. As a result, each of the checklists above plays a vital role in your potential customer's buying process and contributes to organic buyer growth. FAQs What is digital manufacturing? Digital manufacturing is the simultaneous creation of product and manufacturing process descriptions using an integrated computer-based system that involves simulation, 3D visualizations, analytics, and collaborative tools. How can manufacturers market their products? Promote your product by using various content types, including blogs, press releases, infographics, and videos. Consider event sponsorships as a way to reach a particular demographic with your brand's message. Distribute complimentary product samples to potential customers to secure bulk purchases. What is the most effective way to market a manufacturing firm? For your target groups, write and publish richer, solution-oriented content. To make your company more known to the general public, take virtual tours of your facility and create product videos to give people a better understanding of your product and company. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is digital manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Digital manufacturing is the simultaneous creation of product and manufacturing process descriptions using an integrated computer-based system that involves simulation, 3D visualizations, analytics, and collaborative tools." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How can manufacturers market their products?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Promote your product by using various content types, including blogs, press releases, infographics, and videos. Consider event sponsorships as a way to reach a particular demographic with your brand's message. Distribute complimentary product samples to potential customers to secure bulk purchases." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the most effective way to market a manufacturing firm?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "For your target groups, write and publish richer, solution-oriented content. To make your company more known to the general public, take virtual tours of your facility and create product videos to give people a better understanding of your product and company." } }] }

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Scaling, Optimizing & Pivoting with Smart Manufacturing Industry 4.0

Article | January 20, 2022

A smart factory that leverages Industry 4.0 concepts to elevate its operations has long been a model for other industries that are still figuring out how to travel the digital manufacturing route. Smart manufacturing technology is all you need to know if you're looking to cash in on this trend. “Industry 4.0 is not really a revolution. It’s more of an evolution.” – Christian Kubis In this article, we'll look at the advantages that many smart factory pioneers are getting from their smart factories. In addition, we will look at the top smart factory examples and understand how they applied the Industry 4.0 idea and excelled in their smart manufacturing adoption. Industry 4.0 Technology Benefits Manufacturing Industry 4.0 has several benefits that can alter the operations of manufacturers. Beyond optimization and automation, smart manufacturing Industry 4.0 aims to uncover new business prospects and models by increasing the efficiency, speed, and customer focus of manufacturing and associated industries. Key benefits of Manufacturing Industry 4.0 in production include: Improved productivity and efficiency Increased collaboration and knowledge sharing Better agility and adaptability Facilitates compliance Improved customer experience Reduced costs and increased profitability Creates opportunities for innovation Increased revenues World Smart Factory Case Studies and Lessons to Be Learned Schneider Electric, France SAS Schneider Electric's le Vaudreuil plant is a prime example of a smart factory Industry 4.0, having been regarded as one of the most modern manufacturing facilities in the world, utilizing Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies on a large scale. The factory has included cutting-edge digital technology, such as the EcoStruxureTM Augmented Operator Advisor, which enables operators to use augmented reality to accelerate operation and maintenance, resulting in a 2–7% increase in productivity. EcoStruxureTM Resource Advisor's initial deployment saves up to 30% on energy and contributes to long-term improvement. Johnson & Johnson DePuy Synthes, Ireland DePuy Synthes' medical device manufacturing plant, which started in 1997, just underwent a multimillion-dollar makeover to better integrate digitalization and Industry 4.0 smart manufacturing. Johnson & Johnson made a big investment in the Internet of Things. By linking equipment, the factory used IoT technology to create digital representations of physical assets (referred to as “digital twins”). These digital twins resulted in sophisticated machine insights. As a result of these insights, the company was able to reduce operating expenditures while simultaneously reducing machine downtime. Bosch, China Bosch's Wuxi factory's digital transformation uses IIoT and big data. The company integrates its systems to keep track of the whole production process at its facilities. Embedding sensors in production machinery collects data on machine status and cycle time. When data is collected, complicated data analytics tools analyze it in real-time and alert workers to production bottlenecks. This strategy helps forecast equipment failures and allows the organization to arrange maintenance ahead of time. As a consequence, the manufacturer's equipment may run for longer. The Tesla Gigafactory, Germany According to Tesla, the Berlin Gigafactory is the world's most advanced high-volume electric vehicle production plant. On a 300-hectare facility in Grünheide, it produces batteries, powertrains, and cars, starting with the Model Y and Model 3. For Tesla, the goal is not merely to make a smart car, but also to construct a smart factory. The plant's photographs reveal an Industry 4.0 smart factory with solar panels on the roof, resulting in a more sustainable production method. On its official website, Tesla claimed to use cutting-edge casting methods and a highly efficient body shop to improve car safety. Tesla's relentless pursuit of manufacturing efficiency has allowed them to revolutionize the car industry. Haier, China The SmartFactoryKL was established to pave the way for the future's "intelligent factory." It is the world's first manufacturer-independent Industry 4.0 production facility, demonstrating the value of high-quality, flexible manufacturing and the effectiveness with which it can be deployed. The last four years, SmartFactoryKL has been guided by particular strategic objectives that drive innovation; the aim is to see artificial intelligence integrated into production. Two instances of AI-driven transformations include an "order-to-make' mass customization platform and a remote AI-enabled, intelligent service cloud platform that anticipates maintenance needs before they occur. Final Words Enabling smart manufacturing means using the latest technology to improve processes and products. The aforementioned smart factory examples are industry leaders and are thriving by implementing Industry 4.0 technology. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may use these smart factory examples to learn about the adoption process, challenges, and solutions. Industry 4.0 is aimed at improving enterprises and minimizing human effort in general. So adopt the smart factory concept and be productive. FAQ What is the difference between a smart factory and a digital factory? The digital factory enables the planning of factories using virtual reality and models, whereas the smart factory enables the operation and optimization of factories in real time. Where does Industry 4.0 come from? The term "Industry 4.0" was coined in Germany to represent data-driven, AI-powered, networked "smart factories" as the fourth industrial revolution's forerunner.

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Quality Digest Defines Enhanced Webinar Events

Article | May 18, 2021

For twenty years as an editorial contributor to Quality Digest magazine, I have had the pleasure of authoring or collaborating more than 80 articles for the publication. During this two-decade tenure, I have worked with Dirk Dusharme (pictured left), Editor in Chief of Quality Digest. Quality Digest’s website receives more than three million page views each year, which provide editorial content, live broadcasts, videos, and on-demand webinars presented by industry experts on international quality standards, leadership, manufacturing, metrology, statistical process control, training, and more. Quality Digest continues its important role as companies navigate a post-COVID reality with a critical role of safety, quality, efficiency, and resiliency. Quality elements are no longer an after-thought. It is essential when examining automation, lean manufacturing, and new paradigms for best practice. During COVID, all of us became more remote savvy and the demand for visionary content and information essential. According to Dusharme, “Since their debut almost a decade ago, Quality Digest's "enhanced" webinar events have raised the bar for the traditional webinar experience. Our audience has come to expect concise, informative, and engaging presentations with subject matter experts who know what they are talking about. Apart from the traditional quality topics, we delve into areas that broaden our audience’s knowledge. These topics range from cybersecurity, to supply chain management, to understanding and dealing with cognitive biases. Our goal is to provide up-to-date, actionable information that our audience can immediately put to use. Live video feeds of the presenters and the products, interactive Q&A sessions, surveys, and valuable downloads all make up our usual webinar experience, followed by next-day access to the on-demand recording and materials.” Enhanced Webinars from Quality Digest feature real-time streaming video of host, subject matter expert, and a case study in action. Users can email questions, chat, or download files in real-time. This modality is ideal for visual case studies/product demos, team or customer training, and new product/new service announcements.

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The Future of Additive Manufacturing: Trends and Predictions

Article | January 21, 2022

3D printing technology and its role in future manufacturing are grabbing the interest of industry experts. In terms of elevating future products, future additive manufacturing has a lot to offer the business. Additive manufacturing is developing and stretching its wings on a daily basis, becoming an integral part of every industry, including manufacturing, healthcare, education, and more. In this article, we'll shed some light on the 3D printing future trends, which will assist the business in deepening its impact across industries. Furthermore, we will explore whether the additive manufacturing business is worth investing in as well as who the major players are that have already invested in the future of 3D printing. Future Trends in the Additive Manufacturing Industry Enhanced Machine Connectivity Making AM solutions (including software and hardware) easier to integrate and connect to the factory floor is one of the key AM trends we predict to advance in the coming years. It has been a long time since the AM hardware market has been filled with closed, or proprietary, systems. These systems generally function with materials and software given or approved by the machine OEM and are not easily integrated with third-party alternatives. Closed systems are important for process dependability, but they also restrict collaboration and connectivity. Companies expanding their AM operations will need to connect their machines and software to their production environments. When it comes to additive manufacturing, using siloed solutions is a surefire way to fail. Importantly, we see hardware manufacturers increasingly focusing on solutions that can be integrated with the production floor. For example, a 3D printing market leader like Stratasys is a good illustration of the trend. In December, the business announced an extension of its previously closed machines' connection.Consumers may now integrate and control their additive production using software programs of their choosing, not just Stratasys' systems. For AM facilities, system connectivity is no longer an option. It's exciting to see the AM industry players recognize and solve this requirement. AM and AI Continue to Converge AM growth is incorporating AI and machine learning. AI can help with material development, machine setup, part design, and workflow automation. So, in the future, we anticipate seeing more AI and AM technology integration. Combined with AM systems, AI will improve process control and accuracy. For example, Inkbit is currently working on an AI-powered polymer vision system. This technology can scan 3D printing layers and anticipate material behavior during printing. Generative design, already generally recognized as a key digital advance in AM, may tremendously benefit from AI and machine learning. It has so far been utilized to improve load routes when strength and stiffness are dominant. It can also be utilized to optimize thermal or vibration. AI and machine learning will advance generative design, allowing new concepts to be completely suited to AM.While we may be a few years away from fully developing the capacity to automatically adapt designs to process, we anticipate significant breakthroughs this year that will bring us closer. AM Will Drive Decentralization In order to future-proof their supply chains, many manufacturers are following new supply chain models and technology that allow them to cut prices or switch goods more easily. Increasing flexibility and agility will necessitate distributed, localized production, assisted by additive manufacturing.To reduce the number of steps required to manufacture complex metal or polymer structures, shorten lead times, and enable digital inventory management, digital inventory management can be automated. These advantages make it ideal for the distributed manufacturing model. We believe that in the near future, more businesses will actively explore distributed manufacturing with AM. According to a recent HP survey, 59% of organizations are now considering hybrid models, while 52% are looking into localized digital manufacturing. 3D Printing Future: Major Predictions In Jabil's 2021 3D printing trends survey of over 300 decision-makers, 62% of participants claim their organization is actively using additive manufacturing for production of their product components, up from 27% in 2017. Many such manufacturers are on the lookout for the latest additive manufacturing trends and forecasts. So let's begin. Increasing Flexibility and Customization Customized goods are a popular consumer trend, impacting several sectors. Rather than buying a mass-produced item, customers are increasingly demanding a custom-made item that meets their specific needs. Additive manufacturing's low-volume production capabilities simply enable personalization and customization. 3D printing allows for more responsive design options, particularly for additive manufacturing. Manufacturers can afford to make smaller batches, allowing designers and engineers to alter product ideas and develop them cost-effectively when inspiration strikes, the public mood is understood, or customer feedback drops in. Materials Drive the Future of Digital As the additive manufacturing ecosystem grows, the importance of materials cannot be overstated. Besides high equipment costs, materials and limited additive manufacturing ecosystems have hindered the 3D printing industry's growth. The market is flooded with 3D printing materials, but few are advanced enough to fulfill industry standards.Due to volume constraints in most sectors, suppliers and manufacturers aren't motivated to develop innovative materials for new uses. However, the future of 3D printing is in engineered and application-specific materials. Various sectors have unique difficulties that demand unique solutions. New designed materials will revolutionize new uses, including highly regulated sectors. Industries will reward those who can promptly introduce 3D printing materials adapted to specific industrial and engineering needs. This will allow more 3D printing applications to be supplied and the whole digital manufacturing flywheel to start spinning. 3D Printing and a Sustainable Future Finally, additive manufacturing promotes sustainability and conservation. Besides decreasing trash, 3D printing saves energy. The Metal Powder Industries Federation studied the difference between making truck gear using subtractive manufacturing (17 steps) and additive manufacturing (6 steps). 3D printing uses less than half the energy it takes to produce the same product. 3D printing also reduces the need for moving products and materials, reducing the amount of carbon emitted into the environment. So we can see that digital and additive solutions already contribute to a more sustainable future. Is Investment in the Future of Additive Manufacturing Worth It? In recent years, there has been an explosion of investment in industrial 3D printing. Hundreds of millions of dollars have flowed into the industry in recent years, assisting new businesses. Desktop Metal ($160 million), Markforged ($82 million), and 3D Hubs ($18 million) have all received significant funding in the past. According to a recent report and data analysis, the global additive manufacturing market will hit USD 26.68 billion by 2027. A rising level of government support for additive manufacturing across regions is driving market demand. For example, America Makes, the foremost national initiative in the US since 2012 dedicated to additive manufacturing (3D printing future technology), received USD 90 million in support from the government, commercial, and non-profit sectors. Given the industry's expenditures and the expanding need for 3D printing, investing in the additive manufacturing industry or 3D printing is certainly encouraged. Final Words Additive manufacturing is being used in practically every industry, and companies are researching how technology might be used in their specific fields. The numerous advantages and sustainability that 3D printing provides are the major benefits that manufacturers and other industry professionals notice with 3D printing.Future manufacturing will be significantly more accurate and simple to run thanks to 3D printing technologies. Considering the trends and projections listed above, you may have a better understanding of 3D printing's future and make an informed investment decision. FAQ What is the future of 3D printing? 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, has the potential to empower everything from food to coral reefs. 3D printers may soon be seen in homes, companies, disaster zones, and perhaps even outer space. Why is 3D printing important to society? 3D printing results in waste reduction and so eliminates the need for periodic waste reduction, reuse, and recycling. So it helps society with no carbon footprint. Why is it known as additive manufacturing? The term "additive manufacturing" refers to the fact that the building process adds layers rather than removes raw materials.

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Spotlight

Federal Equipment Company

Federal Equipment Company is a reliable resource for used processing and packaging equipment in pharmaceutical, chemical, plastics and rubber markets, with over 60 years of expertise buying and selling machines. For companies with surplus equipment, Federal Equipment Company takes away all the headaches of asset management.

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