Have robots grounded the flying geese? Automation and offshoring in the manufacturing sector

MARY HALLWARD-DRIEMEIER AND GAURAV NAYYAR| February 06, 2020
HAVE ROBOTS GROUNDED THE FLYING GEESE? AUTOMATION AND OFFSHORING IN THE MANUFACTURING SECTOR
Adidas announced in late 2019 that its Speedfactories-in Ansbach in Germany and Atlanta in the U.S.-which use computerized knitting, robotic cutting, and 3D printing to produce athletic footwear will close next year. Having been heralded as evidence of how robots will lead to wide-scale reshoring of manufacturing to Europe and the U.S., does this reversal mean that these worries were all overblown? Tellingly, the other headline in the announcement was that these automated production lines will instead be moved to China and Vietnam where 90 percent of Adidas’ suppliers are currently located.

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Manor Tool and Manufacturing Company

Manor Tool & Manufacturing is your ISO 9001:2008 Certified full-service provider of quality stamping parts and metal fabrication. Established in 1959, Manor Tool & Manufacturing combines over half a century of metal fabrication engineering experience, modern management information scheduling systems, and state of the art production processes to guarantee your products are delivered on time, every time.

OTHER ARTICLES

Microfinancing in Uganda Works with Lean Manufacturing Precision

Article | November 23, 2021

Having recently returned from Uganda, had the pleasure of being introduced by Bernard Munyanziza of Nziza Hospitality to Gilbert Atuhire. He is the Managing Director at Value Addition Microfinance Ltd. which provides micro loans to producers and manufacturers. Atuhire is an attorney by training, however his ability to articulate the core values of Lean Six Sigma and continuous process improvement were abundantly clear. The Kampala, Uganda offices are located on Parliamentary Avenue and Dewinton Rise. This central location allows direct access to industrial projects.

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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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The Factory of the Future

Article | December 2, 2021

The world of manufacturing is continuously evolving in the 21st century, and companies have to combat competition, altering consumer demands, and unexpected events to be able to deliver in today’s experience. Global connectivity, innovation, and disruption are all reshaping the manufacturing industry, but a world-class business platform can help companies transform operations digitally to keep up with an evermore digitized world. The factory of the future will allow manufacturers to enhance production through the convergence of information technology with factory operations, combining the effectiveness of the virtual world with the materiality of the physical world to lower costs, increase flexibility, and better meet customer expectations. The factory of the future functions on four dimensions: resource planning, manufacturing planning, planning and optimization, and manufacturing operations. Resource planning involves defining and simpulating the plant layout, flow, assets, and resources needed to efficiently develop products in a safe environment. Normal production change requests can be quickly validated by using 3D virtual experience twin technology. This technology could also quickly pivot operations to alternative products in the case of disruptive events. Manufacturing planning enriches the resource and product definition by defining and validating a process plan and creating work instructions that meet production goals. Digital visualization of resource and process changes can also help speed up time-to-production in any scenario no matter the location by leveraging the cloud. Planning and optimization of supply chains across planning horizons will help manufacturers gain visibility with planning and scheduling by having the ability to model, simulate, and optimize alternative supply and production plans to reduce disruptions. Lastly, manufacturing operations management can transform global production operations to attain and maintain operational excellence. Manufacturers can create, manage, and govern operational processes on a global scale while maintaining operational integrity to meet altering demands. For the factory of the future to come about successfully, there needs to be connected technology and shared data. Technology has to be adaptable with robotics and equipment that can be reconstructed to house changes and new products. An AI-powered product demand simulation is necessary to maintain agility and boost productivity. A versatile, cross-functional workforce with the ability to explicate data and function well in AR environments is also required along with smart factory technology such as wearable sensors and virtual prototypes. Through all this, the factory of the future can connect technologies across the product life cycle while optimizing the workforce and increasing sustainability. Although achieving the factory of the future has several benefits, creating a feasible factory of the future plan can be challenging. In 2018, only 12% of companies had a mature factory of the future plan. One of the main challenges that companies face is a lack of internal skills to devise digital solutions. However, this can be combated by carefully considering how you can utilize digital technologies to deliver improved performance, resiliency, and flexibility. It is easier to begin with small steps and to collaborate with a partner who could support your efforts to build toward your desired transformation goal. It is important to always be prepared by evaluating your next steps, industry trends, and progress metrics. It is also crucial to focus on the people, process, and technology you’re using to have a successful transformation journey. Manufacturing with the factory of the future can provide savings in a wide range of categories. For example, it can reduce virtual vehicles build time by 80%, increase on-time performance of industrial equipment by 45%, and reduce modular construction time of construction, cities, and territories by 70%. Leading the transformation of the manufacturing space towards the direction of the factory of the future will allow manufacturers to work smart and better meet the needs of the end consumers.

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Wireless AGVs May Prove Most Important ProMatDX Innovation

Article | April 1, 2021

April 12 -15 ProMatDX, the largest material handling event, will take place virtually. It will feature dozens of AGV vendors. Sadly, some of these highly innovating products still need to be plugged-in to capture power. No more. Wiferion in process charging eliminates the plug-in charging making AGVs truly autonomous. In process charging eliminates the waste of AGV downtime – the fleet is always working AND charging. In process charging is safe ensuring the OSHA, ergonomics, and danger to workers significantly reduced. In process charging is cost-efficient because full vehicle deployment means a reduced fleet count ensuring a rapid ROI. For OEMs of AGVs and industrial trucks implementing inductive charging technology solves the wear and tear issues caused by conventional charging methods as well as making vehicles fully autonomous. For end-users of AGVs and industrial trucks, inductive charging in combination with lithium batteries can improve fleet availability by more than 30%. Whether driverless transport systems (AGVs), electric forklifts, or mobile robots (AMRs), the efficient use of industrial trucks is a decisive factor for competitiveness during ever- increasing cost pressures. The energy systems are being scrutinized and lithium-ion batteries are the preferred technology. The advantages versus lead-acid batteries (including the ability to recharge faster and more often) are obvious. Until now the full potential of storage technology has not been fully realized.

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Spotlight

Manor Tool and Manufacturing Company

Manor Tool & Manufacturing is your ISO 9001:2008 Certified full-service provider of quality stamping parts and metal fabrication. Established in 1959, Manor Tool & Manufacturing combines over half a century of metal fabrication engineering experience, modern management information scheduling systems, and state of the art production processes to guarantee your products are delivered on time, every time.

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