How to Assess the Technical Capability of Your Contract Manufacturer

PATTY RASMUSSEN| June 26, 2017
HOW TO ASSESS THE TECHNICAL CAPABILITY OF YOUR CONTRACT MANUFACTURER
You think you've finally discovered a company to manufacture your product and you are eager to get production started! But how can you be sure this manufacturer is properly outfitted to produce quality goods to meet your customer’s standards? In other words, how can you assess a manufacturing company's technical capability?

Spotlight

Nora Lighting, Inc.

Nora Lighting is among the industry’s leading designers and suppliers of LED, CFL , CMH, Low Voltage, and Incandescent energy-efficient lighting systems for commercial, architectural, retail, hospitality, healthcare, educational and residential applications. Nora products have become benchmarks for innovation, quality and new energy-efficiency standards and include an exceptional line of recessed, track, Rail, and multiple lighting systems, sconces, pendants, under cabinet, linear and accent lighting, emergency and exit lighting. All product groups now feature state of the art LED sources. Products include LED recessed architectural, commercial, residential and retrofit series, standard, high output, and color changing LED tape light, LED panels, LED lightbar, LED Undercabinet, LED puck, LED track and LED pendants.

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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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Three Business Examples That Effectively Practice Lean Manufacturing

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. 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Top Five Industries That Are Leveraging Additive Manufacturing

Article | October 20, 2021

Additive manufacturing has advanced significantly in recent years and is currently used in nearly every area to improve both products and processes in the manufacturing business. As a result, manufacturers have been more imaginative and innovative in offering relevant products to their target customer group due to this technological advancement. Mr. Matt Mong, a prominent business executive, also mentioned in one of his Media7 interviews, As technology takes over and enhances many of the processes we used to handle with manual labor, we are freed up to use our minds creatively, which leads to bigger and better leaps in innovation and productivity. Matt Mong, VP Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist at Adeaca The use of additive technology provides several advantages, including creating unique shapes and low production costs. In addition, the increasing application of additive manufacturing technologies is accelerating the growth of the additive manufacturing market. According to recent research conducted by Metal AM, the value of additively produced components is expected to increase by 15% annually from $12 billion in 2020 to $51 billion in 2030. Thus, additive marketing is the way forward for all industries. This article will cover the top five industries that utilize additive manufacturing and are advancing their businesses every day by overcoming the prevailing challenges such as production errors, downtime, and skilled labor shortage with the benefits of additive manufacturing. Five Industries Utilizing Additive Manufacturing Though additive manufacturing or 3D printing has penetrated almost all the industries, we have picked up a few of the prevailing industries that have started using additive manufacturing and excelling in it. Additive Manufacturing in Aerospace Aerospace has always been the first sector to adopt new technology. Precision is critical in this sector, as a failure of any component is not an option in aerospace. In aircraft production, dimension, weight, and temperature tolerance are critical, and additive technology provides every solution around this. As a result, additive manufacturing has evolved into a critical technology that adds value throughout the supply chain for prominent aircraft firms like Airbus, GE, Boeing, and TTM. Additive Manufacturing in Healthcare Healthcare or medical is one of the industries that is maximizing the benefits of additive manufacturing. Technology enables the medical sector to be more innovative, accurate, and capable of offering the most excellent medical solutions available today. It enables medical practitioners to rehearse before procedures and medical researchers to study functioning human tissues for basic biological research. In addition, it is utilized to fabricate tissues and organoids, surgical instruments, patient-specific surgical models, and bespoke prostheses. Thus, additive technology has altered the face of medicine, elevating it to a more sophisticated and solution-oriented state. Additive Manufacturing in Architecture As with other industries, additive manufacturing reshapes the architectural and construction sectors by eliminating conventional industrial barriers such as production time and cost, material waste, and design constraints. By utilizing 3D printing, designers can now quickly construct and demonstrate how structural parts will function and appear when combined. It also assists designers in seeing how the plan will seem subsequent execution. Additive Manufacturing in Manufacturing Nowadays, additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is a significant part of the manufacturing process. For example, rather than fabricating a product from solid blocks, additive manufacturing may build a three-dimensional model utilizing fine powder, various metals, polymers, and composite materials as raw materials for constructing a 3D model with a three-dimensional printer. Additive Manufacturing in Education Additive manufacturing is reshaping the educational industry by introducing a new teaching trend and transforming the classroom experience for students. It is being used in various disciplines, including engineering, architecture, medicine, graphic design, geography, history, and even chemistry. They may produce prototypes, three-dimensional models, and historical objects, among other things. Thus, technology enables learners to get more practical information about their respective courses directly on the floor. How has General Electric (GE) been pioneering the use of Additive Manufacturing for 20 years? GE's primary competency is additive manufacturing (3D printing), and the company has made significant investments in the technology. It utilizes additive technology to manufacture a range of components for aviation and other sectors. This article will look at one of their manufacturing case studies and how additive technology enabled them to get the desired result from the end product. CASE STUDY: OPTISYS Optisys modified a vast, multi-part antenna assembly into a palm-sized, lighter, one-piece additive metal antenna. The antenna's aluminum material was chosen because of its surface conductivity, low weight, corrosion resistance, and stress and vibration resistance. Optisys was able to break even on machine acquisition within one year after acquiring its first Direct Metal Laser Melting (DMLM) equipment by utilizing additive technologies. (Source: General Electric) Benefits and Outcomes Non-recurring expenditures were reduced by 75%. Weight loss of 95% The size was reduced by 80%. Part-to-part reduction of 100-to-1 Cycle duration shortened from 11 to 2 months 5 product lines were created for AM, a new market growth Final Words Additive manufacturing benefits a wide variety of businesses. Industries must recognize the advantages of additive manufacturing and begin using the technology in their manufacturing processes to cut production time and costs while increasing product accuracy. This game-changing expansion of the additive manufacturing market across several industries is upgrading both products and production processes. FAQs How do you define additive manufacturing? Additive manufacturing (AM), more generally referred to as 3D printing, is a ground-breaking manufacturing technique that enables the creation of lighter, more robust components and systems. As the name implies, additive manufacturing is adding material to an item to create it. Is additive manufacturing the same as 3D printing? Both terms are interchangeable. Additive manufacturing and 3D printing manufacture components by connecting or adding material from a CAD file. Which companies specialized in additive manufacturing? American Additive Manufacturing, Forecast 3D, Sciaky, Inc., 3 Axis Development, Inc., Jonco Industries, Inc., Polyhistor International, Inc., and Caelynx, LLC are renowned companies for additive manufacturing in the United States of America. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How do you define additive manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Additive manufacturing (AM), more generally referred to as 3D printing, is a ground-breaking manufacturing technique that enables the creation of lighter, more robust components and systems. As the name implies, additive manufacturing is adding material to an item to create it." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Is additive manufacturing the same as 3D printing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Both terms are interchangeable. Additive manufacturing and 3D printing manufacture components by connecting or adding material from a CAD file." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Which companies specialized in additive manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "American Additive Manufacturing, Forecast 3D, Sciaky, Inc., 3 Axis Development, Inc., Jonco Industries, Inc., Polyhistor International, Inc., and Caelynx, LLC are renowned companies for additive manufacturing in the United States of America." } }] }

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How Smart Manufacturing Is Powered by Digital Twin Technology?

Article | December 8, 2021

A digital twin is a virtual model of an object or system that comprises its lifecycle. It is updated with real-time data and aids decision-making through simulation, machine learning, and reasoning for the production system. IoT sensor data from the original object is used to create a digital twin of the system. This cloud-connected data allows engineers to monitor systems and model system dynamics in real-time. Modifications can be tested on the digital twin before making changes to the original system. Considering that digital twins are supposed to replicate a product's complete lifecycle and are used throughout the production process, it's not unexpected that digital twins have become prevalent in all stages of manufacturing. “More than a blueprint or schematic, a digital twin combines a real-time simulation of system dynamics with a set of executive controls,” – Dr. Daniel Araya, consultant and advisor with a special interest in artificial intelligence, technology policy, and governance Companies will increasingly embrace digital twins to boost productivity and decrease expenses. As per recent research by Research and Markets, nearly 36% of executives across industries recognize the benefits of digital twinning, with half planning to implement it by 2028.So how does this digital twin technology benefit modern manufacturing? Let's have a look. How the Digital Twin Drives Smart Manufacturing Digital twins in manufacturing are used to replicate production systems. Manufacturers can develop virtual representations of real-world products, equipment, processes, or systems using data from sensors connected to machines, tools, and other devices. In manufacturing, such simulations assist in monitoring and adapting equipment performance in real-time. With machine learning techniques, digital twins can predict future events and anticipate potential difficulties. For maintenance, digital twins allow for quick detection of any problems. They collect real-time system data, prior failure data, and relevant maintenance data. The technique employs machine learning and artificial intelligence to predict maintenance requirements. Using this data, companies can avoid production downtime. Digital Twin and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in manufacturing Using digital twins and AI in production can enhance uptime by predicting potential failures and keeping equipment working smoothly. In addition, there are significant cost savings in the planning and design process as digital twins and AI can be used to replicate a specific scenario. Maintenance is another area that has seen significant progress with the use of digital twin manufacturing. A Digital Twin powered by AI can predict when a piece of equipment will fail, allowing you to arrange predictive maintenance that is not simply taking information from OEM manuals but can significantly cut maintenance expenses along with reducing downtime. Using the digital twin, it is feasible to train virtual workers in high-risk functions, similar to how pilots are trained using flight simulators. It also frees up highly skilled workers to upgrade the plant and streamline operations. General Electric Created the Most Advanced Digital Twin General Electric Company (GE) is a multinational business based in Boston that was founded in 1892. It has developed the world's most advanced digital twin, which blends analytic models for power plant components that monitor asset health, wear, and performance with KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) determined by the customer and the organization's objectives. The Digital Twin is powered by PredixTM, an industrial platform built to manage huge amounts of data and run analytic algorithms. General Electric Company provides extra "control knobs" or "dimensionality" that can be utilized to improve the operation of the system or asset modeled with GE Digital Twin. Final Words Given the numerous advantages of digital twin manufacturing, the potential for digital twins to be used in manufacturing is virtually endless in the near future. There will be a slew of new advancements in the field of digital twin manufacturing. As a result, digital twins are continually acquiring new skills and capabilities. The ultimate goal of all of these enhancements is to create the insights necessary to improve products and streamline processes in the future. FAQ What is a digital twin in manufacturing? The digital twins could be used to monitor and enhance a production line or perhaps the whole manufacturing process, from product design to production. How digital twin benefit manufacturers? Using digital twins to represent products and manufacturing processes, manufacturers can save assembly, installation, and validation time and costs. What is a digital thread? A digital twin is a realistic version of a product or system that replicates a company's equipment, controls, workflows, and systems. The digital thread, on the other hand, records a product's life cycle from creation to dissolution. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is a digital twin in manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The digital twins could be used to monitor and enhance a production line or perhaps the whole manufacturing process, from product design to production." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How digital twin benefit manufacturers?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Using digital twins to represent products and manufacturing processes, manufacturers can save assembly, installation, and validation time and costs." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is a digital thread?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A digital twin is a realistic version of a product or system that replicates a company's equipment, controls, workflows, and systems. The digital thread, on the other hand, records a product's life cycle from creation to dissolution." } }] }

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Spotlight

Nora Lighting, Inc.

Nora Lighting is among the industry’s leading designers and suppliers of LED, CFL , CMH, Low Voltage, and Incandescent energy-efficient lighting systems for commercial, architectural, retail, hospitality, healthcare, educational and residential applications. Nora products have become benchmarks for innovation, quality and new energy-efficiency standards and include an exceptional line of recessed, track, Rail, and multiple lighting systems, sconces, pendants, under cabinet, linear and accent lighting, emergency and exit lighting. All product groups now feature state of the art LED sources. Products include LED recessed architectural, commercial, residential and retrofit series, standard, high output, and color changing LED tape light, LED panels, LED lightbar, LED Undercabinet, LED puck, LED track and LED pendants.

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