Integrated Business Planning Required Shamrock Foods and Blue Ridge Supply Chain

IBP, often referred to as integrated business planning, or sales and operational planning, (or just S&OP), is a next generation collaborative planning solution that solves the costly problem of different business units working in silos. It accelerates a firm's ability to respond to market changes, eliminates time consuming data collection and analysis, and aligns planning to the broader business goals, ultimately getting companies to a one plan scenario.

One version of the truth
Some of the features provided by this powerful collaboration engine include dynamic drill-down capabilities, exception-based planning, and fully flexible hierarchy levels. The ability to create, configure, planning views in the UI (user interface) creates one version of the truth, only accomplished with integration of supply chain planning applications.
Integrated Business Planning Required Shamrock Foods and Blue Ridge Supply Chain

© 2021 Blue Ridge Solutions


Shamrock Foods is a privately-held, family-owned and -operated Forbes 500 company, Shamrock is an innovator in the food industry since its founding in Arizona in 1922. Shamrock specializes in the manufacturing and distribution of quality food and food-related products through a family of companies, including Shamrock Foods foodservice distribution and Shamrock Farms dairy manufacturing. Through its family of companies, Shamrock employs more than 4,000 associates nationwide. The company’s success is built on three unwavering principles set forth by the founder, W.T. McClelland, in 1922 – an unrelenting quality in people and products and service, an innovative approach to business, and a commitment to the community.

Praveen Padman (pictured left), a product manager at Blue Ridge



 

Adnan Maksoud (pictured left), senior manager of demand planning at Shamrock Foods





Recently Praveen and Adnan had a conversation about Supply Chain and IBP.  Following are some of the highlights.

Adnan Maksoud: 
As the senior manager at Shamrock Foods for the demand planning department, I lead demand planners and analysts, and work closely within our supply chain team which includes supply planning, sales, and operations. The main goal at Shamrock is to implement better forecasting, do better buying, and implement sales and operations planning for the whole enterprise. The team consists of ten people and it is within the supply chain organization. We act like the think tank of the organization, where we direct our buying team what to buy, when to buy, and how much to buy. The goal is to become more efficient within our supply chain.

Expectations of IBP implementation
Adnan Maksoud: 
We have not done an implementation like this before at Shamrock. We have instances where we purchased tools, like a standalone software. Having our supply planning tool and demand planning tool talk to each other collaboratively is a new concept; we are engaging different teams and insights, like sales and marketing, and then coming up with a final forecast and final decision for the whole enterprise. My expectations were that this would be difficult and tedious; in fact, bringing this to fruition was easy for everyone.

Why IBP makes sense
Adnan’s team has used the supply chain planning system for a long time as a long-standing Blue Ridge customer. During the IBP implementation, there were a lot of things to accomplish.  Pinpointing the exact business problems or scenarios helps other leaders understand what is solved with the integrated business planning module.

Adnan Maksoud:
Shamrock Foods has been using the supply planning platform daily, it is really where we do all our work. When looking at gaps in our business, and where we want to take things to the next step, that came down to having a consensus forecast, bringing our sales and operations plan together.

After six months of sales and operations planning, we started the IBP implementation, and noticed what was missing. In a meeting of finance people, marketing people, salespeople, and supply chain professionals, each had a different forecast. Then we had to consider the company budget and tie it all together to make one consensus decision as an organization.

Getting to forecast accuracy
Adnan Maksoud:
We wanted to get better forecast accuracy…better intelligence around our buying. We did not want to manipulate our supply planning tool too much or manipulate the forecast that's in it. We wanted that baseline to remain the same, to recalculate the way it does. We wanted to have a side forecast of different layers and ways to look at it differently. This is where IBP really came into play.

IBP single source for sales, marketing, and demand planning forecasts
Adnan Maksoud:
IBP allows us to have a sales, marketing, and demand planning forecast in the system. This way we come up with a consensus forecast and make the decision as a more collaborative organization. Blue Ridge allows us to do that while pairing with Supply Chain Planning. We have a smoother collaboration, a flow between the two tools. Once we have our demand plan, it flows smoothly into our supply plan and we see better execution.

IBP sitting on top of the supply chain planning platform
Adnan Maksoud:
At Shamrock, the KPIs from which we operate are service levels to customers and shrinkage in facilities. We try to minimize dumps and throwing away product, since we're in a perishable food industry environment. The big goal with IBP is getting to a much more accurate and collaborative, so that all different teams involved in making that decision are on the same page. The goal is better service from a customer service level perspective as well as from a collaboration perspective. We're taking our customers' input and feeding it into our system as a forecast, whether that's event planning, seasonality modeling, or menu changes from our customers.

By accomplishing these things, IBP leans out inventory because we have more accurate forecasts, and we buy better. We are able to control our supply more efficiently and avoid situations where we're overstocked and have to throw away dollars, throw away products that are expiring.
Integrated Business Planning Required Shamrock Foods and Blue Ridge Supply Chain
© 2021 Blue Ridge Solutions

IBP across industry sectors
Adnan Maksoud:
IBP is not tailored towards one company or one industry. Any company in any industry, any field of work, could use a tool like IBP. It brings together different departments and different insights.

SPOTLIGHT

Blue Ridge empowers Wholesale Distributors, Specialty Retailers and Discrete Manufacturers with the capability to adapt to market, product and competitive challenges by efficiently and effectively managing an ever-volatile supply chain.

OTHER ARTICLES

Selecting Quality Management Software: What to Expect in the ROI

Article | April 25, 2022

Deciding on the right quality management software might be difficult for any business due to its features and return on investment evaluation. However, given the requirement for quality improvements, it is critical for a quick return on investment from the software. In addition, effective quality management software can assist in developing a culture of constant improvement in a company's manufacturing operations. "Quality comes not from inspection, but from improvement of the production process." – W. Edwards Deming, Quality management software (QMS) has countless advantages, of which some are quantifiable, and others are more subjective. Quality management systems (QMS) are important because they can help manufacturers be proactive rather than reactive, leading to better overall quality. In this article, we've included several metrics you may use to keep tabs on your progress and understand better your return on investment on manufacturing quality management software. Directly Quantifiable Benefits (ROI) Lowered Defect Management Expenses Components that do not meet or exceed design criteria are wasted. Effective quality management software helps minimize failure rates, saving money. Quality data helps reduce scrap, rework, sorting, and processing costs. Manufacturing quality management software streamlines and modernizes complicated, often error-prone MRO procedures, which reduces maintenance costs and the risk of not complying with the law. Less Expensive Supplier Management Quality control software for manufacturing can be used to mitigate the costs associated with substandard supplier quality. Supplier performance, trends, and on-time delivery are all tracked in real-time. Managers can use supplier ratings to determine which suppliers are the most beneficial to the firm. This data is then used to minimize the risk and expense of working with suppliers and sub-tier suppliers. Higher Supplier Recovery Success Supplier recovery establishes accountability throughout the supply chain, thus mitigating overall risk. Within the quality management system, timely and reliable data on nonconformance suppliers is available, resulting in proactive payback or product replacement. Substandard supplier material can also recoup warranty return costs incurred due to substandard supplier material. Lowered IT Support & Costs Quality management software automates removing excessive applications, hence lowering IT expenses and increasing data consistency. Without additional programming, a best-in-class solution is easily customizable to suit requirements. In addition, having all of the important data in one place eliminates the need for manual data entry, improves data integrity, and saves a lot of time and money. Paperless Workplace A paperless shop floor increases efficiency by saving time spent preparing paper and forms. You save time preparing, distributing, and collecting work instructions, work orders, travelers, and quality data forms with quality management software. Real-time reporting helps managers make better judgments. Apart from saving time, electronic document management also allows administrators to regulate user access to sensitive data and handle document approval electronically. Long-term Financial Return Ensured Product Compliance and Reduced Risk Complex manufacturers must constantly adapt to changing norms. The software can handle quality and compliance issues across departments, process areas, and locations. In addition, the solution simplifies the procedure and improves the results. Better Decision-making with Better Operational Visibility Real-time historical data improves accuracy, efficiency, and quality. Enterprise quality management software can assist managers in discovering trends, repetition, and relative cost. In addition, actionable data helps respond to changing markets and client demands. Complete Traceability of Each Part, Subassembly, and Final Assembly Comprehensive quality management software creates, records, queries, and manages traceability requirements for compliance and quality. The system lets you keep an eye on quality through the product's life cycle to make sure it meets regulatory, quality, and customer requirements. Final Word Quality management software must be evaluated using quantifiable and long-term subjective returns to gain a realistic picture of a system's future performance. When an effective system is in place, employees can focus on high-value chores instead of managing documents or processes. Manufacturing businesses can gain a competitive edge by implementing quality management software for manufacturing. The best quality management software should pay for itself over time. FAQ What is quality control software testing? Quality control in software testing is a systematic set of techniques used to verify software product or service quality. The fundamental goal of quality control is to ensure that the software meets the actual requirements by testing and reviewing them. What are the three types of quality management? Each quality management system is divided into three stages: conceptualization, documentation, and implementation. What are the seven principles of quality management? Engagement of people, customer focus, leadership, process approach, improvement, evidence-based decision making, and relationship management are the seven principles of quality management.

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Blockchain: Protect the Transmission of Data in 3D Printing and CNC Machining

Article | June 15, 2022

Blockchain is a distributed database system consisting of a series of data blocks generated by cryptographic methods. Each block contains the hash value of the previous block, which is connected to the current block by the original block to form a blockchain. It overlays (chains) encrypted data (blocks) in chronological order to produce permanent and irreversible records. Decentralization, independence, security, and other features characterize blockchain technology today, with decentralization being the most noticeable and vital attribute. Each node realizes information, self-verification, transfer, and management through distributed accounting and storage. Because of its encryption and security properties, it plays an important role in data file security in manufacturing. Blockchain — Assurance for CNC Machining Data As the potential of blockchain technology has grown in popularity, it has garnered the attention of various other industries, especially the machine shop industry. The computer numerical control (CNC) machining process is often used to machine critical parts for a variety of industries, from aerospace to medical. The process involves using computer-controlled machines to remove material from a workpiece to create the desired shape. Because CNC machining can be expensive and time-consuming, it's important to protect the data associated with the process. Blockchain technology can be used to protect CNC machining data in several ways. 1. Blockchain provides a secure, immutable ledger that can record all aspects of the machining process. This means that if any changes are made to the data, they can be easily tracked and traced. Furthermore, because blockchain is decentralized, it can provide an extra layer of security by distributing the data across a network of computers. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to tamper with the data. 2. Blockchain can help with the management and tracking of inventory. In the past, machine shops had to rely on paper-based tracking systems, which were often inefficient and prone to error. With blockchain, each inventory item can be assigned a unique digital identify that can be tracked throughout the supply chain. This would allow machine shops to have a more accurate and efficient way of tracking their inventory. 3. Blockchain can also help machine shops manage customer orders. In the past, machine shops have often had to deal with a lot of paperwork when it comes to processing customer orders. With blockchain, however, all this information can be stored on the ledger in a secure and tamper-proof way. This would make it much easier for machine shops to process customer orders and ultimately lead to improved customer satisfaction. Blockchain Promotes Distributed 3D Printing In theory, 3D printing is the perfect mode of production for distributed manufacturing. Digital files can be easily transferred, regardless of geographical restrictions, as long as there is a 3D printer, and it is equipped with the right material to print anywhere. But it is only a good vision, and there are still many problems in the real implementation. First, if the 3D printing model is downloaded by the user, there is a risk of being tampered with or forwarded at will; if the model is distributed to the service provider or manufacturer for remote printing, it is also possible to print more than authorized, which will lead to intellectual property theft. Designers have largely no control over how many designs can be printed after they are sold, which means they are often compelled to sell designs at higher prices, whether users plan to print one or thousands of them. The high price is also unfair to individual users who are using it solely for their own printing. Perhaps, we can solve the current problem with the help of Bitcoin's blockchain technology. The Blockchain of How to Perform 3D Printing 1. Protect 3D printed files by hashing algorithms. The encryption algorithm generates a fingerprint of a unique hash value for each file based on its contents. This is a sign that ensures the uniqueness of the file with a short message that is related to every byte of the file, and it is difficult to find the reverse rule. The blockchain does not store the file itself but a hash value that verifies its authenticity. Unless identical, no two files will have the same hash value; changing anything about the data will result in a different hash value. Through the improvement of this technology, the 3D print file is converted into a digital workpiece on the blockchain, and the unique fingerprint of each workpiece is used to verify its authenticity and uniqueness. 2. Protect access to data through encryption. After the first step, the encryption conversion of the 3D printed file has been realized, and then the access rights are marked and bound to the stored hash value of the file. When a 3D print file is shared, the recipient gets a token that allows access. The file cannot be decrypted without this token, ensuring that the 3D printable data is authenticated. With the methods mentioned above, we can effectively encrypt and protect the transferred model files, thus preventing the model from being downloaded and forwarded at will, because each step is recorded and required to be used through a specified token. However, if you want to further limit the number or number of prints of the model, you need the support of 3D printers. The Benefits of 3D Printing Using Blockchain The biggest advantage is the establishment of trust. The designer no longer has to worry about the illegal use of his design. Designers just need to concentrate on improving their skills to make a better model. Individual users can also choose different ways to print files, either by the number of times or by directly downloading the files, but now the price will be relatively lower, and the source of the model is transparent. Manufacturers can also choose to produce locally near their customers, which in turn reduces storage and transportation. On-demand production is also good for environmental protection and carbon neutralization. In addition to selling real goods, brand manufacturers can also sell printable documents to customers for replacement parts, customization, and accessories. This is all because their IP will be protected by the blockchain. Conclusion In short, the 3D printing blockchain will to a greater extent promote the use of 3D printing technology, while the blockchain will give 3D printing transactions in the form of "tokens". Think about the early days of Bitcoin and, in turn, look at the monetization of the 3D printing blockchain. Maybe one day, the usage time of our machines can also be sold online, and 3D printed documents can be traded in a variety of monetary ways.

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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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Manufacturing in 2022 - Five Emerging Trends in the Industry

Article | October 8, 2021

The trends in the manufacturing industry for 2022 are expanding and altering the industry's conventional face. The future of manufacturing is going to merge with digitalization and technological applications. As a result, all operation methods, products, and manufacturing outcomes will be modernized with new technology applications. To brighten the future of manufacturing, manufacturing companies must examine new trends in the industry before developing their manufacturing plans for 2022. Technological advancements are the next game-changer in the manufacturing business. Adeaca's Vice President of Market Innovation and Project Business Evangelist had recently quoted in an interview with Media7 as, “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 new trends in manufacturing are leveling up every part and element of the industry. In this article, we'll look at a new trend for each industry aspect that's assisting manufacturers in speeding up the production process, increasing ROI, and propelling their manufacturing business to new heights. Additionally, it will assist you in addressing current industry challenges such as forecasting product demand, addressing skilled manpower shortages, and increasing manufacturing plant efficiency. Five Manufacturing Industry Trends to Watch in 2022 Emerging trends in manufacturing provide a chance to review your production strategy for products and processes. Check out below the upcoming trends in manufacturing that are getting attention in the industry. Customer Engagement and Purchase Experience Creating an exceptional digital customer experience is a new trend in manufacturing. According to industry experts, mapping the customer journey and their interactions with your products is the first step towards establishing a positive connection with your potential consumers. A few of the most popular strategies to improve the consumer purchasing experience and engagement are as follows: Build a knowledge base for your products on your business website Create a comprehensive FAQs page that addresses all of the buyer's possible queries Create a chatbot to provide immediate help to the buyer with further inquiries Create a brand story and a comprehensive description of your manufacturing business If possible, provide product statistics and success stories, and content about consumer satisfaction with your product Create a product functionality video or explanatory picture material to familiarize the potential customer with your product These are some of the trends that engage your prospective buyers and increase their purchasing experience through a range of product-related information and educate them about you and your products. Smart Technology-enabled Products Smart is the new norm in every industry. The old operations and goods that were once a part of everyone's life have now been replaced by technology. Manufacturing is no exception to this alteration. Due to the increasing demand for smart products among customers, every company is now looking forward to inventing and manufacturing smart products. Explore and understand how you may incorporate cutting-edge technology (Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Edge Computing, and Digital Twins, and more) into your products to help them stay updated with manufacturing trends. Virtual and Augmented Reality in Manufacturing (Industry 4.0) Transforming traditional manufacturing systems and processes into smart, tech-savvy ones is a new trend in manufacturing. The future of manufacturing is expected to witness this digitization in 2022 and beyond. Therefore, you must convert your conventional manufacturing plants into smart ones, i.e., as per the concept of Industry 4.0 – the fourth industrial revolution. Discover how prominent companies are implementing Industry 4.0 The following are some popular transformations that many popular manufacturing factories are adopting to become part of the industry revolution. To achieve a zero-carbon footprint, manufacturers may use analytics systems to determine the amount of trash they create and develop ways to eliminate it. (Implemented by Whirlpool) Utilize an analytics platform to decipher usage data for energy, water, and other utilities. (Implemented by Whirlpool) Utilize technology such as Siemens' Mindsphere, which enables online analysis of several aspects of a production plant and helps manufacturers create digital models using real-time data. (Implemented by Siemens) Utilize a combination of IoT and cloud-based technologies to avoid downtime and gather analytics data. (Implemented by Hirotec – a Japan based manufacturing company) Machine learning technology can be used to foretell and avoid system failures in your manufacturing plant. (Implemented by Hirotec – a Japan based manufacturing company) Utilize robotics and to accelerate manufacturing across many verticals. (Implemented by Ford) Utilize 3D printing to improve the precision of product design and to avert product defects during the early production stage. (Implemented by Aerospace: Airbus) These are some examples that other well-known manufacturing companies in the market, such as Hewlett-Packard, Ford, Whirlpool, and Siemens are currently using. So, consult an expert and determine how to leverage emerging technology to turn your production plant into a smart manufacturing unit. Internet of Things (IoT) to Boost Revenue Manufacturing companies have begun to leverage the Internet of Things to establish connectivity between machines and operational procedures throughout manufacturing. This linkage between machine and operation significantly decreases the human supervision required for each step and completely automates them. Manufacturers intend to incorporate these IoT trends in manufacturing into both their products and operational processes. IoT further enables manufacturers to operate and monitor their work remotely. As a result, they can concentrate on developing new strategies and preparing for future ventures. Shifting Focus from B2B to B2C Model Several manufacturers skip intermediaries and connect directly with their consumers to sell efficiently to their target consumer group. This purposeful approach has multiple benefits, which are outlined below. Manufacturers may skip the lengthy retail sales cycle and achieve a shorter time to market The absence of a third party between the manufacturer and the customer reduces the risk of brand misinterpretation or dilution Direct interaction with customers enables manufacturers to obtain more accurate consumer data, product feedback, and requirements for new product development Manufacturers can control the price of their products due to the absence of a third party between them and the target consumer group These benefits of the B2C model attract manufacturers and encourage them to develop added production techniques with these benefits in mind. Final Words Technology, innovation, and digitization are the future of manufacturing. The IoT trends in manufacturing are essential for industrial production and will allow the manufacturing industry to obtain a new competitive edge. Hence, manufacturers must keep in mind this industry revolution (industry 4.0 and 5.0) while developing strategies for their manufacturing operations in 2022. FAQs What are the benefits of adopting the Internet of Things in manufacturing? IoT devices can monitor industrial operations, manufacturing cycles, and other warehouse data management processes automatically. This benefit decreases the amount of time spent monitoring individual operations and increases production speed. What role will smart manufacturing play in the future? According to a grand view research analysis, the smart manufacturing market was worth USD 236.12 billion in 2020 and is expected to extend at a 12.4 percent compound annual growth rate to reach USD 589.98 billion by 2028. What are the critical components of the smart factory of the future? Robotics, the Internet of Things, big data, and cloud-based administration will be critical components of the future smart factory.

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SPOTLIGHT

Blue Ridge empowers Wholesale Distributors, Specialty Retailers and Discrete Manufacturers with the capability to adapt to market, product and competitive challenges by efficiently and effectively managing an ever-volatile supply chain.

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ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION

Digi-Key Celebrates 10 Years of Support for FIRST Robotics

Digi-Key Electronics | July 06, 2022

Digi-Key Electronics, which offers the world's largest selection of electronic components in stock for immediate shipment, is proud to announce it has received special recognition for 10 years of generous support of the FIRST® Robotics Competition. For the last decade, Digi-Key has supplied the international competition's official Kit of Parts with a $50 voucher to the Digi-Key website to purchase items for each team's robot, which helps ensure that the teams have access to millions of the components they need to build their designs. In addition to its Diamond-Level sponsorship of the global FIRST Robotics Competition, Digi-Key supports the organization in a variety of ways closer to home. Digi-Key sponsors the Great Northern Regional competition in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and several Digi-Key employees have served as judges at the event. Digi-Key also sponsors the local Thief River Falls Lincoln High School team, ProDigi Team 3277, and Digi-Key employees serve as mentors for that team. "Digi-Key is extremely proud of our decade-long sponsorship of the FIRST Robotics community, both locally and around the globe, The combination of science, technology and competition challenges students and gives them a taste of real-world engineering to prepare them for futures in the field. It's great to see so many FIRST participants go on to study and pursue careers in engineering and other STEM related fields, ultimately pushing tomorrow's innovative technologies forward around the world." -David Sandys, senior director of technical marketing at Digi-Key. Digi-Key is a pioneering FIRST Robotics Competition supporter who changed the Kit of Parts program for the better by allowing teams to select the materials they need directly from the Digi-Key website, said Chris Rake, chief operating officer at FIRST. We are continually grateful for Digi-Key's longstanding partnership as we work together to inspire students in engineering and technology. FIRST® Robotics is a robotics community that prepares young people for the future. Working with adult mentors, including Digi-Key employees, FIRST Robotics Competition participants have limited time and resources to design, build, program, and test their robots to meet the season's engineering challenge. Teams compete at events that reward design excellence, competitive play, sportsmanship, and high-impact partnerships between schools, businesses and communities. About Digi-Key Electronics- Digi-Key Electronics, headquartered in Thief River Falls, Minn., USA, enables the world's ideas by providing the world's largest selection of electronic components and automation products in stock and available for immediate shipment. The leader and pioneer in the high service distribution market, Digi-Key offers more than 13.4 million components from over 2,300 quality name-brand manufacturers. Beyond unparalleled breadth of product, they support technology innovation from concept to production with a wide variety of tools and digital solutions to make innovation easier. Immense technical content, articles, videos, conversion calculators, reference designs and design tools can be accessed online at digikey.com.

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ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

MacLean-Fogg Announces the Grand Opening of new Sterling Heights' Additive Manufacturing Operation

MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions | July 06, 2022

MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions of Mundelein, IL, announces the grand opening of the MacLean Additive facility in Sterling Heights, MI. This new facility will be focused on the production of 3D printed components and tooling, as well as the distribution of MacLean Additive's award winning "Formetrix L-40" steel powder for tooling applications. "With the addition last year of the Formetrix portfolio to our existing additive manufacturing activities, we quickly outgrew our initial MacLean Additive space in Macomb, MI. This facility gives us the room we need to develop our durable tooling product lines, support our ever-growing steel powder customer base, as well as continue our 3D printed production part activities." -Greg Rizzo, Vice President and General Manager for MacLean Additive. A Grand Opening ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. on July 6, 2022 at the MacLean Additive facility located at 7689 19 Mile Rd. Sterling Heights, MI 48314. Credentialed media is welcome to attend, however no photographs will be allowed inside the building. Among local dignitaries and invited guests, the ribbon on the new facility will be cut by MacLean-Fogg President and CEO, Duncan MacLean. Our Grand Opening guests will see that we have a lot of room to grow in this 35,000 square foot facility. We didn't choose this large a facility because it was the only one available, we choose this facility because we know we'll have the demand to fill it, stated MacLean. MacLean Fogg had a choice of where to locate this new additive manufacturing facility, and they chose Sterling Heights, said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor. Their decision to locate in our community underscores the solid reputation we have for welcoming our business community and really engaging with them to ensure their success. The Sterling Innovation District is strategically located at the heart of customer demand and access to the specialized engineering and technician talent needed to fill that demand. That makes it a perfect fit for cutting-edge manufacturing facilities like MacLean Additive. About MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions- MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions, a division of the MacLean-Fogg Company, is a leading supplier of fastener solutions, engineered solutions, plastic solutions and additive solutions for automotive, heavy vehicle, military and other industrial markets. Visit www.macleanfoggcs.com or contact mediarelations@macleanfogg.com to learn more. About MacLean-Fogg- MacLean-Fogg Company is a worldwide enterprise with 35 global manufacturing facilities, annual sales in excess of $1 billion (USD), and a workforce of 3,500 dedicated employees. MacLean-Fogg Company operates through two primary businesses, MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions (MFCS) and MacLean Power Systems (MPS).

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

ThinkIQ Enhances Vision Platform to Eliminate Manufacturing Blind Spots

ThinkIQ | July 05, 2022

ThinkIQ, a pioneer of digital manufacturing transformation SaaS, today announced major enhancements to its Vision platform. The new offering strengthens the company's leading Continuous Supply Chain Intelligence platform and provides unprecedented visibility on the shop floor, eliminating blind spots and increasing productivity and worker safety. Today's manufacturers require a new level of visibility that can facilitate transformative decision making across the entire manufacturing process and supply chain journey. To achieve this, the industry can't simply rely on data from smart equipment, which leaves over 80% of the process uncovered in the majority of facilities. ThinkIQ Vision embraces modern vision-processing software combined with powerful pre-packaged Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence capabilities to turn cameras on the shop floor into powerful sensors that eliminate blind spots across equipment, materials and people to greatly enhance the available data for Continuous Intelligence. The latest version of ThinkIQ Vision now has out-of-the-box abilities to detect and digitize dozens of common manufacturing events including: Vehicle activities in receiving and shipping Material movements and presence Anonymous People presence and activity Machine state and physical events Andon light status Safety violations Values from legacy analog and disconnected digital displays Values from stand-alone displays In addition, ThinkIQ now offers edge hardware that includes cameras, sensors, wireless networking, an edge computer, and cellular back-haul equipment. This allows for a rapid deployment requiring little or no effort from the customer. When using the cellular option, the solution is effectively air-gapped from the customer network alleviating any security concerns. These hardware kits are shipped pre-configured allowing manufacturers to have cameras as IoT sensors that can be connected and functioning in just a matter of hours. "Many manufacturers are still effectively blind to a staggering percentage of events on the factory floor. With these latest enhancements, we're eliminating their blind spots and giving them the full picture by measuring machines for utilization, materials and products for status, and people for efficiency, We're constantly adding new detection and visibility capabilities to give manufacturers more context and meaning to their data." -Doug Lawson, CEO of ThinkIQ. ThinkIQ's SaaS Manufacturing cloud-based platform simplifies the creation of web-based applications and leverages the strengths of the Internet of Things, Big Data, Data Science, Semantic Modeling and Machine Learning. The platform collects data across the operation (existing and IIoT sensors) to provide actionable real time insights (e.g., identify correlations and root causes, traceability and yield issues, etc.). It creates a new level of capability beyond what independent disconnected operating environments can provide today. About ThinkIQ- ThinkIQ, a pioneer of Continuous Intelligence across the material-centric supply chain, delivers unprecedented material traceability and insight into ways to improve yield, quality, safety, compliance and brand confidence. Our continuous intelligence platform captures granular data in real time and continuously contextualizes that data to deliver a new level of visibility that can facilitate transformative decision making across the entire manufacturing process and supply chain journey. Our customers have saved $10's of millions by identifying waste and underperforming assets, as well as reducing warranty reserves for quality and safety issues.

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ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION

Digi-Key Celebrates 10 Years of Support for FIRST Robotics

Digi-Key Electronics | July 06, 2022

Digi-Key Electronics, which offers the world's largest selection of electronic components in stock for immediate shipment, is proud to announce it has received special recognition for 10 years of generous support of the FIRST® Robotics Competition. For the last decade, Digi-Key has supplied the international competition's official Kit of Parts with a $50 voucher to the Digi-Key website to purchase items for each team's robot, which helps ensure that the teams have access to millions of the components they need to build their designs. In addition to its Diamond-Level sponsorship of the global FIRST Robotics Competition, Digi-Key supports the organization in a variety of ways closer to home. Digi-Key sponsors the Great Northern Regional competition in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and several Digi-Key employees have served as judges at the event. Digi-Key also sponsors the local Thief River Falls Lincoln High School team, ProDigi Team 3277, and Digi-Key employees serve as mentors for that team. "Digi-Key is extremely proud of our decade-long sponsorship of the FIRST Robotics community, both locally and around the globe, The combination of science, technology and competition challenges students and gives them a taste of real-world engineering to prepare them for futures in the field. It's great to see so many FIRST participants go on to study and pursue careers in engineering and other STEM related fields, ultimately pushing tomorrow's innovative technologies forward around the world." -David Sandys, senior director of technical marketing at Digi-Key. Digi-Key is a pioneering FIRST Robotics Competition supporter who changed the Kit of Parts program for the better by allowing teams to select the materials they need directly from the Digi-Key website, said Chris Rake, chief operating officer at FIRST. We are continually grateful for Digi-Key's longstanding partnership as we work together to inspire students in engineering and technology. FIRST® Robotics is a robotics community that prepares young people for the future. Working with adult mentors, including Digi-Key employees, FIRST Robotics Competition participants have limited time and resources to design, build, program, and test their robots to meet the season's engineering challenge. Teams compete at events that reward design excellence, competitive play, sportsmanship, and high-impact partnerships between schools, businesses and communities. About Digi-Key Electronics- Digi-Key Electronics, headquartered in Thief River Falls, Minn., USA, enables the world's ideas by providing the world's largest selection of electronic components and automation products in stock and available for immediate shipment. The leader and pioneer in the high service distribution market, Digi-Key offers more than 13.4 million components from over 2,300 quality name-brand manufacturers. Beyond unparalleled breadth of product, they support technology innovation from concept to production with a wide variety of tools and digital solutions to make innovation easier. Immense technical content, articles, videos, conversion calculators, reference designs and design tools can be accessed online at digikey.com.

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ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING

MacLean-Fogg Announces the Grand Opening of new Sterling Heights' Additive Manufacturing Operation

MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions | July 06, 2022

MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions of Mundelein, IL, announces the grand opening of the MacLean Additive facility in Sterling Heights, MI. This new facility will be focused on the production of 3D printed components and tooling, as well as the distribution of MacLean Additive's award winning "Formetrix L-40" steel powder for tooling applications. "With the addition last year of the Formetrix portfolio to our existing additive manufacturing activities, we quickly outgrew our initial MacLean Additive space in Macomb, MI. This facility gives us the room we need to develop our durable tooling product lines, support our ever-growing steel powder customer base, as well as continue our 3D printed production part activities." -Greg Rizzo, Vice President and General Manager for MacLean Additive. A Grand Opening ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. on July 6, 2022 at the MacLean Additive facility located at 7689 19 Mile Rd. Sterling Heights, MI 48314. Credentialed media is welcome to attend, however no photographs will be allowed inside the building. Among local dignitaries and invited guests, the ribbon on the new facility will be cut by MacLean-Fogg President and CEO, Duncan MacLean. Our Grand Opening guests will see that we have a lot of room to grow in this 35,000 square foot facility. We didn't choose this large a facility because it was the only one available, we choose this facility because we know we'll have the demand to fill it, stated MacLean. MacLean Fogg had a choice of where to locate this new additive manufacturing facility, and they chose Sterling Heights, said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor. Their decision to locate in our community underscores the solid reputation we have for welcoming our business community and really engaging with them to ensure their success. The Sterling Innovation District is strategically located at the heart of customer demand and access to the specialized engineering and technician talent needed to fill that demand. That makes it a perfect fit for cutting-edge manufacturing facilities like MacLean Additive. About MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions- MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions, a division of the MacLean-Fogg Company, is a leading supplier of fastener solutions, engineered solutions, plastic solutions and additive solutions for automotive, heavy vehicle, military and other industrial markets. Visit www.macleanfoggcs.com or contact mediarelations@macleanfogg.com to learn more. About MacLean-Fogg- MacLean-Fogg Company is a worldwide enterprise with 35 global manufacturing facilities, annual sales in excess of $1 billion (USD), and a workforce of 3,500 dedicated employees. MacLean-Fogg Company operates through two primary businesses, MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions (MFCS) and MacLean Power Systems (MPS).

Read More

MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

ThinkIQ Enhances Vision Platform to Eliminate Manufacturing Blind Spots

ThinkIQ | July 05, 2022

ThinkIQ, a pioneer of digital manufacturing transformation SaaS, today announced major enhancements to its Vision platform. The new offering strengthens the company's leading Continuous Supply Chain Intelligence platform and provides unprecedented visibility on the shop floor, eliminating blind spots and increasing productivity and worker safety. Today's manufacturers require a new level of visibility that can facilitate transformative decision making across the entire manufacturing process and supply chain journey. To achieve this, the industry can't simply rely on data from smart equipment, which leaves over 80% of the process uncovered in the majority of facilities. ThinkIQ Vision embraces modern vision-processing software combined with powerful pre-packaged Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence capabilities to turn cameras on the shop floor into powerful sensors that eliminate blind spots across equipment, materials and people to greatly enhance the available data for Continuous Intelligence. The latest version of ThinkIQ Vision now has out-of-the-box abilities to detect and digitize dozens of common manufacturing events including: Vehicle activities in receiving and shipping Material movements and presence Anonymous People presence and activity Machine state and physical events Andon light status Safety violations Values from legacy analog and disconnected digital displays Values from stand-alone displays In addition, ThinkIQ now offers edge hardware that includes cameras, sensors, wireless networking, an edge computer, and cellular back-haul equipment. This allows for a rapid deployment requiring little or no effort from the customer. When using the cellular option, the solution is effectively air-gapped from the customer network alleviating any security concerns. These hardware kits are shipped pre-configured allowing manufacturers to have cameras as IoT sensors that can be connected and functioning in just a matter of hours. "Many manufacturers are still effectively blind to a staggering percentage of events on the factory floor. With these latest enhancements, we're eliminating their blind spots and giving them the full picture by measuring machines for utilization, materials and products for status, and people for efficiency, We're constantly adding new detection and visibility capabilities to give manufacturers more context and meaning to their data." -Doug Lawson, CEO of ThinkIQ. ThinkIQ's SaaS Manufacturing cloud-based platform simplifies the creation of web-based applications and leverages the strengths of the Internet of Things, Big Data, Data Science, Semantic Modeling and Machine Learning. The platform collects data across the operation (existing and IIoT sensors) to provide actionable real time insights (e.g., identify correlations and root causes, traceability and yield issues, etc.). It creates a new level of capability beyond what independent disconnected operating environments can provide today. About ThinkIQ- ThinkIQ, a pioneer of Continuous Intelligence across the material-centric supply chain, delivers unprecedented material traceability and insight into ways to improve yield, quality, safety, compliance and brand confidence. Our continuous intelligence platform captures granular data in real time and continuously contextualizes that data to deliver a new level of visibility that can facilitate transformative decision making across the entire manufacturing process and supply chain journey. Our customers have saved $10's of millions by identifying waste and underperforming assets, as well as reducing warranty reserves for quality and safety issues.

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Events