Manufacturers Leverage Selling Online

Out of necessity manufacturers are learning to leverage online selling. Digital selling channels recover losses from in-person sales methodologies creating a new channel to serve online customers.

Hosea Chang (pictured left) , COO of clothing brand Hayden Los Angeles, emphasized, “The most important thing is to make sure that your website is technically equipped to handle the influx of customers that comes with shopping events like Black Friday. Too many websites crash at the first sign of trouble, and that ruins customer experience and your chance for profit. Many retailers of physical products continue to be affected during the pandemic when office work went remote. When it comes to manufacturing, warehousing, packing and delivery, those processes cannot be stopped or done remotely.”

This is particularly challenging for smaller B2B eCommerce businesses where teams are stretched thin. Adding the necessity for social distancing negatively impacts delivery times and the customer experience.

Yoav Kutner (pictured left), the Founder and CEO of Oro, Inc. and makers of OroCommerce shared, "Connected business systems such as B2B eCommerce platforms must be tightly integrated with a CRM to empower a new generation of direct salespeople. They use technology to become more efficient, to increase sales, and to help their companies grow even faster. These systems reduce routine tasks such as data entry, pulling and updating pricing lists. This allows humans to focus on what humans do better than machines namely building relationships with customers."
 


VIVIPINS, a B2B supplier of customizable office stationery goods for companies around the world moved to a fully remote work environment and it went better than expected. Robin Brown (pictured left), CEO of VIVIPINS noted, “We use procurement automation platforms, chat apps, video call apps, and resource sharing platforms. This makes managing manufacturing, supply chains, and communication with suppliers easy. We use online RFIs, RFPs, and RFQs to communicate with our suppliers, coupled with Google Drive and Dropbox for document management. These tools have made in-person, collaborative activities such as product design and order fulfillment less challenging and more productive.”


Manufacturers embarking on a digital transformation journey

Kutner noted companies like the aforementioned examples require flexibility and interconnectivity of systems. System integration, according to Kutner is the most powerful and important issue for manufacturers embarking on a digital transformation journey. A recent Digital Commerce study by Gartner said by 2022, a typical digital commerce customer experience will be created from over thirty integrated applications. Manufacturers investing in building flexible IT systems will grow and scale at a much faster pace.

NuLeaf Naturals sells CBD and hemp products to retailers as well as direct to customers (D2C). The pandemic presented a unique challenge; moving the whole team to operate remotely while demand for product soared.
Ian Kelly (pictured left) , VP Operations of NuLeaf Natural shared, “While much of our operations and communications with farmers, manufacturers, and testing facilities are via phone and email, delays on their end due to COVID19 restrictions forced us to really play a guessing game, trying to predict demand in order to have inventory ready in advance.” NuLeaf Naturals has since moved back to the office. With smaller teams and social distancing, the reliance on videoconferencing and remote chat is now a part of life.
 

B2B manufacturers need to be strategic and flexible

Kutner acknowledged, “In the COVID era, B2B businesses need to be strategic and flexible and never lose customer focus.  To be successful, when switching to remote work and online sales, manufacturers need to take a strategic triage approach and set goals that consider staying power, vulnerabilities, and resources. Rather than trying to figure everything from scratch and reinvent the wheel, using a comprehensive solution will reduce risks and get a business to market faster and with less risk.”

Technologies and collaboration tools are the glue that holds remote teams together

Technologies and collaboration tools are the glue that holds remote teams together. To market, sell, and offer customers the best experience, organizations need a single source of truth offered by CRM and eCommerce solutions. A powerful B2B eCommerce software for distributors, manufacturers, wholesalers, and suppliers is required. Like the real-world examples above, B2B businesses mandate an unmatched selling experience, supporting complex workflows and business models such as B2B2C, D2C, and B2B marketplaces. Remote teams are empowered by eliminating data silos and providing everyone greater visibility into the B2B buyer experience. With out-of-the-box features, companies are able to increase speed to market. An integrated CRM serves as an excellent tool for distributed teams since team members have immediate access to a comprehensive view of customers.
About The Author
Thomas R. Cutler is the President and CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based,
TR Cutler, Inc., celebrating its 22nd year. Cutler is the founder of the Manufacturing Media Consortium including more than 8000 journalists, editors, and economists writing about trends in manufacturing, industry, material handling, and process improvement. Cutler authors more than 1000 feature articles annually regarding the manufacturing sector. More than 4700 industry leaders follow Cutler on Twitter daily at
@ThomasRCutler. Contact Cutler at trcutler@trcutlerinc.com.

SPOTLIGHT

Oro, Inc. was launched in 2012 by former Magento co-founders Yoav Kutner, Chief Executive Officer; Dima Soroka, Chief Technology Officer; and Roy Rubin, director of Oro's advisory board (and former CEO of Magento). The senior management team also includes Motti Danino, Chief Operations Officer; Michael Bessolov, VP of Engineering; and Andrew Gerasimov, VP of Client Services.

OTHER ARTICLES

Achieving Interoperability in an Industry 4.0 Factory

Article | February 11, 2020

As a part of the Industry 4.0 movement, factory engineers are increasingly adopting some form of industrial Ethernet to interconnect the machines and other equipment implementing their production processes. Ethernet has been around in multiple forms for over 40 years. Most of it serves the IT community by interconnecting PCs and other equipment to a company LAN. Because of its flexibility, Ethernet has been adapted to many industrial uses.

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The Impact of Coronavirus on Electronic Manufacturing

Article | February 11, 2020

Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, is considered a crucial hub in the middle of China, a place of high importance for the production of automobiles, electronics, optics, and fiber optics. Wuhan and surrounding cities in the Hubei province are currently on a government-imposed quarantine at a scale the world has never seen before, some Chinese officials have referred to the situation as warlike.

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Digitalizing Your Manufacturing Ecosystem

Article | February 10, 2020

Making digitalization work for you requires an understanding of your manufacturing ecosystem. Standards - such as ISA-95 - only guide you on a journey to more deeply comprehend the workings of your unique process for manufacturing your products. A batch manufacturing ecosystem often includes campaign management. Campaign management is not mentioned in ISA-95, which only speaks generally of order processing.

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4 Food and Beverage Manufacturing Trends on Tap for 2020

Article | February 10, 2020

It’s the food and beverage industry’s job to appeal to consumer tastes by keeping tabs on what’s hot and what’s not. In the 1990s, for instance, fat free or reduced fat was all the rage, evidenced by the variety of products with such descriptions featured in bold typeface on cartons, cardboard and boxes. Fast forward to today, thanks in part to advancements in nutrition science, fat is back and is recommended in low-carb diets such as Atkins and Keto.

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SPOTLIGHT

Oro, Inc. was launched in 2012 by former Magento co-founders Yoav Kutner, Chief Executive Officer; Dima Soroka, Chief Technology Officer; and Roy Rubin, director of Oro's advisory board (and former CEO of Magento). The senior management team also includes Motti Danino, Chief Operations Officer; Michael Bessolov, VP of Engineering; and Andrew Gerasimov, VP of Client Services.

Related News

ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION

Aerobotix Announces Distribution Agreement for Leading Hypersonic Missile Coating

Aerobotix | March 10, 2022

Minteq International Authorizes Aerobotix With FIREX™ Distribution for DOD Programs   HUNTSVILLE, Ala., March 7, 2022 – At a time when the Pentagon is urging America’s largest defense manufacturers to accelerate hypersonic weapon production, a small, privately held business in the defense and space industry center of Huntsville, Alabama, is quietly taking big steps to support the call for help. Aerobotix, an AS9100 certified FANUC robotics integrator and metrology company, today officially announced an agreement with Minteq International, Inc. to distribute Minteq’s industry altering FIREX™ RX-2390 Thermal Protection System (TPS) coating for hypersonic flight hardware. Aerobotix will work directly with Minteq’s Pennsylvania-based Pyrogenics Group, the global technological leader in high-temperature coatings for military and aerospace applications. Minteq engaged Aerobotix because of the company’s expertise in robotically spraying parts and test panels within extremely tight tolerances for uniformity and thickness of coverage. Aerobotix also has significant prior experience with major primes using the FIREX™ product.   “Our desire was to assist our customers and the U.S. Government in fielding hypersonic missiles and aircraft as quickly as possible,” said Kent Pfeifer, Aerobotix’s process development manager. “By making the commitment to keep fresh FIREX™ RX-2390 on our shelves, we can immediately assist the major programs by robotically spraying accurate panels and even prototype parts for flight tests. We’ve been robotically spraying, scanning and sanding shrouds and rockets already, and now – with coating on our shelves – we cut critical weeks in delivery time.”    Aerobotix, and the scientists at Minteq, worked together to develop a FIREX™ RX-2390 recipe and a unique robotic paint dispensing system that is optimized for automation and heavy production. The FIREX™ formulations combine modified epoxy binders with thermally active materials that form cooling gases when exposed to temperatures in excess of 350°F. Application of TPS coatings requires precision thicknesses control, even distribution of solids, and strong layer-bonding for optimal performance. Minteq notes that Aerobotix’s customized robotic application process provides all this, plus the ability to automatically spray-taper the paint thickness in various areas of the part, which can reduce weight, manufacturing time and cost.   "Aerobotix is spraying our product so much better than could ever be done by hand,” said Mark Breloff, Minteq technical sales manager. “The robot is mixing the coating perfectly, just in time, and applying it so accurately – we are seeing improved performance across the board.” “Aerobotix can scan the part to get the as-built shape, spray to near-net and then use the robot to sand down to the optimal shape and thickness,” Breloff added. “Lab results are off the charts with this approach, which, most importantly, allows Minteq to show our customers what RX-2390 is really capable of.”   The new agreement with Minteq is a significant enhancement to Aerobotix’s new Fully Automated Hypersonic Coating Production System. Designated a “Center of Excellence,” the system includes “never been done before” adaptations of high MRL technologies. The facility provides a broad selection of services for preparing and painting hypersonic structures, including automated structured light scanning/projection, automated masking tape application, automated FIREX ™ spraying, automated non-contact Terahertz measurement, automated force controlled sanding and adaptive robotic machining of coatings.   About Aerobotix  Headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, Aerobotix is an innovative leader in advanced metrology and robotic solutions for the aerospace and defense industries. The company specializes in the creation of cutting-edge automated robotic and measuring solutions for high-value, high-precision components, aircraft, and vehicles. Aerobotix has more than 130 robotic systems installed in the U.S. and abroad, providing exceptional results and savings for our clients.

Read More

FutureStitch Receives Award for Environment-Friendly Building Techniques and Materials in Manufacturing

FutureStitch | October 28, 2020

FutureStitch, Inc. an Orange County-based material and innovation organization, declared its revolutionary manufacturing facility recently received the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum accreditation – the USGBC's most elevated LEED assignment and the most noteworthy score among sock and knitwear manufacturers on the planet. As an innovator in roundabout sewing innovation and material advancement, FutureStitch is a manufacturing and permitting accomplice focused on individuals and networks that help make their elite items, and now they have gotten the most elevated accreditation for making a solid, safe and naturally neighborly workplace. "Since our founding, FutureStitch has had an equal focus on producing high-quality products and raising global manufacturing standards," said FutureStitch Co-Founder and CEO, Taylor Shupe. "Addressing society's most pressing issues – such as combatting climate change and providing meaningful employment with living wages – should be a primary goal for all manufacturing companies. Our Platinum LEED certification demonstrates that it is possible for any manufacturer to move beyond aspiration and take action to create a workplace that both engages employees and reduces its impact on the environment. We have set a new global standard for textile manufacturing, and we will continue to pioneer innovative, socially and environmentally responsible approaches as we look to build our first U.S.-based factory." FutureStitch is the first U.S.-based manufacturer in China to receive the LEED Platinum certification, which recognizes FutureStitch's achievement in operating a healthier, more energy and resource-efficient building. The facility's low environmental impact features include: Low Impact Construction: The factory was built using a fraction of the concrete typically used to build manufacturing facilities, and, instead, is constructed with recycled, ultra-durable metals like aluminum alloys and steel. Low Power Usage: 500,000 kilowatts (kWh) of power is saved annually through the use of efficient lighting, on-site solar heating, and maximized access to natural lighting, reducing annual carbon dioxide emissions by 498.5 tons. Geothermal HVAC: A geothermal air conditioning system pumps cooled groundwater through the building, reducing energy costs and eliminating the need to use any ozone-depleting substances. Air Quality: Fresh air is circulated throughout the factory, including the production workshops, to reduce carbon dioxide and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and maintain high air quality. Low Water Usage: State-of-the-art chemical injection systems alleviate need for waste water. Products are finished using a dry-cleaning method instead of wet processes. Green Transportation: More than 90% of employees commute through green travel. FutureStitch's 300,000-square-foot office in China's Zhejiang Province opened in October 2018. Through a mix of elite specialists, progressed programming and industry-driving apparatus, the activity conveys speed-to-showcase and serious evaluating for its clients. Planned by incredibly famous designer Zhang Lei, FutureStitch's best in class office is SA8000 consistent – the world's driving social exhibition accreditation program zeroed in on specialist prosperity – and incorporates a library, ball court, rec center, and 4,000-square-foot craftsmanship display, mirroring FutureStitch's promise to giving its representatives a spot to live, learn, play, work out, and unwind.

Read More

LandingLens to Help Manufacturers Build and Deploy Visual Inspection Systems Using AI

Landing AI | October 22, 2020

As organizations manufacture goods, human inspectors survey them for abandons. Think about a scratch on cell phone glass or a shortcoming in crude steel that could have an effect downstream when it gets transformed into something different. Landing AI, the organization began by previous Google and Baidu AI master Andrew Ng, needs to utilize AI innovation to recognize these imperfections, and today the organization dispatched another visual investigation stage called LandingLens. “We’re announcing LandingLens, which is an end-to-end visual inspection platform to help manufacturers build and deploy visual inspection systems [using AI],” Ng told TechCrunch. He says the company’s goal is to bring AI to manufacturing companies, but he couldn’t simply repackage what he had learned at Google and Baidu, partly because it involved a different set of consumer use cases, and partly because there is just much less data to work with in a manufacturing setting. Adding to the level of trouble here, each setting is novel, and there is no standard playbook you can fundamentally apply over every vertical. This implied Landing AI needed to concoct an overall toolbox that each organization could use for the extraordinary necessities of their manufacturing process. Ng says to place this trend-setting innovation under the control of these clients and apply AI to visual investigation, his organization has made a visual interface where organizations can work through a characterized cycle to train models to see every client's assessment needs. The manner in which it works is you take pictures of what a decent completed item resembles, and what a damaged item could resemble. It's not as simple as it would sound, since human specialists can differ over what comprises a deformity. The producer makes what's known as an imperfection book, where the examiner specialists cooperate to figure out what that deformity resembles through an image, and resolve contradictions when they occur. This is done through the LandingLens interface. Whenever investigators have settled upon a lot of marks, they can start emphasizing on a model in the Model Iteration Module, where the organization can train and run models to get to a condition of settled upon progress where the AI is getting the imperfections consistently. As clients run these tests, the product creates a report on the condition of the model, and clients can refine the models varying dependent on the data in the report. Ng says that his company is trying to bring in sophisticated software to help solve a big problem for manufacturing customers. “The bottleneck [for them] is building the deep learning algorithm, really the machine learning software. They can take the picture and render judgment as to whether this part is okay, or whether it is defective, and that’s what our platform helps with,” he said. He thinks this technology could ultimately help recast how goods are manufactured in the future. “I think deep learning is poised to transform how inspection is done, which is really the key step. Inspection is really the last line of defense against quality defects in manufacturing. So I’m excited to release this platform to help manufacturers do inspections more accurately,” he said.

Read More

ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION

Aerobotix Announces Distribution Agreement for Leading Hypersonic Missile Coating

Aerobotix | March 10, 2022

Minteq International Authorizes Aerobotix With FIREX™ Distribution for DOD Programs   HUNTSVILLE, Ala., March 7, 2022 – At a time when the Pentagon is urging America’s largest defense manufacturers to accelerate hypersonic weapon production, a small, privately held business in the defense and space industry center of Huntsville, Alabama, is quietly taking big steps to support the call for help. Aerobotix, an AS9100 certified FANUC robotics integrator and metrology company, today officially announced an agreement with Minteq International, Inc. to distribute Minteq’s industry altering FIREX™ RX-2390 Thermal Protection System (TPS) coating for hypersonic flight hardware. Aerobotix will work directly with Minteq’s Pennsylvania-based Pyrogenics Group, the global technological leader in high-temperature coatings for military and aerospace applications. Minteq engaged Aerobotix because of the company’s expertise in robotically spraying parts and test panels within extremely tight tolerances for uniformity and thickness of coverage. Aerobotix also has significant prior experience with major primes using the FIREX™ product.   “Our desire was to assist our customers and the U.S. Government in fielding hypersonic missiles and aircraft as quickly as possible,” said Kent Pfeifer, Aerobotix’s process development manager. “By making the commitment to keep fresh FIREX™ RX-2390 on our shelves, we can immediately assist the major programs by robotically spraying accurate panels and even prototype parts for flight tests. We’ve been robotically spraying, scanning and sanding shrouds and rockets already, and now – with coating on our shelves – we cut critical weeks in delivery time.”    Aerobotix, and the scientists at Minteq, worked together to develop a FIREX™ RX-2390 recipe and a unique robotic paint dispensing system that is optimized for automation and heavy production. The FIREX™ formulations combine modified epoxy binders with thermally active materials that form cooling gases when exposed to temperatures in excess of 350°F. Application of TPS coatings requires precision thicknesses control, even distribution of solids, and strong layer-bonding for optimal performance. Minteq notes that Aerobotix’s customized robotic application process provides all this, plus the ability to automatically spray-taper the paint thickness in various areas of the part, which can reduce weight, manufacturing time and cost.   "Aerobotix is spraying our product so much better than could ever be done by hand,” said Mark Breloff, Minteq technical sales manager. “The robot is mixing the coating perfectly, just in time, and applying it so accurately – we are seeing improved performance across the board.” “Aerobotix can scan the part to get the as-built shape, spray to near-net and then use the robot to sand down to the optimal shape and thickness,” Breloff added. “Lab results are off the charts with this approach, which, most importantly, allows Minteq to show our customers what RX-2390 is really capable of.”   The new agreement with Minteq is a significant enhancement to Aerobotix’s new Fully Automated Hypersonic Coating Production System. Designated a “Center of Excellence,” the system includes “never been done before” adaptations of high MRL technologies. The facility provides a broad selection of services for preparing and painting hypersonic structures, including automated structured light scanning/projection, automated masking tape application, automated FIREX ™ spraying, automated non-contact Terahertz measurement, automated force controlled sanding and adaptive robotic machining of coatings.   About Aerobotix  Headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, Aerobotix is an innovative leader in advanced metrology and robotic solutions for the aerospace and defense industries. The company specializes in the creation of cutting-edge automated robotic and measuring solutions for high-value, high-precision components, aircraft, and vehicles. Aerobotix has more than 130 robotic systems installed in the U.S. and abroad, providing exceptional results and savings for our clients.

Read More

FutureStitch Receives Award for Environment-Friendly Building Techniques and Materials in Manufacturing

FutureStitch | October 28, 2020

FutureStitch, Inc. an Orange County-based material and innovation organization, declared its revolutionary manufacturing facility recently received the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum accreditation – the USGBC's most elevated LEED assignment and the most noteworthy score among sock and knitwear manufacturers on the planet. As an innovator in roundabout sewing innovation and material advancement, FutureStitch is a manufacturing and permitting accomplice focused on individuals and networks that help make their elite items, and now they have gotten the most elevated accreditation for making a solid, safe and naturally neighborly workplace. "Since our founding, FutureStitch has had an equal focus on producing high-quality products and raising global manufacturing standards," said FutureStitch Co-Founder and CEO, Taylor Shupe. "Addressing society's most pressing issues – such as combatting climate change and providing meaningful employment with living wages – should be a primary goal for all manufacturing companies. Our Platinum LEED certification demonstrates that it is possible for any manufacturer to move beyond aspiration and take action to create a workplace that both engages employees and reduces its impact on the environment. We have set a new global standard for textile manufacturing, and we will continue to pioneer innovative, socially and environmentally responsible approaches as we look to build our first U.S.-based factory." FutureStitch is the first U.S.-based manufacturer in China to receive the LEED Platinum certification, which recognizes FutureStitch's achievement in operating a healthier, more energy and resource-efficient building. The facility's low environmental impact features include: Low Impact Construction: The factory was built using a fraction of the concrete typically used to build manufacturing facilities, and, instead, is constructed with recycled, ultra-durable metals like aluminum alloys and steel. Low Power Usage: 500,000 kilowatts (kWh) of power is saved annually through the use of efficient lighting, on-site solar heating, and maximized access to natural lighting, reducing annual carbon dioxide emissions by 498.5 tons. Geothermal HVAC: A geothermal air conditioning system pumps cooled groundwater through the building, reducing energy costs and eliminating the need to use any ozone-depleting substances. Air Quality: Fresh air is circulated throughout the factory, including the production workshops, to reduce carbon dioxide and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and maintain high air quality. Low Water Usage: State-of-the-art chemical injection systems alleviate need for waste water. Products are finished using a dry-cleaning method instead of wet processes. Green Transportation: More than 90% of employees commute through green travel. FutureStitch's 300,000-square-foot office in China's Zhejiang Province opened in October 2018. Through a mix of elite specialists, progressed programming and industry-driving apparatus, the activity conveys speed-to-showcase and serious evaluating for its clients. Planned by incredibly famous designer Zhang Lei, FutureStitch's best in class office is SA8000 consistent – the world's driving social exhibition accreditation program zeroed in on specialist prosperity – and incorporates a library, ball court, rec center, and 4,000-square-foot craftsmanship display, mirroring FutureStitch's promise to giving its representatives a spot to live, learn, play, work out, and unwind.

Read More

LandingLens to Help Manufacturers Build and Deploy Visual Inspection Systems Using AI

Landing AI | October 22, 2020

As organizations manufacture goods, human inspectors survey them for abandons. Think about a scratch on cell phone glass or a shortcoming in crude steel that could have an effect downstream when it gets transformed into something different. Landing AI, the organization began by previous Google and Baidu AI master Andrew Ng, needs to utilize AI innovation to recognize these imperfections, and today the organization dispatched another visual investigation stage called LandingLens. “We’re announcing LandingLens, which is an end-to-end visual inspection platform to help manufacturers build and deploy visual inspection systems [using AI],” Ng told TechCrunch. He says the company’s goal is to bring AI to manufacturing companies, but he couldn’t simply repackage what he had learned at Google and Baidu, partly because it involved a different set of consumer use cases, and partly because there is just much less data to work with in a manufacturing setting. Adding to the level of trouble here, each setting is novel, and there is no standard playbook you can fundamentally apply over every vertical. This implied Landing AI needed to concoct an overall toolbox that each organization could use for the extraordinary necessities of their manufacturing process. Ng says to place this trend-setting innovation under the control of these clients and apply AI to visual investigation, his organization has made a visual interface where organizations can work through a characterized cycle to train models to see every client's assessment needs. The manner in which it works is you take pictures of what a decent completed item resembles, and what a damaged item could resemble. It's not as simple as it would sound, since human specialists can differ over what comprises a deformity. The producer makes what's known as an imperfection book, where the examiner specialists cooperate to figure out what that deformity resembles through an image, and resolve contradictions when they occur. This is done through the LandingLens interface. Whenever investigators have settled upon a lot of marks, they can start emphasizing on a model in the Model Iteration Module, where the organization can train and run models to get to a condition of settled upon progress where the AI is getting the imperfections consistently. As clients run these tests, the product creates a report on the condition of the model, and clients can refine the models varying dependent on the data in the report. Ng says that his company is trying to bring in sophisticated software to help solve a big problem for manufacturing customers. “The bottleneck [for them] is building the deep learning algorithm, really the machine learning software. They can take the picture and render judgment as to whether this part is okay, or whether it is defective, and that’s what our platform helps with,” he said. He thinks this technology could ultimately help recast how goods are manufactured in the future. “I think deep learning is poised to transform how inspection is done, which is really the key step. Inspection is really the last line of defense against quality defects in manufacturing. So I’m excited to release this platform to help manufacturers do inspections more accurately,” he said.

Read More

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