U.S. steel producers fight efforts to change what counts as domestic content in water projects

STEPHEN BARLAS| January 21, 2019
U.S. STEEL PRODUCERS FIGHT EFFORTS TO CHANGE WHAT COUNTS AS DOMESTIC CONTENT IN WATER PROJECTS
Made in America considerations have come into play over the past few years with regard to iron and steel products used by cities, counties, and states when they repair or build drinking water and sewer systems. That trend continues as Congress fights back efforts to change the rules.

Spotlight

LoDan Electronics, Inc.

LoDan Electronics, Inc. has been a superior industry leader for over 45 years with wide range of contract manufacturing for Electrical Wiring Harness, Cable Assembly, Electronic Box Builds and Value Added Assemblies in serving various Commercial, Industrial, Military marketplace applications.

OTHER ARTICLES

Manufacturing Branding: A Ground-breaking Method for Increasing Product Sales

Article | January 19, 2022

Manufacturing branding is a relatively recent trend that is gaining traction in the manufacturing sector. Brand marketing is important for manufacturers in a variety of ways, including increasing business revenue and establishing product credibility within their target consumer group. 82% of people feel better about a brand after reading personalized content. 94% of customers are inclined to develop a relationship with a brand that is completely transparent. 13% of consumers would spend 31-50% more on your products or services if they believed your business was making a positive difference in the world. In this article, we will look at the advantages of branding to a manufacturer as well as how brand manufacturing may be established. What Difference Can Manufacturer Branding Make? "A brand is a voice, and a product is a souvenir" -Lisa Gansky, an American entrepreneur, writer, and speaker Your Name and Work Will Be Publicized Branding is the process of enriching your products with a visual, linguistic, and conceptual identity that differentiates them from competitors. Ideally, factory branding would help you reach out to your potential clients by making them aware of your company's name and becoming familiar with what you do. Brand Marketing Builds Emotional Bonds Manufacturing branding is more than merely developing an image in the minds of your customers. It's about telling a story that strikes a chord with them.Once you've defined your message and the motivation for developing your products, customers will be able to connect with you more easily.Relatability is critical in an era of ever-changing trends and consumer behavior. Your clients will simply switch over to another firm that provides the same service and fosters a sense of belonging. The emotional value of your manufacturing brands should not be underestimated. Building Trust Is Easier with a Strong Brand A manufacturing brand that wishes to remain in business for the long run will communicate with its customers. The customers understand that you would not connect or share your story unless you intended to grow with them. However, this strategy works only if the factory branding is well-executed and demonstrates its authenticity. Modern customers can easily notice dishonesty or the use of a phony character. Increase of Distribution Channels Working on your manufacturing branding will help you expand your sales. Just make sure you have the necessary tools to sell via different channels. Creating a memorable brand doesn't merely attract customers. It will also assist in attracting potential distributors who may otherwise be reluctant to be your distributing partners. Your ability to negotiate quality agreements with resellers and reps will increase when your manufacturing brand is well-known. It simplifies their lives and saves them money on marketing. This is a domino effect issue. More distributors mean more exposure for your business, but a delicate balance must be maintained. Your personal connection with clients may be lost if you abdicate brand responsibility. So, provide superior customer service to maintain a connection with your customers. Profit Margin Is Increased A strong manufacturing brand will allow you to sell at greater prices. People will be happy to pay for a quality brand that they can trust. But what would really set you apart from the rest is if you could beat private companies at branding. Private brands are the house brands of shops and huge resellers who offer cheaper copies of your goods. Customers should be able to tell the price difference between a factory brand and a private brand. "You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do." – Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company How to Build an Effective Manufacturing Brand? Identify Your Intended Audience Identifying your target demographic is the first step in intentionally building your brand. You can build a buyer persona of the typical user of your product or by analyzing your current consumer base. Consider their age, gender, industry, occupation, education, interests, etc. To grow your brand and market your products more effectively, you need to create a buyer persona. Conduct Competitor Analysis Following that, it would be advisable to analyze your competitors' brands. In various markets and with companies in general, there are many brand features that are unique and widely utilized, and it would be counterproductive for a corporation to highlight those elements. For example, many B2B companies take pride in their product quality, reliability factor, and personal touch. When everyone is highlighting the same brand qualities, you will need a unique approach to stand out. Developing a Central Theme A brand's central theme acts as a pillar. It summarizes your company's principles and objectives in a single statement, or perhaps one word. It's a lot simpler to come up with marketing ideas and campaigns that connect with your company's philosophy and seem like a part of the brand. Developing Your Brand's Individuality Now, imagine your brand as a person, considering the preceding phases. You may gather every piece of information possible. The more specific you are, the more solidity your brand identity will have. Brand themes may help you develop your brand's personality and story. Using themes, you may classify individuals and fictional characters based on a common set of personality qualities. These are commonly used in psychology and marketing. Creating a Visual Brand for Your Business Finally, create a visual illustration for your organization. This includes producing unique logos that represent your company's beliefs, selecting colors, designing your website and blog, and everything that can be related to visualizing your corporate brand. Get familiar with geometric and color psychology, look at what prominent brands and other firms in your industry have done, and get on board with a good graphic designer to create the materials. Best Channels for Manufacturers' Branding Many businesses utilize social media, blogging with SEO suggestions, and email newsletters to boost their online presence. Content is the most important consideration when adopting these marketing methods. Hire good specialists to assist you in understanding your buyer's persona and developing buyer-centric content to capture their attention and generate potential leads for your business.An active social media presence enables you to increase the number of followers on your social media sites and reach millions of people via these platforms. Furthermore, you can start weekly newsletters to keep your subscribers updated on the latest developments, campaigns, and how you're working to develop the best goods possible for your target groups. Final Words Effective branding for manufacturing is what you need to increase your company's popularity and demand in a competitive market. Once you've established yourself as a known brand in your sector, you may pursue manufacturer branding, which is used by many well-known manufacturers such as Ford, Nestle, Coca-Cola, and Apple. Use the above-mentioned techniques to create your own brand and stay ahead of the curve in your industry. FAQ What are the four elements of branding? A successful brand requires a strong brand identity, brand image, brand culture, and brand personality, all of which must be present. What is the manufacturer’s brand? A product that has the manufacturer’s name on it or is used to market and sell the product. What is manufacturers’ label? The manufacturers label provides name and address of the manufacturer or distributor and relevant hazard warnings.

Read More

How to Overcome the Additive Manufacturing Challenges in Aerospace

Article | December 6, 2021

Aerospace manufacturing and design are getting advanced with additive manufacturing. However, the limitations of traditional manufacturing techniques sometimes make it incompetent to produce technologically oriented products. Additive Manufacturing (AM)helps the aircraft system run more efficiently by creating lightweight aircraft parts. This is one of the reasons that additive manufacturing is gaining traction in aerospace and other industries. According to recent analysis and data, the global additive manufacturing market is expected to grow from USD 9.52 billion in 2020 to USD 27.91 billion in 2028. The expanding technologies and materials used in additive manufacturing will indeed stimulate industry growth shortly. It’s important to note that there isn’t one channel that is the silver bullet. Most of the time, a combination of different channels will help drive a more powerful outcome.” – Wendy Lee, Director of Marketing at Blue Prism However, the aerospace industry encounters some challenges with additive manufacturing, which is the focus of this article. Scalability, multi-material capabilities, professional workers, high-cost materials, and quality compliance norms are all constraints that aerospace professionals are dealing with. Here we will discuss the top three challenges of additive manufacturing in aerospace and their solutions. Future of Additive Manufacturing in the Aerospace Industry Even though additive manufacturing has been around for a while, it has only lately become advanced enough to be used in the aerospace sector. In the aerospace business, additive manufacturing has the potential to deliver significant benefits. Cost savings, design freedom, weight reduction, shorter time to market, fewer waste materials, better efficiency, and on-demand production are just some of the benefits. Although additive manufacturing cannot make every part, it provides an exciting opportunity to explore feasible alternatives, either supplementing or replacing traditional manufacturing processes. However, it must be taken into account early in the development phase. Additionally, knowledge must be embedded in aircraft design teams to ensure the successful use of additive manufacturing. However, in recent years, AM has become more prevalent in end-to-end manufacturing. According to Deloitte University Press, the future of AM in aerospace may include: Directly embedding additively produced electronics Wings printing 3D printing engine parts Making battlefield repair components Top 3 Additive Manufacturing Challenges in the Aerospace Industry and Solutions While problems are inherent in any new technology, experts overcome them by identifying solutions. Let's look at the top three challenges that the aerospace industry is currently facing and the solutions to overcome them. Lack of Qualified Experts Using 3D printers in production and automating work processes are skills that are lacking. However, the obstacles are natural, and the skilled manufacturing workforce is aging and reluctant to adapt to new design models. This is creating the skills gaps surrounding manipulating AM technology. How to Overcome Less time spent educating employees is better for business. For example, the US National Additive Manufacturing Institute and the European ADMIRE initiative offer accelerated courses via remote learning websites. Of course, you'll need to provide numerous additive manufacturing opportunities to attract the key technologists, either on-site or off-site. They will oversee new hires' activities and help them translate their knowledge of 3D printing into designs and final items. Over Budget Material The typical cost of AM equipment is $300,000. Industrial consumables cost between $100 and $150 per item (although the final price is formed after choosing the material; plastic, for example, is the most budget-friendly option). How to Overcome To overcome this obstacle, you must plan a long-term implementation strategy based on the manufacturing-as-a-service model. On-demand manufacturing reduces manufacturing costs and speeds up product development. You can also go with cheap 3D printers that use cheap welding wire that hasjust come onto the market. They cost $1,200 and may suit your needs. Fresh Quality Compliance Guidelines As 3D printing and CNC manufacturing technologies constantly evolve, there are no established norms or regulations for 3D printed objects. However, 3D printed solutions do not always match traditional quality, durability, and strength. For example, a 3D-printed mechanical part. Can someone order 500 similar parts a few months later? Consistency standards and product post-processing may have a negative impact in such circumstances. So, in such a case, traditional manufacturing wins over 3D printing. How to Overcome You might endeavor to set quality criteria for your 3D-printed products to ensure they are comparable to traditional ones. You can also apply the ANSI AMSC and America Makes standards, which define quality criteria for 3D printed products. How Boeing Applies Additive Manufacturing Technology? Boeing is focusing its efforts on leveraging and speeding up additive manufacturing to transform its manufacturing system and support its growth. The company operates 20 additive manufacturing facilities worldwide and collaborates with vendors to supply 3D-printed components for its commercial, space, and defense platforms. Boeing is now designing missiles, helicopters, and airplanes using 3D printing technology. A small internal team contributes roughly 1,000 3D-printed components to the company's flight projects. Boeing claims that addressing design as an "integrated mechanical system" considerably improves manufacturability and lowers costs. Final Words Additive manufacturing is altering the way the aerospace industry designs and manufactures aircraft parts. Aerospace advanced manufacturing is making aircraft production easier. We've explored solutions to some of the snags that you may encounter. However, other concerns, such as limited multi-material capabilities and size constraints, require solutions, and industry specialists are working on them. Despite these challenges, additive manufacturing is still booming and rocking in a variety of industries. FAQ Why is additive manufacturing used in Aerospace? It allows the industry to build quality parts quickly and inexpensively. Reduce waste and build parts for aircraft that are difficult to manufacture using existing methods. How does additive manufacturing help in Aerospace applications? Environmental control system (ECS) ducting, custom cosmetic aircraft interior components, rocket engine components, combustor liners, composite tooling, oil and fuel tanks, and UAV components are examples of typical applications. 3D printing helps in producing solid, complicated pieces with ease. Which aerospace firms use additive manufacturing/3D printing? Boeing and Airbus are two of the many aircraft businesses that use additive-created parts in their planes. Boeing incorporates additive manufacturing (AM) components into both commercial and military aircraft. Airbus also employs AM metal braces and bleed pipes on the A320neo and A350 XWB aircraft. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Why is additive manufacturing used in Aerospace?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "It allows the industry to build quality parts quickly and inexpensively. Reduce waste and build parts for aircraft that are difficult to manufacture using existing methods." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How does additive manufacturing help in Aerospace applications?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Environmental control system (ECS) ducting, custom cosmetic aircraft interior components, rocket engine components, combustor liners, composite tooling, oil and fuel tanks, and UAV components are examples of typical applications. 3D printing helps in producing solid, complicated pieces with ease." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "Which aerospace firms use additive manufacturing/3D printing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Boeing and Airbus are two of the many aircraft businesses that use additive-created parts in their planes. Boeing incorporates additive manufacturing (AM) components into both commercial and military aircraft. Airbus also employs AM metal braces and bleed pipes on the A320neo and A350 XWB aircraft." } }] }

Read More

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.

Read More

Technologies to Adopt Now to Enable the Smart Warehouse Concept

Article | December 8, 2021

Why should warehouses be left behind as everything gets smarter in the manufacturing world? The future warehouse will be smarter and more innovative to speed up supply chain management procedures and assist businesses in intelligently segregating their raw materials and manufactured goods. So, what does it mean to have "a smart warehouse"? A smart warehouse is a big infrastructure that stores raw materials and manufactured goods and employs machines and computers to handle routine warehouse tasks that humans previously performed. Smart warehouses are inspired by smart factories and operate in a data-driven environment. It is the ability of the system in the warehouse to make it more efficient and productive by utilizing networked, automated technology. “I advocate business leaders get to know more about what AI can do and then leverage AI in proofs of concept.” – Michael Walton, Director, Industry Executive (Manufacturing) at Microsoft According to EASYECOM, nine out of ten businesses intend to include commercial service robots into their operations in some form. By 2025, it is projected that there will be roughly 23,000 robotic warehouses in the United States alone, up from only 2,500 in 2018. Furthermore, the global smart warehousing market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.5 percent from USD 14.8 billion in 2021 to USD 25.4 billion in 2026, according to GlobeNewswire. As can be seen, the current warehouse automation trends are scaling up the worldwide market for smart warehouses, and the value of the smart warehouse business has a long way to go in the future. So, what are the technologies that are changing traditional warehouses into intelligent warehouses? Continue reading this article to get a better understanding of this. Top 5 Warehouse Technologies to Take On Numerous manufacturing and non-manufacturing organizations, including IKEA, NIKE, and WALMART, utilize smart warehouses to streamline their overall operations. The technologies listed below assist many of them in implementing the modern warehousing idea. A Warehouse Management System Warehouse Management Systems, or WMSs, are comprehensive software systems that consolidate all of your critical data onto a single platform that can be easily accessed by team members and selected supply chain partners. This data compartmentalization allows for lightning-fast reporting, which allows for super-efficient planning, even for unexpected events. Overall, the use of warehouse management systems complements the use of other automated aspects perfectly. Automated Picking Tools The days of error-prone picking are long gone; now, when picking automation elements are integrated into the flow, warehouses can profit from near-perfect picking rates. In addition, picking procedures can be aided by various techniques, including voice-automated order picking, pick-to-light, and robotic order picking. These technologies also use cutting-edge barcoding choices that easily interface with your selected management software to provide the quickest and most accurate automated reporting experiences. Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) AGVs, or automatic guided vehicles, are the best approach to speeding up storage and retrieval processes. AGVs are becoming more robust as technology advances, but older models have proven safer and more cost-effective than manual labor. Their functions include pallet, rack, and other container storage and controlling and automating the entire receiving process. Platforms for Automated Inventory Control Automated inventory control platforms, when combined with a few other technological cornerstones, such as asset and inventory tags, may eliminate labor, guesswork, and unnecessary time from traditional inventory control. In addition, there are several advantages to using these platforms, including their ability to automatically count inventories and synthesize data for real-time reporting that can be viewed remotely. IoT Implementation The Internet of Things (IoT) is used by some of the world's most efficient smart warehouses, such as Amazon, as an entire concept rather than a specific technology. All of your automated and manual operations may be optimized when IoT is used to control all of your moving parts, both automated and manual. This innovative technology helps optimize a warehouse's inventory control systems, workforce planning, and, of course, the overall customer experience. While implementing technology improves the notion of a smart warehouse, it isn't always possible for every warehouse to do so instantly, especially since implementing technology takes significant financial and infrastructure changes. That's why warehouses are adopting the concept of collaborative robots (cobots). These are the autonomous elements that work with existing human workers. Cobots allow warehouses to preserve many of their existing procedures and infrastructure while gaining the benefits of fully autonomous elements. Amazon's Smart Warehouses Integrates Humans and Robots Amazon acquired Kiva Systems for $775 million in 2012, highlighting its interest in warehouse robotics. Kiva Systems was the sole known producer of warehouse robots, serving many different logistics organizations. Amazon bought Kiva Systems' machines, constructed and used them all. Amazon Robotics is a new business unit that the company has developed. Amazon recently established a semi-automated warehouse with human workers and robots. As a result, simple chores like moving parcels and scanning barcodes are automated. However, organizing goods and carrying complex objects (like bottles) is still part of human work. Amazon's automated warehouse employs over 400 robots and hundreds of human employees. Amazon's rise in two crucial areas – online shopping and logistics – has been accelerated by warehouse robots. Final Words Modern warehousing is a new trend in the manufacturing industry that automates numerous procedures required for keeping manufacturing materials and products organized. Technology trends in warehousing are making manufacturers' jobs easier and promoting the future warehouse model in 2022. Implement the cutting-edge technology outlined above to stay current with warehousing trends and boost productivity, efficiency, accuracy, and flexibility for your personnel and their operations. FAQ What are the key benefits of a smart warehouse? A smart warehouse improves the warehouse's productivity, efficiency, and accuracy. It also allows personnel and procedures to be flexible. What exactly is WMS? A warehouse management system (WMS) is a software solution that handles the supply chain from the distribution center to the retail shelf. What is COBOT? Cobots are designed to work with people rather than replace them. Cobots are also known as people-focused robots. They can help humans simplify and improve their work. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the key benefits of a smart warehouse?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A smart warehouse improves the warehouse's productivity, efficiency, and accuracy. It also allows personnel and procedures to be flexible." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What exactly is WMS?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A warehouse management system (WMS) is a software solution that handles the supply chain from the distribution center to the retail shelf." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is COBOT?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Cobots are designed to work with people rather than replace them. Cobots are also known as people-focused robots. They can help humans simplify and improve their work." } }] }

Read More

Spotlight

LoDan Electronics, Inc.

LoDan Electronics, Inc. has been a superior industry leader for over 45 years with wide range of contract manufacturing for Electrical Wiring Harness, Cable Assembly, Electronic Box Builds and Value Added Assemblies in serving various Commercial, Industrial, Military marketplace applications.

Events