What's In E3D-Online's Mystery Boxes?

KERRY STEVENSON| July 24, 2019
WHAT'S IN E3D-ONLINE'S MYSTERY BOXES?
There’s a bit of a giveaway taking place at E3D-Online today. The UK-based company produces a range of highly-regarded components for 3D printers, most notably the ubiquitous E3D V6 hot end, which now appears in many vendor’s 3D printers. In my discussions with and observations of the company, they’ve continually developed improved variations of their products and even entirely new products.

Spotlight

Integrated Service Technology Inc.

Founded in 1994 in Taiwan, Integrated Service Technology (iST group) is a leading lab-service company,specializing in the development of IC product testing & analysis, failure analysis, debugging, reliability test, material analysis and signal integrity. iST has expanded its operations to Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing, Kunsan, Japan and Sunnyvale (USA), providing customers with prompt, reliable and high quality technical services.

OTHER ARTICLES

Filmmaking is Manufacturing

Article | July 27, 2021

Filmmaking is manufacturing. To date, no one has made the direct correlation between the two. As many entertainment professionals know, the budget gap between indie productions and big studio blockbusters continues to grow. The day of mid-budget, independent (indie) movies is disappearing as fast as the middle class in the American economy. According to newbiefilmschool, the average budget is barely at $2 million for these pictures and producers have been forced to adapt by discovering creative ways to decrease costs, while maintaining a high production values for a sophisticated audience with high expectations. Though there are many ways to cut costs, any business professional will agree to go with the options that bring down the budget the most. Just as dog is man’s best friend, here are three reasons why manufacturers have become the same for a filmmaker by saving money and time for every type of production. Film equipment manufacturers No long may a film lack quality in picture, sound, and bad acting. Once acceptable, these older movies were produced with the technology and film equipment constraints and from limited funding. Film equipment manufacturers from cameras, sound equipment, and computers cost less to achieve high production values. Film equipment companies face increasing competition, which has driven down the purchase price. Better equipment with significant technology improvements has reframed the indie film industry with high-level sound and image capture quality. The transition of cameras from film to digital was a notable shift for manufacturers. Many industry-insiders believe that digital is free, and film is expensive, but there is more the manufacturing construct. Digital cameras, when compared to film cameras in the same market price bracket, are much more expensive than analog counterparts. It is true that film costs money and is single-use. Digital memory cards are relatively expensive and can be reused. Film also needs to be developed and there is a cost associated with that production cost. There are other ways in which digital modalities save filmmakers. Automation Across all industries, efficiency always wins. Innovative manufacturers have developed machines to make numerous jobs easier for everyone. Machines have been assisting filmmakers since the invention of the camera. AI (artificial intelligence) is poised to change film even more and continues to augment human creativity. Storytellers work with computers during every process of creating a motion picture which has sped up the time it takes to complete each-step in film making. Automating pre-production processes, such as creating a budget and writing a script, is analogous to an ERP (enterprise resource planning) software for a traditional manufacturing operation. The Movie Magic budgeting software by Entertainment Partners has made creating a budget more efficient and accurate. Screenwriter programs vary from the downloadable Final Draft, and the purely cloud based, Celtx, are the reasons automated scriptwriting is the norm. These programs also automatically format writing to industry standards, facilitating the creative process. Automation in post-production is equally advanced through editing software for video, sound, effects, and colors all the way to distribution and promotional content. Editing footage from digital rather than film saves time and money. Industry favorites include Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple’s exclusive Final Cut Pro and are used on almost all well-known movies and TV shows. The impacts of COVID-19 on entertainment manufacturers Without question, the pandemic has affected every industry by creating an unanticipated production standstill. Entertainment manufacturers have sacrificed countless productions, lost billions of dollars, and major talent agencies have furloughed hundreds of employees. This negative impact is not just difficult for indie filmmakers, big studios are suffering just as much with production delays and cancellations still happening as this article goes to press. Any way back to the set is better than no set at all. A new necessity for productions to safely reopen includes epidemiologists and other public health specialists; they provide detailed strategies dealing with large crews who work in cramped spaces, makeup artists who get face-to-face with actors who kiss, hug, and fight on set. These COVID-19 consultants rely on the manufacturing industry for PPE supplies and carry out regular PCR tests. Face coverings and hand sanitizing stations have also become the norm, just like most other manufacturing operations.

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3 Sales-Driving Manufacturing Marketing Strategies

Article | December 28, 2021

Successful manufacturing marketing strategies are all you need to grow your business and make it visible in every way to your target customer group. Many manufacturers are now becoming vigilant towards B2B marketing and have started forming an individual marketing budget in their annual budgets. “We should quantify marketing to inform what we do – not to decide what we do.” – Rory Sutherland, Vice-Chairman, Ogily As per Statista, nearly half of B2B organizations said they’re planning to boost their content budget in the next year. As a result, B2B marketing for manufacturers must be redesigned and smartly strategized in order to be more effective and fruitful. This article will focus on the significant challenges manufacturers face in B2B marketing and how manufacturers use the three most sales-driven manufacturing marketing strategies. 4 Biggest Marketing Challenges in B2B & Manufacturing Develop Tailored Experiences You have a few seconds to capture the customer's interest. When done correctly, personalization may help. With persistent multi-channel marketing, you may strengthen your brand in target areas. Additionally, an account-based marketing approach enables you to focus on important clients while generating customized content for them. Integrate agile methods to test novel ideas across your business without demanding extensive approval. Further, crowdsourced content, B2B communities, and advocate marketing should be prioritized. Convert Leads into Sales With the right strategy, you may generate more high-quality leads. Relate marketing expenditures to sales and demonstrate the impact of marketing on the bottom line. Align marketing and sales by focusing on the customer's purchasing journey. Increase the quality of your leads, transparency, and collaboration with your partners. Measure Marketing Performance Marketers will be asked to demonstrate ROI and forecast future actions. Proactively calculate the MROI (Marketing Return on Investment) on marketing and sales investments. Determine how to get the most out of your marketing budget by doing more with less. Focus on making data-driven judgments rather than relying on guesswork. Maximize the Marketing Tech Investment As a manufacturer, you have access to a number of tools and resources. You will need to collaborate with your technical team to integrate it. Collaborate with your IT team to effectively adapt, innovate, and apply technology. By integrating current technologies, you can automate and improve marketing campaigns more efficiently. “Marketing professionals have to act as conveners and connect the dots so that there is alignment between stakeholders like sales and operation teams and executive leadership on what products and services will drive growth in any given quarter." – Maliha Aqeel, Director of Global Communication, Fix Network World in conversation with Media7 3 Best B2B Marketing Strategies for Manufacturers That Drive Sales Consider Purchasing an E-commerce Platform Consumer behavior is driving manufacturing transformation, particularly the shift to digital channels. Manufacturers who still handle consumers solely by phone, fax, or email risk losing their loyalty as their worlds and tastes grow increasingly digital. Manufacturers have clearly acknowledged the digital transition in 2021. This year's Manufacturing & E-Commerce Benchmark Report says 98% of manufacturers have, or plan to have, an e-commerce strategy. Moreover, 42% of manufacturers who engaged in e-commerce and digital said it strengthened client connections. How does e-commerce benefit manufacturers? Distributes a customized catalog to your customers Ascertains those spare components are visible It allows customers to customize items online Sells your whole range online Increases your consumer base Focus on the User Experience and Interface (UX/UI) The term "User Experience" refers to all elements of an end user's engagement with a business, its goods, and services. The purpose of user experience is to establish a connection between company objectives and user demands. An engaging user interface or user experience keeps users engaged and consumers pleased. Additionally, it enhances the rate of return on investment (ROI). That is why it is necessary to maintain great UI/UX quality. How does UX/UI benefit manufacturers? Increases the number of conversions Support is less expensive It helps with SEO Brand loyalty is increased Embrace an Omni-channel Strategy Millennials represent 73% of those making buying decisions for companies. Part of this means offering a seamless, consistent shopping experience across a variety of channels. With the right CRM solution, you'll eliminate a lot of the legwork associated with targeting specific buyers. Manufacturers can leverage omni-channel to increase availability, promote sales and traffic, and connect digital touchpoints. How does Omni-channel benefit manufacturers? Supports marketers in developing trust Enhances the user experience with the brand It clarifies a complex subject Final Words Developing a successful manufacturing marketing plan is all that is required to set your organization apart from the competition. Consider thinking outside of the box and developing innovative manufacturing marketing strategies that will surprise your targeted customers and keep you on their minds at all times. B2B marketing for manufacturers has long been a priority, since manufacturers frequently overlook this aspect of their business when they should. Utilize the above-mentioned sales-driven manufacturing marketing methods to assist your organization in growing and reaching the maximum range of target prospects. FAQ What is the goal of business-to-business marketing? B2B marketing's goal is to familiarize other businesses with your brand name and the value of your product or service in order to convert them into clients. How can manufacturers energize their market presence? Manufacturers may boost their market presence by advertising on various social media platforms, opting for native language ads, and partnering with influencers to promote their products or services.

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The 2022 Manufacturing KPI Checklist Should Include These Five Indicators

Article | December 23, 2021

Every manufacturing company aims to be as efficient as possible to maximize profit. However, it's difficult to determine where you stand and what targets to establish unless you can precisely measure your efficiency. Manufacturing KPIsplay an important role in this process. Keeping track of many indicators without considering their commercial worth is a waste of time. “Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted” - Albert Einstein But connecting goals to measurements is a certain way to track progress and improve processes. So let's get started with how to choose the most appropriate key performance indicators(KPIs) for your business. Manufacturing KPI 2022: How to Choose the Right One? Why are KPIs called “Key” Performance Indicators? While any statistic can be used to assess performance, KPIs are the most critical. Hence they are called key performance indicators. Companies' priorities while selecting their company KPIs may differ substantially depending on the industry in which they operate. “Strategic-operational KPIs alignment gives the organization a powerful tool to use when implementing change.” ― Pearl Zhu A corporation should not track more than ten manufacturing KPIs to avoid overblowing processes. So, manufacturing efficiency, customer satisfaction, lead times, etc., should all be included. Depending on your business nature, you must select your KPIs. However, each of those indicators must meet a set of criteria before being considered meaningful. So, what is a decent KPI for manufacturing? It gives objective and clear data on progress toward a certain goal It measures efficiency, quality, punctuality, and performance It allows for tracking performance over time It helps in decision making It should be the one that matches the company's long-term objectives It has to be measurable and quantifiable It must be realistic and actionable Following that, let's have a look at the most important manufacturing KPIs for 2022, which will assist you in better understanding your manufacturing business and formulating a growth strategy in line with that understanding. Most Critical Manufacturing KPIs in Order of Priority Despite the fact that manufacturers should also monitor general key performance indicators (KPIs) such as sales revenue, net profit margin, and so on, the manufacturing business demands the tracking of specific manufacturing metrics. Below are some of the most important manufacturing key performance indicators (KPIs). Work-in-process Using this manufacturing KPI metric, you can see how much value there is in products still in progress. It assists manufacturing organizations in determining how much of their working capital is locked up in incomplete products and can aid in identifying supply chain managementdifficulties. You can compute the Work-In-Progress (WIP) by using the formula provided below. Return on Assets This manufacturing KPIseems to be more about financing than manufacturing. Yes, it does. However, financial measurements are just as vital as production ones. A firm cannot exist unless it generates revenue, and this indicator measures how efficiently your company uses its assets and generates revenues. The Return on Assets (ROA) of your company can be calculated using the formula below. Cost Per Unit It is critical to understand the overall manufacturing cost per unit. You can't appropriately price a product without it. This manufacturing KPIdivides total manufacturing costs by the number of units produced. Materials, overhead, depreciation, and labor are standard costs. Demand Forecasting Companies utilize this manufacturing statisticto forecast future raw material needs to satisfy client demand. Unfortunately, this statistic is more challenging to employ because it is mainly dependent on unpredictable external circumstances. The basic formula is: Where: The seasonal factors are distinct Average demand is calculated as: Lead Time A company's lead time, also known as order cycle time, is an important KPI. It shows how swiftly your organization processes orders and meets client requests. It is time it takes to complete an order from confirmation to delivery. Long lead times can imply process inefficiencies that produce bottlenecks and excessive expenses. Conversely, short lead times are important since they allow you to respond to consumer needs swiftly and efficiently. The total lead time can be divided into smaller segments as follows: The time it takes to manufacture a product from start to finish The time it takes to deliver a product from stockto a client The time it takes suppliers to deliver products to manufacturers By segmenting the lead time, you may more precisely identify the areas where inefficiencies in the process occur. Toyota’s Four Key Performance Metrics As a company, Toyota places a high focus on environmental protection. Toyota's vehicles are designed to use less fuel and produce less waste. Regardless of the company's size, Toyota is committed to protecting the environment. Toyota's 'Earth Charter' was created in 1992 as part of the company's Global Policy initiative. It was Toyota's first overseas facility and the UK's first ISO14001-certified car manufacturer. Waterborne paints were utilized for the first time and zero waste was sent to landfills. In 2009, Toyota Manufacturing UK did not use any incinerators. Toyota has developed a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) for each of its major production areas. There are four key performance metrics: energy, water, waste, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Since its start in 1992, Toyota Manufacturing UK has attempted to mitigate its environmental impact. The figure below illustrates the environmental KPIsfor the Burnaston plant. Each year, Toyota sets new goals to improve its results. 79% reduction in vehicle energy consumption 62% reduction in waste per car 76% reduction in VOC emissions per car 79% reduction in water consumption per vehicle Final Words You can use the aforementioned manufacturing KPIsto construct your manufacturing KPI template, but keep in mind that the manufacturing metricsyou need to track may differ from those listed here. The first prudent move any business can make while examining its operation is to identify and track the relevant KPIs. Also, in manufacturing, there are several different KPIs, phrases, and abbreviations need to be understood and used where it makes the most sense. FAQ What is manufacturing KPI? A manufacturing Key Performance Indicator (KPI) or metric is a well-defined and measurable indicator that the manufacturing sector uses to evaluate its performance over time and compare it to that of other industries. What are the key KPIs for manufacturers? On-Time Delivery, Production Schedule Attainment, Total Cycle Time, Throughput, Capacity Utilization, and Changeover Time are some of the key manufacturing KPIs.

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Scaling, Optimizing & Pivoting with Smart Manufacturing Industry 4.0

Article | January 20, 2022

A smart factory that leverages Industry 4.0 concepts to elevate its operations has long been a model for other industries that are still figuring out how to travel the digital manufacturing route. Smart manufacturing technology is all you need to know if you're looking to cash in on this trend. “Industry 4.0 is not really a revolution. It’s more of an evolution.” – Christian Kubis In this article, we'll look at the advantages that many smart factory pioneers are getting from their smart factories. In addition, we will look at the top smart factory examples and understand how they applied the Industry 4.0 idea and excelled in their smart manufacturing adoption. Industry 4.0 Technology Benefits Manufacturing Industry 4.0 has several benefits that can alter the operations of manufacturers. Beyond optimization and automation, smart manufacturing Industry 4.0 aims to uncover new business prospects and models by increasing the efficiency, speed, and customer focus of manufacturing and associated industries. Key benefits of Manufacturing Industry 4.0 in production include: Improved productivity and efficiency Increased collaboration and knowledge sharing Better agility and adaptability Facilitates compliance Improved customer experience Reduced costs and increased profitability Creates opportunities for innovation Increased revenues World Smart Factory Case Studies and Lessons to Be Learned Schneider Electric, France SAS Schneider Electric's le Vaudreuil plant is a prime example of a smart factory Industry 4.0, having been regarded as one of the most modern manufacturing facilities in the world, utilizing Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies on a large scale. The factory has included cutting-edge digital technology, such as the EcoStruxureTM Augmented Operator Advisor, which enables operators to use augmented reality to accelerate operation and maintenance, resulting in a 2–7% increase in productivity. EcoStruxureTM Resource Advisor's initial deployment saves up to 30% on energy and contributes to long-term improvement. Johnson & Johnson DePuy Synthes, Ireland DePuy Synthes' medical device manufacturing plant, which started in 1997, just underwent a multimillion-dollar makeover to better integrate digitalization and Industry 4.0 smart manufacturing. Johnson & Johnson made a big investment in the Internet of Things. By linking equipment, the factory used IoT technology to create digital representations of physical assets (referred to as “digital twins”). These digital twins resulted in sophisticated machine insights. As a result of these insights, the company was able to reduce operating expenditures while simultaneously reducing machine downtime. Bosch, China Bosch's Wuxi factory's digital transformation uses IIoT and big data. The company integrates its systems to keep track of the whole production process at its facilities. Embedding sensors in production machinery collects data on machine status and cycle time. When data is collected, complicated data analytics tools analyze it in real-time and alert workers to production bottlenecks. This strategy helps forecast equipment failures and allows the organization to arrange maintenance ahead of time. As a consequence, the manufacturer's equipment may run for longer. The Tesla Gigafactory, Germany According to Tesla, the Berlin Gigafactory is the world's most advanced high-volume electric vehicle production plant. On a 300-hectare facility in Grünheide, it produces batteries, powertrains, and cars, starting with the Model Y and Model 3. For Tesla, the goal is not merely to make a smart car, but also to construct a smart factory. The plant's photographs reveal an Industry 4.0 smart factory with solar panels on the roof, resulting in a more sustainable production method. On its official website, Tesla claimed to use cutting-edge casting methods and a highly efficient body shop to improve car safety. Tesla's relentless pursuit of manufacturing efficiency has allowed them to revolutionize the car industry. Haier, China The SmartFactoryKL was established to pave the way for the future's "intelligent factory." It is the world's first manufacturer-independent Industry 4.0 production facility, demonstrating the value of high-quality, flexible manufacturing and the effectiveness with which it can be deployed. The last four years, SmartFactoryKL has been guided by particular strategic objectives that drive innovation; the aim is to see artificial intelligence integrated into production. Two instances of AI-driven transformations include an "order-to-make' mass customization platform and a remote AI-enabled, intelligent service cloud platform that anticipates maintenance needs before they occur. Final Words Enabling smart manufacturing means using the latest technology to improve processes and products. The aforementioned smart factory examples are industry leaders and are thriving by implementing Industry 4.0 technology. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may use these smart factory examples to learn about the adoption process, challenges, and solutions. Industry 4.0 is aimed at improving enterprises and minimizing human effort in general. So adopt the smart factory concept and be productive. FAQ What is the difference between a smart factory and a digital factory? The digital factory enables the planning of factories using virtual reality and models, whereas the smart factory enables the operation and optimization of factories in real time. Where does Industry 4.0 come from? The term "Industry 4.0" was coined in Germany to represent data-driven, AI-powered, networked "smart factories" as the fourth industrial revolution's forerunner.

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Spotlight

Integrated Service Technology Inc.

Founded in 1994 in Taiwan, Integrated Service Technology (iST group) is a leading lab-service company,specializing in the development of IC product testing & analysis, failure analysis, debugging, reliability test, material analysis and signal integrity. iST has expanded its operations to Shanghai, Shenzhen, Beijing, Kunsan, Japan and Sunnyvale (USA), providing customers with prompt, reliable and high quality technical services.

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