Polyglass U.S.A. to Establish Manufacturing Operations in Waco

Polyglass | April 11, 2016

Polyglass U.S.A. plans to establish a manufacturing operation in Waco. The company will invest $19 million to build a 145,000-square-foot industrial facility at 1701 Exchange Parkway to produce modified bitumen roofing membranes. Employment is expected to reach 45 full-time associates within the first three years of operation. The Polyglass roofing facility in Waco will produce a waterproof membrane system used for commercial and industrial roofing systems. The membrane system is designed to increase roof life expectancy and is also environmentally friendly and energy efficient. The company will receive a grant from the Waco/McLennan County Economic Development Corp., as well as tax abatement participation by the city and county.

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The goal of Industry 4.0 is to create a more interconnected, intelligent, and flexible manufacturing environment.

Preparing the Workforce fo Industry 4.0
To ensure that workers are equipped to succeed in the Industry 4.0 environment, organizations may need to focus on learning and development initiatives that help workers adapt to new technologies and job roles.


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DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Braskem drives its digital transformation

Braskem | December 05, 2022

Braskem (B3: BRKM3, BRKM5, and BRKM6; NYSE: BAK; LATIBEX: XBRK), the market leader and pioneer in the production of biopolymers on an industrial scale, has been investing regularly in new technologies and digital innovation for more than five years. The move is crucial to further consolidating the company's leadership position in the chemical industry, leveraging its innovative and competitive edge to generate sustainable impact and results. Braskem has been increasingly investing in digital technologies to boost competitiveness and productivity, drive growth across existing businesses, and accelerate gains in innovation and sustainability. Since 2018, when the company's digital transformation began, Braskem has been making direct investments in technology. This year, around US$7 million were invested in the digital transformation portfolio. "Braskem plans to grow investments to develop and streamline its strategic, operational areas. Our technology spending spans from preparing the entire infrastructure needed for the safe and reliable functioning of our assets to initiatives that transform the industry," explained Daniel Sales, Vice President of Investments and Digital Technologies at Braskem. Investments made in recent years enabled the company to advance in applications that make the industry smarter, safer, more independent, and more connected. Currently, digital strategies are transforming Braskem's entire value chain, estimated to generate around US$90 million yearly, making up the recurring gains reported through the program Transform for Value. The company already has more than 25 transformational initiatives. It is developing more than 70 digital products for industry 4.0 and the supply chain, commercial, research, and development areas, among others. An example is using data science to improve decisions, such as predictive maintenance, quality control, and process optimization. Moreover, the operations planning process was impacted by the deployment of data platforms designed to help decision-making, such as demand forecasts. Investments have also been made in products that improve the customer experience using tools based on design concepts and customer experience best practices. Improvements in people and process management Braskem developed SPEAR, its own iterative and collaborative approach to managing the inevitable changes in work processes caused by the new digital tools. The method brings greater flexibility and collaboration to market best practices in change management and has been used to drive the adoption of dozens of digital products at Braskem. An integral part of this digital transformation process has been promoting agile working methods and acquiring skills associated with developing digital solutions. Over 3,000 team members gained data science, agility, and design thinking knowledge in five years. Braskem has developed most of these solutions in-house, with its teams working in quick feedback cycles, which enables them to learn and adapt to changes efficiently. The development cycle for digital products - from conception to deployment of the new solution - is shorter than a year, which often enables the company to capture the benefits quickly. "Our team members have been an important part of this digital transformation movement. They are invited to get involved directly in developing digital products that will transform the way they work or to send suggestions for problems to be solved through new technologies and acquire new skills for future work. One example is that our specialists have already developed more than 100 machine learning models in recent years." -Guilherme Baeta, Chief Digital Officer of Braskem. Investments in innovative businesses Apart from investments in digital innovation, Braskem is diversifying its investment portfolio by creating new business models and incubating internal startups, developed from ideas generated within the company. The mission of these digital businesses is to anticipate market changes that affect the company and the industry in general. More than half the startups under development are linked to the company's commitments to sustainable development. An example of betting on innovative new businesses is the launch of Oxygea, a startup hub that will receive approximately US$150 million in investments. The initiative will foster disruptive innovations through different mechanisms for interacting with startups, always focusing on sustainability and digital transformation. The hub is based on two pillars: Venture Builder, a tool for structuring and incubating new businesses, including those conceived inside Braskem, and Corporate Venture Capital (CVC), for investments in more mature startups. Of the total amount, US$50 million will be allocated to the incubation arm and US$100 million to the investment arm. One of Oxygea's main goals is to create and accelerate the development of new solutions and products that are inexistent in the market. For this, it plans to foster entrepreneurship and innovation while strengthening Braskem's relations with the ecosystem of startups focused on sustainable technologies. The hub will allocate funds to ideas with transformative potential considering their competitive advantages. The company also has Braskem Labs, its startup acceleration program, which reached its eighth edition this year. Its goal is accelerating businesses that create positive social and environmental impact through chemicals and plastic across diverse industrial and economic sectors. Since its creation in 2015, over 110 startups have been accelerated, and around 30% have struck business deals with Braskem or co-sponsors. Last year, 45% of the solutions accelerated by Braskem Labs focused on the circular economy. Braskem Labs is a partner of Quintessa, an impact accelerator that is present in all phases of the program. Another notable initiative is the partnership with AgTech Garage, a hub of agrotech located in Piracicaba, one of Brazil's most important agribusiness regions. The company will connect startups with other AgTech Garage partners to foster the development of sustainable and innovative plastic solutions for agribusiness through open innovation. About Braskem: With a strategy centered on people and sustainability, Braskem is engaged in contributing to the value chain to strengthen the Circular Economy. Braskem's 8,000 team members dedicate themselves every day to improving people's lives through sustainable solutions in chemicals and plastics. With its corporate DNA rooted in innovation, Braskem offers a comprehensive portfolio of plastic resins and chemical products for diverse industries, such as food packaging, construction, manufacturing, automotive, agribusiness, health and hygiene, and more. With 40 industrial units in Brazil, United States, Mexico and Germany, Braskem exports its products to clients in over 71 countries.

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

Skillnote Releases "Skillnote Insight" for Analyzing Skill Data on Manufacturing Personnel

Skillnote | November 11, 2022

Skillnote Corporation has released Skillnote Insight, a new function of the Skillnote skill management system. Skillnote Insight is a function for analyzing skill information, qualification information and training information on employees centrally managed using Skillnote along a variety of axes such as division, age group and timeline. This enables analysis and understanding of information such as the status of skills held and the status of education for the entire organization from a macro perspective, and supports strategy formulation and decision making not only in front-line divisions, but also head office HR divisions and top management. Skillnote Insight is a new function integrated with the existing functions of Skillnote, significantly enhancing their value. Background of development The environment surrounding manufacturing is currently undergoing significant change. Under these conditions, there is pressure for transformation of the skills needed from employees and the methods used for human resource development. Skillnote perceives employee skills that are the source of strength for enhancing the competitiveness of manufacturing companies to be useful data, and believes it is important to actively utilize this in business strategy and management strategy beyond conventional management in front-line divisions. Skillnote Insight was developed to contribute to not only front-line divisions but also companywide strategy formulation and decision making by increasing the utility of data collected through skill management in manufacturing sites and analyzing it from a more macro perspective. Key Features of Skillnote Insight Multiple analysis templates reflecting Skillnote's insight and know-how are available Reduction of hassle and time needed for file integration and data collection Analysis results can be output to formats such as PDF and Excel to share and use in reports User permissions can be set About the Skillnote skill management system: Skillnote is a skill management system enabling the centralized management and operation of skill matrices that have previously been managed on manufacturing sites using paper or spreadsheets. It enables planned human resource development and human resource assignment using competence information on employees on manufacturing sites. Organically linking the training information and qualification information along the access of employees' skill information enables the drafting and progress management of development plans optimized for individuals. About Skillnote Corporation: Skillnote Corporation (head office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; CEO: Takafumi Yamakawa) was founded in 2016 and is a global company providing the Skillnote skill and training management system focused on manufacturing sites. With the vision of "Realize a world where all workers can grow and have a fulfilling career" the company is aiming for the realization of a society where everyone involved in manufacturing works energetically by scientifically analyzing the growth of people working in manufacturing.

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

Stafford Manufacturing Introduces New Rigid Shaft Coupling Website Configurator to Let Users Create Their Own Designs

Stafford Manufacturing | November 30, 2022

Stafford Manufacturing Corp. has introduced a new configurator that lets users design their own rigid couplings and completely specify a coupling to meet their exact requirements. The Stafford Rigid Coupling Configurator lets users create their own 1-, 2-, and 3-piece couplings and specify the bore size(s) and whether or not to include a keyway, selection of the clamping screw including material, sizes and quantity, and the coupling material and finish options. Provided are specifications, part drawings, and the ability to modify the part, and obtain a prompt quotation for whatever the desired quantity. Stafford has over 500 standard rigid couplings in stock, and the Stafford Rigid Coupling Configurator simply allows the user to have their own combination of shaft sizes, materials, and torque-transfer capability. Available in inch and metrics, coupling materials include 303 and 316 stainless steel, aluminum, brass, steel, and weldable steel.

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INDUSTRIAL 4.0

HNA.Live Launches AI and 3D Cloud Solution for Manufacturers

HNA Live | December 21, 2022

HNA Live, a data analytics company serving manufacturing and real estate industries, has selected CLEA, AI/IOT platform from SECO MIND USA LLC for their innovative cloud solution that combines AI and 3D technology to optimize manufacturing facility productivity. Manufacturing 4.0 is transforming the way manufacturers manage and optimize their operations, from product design and production to distribution and customer satisfaction. HNA LIVE offers granular, privacy-protected, real-time insights into the performance efficiencies and bottlenecks of operations, safety, and quality in the manufacturing space. "The digital transformations are notoriously difficult to scale up across networks of factories, the pressure to succeed is intense. With CLEA we can rapidly enable manufacturers to capture benefits across the entire manufacturing value chain." Cooper Mojsiejenko, Chief Executive Officer at HNA Live HNA Live makes use of LIDAR and other data collection technologies to precisely measure and create 3D models for manufacturing whether it's plant movement, working parts in process, or a building's entire operation. HNA.Live's cutting-edge technology provides more accurate real-time 3D modeling for a manufacturer's business strategy. "CLEA enables connecting and cloud managing any hardware for smart control, monitoring, and actionable insights. HNA Live is enabling manufacturers to increase production capacity, reduce material losses, improve delivery lead times, and reduce their environmental impact. We are very excited to be part of their journey." Ajay Malik, CEO of SECO Mind USA HNA Live HourNationArchive, INC. is a privately held company located in Denver, CO. HNA Live is a cloud solution that combines AI and 3D technology to optimize manufacturing facility productivity. Connecting LIDAR and other data collection technologies to precisely measure and create 3D models for manufacturing whether it's plant movement, working parts in process, or a building's entire operation. HNA.Live's cutting-edge technology provides more accurate real-time 3D modeling for a manufacturer's business strategy. SECO Mind USA Secomind USA LLC is a privately held company located in the heart of Silicon Valley and is a subsidiary of SECO SpA. Secomind delivers AI/IoT software for accelerating digital transformation. It builds turnkey solutions for Vending Machines, Agriculture, Defense, Manufacturing, and Healthcare. Secomind is on a mission to augment the abilities of machines and people by using AI everywhere computing takes place and is a leader in self-supervised learning, incremental learning and reinforcement learning. They have built and deployed AI products for computer vision, air quality, predictive maintenance, vending machines, defense against drones, and more for private, public, and government.

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Spotlight

The goal of Industry 4.0 is to create a more interconnected, intelligent, and flexible manufacturing environment.

Preparing the Workforce fo Industry 4.0
To ensure that workers are equipped to succeed in the Industry 4.0 environment, organizations may need to focus on learning and development initiatives that help workers adapt to new technologies and job roles.

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