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Lean, the production system pioneered at Toyota, has fallen victim to a galaxy of misconceptions, say two of its expert minds. But when done right, it can generate wins for managers and companies. Ask what the term “Lean management” means, and you might see the blood drain from someone’s face. “Lay-offs, cost-cutting, downsizing,” they might spit back at you. But that’s not what the system — modeled after the Lean manufacturing practices pioneered in the 1970s by Toyota — is about, according to Lean experts John Shook, Chairman and CEO of the Lean Enterprise Institute, and Jamie Bonini, Vice President of the Toyota Production System Support Center. They ...
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The future of modern manufacturing relies on more than next-generation technologies to optimize the factory floor. Engaging and empowering the next-generation workforce is the key to undergoing a successful digital transformation, and it starts with rethinking underlying business processes and human resources (HR) policies. The workforce is a critical part of the digital transformation, not just a beneficiary of it. Manufacturers can digitize their plants with all the technology they want, but unless business leaders consider the expectations and needs of employees—both hourly and salaried—as part of a holistic digital transformation strategy, manufacturers ...
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In an environment where attack surfaces are expanding thanks to newly connected OT devices, staying one step ahead of the bad guys is critical. Manufacturing companies have long been popular targets for cybercriminals. Until recently, the reason for this was two-fold. First, manufacturers are home to a treasure trove of intellectual property (IP) and intelligence on new products, processes, and technologies. If malicious actors can get their hands on this valuable information, they can use it to undercut the market by manufacturing knock-off products at lower prices, or they can simply sell IP and other intelligence to the highest bidder. Either way, cybercriminals ...
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MTI is partnered with APPI Energy to provide our members with data-driven energy procurement solutions, designed to save time, reduce expenses, and create budget certainty. Through our member benefit program with APPI Energy, MTI members have access to 23 years of energy industry expertise, as well as competitive energy supply pricing from 36 vetted companies. As a benefit of your membership with MTI, APPI Energy’s services are offered at no upfront cost or obligation to purchase. Carolyn Johnson, CEP, is APPI Energy’s dedicated consultant for MTI. She has years of experience working with manufacturers of all sizes throughout every deregulated market in the ...
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Victory: Confirmation of Ex-Im Nominees a Major Bipartisan Win for Manufacturers. Manufacturers secured a victory four years in the making this week when the Senate voted to confirm three nominees to the Export-Import Bank. The Senate confirmed Kimberly Reed to serve as Ex-Im Bank president and Judith DelZoppo Pryor and Spencer Bachus III to serve on the agency’s board. Following the official swearing-in of the new board members, the Ex-Im Bank will again have a quorum and be able to consider major U.S. sales greater than $10 million. This will significantly enhance manufacturers’ competitiveness against other countries, particularly China, that support ...
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What’s the true cost of high turnover? How do you stop the exodus of great talent? What if you can’t? Just a few of the questions that keep coming up with almost every senior leader I speak with. It’s tricky. You can’t control the choices, and there are more choices than ever. Low unemployment always makes it hard, but now the war for talent includes the gig economy and rising entrepreneurial opportunities. What if High Turnover is the New Normal? I spoke with   Bill Ravenscroft,   SVP at   Adecco,   one of the world’s largest staffing companies about some of the patterns he’s seeing, and what advice he has for employers. Bill shared: The world ...
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Tread carefully before you start, with these six questions. Lots of manufacturing companies want to grow but don't know how or where. If they had infinite resources, they could stumble around and probably find new customers and markets eventually. But they don't, so they should carefully decide where to go before they start. To grow requires making decisions on investment strategies. For instance, you can modify current products, develop new products, change pricing, increase the sales staff, change sales channels, increase the advertising budget, or find an acquisition. But all of these strategies will require an investment, so it is best to assess where ...
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The field of industrial waste management has evolved tremendously over the past few years. Manufacturing facilities especially are one of the top contenders for waste generation. Hence, the way they handle their waste is important. Many organizations are adopting innovative ways of managing the waste. The good news is that, since manufacturing facilities are the top producers of waste, they also hold tremendous scope and potential for waste reduction and recycling. Right from gathering data to creating a waste management policy to implementing waste reduction and recycling initiatives on the manufacturing floor, there are several steps involved. This article ...
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Focus on risk reduction outcomes, rather than just completing tasks, to ensure real results. Many companies believe that as long as employees follow established procedures, the organization will achieve safe operations and, therefore, business success. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Rarely does this way of thinking result in sustainable safety or business performance across an organization.  Instead, companies should focus on risk reduction outcomes, rather than simply completing tasks, to ensure real results. While completing tasks may satisfy required compliance measures, there is no guarantee this will bring the expected benefit to the organization. ...
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The Metal Treating Institute recently hosted its annual Spring Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida at the beautiful Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort.  MTI had over 160 members from 20+ states, Canada, and Mexico in attendance.    CLICK HERE to view a photo gallery of highlights.   One of the key elements of MTI’s National Meetings is the education.  MTI hosted 2 top keynotes on how demographics are going to drive economic growth in North America over the next 15+ years, and how to create a culture that rocks for your employees and customers.  In between the keynotes, MTI hosted a panel discussion on how to maximize your audit performance compliance ...
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Humans are sentient beings who think and make cognitive decisions. These attributes, among many others, coexist with the innate human desire to learn and grow. Thus, it is fair to say the majority of us in or entering the workforce would prefer a career that leverages our minds as opposed to one involving repetitive tasks.  Lucky for us, technological advancements are dynamically changing many industries by automating mundane, repetitive, and manual activities. Freeing human labor from these tasks allows employees to take on more engaging and interesting roles while generating benefits for both enterprises and consumers, including reduced costs, better quality ...
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A core set of critical functionalities loosely coupled with best-of-breed third-party SaaS delivers better insights and performance. At a Glance Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems help many companies manage functions ranging from supply chain to human resources and finance, but over the years, ERP suites have become complex, rigid structures potentially limiting the benefits of digitalization. Leading companies are taking advantage of the natural upgrade cycle of their ERP systems to fully rethink their ERP strategy, narrowing the core to a limited set of standard functionalities, loosely coupled with functional and industry-specific applications ...
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Despite a multitude of challenges—slowing global growth, the partial government shutdown, trade policy uncertainties, a strong U.S. dollar—the U.S. economy showed its resilience in the first quarter,  growing a solid 3.2%  at the annual rate. This was the strongest first quarter of growth since 2015. The data were buoyed by robust contributions from service-sector consumption, exports, and state and local government spending, with notable drags on growth from durable goods spending and housing. Weaker consumer purchases stemmed largely from sharp declines in motor vehicles and parts activity, among other categories. Nonetheless, the larger story ...
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As cyber-attacks emerge and evolve, the enterprise will need to look beyond cybersecurity to become cyber-resilient. Many industrial companies have made progress in heading off cyber-attacks, but, with new threats emerging and evolving, they will require greater resilience that combines cybersecurity capabilities with something more. A cyber-resilient business brings cybersecurity capabilities together with business and enterprise resilience. Such an approach allows industrial manufacturers to respond quickly to threats so they can minimize damage and operate under attack if necessary. Moreover, industrial companies need to continue transforming and embedding ...
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The distributed ledger technology is being tapped to foster trust and build transparency into extended supply chains and to facilitate mass customization. Blockchain, primarily associated with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, is increasingly hitting the radar screens of manufacturers as a mechanism to enhance supply chain visibility or promote supplier coordination around mass customization. These externally focused applications seem to hold the most potential for Blockchain, as experts see far less applicability for Blockchain to enhance existing technologies used to integrate internal manufacturing and automation systems. Characterized as a distributed ...
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Companies like Desktop Metal aim to go beyond airplane parts and medical implants.   It’s been five or so years since 3D printing was at peak hype. Since then, the technology has edged its way into a new class of materials and started to break into more applications. Today, 3D printers are being seriously considered as a means to produce stainless steel 5G smartphones, high-strength alloy gas-turbine blades, and other complex metal parts. The technology for 3D printing (or additive manufacturing) of metals is finally hitting its stride. Two industries—aerospace and medical appliances—have already adopted it. Lawrence Gasman, President of Charlottesville, ...
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Modern hackers can infiltrate manufacturers using outdated technologies. Here are five possible weak spots in your defense.   In 2010, the infosecurity community identified an extremely sophisticated computer worm capable of propagating at an unprecedented rate and exploiting several previously unknown Windows zero-day vulnerabilities. Stuxnet, as the worm was infamously dubbed, proved that a malicious actor could directly infect the programmable logic controllers (PLCs) of actual equipment used in manufacturing (in this case, a centrifuge used to manufacture weaponizable grade uranium). Without some precautions, this same type of attack could be adapted ...
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As AR in manufacturing takes off, it's demonstrating it can improve many aspects of manufacturing and increase productivity, but there are challenges to consider before adopting. Early adopters of augmented reality for manufacturing and training are already reporting many user experience and productivity benefits. However, these benefits aren't without a few hardware and software challenges. AR   involves supplementing your world with digital objects of any sort. One common AR application is a   remote expert . When a customer or field worker puts on AR glasses equipped with a front-facing camera, she can turn on a live video stream and do a hands-free ...
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If you haven’t been tuning into MTI’s monthly LIVE webcast, Heat Treat LIVE, you need to take a look at it.  Each month, MTI’s Tom Morrison interviews one to three guests who are experts or engaged members on the topic being discussed.   During the webcast, members are able to easily submit questions or comments to the panel or each other.  MTI has received pictures of plants with their key management in a conference room with the show beamed up on a wall and everyone watching.   Heat Treat LIVE is a monthly opportunity to keep your team informed on what is happening outside your plant, that impacts you inside the plant.  A best practice after each ...
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Just when you thought an OSHA penalty may not be super hazardous to your company, think again.  The following release was recently published regarding a penalty on an Ohio-based heat treater.  The following shows why you should take safety very seriously. _______________________________ The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed penalties of $1,326,367 to Dowa THT America, Inc. – a metal heat treatment company based in Bowling Green, Ohio – after the company exposed employees to atmospheric, thermal, electrical, and mechanical hazards as they performed maintenance inside heat-treating furnaces. ...
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