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With strong growth in industrial robotics, manufacturers of end effectors and other components could see big gains.   At automotive OEMs,   industrial robots are welding and painting cars. Within warehouses, they are putting stock on shelves, picking out items for orders, transporting goods from docks to shipping areas, and packaging them for transport. At semiconductor plants, robots move delicate wafers without damaging any components. Elsewhere, they’re assisting with gluing, assembling, cutting, grinding, and other routine yet critical tasks. The growing prevalence of these robots is not surprising, because industrial operations, both mundane ...
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Rushing into digital transformations can backfire.   Companies that invest in digitizing operations can deliver efficiency gains of up to 15%–20% and spark supply chain innovation. Those benefits have prompted many companies to rush into a digital operations makeover. After all, no one wants to be the last to benefit from new technologies. Leadership teams are discovering, however, that the journey is more complicated than they initially thought. For large companies, a digital transformation can involve replacing hundreds of millions of dollars in assets and can take between four and six years to complete. In our experience, two-thirds of companies ...
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Each month, over 130 MTI member heat treat plants input their monthly sales figure into a secure, private, password protected, online platform. This helps to provide them the key sales data, trends, and forecasts, ultimately allowing them to predict with precision a number of different critical factors in operations, production, and sales.   Having these reports every month at your fingertips gives you a competitive advantage in the marketplace.  With them you can predict the future in your business with confidence…without them, you are guessing.   Here are four ways members are using MTI’s Monthly Sales reports to energize their productivity, people, ...
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Seven strategies to prevent loss and restore operations quickly. Natural disasters can seriously disrupt manufacturing operations. If your plant (or critical supplier) is crippled for weeks or months, your revenue, reputation, and shareholder value could hang in the balance. If your competitors rebound more quickly than you do, they may gain a competitive advantage. It’s not enough to have insurance to cover your losses because it may never make your business completely whole again. That’s why it is important to take steps to prevent loss in the first place. Here are seven actions manufacturers should take to minimize the effect of a major storm, quake ...
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Humans are often pegged as the   weakest link   in cybersecurity -- and to a great extent, that’s true. But in my experience, this axiom misses the bigger point: The   reason   it’s true is that most companies do not have effective access control. While   training employees to think like hackers   can certainly make your company more resilient to cyberattacks, there is   always a risk   that someone will be compromised. The surest way to limit your organization’s exposure to such risks is to verify the proper controls are in place at the individual level, governing what people can access, when, and how. Companies that haven’t solved for access control ...
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The Industrial Internet of Things allows companies to tap into more data than ever before. If you talk to anyone in manufacturing today about the future of the industry, you’re likely to hear a quizzical, “Do you mean Industry 4.0?” Industry 4.0 got its name from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which brings together the automation from previous industrial revolutions with digital data from rapidly emerging technologies like sensors and advanced analytic techniques into what is being called “cyber-physical systems.” This evolution is causing the digital transformation of modern business in products, manufacturing, and supply chains. Today, companies are ...
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The MTI Educational Foundation is excited to announce the 2019 application process for scholarships is now open.  The Foundation Board has approved 13 scholarships for a total of $50,500 for 2019. The MTI Educational Foundation Scholarship Program is open to students who are interested in a career in metallurgy, materials, engineering, industrial, and/or mechanical sciences.  Applicants must be currently enrolled or recently accepted as a full- or part-time student in a nationally accredited college or technical school. Applicant’s area of study must be: materials science, metallurgy, engineering, or a technical certificate program with a focus in mechanical, ...
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Ransomware backup best practices are critical, as one attack can cripple a business. Here are three areas to focus on for optimal protection against ransomware. In 2018, one of the worst reported ransomware attacks hit. The government office in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough -- commonly known as Mat-Su -- in Alaska was attacked by ransomware that didn't just impact a few endpoints or servers; it brought the entire office down. For reference, according to security awareness training vendor KnowBe4, the average ransomware attack impacts 16 workstations and five servers -- but not the Mat-Su attack . It impacted 500 workstations and 120 of their 150 servers. ...
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Manufacturers are ready to invest in next-gen digital production. One of the primary elements in the transformation of the manufacturing plants is the changing nature of demand from the customers. There is sturdy economic impetus toward products that are high on precision, safe to use and safely produced, built to purpose, manufactured with less material consumption throughout the value chain, and environmentally friendly. While presently manufacturing is focused on productivity and performance, the future will be all about precision products. Manufacturers are supposed to accomplish this without compromising on the speed or quality. This leads to some ...
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"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." ~ Aristotle The culture of an organization is all about how people behave on a daily basis in their organization. Many times, company leaders put a set of values or behaviors on the wall for employees and visitors to see, but they aren’t really serious about following them. If you want to change the culture of an organization, you need to change behavior. If you want to change behavior and the way people do business, investing in your employees through training is imperative. When Lori (my wife) and I purchased Datron World Communications in 2004, we knew we wanted to run the company ...
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It’s not every day that a manufacturer is presented with a single opportunity so large and so high-profile that it takes your breath away. This is exactly what happened to 50 digital signage manufacturers that were asked to bid on the reconstruction of the largest digital sign in the world, the Fremont Street Experience canopy in downtown Las Vegas. This 1,500-foot long digital canopy is suspended 90 feet above a pedestrian mall and is visited by more than 20 million tourists annually. The $30 million project would easily be the largest undertaking for any of the competing companies. There’s no doubt that executives at these companies immediately wondered ...
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Manufacturers  produced  $2.35 trillion in value-added output in the third quarter, an all-time high, with the sector accounting for 11.4% of real GDP. Adjusting for inflation (in chained 2012 dollars), real value-added output in manufacturing also set a new record, and overall, manufacturing contributed 0.31 percentage points to real GDP growth in the quarter. Many of the economic indicators out last week continued to reflect softness in the manufacturing sector, both in the United States and globally. The  IHS Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI  grew at the weakest pace since September 2017, with slower—but still modestly expanding—increases ...
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MTI officially kicked off the 2019 YES program in Austin, TX this past week.  CLICK HERE to view photo gallery of highlights. The 2019 class of heat treating executives is another full class for YES, with 33 individuals from 25 companies from all across North America.  MTI member companies with executives in the program include: Applied Process, Inc. Bennett Heat Treating Byington Steel Treating, Inc. Contour Hardening Custom Electric Manufacturing Dependable Metal Treating, Inc. Derrick Company Dry Coolers, Inc. East Carolina Metal Treating Gasbarre Thermal Processing Systems Heat Treating Technologies, Inc. Parker Trutec, ...
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As factories continue to evolve with the use of innovative technologies, manufacturers must ensure that their workers are evolving right along with them. As manufacturers inject their operations with innovative technologies in an effort to transform them into so-called smart factories, a seismic shift in how those factories are staffed has emerged. Put simply, whereas factory workers have historically been hired for the skills they bring with their hands, it is now their brains manufacturers are relying on. Factory work requires more technical skills than ever before, from coding to mobile application development to managing robots powered by AI. However, ...
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Monday Economic Report

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Manufacturing Capacity Utilization Rises to Best Reading in Four Years The Weekly Toplines Manufacturing production rebounded strongly in December after some softness in the prior three months, jumping 1.1% for the month. Over the past 12 months, manufacturing production has risen 3.2%. More importantly, manufacturing capacity utilization soared from 75.8% in November to 76.5% in December, the best reading since November 2014. Meanwhile, total industrial production rose 0.3% in December, inching down a bit from the 0.4% gain in November. On a year-over-year basis, industrial production has risen 4.0%—a ...
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Desktop Metal announced this morning that it has raised $160 million. That Series E brings the Burlington, Mass.-based metal 3D printing company up to a whopping $438 million. The startup’s tagline says the company “is reinventing the way design and manufacturing teams print with metal” — and now it undoubtedly has the money to do so. Koch Disruptive Technologies (yes, that Koch ) led the round, joined by GV, Panasonic and Techtronic Industries. The latest round follows $65 million last March , which found Ford investing in the technology, which has applications for both prototyping and manufacturing. Big names like BMW and Lowe’s have also pumped ...
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The addition of AI in manufacturing leads to increased workflow -- from design to production. Production plants are turning to technology to supplement the manufacturing skills gap.   In the manufacturing sector, which many think is slowing, AI is injecting much needed productivity and advancement. AI-powered bots are becoming ubiquitous on factory floors, and computer vision and machine learning software implementations are improving quality control, safety, and maintenance of development and manufacturing processes. With over 50% of manufacturers planning to increase AI spending in the coming years, according to Forbes Insights research, the industry ...
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Cybersecurity training has quickly become extremely important for businesses. Employees don’t need to be cybersecurity experts, but they should be practicing healthy cyber habits. New-hire training and regularly scheduled refresher training courses should be established in order to instill the data security culture of your organization. As always, preparedness is the key to preventing most security breaches. It is always best to know how to avoid becoming a victim. Improper or lack of cybersecurity training can cause many problems for your business. We want you and your employees to be prepared so that you don’t become a statistic! What could happen if proper ...
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Taking the pulse of industry Discussions at a recent event throw light on where things stand in the world of additive manufacturing, with a particular emphasis on emerging supply chain applications. Since 2013, Deloitte Insights has published a richly complex array of thought leadership on the topic of additive manufacturing (AM) that parallels the technology’s ascension into mainstream manufacturing environments. In so doing, we have placed some emphasis on how AM may transform the manufacturing supply chain as part of a broader transformational framework. (See the sidebar, “The additive manufacturing framework.”) Such is especially important given the ...
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Robotics and digital transportation solutions are among the key trends that will shape the supply chain landscape this year, DHL leaders say.   Four key trends will shape the supply chain landscape in 2019, contract logistics provider DHL Supply Chain said January 8. Although a host of emerging technologies will continue to gain attention throughout the supply channel—including Blockchain technology and others—DHL points to robotics, risk management, the talent gap, and digital transportation solutions as those that will have the greatest impact on the North American supply chain in 2019. "Supply chain complexity has been growing for years and ...
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