Preventative maintenance strategies to keep your factory going

There is no way to prevent a factory from having an unscheduled shutdown from time to time. However, there are ways to prevent many of the equipment failures that can cause these shutdowns. One of the easiest preventative measures is conducting proactive, rather than reactive, maintenance. An analysis by ABB’s Process Automation Service found the…

Read more

Applying lean principles to produce results

In a case study, Manufacturing Business Technology Magazine shows us how a company used lean manufacturing principles to achieve a 90 percent improvement in on-time delivery, 20 percent reduction in waste, and a 35 percent improvement in productivity. Starting in 2003, FLEXcon, which manufactures pressure-sensitive film and adhesive products, has saved 10 times the dollar…

Read more

Knowing what your business knows to help find your niche

Your company has undoubtedly developed a pool of knowledge over the years about what it does and how to best perform those tasks. Over the years, though, the details can become blurred. In automation, the lines can be blurred from the beginning. Sometimes, your organization just needs to sit down and figure out where your…

Read more

Green manufacturing doesn’t have to be expensive

It’s no surprise that in discussing sustainability, a discussion about cost will most likely arise. The argument usually involves the costs of implementing green technologies being more than the overall savings of “going green”. The problem with this is that there are steps that can be taken to be more green, and there are also…

Read more

Keeping your factory secure

As manufacturers expand their automated technologies, more and more of them will be “connected,” taking advantage of wireless and bluetooth technologies. While this brings manufacturing well into the 21st century, it does bring the question of cyber security onto the manufacturing floor. Potential vulnerabilities exist everywhere, from printers and HVAC systems to unused ports in…

Read more

Looking at history to see the future of manufacturing jobs

It’s no secret that automation technologies like robots have eliminated the need for humans to perform dirty, dangerous, or repetitive tasks in factories. But as the dirty and dangerous jobs are being taken up by robots, there are questions about whether the continued inclusion of robotics and automation technologies will replace even the high skilled…

Read more

How to manage the risks of obsolete technologies

With all of the new automation and data collection technologies emerging today, its hard to know what will be a good, long-term investment and what will become obsolete and inevitably need to be replaced. Because budgets are a little bit tighter than they once were, there is more thought going into how to best spend…

Read more

How energy can impact the automated factory

One of the areas that manufacturers may not take into account when looking at their manufacturing costs is energy usage. This can happen for many reasons, but most often this happens because it is hard to measure exactly how much energy is used for any given task since the cost of energy can differ depending…

Read more

Smart manufacturing and its effect on the industry

Over the last few decades the manufacturing industry has been undergoing constant change in an effort to keep up with technology and economic conditions. Some recent changes on this front have been “Smart Manufacturing” and advanced sensor robots that can “see” and “feel”. The technologies used for the implementation of “smart manufacturing” or “smart production”…

Read more

The state of manufacturing as we start the new year

As reported on IndustryWeek.com, the manufacturing industry ended 2013 on a high note, registering 57% on the PMI index from the Institute for Supply Management. In addition to this, December marked the seventh consecutive month of growth on the PMI. The reading was just 0.3% below November’s reading, slightly exceeding analysts’ consensus forecast for the…

Read more