February 2016


What’s the Future of IoT? (And Why Manufacturers Care)

For the third year in a row, the Internet of Things (IoT) was the talk of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Gadgets aren’t industrial equipment, however, and manufacturers need more than smart lightbulbs and wireless speakers. According to Forrester Research, IoT technologies are still “immature.” In fact, many are in the survival phase of Forrester’s TechRadar model. Does this mean manufacturers can ignore IoT then?

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Top Challenges Faced By Small And Medium-Sized Manufacturers

How much does your manufacturing company know about NIST MEP? And much does NIST MEP seem to know about you? Recently, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) asked small-to-medium manufacturers to predict their top three challenges over the next three years. Do the answers that these companies provided reflect what challenges you?

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How Will 3D Printing Affect Your Supply Chain?

It’s trendy to talk about 3D printing as a “disruptive” technology. Yes, additive manufacturing changes the way that we make things. Instead of subtracting materials to shape objects, manufacturers build products in layers. But 3D printing isn’t just about using a different equipment set. Additive manufacturing, according to one national security expert, could mean retooling your supply chain for a strategic upheaval.

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How to Overcome Obstacles to Innovation

What’s keeping you from becoming more innovative? In a recent article for Harvard Business Review (HBR), authors Tony McCaffrey and Jim Pearson suggest that our perceptions are the problem. Specifically, the authors cite three attitudes – functional fixedness, design fixation, and goal fixedness – that limit the way we think. Yet McCaffrey and Pearson also claim it’s possible to overcome these obstacles. Here’s how.

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Manufacturing Round Up for the Week of 02/12/16

Solar energy is a big deal in New York. But how does the state stack up against the rest of the country in terms of jobs? As of December, New York had the fourth-most solar power-related jobs in the U.S. with 8,250, almost three-quarters of which were installation-based.

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How to Sell Industry 4.0 to Your IT Organization

Would you like to cut product development and assembly costs? Would you like to do this while improving quality, reducing downtime, boosting morale, and eliminating material shortages? If you want to sell Industry 4.0 to your IT organization, you’ll need to emphasize the real-world benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT).

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