Top 5 Clean Manufacturing Systems

As the grip of both COVID-19 and the lockdown response appear to be given way, leaders across business and society are talking about investments in new technology and infrastructure to drive growth forward. All of these investments, of course, require raw materials, which on its own has triggered talks of a new commodities supercycle.  While […]

Top 5 Flexible Manufacturing Systems

Flexible manufacturing systems are systems that permit manufacturers to more rapidly respond to change than systems that are entirely fixed in place or only able to address a single type of process in a single type of materials handling scenario. These systems are primarily focused on improving the ability of production lines to adapt to […]

Robots & Reducing Risk in Industrial Capital Expenditur...

Industrial capital expenditures are often difficult to evaluate for a variety of reasons. They are large one-time commitments that either pose significant cash burden or ongoing debt obligations. Their value is tied particularly to the demand they respond to (which can also be unpredictable). Their resale value can be subjective since the equipment used may […]

Understanding the Cash Flow Effect of Robots

Investing in robotics can come with a lot of questions. Is my capital expense going to meet the demand I’ll face in the future? Are the maintenance and engineering costs going to be too high to support consistent production and uptime? Are robots adaptable enough to respond to the mix of products, parts and processes […]

Skilled Labor White Paper: Crisis Now or Crisis Forever?

While the COVID crisis has alleviated some of the challenges that just over a year ago were causing manufacturers to pull their hair out before meeting demand, the underlying demographic and skills challenges around the manufacturing labor supply have only continued to degrade. How can you understand this challenge? Fundamentally, understand how generational change has […]

What Approach is REALLY Going to “Bring Manufacturing ...

We all know it, if not see it in the news every election cycle: manufacturing in North America is oft-romanticized but little defended with actual policy proposals. We are often nostalgic for the manufacturing prowess (and middle class lifestyle) that existed in the 1950s and 60s, but for all the nostalgia it does get, little […]

How Manufacturers Can Avoid a “Lost 2021” Now

As Henry Ford used to say, “Time waste differs from material waste in that there can be no salvage. It is the easiest of all wastes and the hardest to correct.” Ultimately, we are all facing challenging times, but those responsible for manufacturing firms have in many ways borne the brunt of trying to manage […]

What is Autonomous Manufacturing?

The term “Autonomous Manufacturing” may be new to many, but the idea of using industrial capacity – the ability to make things – in order to gain more independence is as old as civilization itself. Autonomous Manufacturing is a concept and technology set that can be used by today’s manufacturers in order to achieve greater […]

Why Value-Added Processes Are a Priority for Autonomous Robo...

Autonomous Robots have existed in one form or another for more than 50 years. The first autonomous mobile robot – though hardly as functional as the ones available today – was developed at the Stanford Research Institute in 1969. “Shaky”, as it was affectionately known, was able to localize itself using machine vision, while its […]

Should High-Mix Manufacturers Really Be SCARED of Automation...

Industrial automation solutions are usually pitched to high-volume, mass-market manufacturers or primary materials processors. This can range from consumer electronics and automotive assembly to timber, plastics, chemicals and metal products. While these sectors are somewhat disparate in terms of final goods produced, the fact that they all produce a relatively small variety of goods at […]