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Data-Driven Manufacturing

Where 4.0 Might Go

If the full promise of Industry 4.0 could be realized, what would that look like and how would our experience of manufacturing change?
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The Podcast’s Larger Message

“Making Chips,” a podcast focused on metalworking, just finished its first full year of episodes. Its creators are two manufacturing business owners demonstrating the value of following an interest and doing something different.
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The Limits of Prediction

Forecasts about the future derive all of their information from the present.
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Automation's Essence

The greater achievement is the clarity and care, not the hardware.
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Opening Up as Standard Practice

How difficult would it be to offer periodic facility tours to the local public? Perhaps not difficult at all. By comparison, the rewards that might come of this could be considerable.
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The Capacity Close By

MakeTime offers a model for connecting OEMs’ manufacturing needs with the capacity shops have available.
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Bring Your Questions

At the Additive Manufacturing Conference, explore how the promise of additive manufacturing might shape the future of your production.
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Own the 3D Printer?

An alternative is the cloud. On the grounds of a major shipping hub, a new business lets manufacturers quickly obtain 3D printed parts by uploading a CAD file.
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Consumer Ratings for Machine Tools?

There are ratings for cars, but rating machine tools would be a different matter.
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After the Cell Phone Ban

How will you deal with the problem of employees being distracted by devices? This shop implemented a cellphone ban last year. The shop owner says the pain passes, but the benefits last.
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Automation

Supply-Side Robotics

It’s not just the promise of automation that drives robot adoption, but also the cost of the technology. Will price declines bring about much more widespread use of robots in manufacturing?
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Measurement

Embracing Engineering

Investing in systemization is not just for large or dedicated manufacturers. Trends a metrology company is seeing apply to manufacturing in general as well.
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Job Shops and Online Marketing, Version 2.0

We’ve now had years to watch various digital media tools find their place. Some of my opinions have changed.
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Finding Their Moment

Ideas in manufacturing that are not new have become newly relevant.
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Lots of Reasons

Why are companies choosing to manufacture in the United States? There are various reasons, not all of which are under manufacturers’ control. But the list of factors that led one company to open an American plant paints a largely positive picture of the merits of U.S. production.
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Automation

The Secret Robot

A manufacturer struggles over its employees’ potential reaction to automation. The struggle itself says something important.
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Recruitment Machines

Are you involved in a robotics league? These competitions attract and identify young people who could thrive in a manufacturing career.
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Alternative Narratives

On manufacturing topics receiving popular attention, here are the storylines I see.
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The In Thing?

Companies resolving to bring more of their manufacturing under their own roof is a theme I’m seeing more frequently.
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The Lights Came Back On

A community college’s fast-track CNC instruction made it possible for one manufacturer to restart its idle machining area. I see several lessons in this.
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