Posted By David Brousell, November 15, 2016
Nearly 100 members of the Manufacturing Leadership Council gathered in Greenville, South Carolina last week to see first-hand how General Electric's 1.5-million square foot heavy duty gas turbine factory is embracing digitization, a transformational effort that involves an array of new technologies, significant process changes, and, above all, cultural change at the 48-year old site.
ML Council members toured the gas turbine factory, where 50 and 60 Hz gas turbines undergo final assembly and testing, as well as GE’s two-year old Advanced Manufacturing Works incubator facility, whose mission is to be a “bridge” between new technology and production ideas, such as 3D printing and the factory floor. After the tours, a town hall-style roundtable was held where ML Council members described their own journeys to the factory of the future, including what their factory models might look like, what worker competencies and skills will be needed, and the increasing threat of cyber attacks.
What ML Council members saw during the GE tour was a factory in the process of transforming to achieve higher levels of operational efficiency and performance, which is symbolized in GE's "Brilliant Factory" concept.
Nearly 100 members of the Manufacturing Leadership Council gathered in Greenville, South Carolina last week to see first-hand how General Electric’s 1.5-million square foot heavy duty gas turbine factory is embracing digitization. Read More →
Recent conversations among members of the Manufacturing Leadership Council show that effectively using real-time data and analytics to make better decisions is not just a technology issue. In a very real way, effectively embracing data-drive decision-making requires a significant cultural shift. Read More →
With the current intense focus on IoT, digital transformation, and real-time data leading to transformative change, it sometimes seems as if manufacturers have moved on from more traditional and continuous approaches to operational improvement—such as lean. But, at a recent Manufacturing Leadership Council plant tour and roundtable discussion at the Avnet, Inc., Global Solutions Center in Chandler, AZ, Avnet operations and supply chain leaders and 40 members of the ML Council made it clear that continuous improvement and the adoption of lean culture and processes remain bedrock manufacturing strategies. But they also made it equally clear that lean must evolve to become much more agile and to deliver results much more quickly in an era of rapidly increasing operational complexity and real-time data. Read More →
New Lab, an independent, interdisciplinary place for entrepreneurs working in robotics, artificial intelligence, connected devices, and other areas, officially opens in the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York City. Read More →
After many years subjected to job losses due to outsourcing, offshoring, and automation, are U.S. manufacturing workers finally in store for some good news? Yes and no. While manufacturing employment is up since the end of the Great Recession—as is overall manufacturing output--outsourcing has not stopped, nor has automation, putting downward pressure on manufacturing job growth. And, although many manufacturing employers complain that they can’t find all the skilled people they need, manufacturing wages in many parts of the country continue to fall. Read More →
More women in key manufacturing leadership positions would help companies improve their business performance, including decision-making and even profitability and shareholder value, panelists at the 6th Women in Manufacturing Summit said.. Read More →
The Manufacturing Leadership Council's new Critical Issues agenda identifies a set of business and technology issues and subjects that will enable manufacturers to establish a clear focus and approach to Manufacturing 4.0. Read More →
We often hear manufacturers based in the U.S. and Europe say that, even if wanted to bring production back from Asia and other low-cost locations, they couldn’t because the very specialized supplier networks that they would need have atrophied or disappeared in their home markets. Apparel giant Nike, Inc., recently announced a unique partnership with a large private equity company designed to address this challenge and allow it to enhance what it calls “regional manufacturing capabilities” while allowing for quicker delivery of customized products to consumers and improving sustainability through reshoring. Read More →
We frequently hear manufacturers complain that recent graduates who they hire often turn out to lack the kind of knowledge and workforce readiness required to for them to become productive on the job quickly. A diploma from a community college, a career technical education center, or even a well-known university these days doesn’t guarantee that your new hire has mastered all—or even most--of the competencies need to excel on the job. This, say manufacturers, is an important component of a growing skills shortage. Read More →
Manufacturing company executives say that a technology trend that will contribute to their growth is connectivity and the use of the information that is generated from it. Read More →