Posted By David Brousell, April 11, 2017
Is an augmented reality or virtual reality system in your factory’s future?
The technology, in the form of Google Glass, has already entered the mainstream of factory operations at AGCO Corp., where it is being used to improve quality in the manufacturing of the company’s huge agricultural machines. At AGCO’s Jackson, Minn., site, 30 workers use Google Glass in operations. By the end of the year, the company expects to have 180 people using the technology.
AGCO’s pioneering efforts with Google Glass – an optical, head-mounted device designed in the shape of eyeglasses that, using a small, built-in processor that can access the Internet as well as applications, displays information directly in a user’s field of vision – was the subject of a Manufacturing Leadership Council tour at the Jackson facility last week. More than 70 ML Council members and invited guests toured the nearly one-million square foot site where the company’s Massey Ferguson and Challenger wheel tractors, Challenger track tractors, and RoGator and TerraGator application vehicles are built.
The one piece of good news coming out of the recent WannaCry ransomeware attack, which infected over 200,000 computers worldwide and at least temporarily crippled hospitals, shops, and schools, is that it does not appear to have directly targeted the control systems on which most manufacturing plants and equipment rely. Although the outbreak did reportedly upend some manufacturing operations—including production at Renault automotive plants in the U.K. and France—the exploit apparently targeted vulnerabilities in some unpatched instances of the Microsoft Windows operating system which is not at the core of most Programmable Logic Control (PLC) systems and Distributed Control Systems (DCS) in production operations at most plants. Read More →
Nearly 30,000 SAP customers, partners, and media representatives converged at the Orlando Convention Center in Florida yesterday to open the software company’s annual Sapphire conference, and the message they heard was loud and clear – companies need to accelerate their transformation into digital businesses. Read More →
Employers and educators have made measureable progress over the past two years in attracting, recruiting, and retaining women to work in the manufacturing industry. But, as a recent study by Deloitte, the Manufacturing Institute, and APICS shows, a great deal more needs to be done to forge company cultures that prioritize and benefit from gender diversity. Read More →
Exact Macola, a developer of business software for small- and medium-size companies, has unveiled a new release of its flagship Macola enterprise resource planning product that emphasizes greater usability, including its use on tablet computers. Read More →
Agriculture equipment maker AGCO Corp.'s pioneering efforts with Google Glass was the subject of a Manufacturing Leadership Council tour at the company's Jackson, Minn., facility last week. More than 70 ML Council members and invited guests toured the nearly one-million square foot site. Read More →
The transformative effects of four global megatrends are interacting to reshape the vision of tomorrow’s factory, according to a newly-released study by Frost & Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership Council. (https://go.frost.com/forms/mlc_fof) Read More →
The transition to Manufacturing 4.0 will be more demanding than any previous era of industry transformation, a panel composed of senior manufacturing leaders told the Manufacturing Leadership Council recently. That’s because, for most manufacturers, the transition to M4.0 will require multi-dimensional change, incorporating profound technology shifts, significant changes in customer demand and expectations, business model innovation and, not least, the need for a new digital culture and leadership skills within the manufacturing enterprise. Read More →
The 91 manufacturers announced today as winners of the 2017 Manufacturing Leadership Awards, in fact, are proof positive that M4.0 is much more than a theory or future vision. These ML Awards winners are putting M4.0 into practice today and are well on the way to creating a state in which production is increasingly automated, modular, data-driven, agile, predictive, and rapidly reconfigurable to meet changing demands and competition. Read More →
Frost & Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership Council, the foremost global business network for senior industrial executives, announces the election of President and CEO of Proto Labs, Inc. Vicki M. Holt, to the Manufacturing Leadership Council’s Board of Governors. Read More →
It’s one thing to take on a small, well-defined project aimed at proving the potential of digitizing a process such as maintenance on a single line or in an individual plant. It’s quite another to take the experiences gathered from such small projects and build them into a Manufacturing 4.0 roadmap that aligns with the strategy defined by the company’s senior leadership team. Read More →