Manufacturing 4.0 and digital transformation

Posted by IMEC on May 29, 2020 11:40:47 AM

This is an original article by Steve Cavolick of LRS IT Solutions.

The economic downturn from the Coronavirus has rewritten the rules of business and caused entire verticals to change direction overnight, and manufacturing is one of the industries that has morphed quickly in order to lead the country through the pandemic.

When demand exploded earlier this year for goods that sanitized and machines to help very sick people breathe, facilities that produced consumable alcohol switched to making anti-microbial gels and auto manufacturers stopped producing cars in order to build ventilators.

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Better Meetings, Stronger Teams

Posted by Lisa Kenney on May 28, 2020 12:27:31 PM

While the way we get the work done has undoubtedly changed, the business environment is just as demanding, competitive, and perhaps even more complicated than it was before the Coronavirus. It’s up to leaders to guide the workforce through these changing times to continue meeting production goals. 

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OSHA Revises COVID Guidance…. Again

Posted by IMEC on May 22, 2020 3:11:00 PM

Written by Matthew Horn of Smith Amundsen.

Previously, OSHA issued guidance indicating that most employers only had to record or report confirmed COVID-19 cases when provided with objective evidence that an employee contracted COVID-19 at work. In practice, this put the burden on employees to submit evidence to employers establishing that their COVID-19 cases were contracted at work.

OSHA recently issued revised guidance on this issue, which goes into effect on May 26, 2020. Under the revised guidance, OSHA puts the burden on the employer to make a “reasonable determination” as to whether a confirmed COVID-19 case was contracted at work. In order to make that determination, OSHA suggests that employers:

  1. Question the employee as to how he/she believes he/she contracted COVID-19;
  2. Discuss with the employee his/her out-of-work activities that may have resulted in exposure; and
  3. Review the employee’s work environment for potential COVID-19 exposure. If, after taking those steps, the only logical explanation is that the employee contracted COVID-19 at work, then the case should be recorded or reported to OSHA, as appropriate. 
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St. Charles Manufacturer Receives Illinois Manufacturing Innovation Voucher and Kane County Innovation Voucher

Posted by IMEC on May 22, 2020 1:08:50 PM

Microplastics, Inc. of St. Charles is the second recipient of the Illinois Manufacturing Innovation Voucher, receiving matching funds that include additional investment from the Kane County Innovation Voucher.

The company was approved for the Kane County Innovation Voucher at the May 15 Kane County Board Jobs Committee.

Since IMEC launched the Illinois Manufacturing Innovation Voucher program in November 2019, small and medium-sized manufacturers across the state have been finding new and innovative ways to propel their organizations through increased productivity.

About Microplastics Products

Microplastics, Inc. is a world class employee owned manufacturer located in St. Charles, Illinois. The company specializes in producing plastic parts formed around inserts such as electrical terminals, bushings and sensors.

Most of MPI’s parts are made to order for domestic and foreign automobile parts manufacturers. The company produces parts through conventional insert molding as well as robotic techniques.

Seeing the vision of the impacts the Voucher program will have on the future of Illinois manufacturing, Kane County developed the Kane County Innovation Voucher to offer up to an additional $5,000 to Kane County manufacturers who are also taking advantage of the up to $25,000 program offered by IMEC.

Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen said the County Board has adopted several unique programs to support manufacturers in Kane County.

“We are delighted to partner with IMEC in this Innovation Voucher Program,” he said, ” because it allows Kane County manufacturers to grow and prepare for the challenges of the future.”

Illinois manufacturers who are interested in propelling their organization to see measurable gains in productivity and competitiveness through innovation, can click here to learn more the Illinois Manufacturing Innovation Voucher!

This article first appeared on Kane County Connects.


Learn about past Voucher recipients!

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Paycheck Protection Program Loan Update

Posted by Mary Hallock on May 19, 2020 12:37:05 PM

Some of you may have taken advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Any borrowers who took loans under the PPP and would like to request forgiveness of their loan must complete an application. On Friday, May 15 the US Treasury released the Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness application.

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The New Supply Chain: Status Quo

Posted by IMEC on May 7, 2020 3:00:50 PM

Part 5 of "The New Supply Chain" blog series by Mike Loquercio, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management Expert.

As we see the country opening up cautiously and the beginnings of a phased approach to reviving manufacturing, now is not the time to return to the status quo.  We would all agree that manufacturing and the supply chain must be different – and will be different – but are unsure of what our future state might look like.

Given all our concerns with healthcare, social distancing, unemployment, the new workplace with remote learning and our economy, it’s easy to let the focus on supply chain fall to the back of the priority list.

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Lean Innovation: What Manufacturers Can Learn From the Tech Sector’s Appropriation of Lean Thinking

Posted by IMEC on May 6, 2020 1:48:00 PM

This is an original article from the NIST Manufacturing Innovation Blog, written by Brian Hagas. 

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Facility Startup Checklist

Posted by Jesse Brady on May 6, 2020 11:54:28 AM

Many organizations are maintaining or re-starting operations at their facility. Here are some guidelines that can help you ensure employee safety and proper machine and process startup as you resume operations:

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Connect with Clients Quickly by Building Rapport in the Conversation

Posted by Greg Ferketich on May 5, 2020 12:13:53 PM

When it comes to building rapport in conversations, the key is to keep it simple and listen, listen, listen! It is all about trust and relationships; companies do not do business with companies; people do business with people.

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