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Restarting Your Facility

Posted by IMEC on Jun 25, 2020 3:44:17 PM

Written by Larry Bouvier, Vice President of Fuss & O'Neill Manufacturing Solutions.

As businesses and facilities begin to reopen, employee health and safety are paramount. Cleaning, proper distancing, and personal protective equipment have always been important safety precautions, but are now more important than ever. But it is important to remember that while employees are returning to work, facilities’ support equipment itself also needs to be brought back to work in a safe and thoughtful manner. An unused sink drain may weep noxious odors, cooling fans may have burnt out, and security gates might balk at opening easily. The health and safety of your building, and the systems that make it habitable, is important to the health and safety, not to mention comfort, of your employees. Prior to opening a facility, managers need to create checklists and inspect and test all machinery.

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The New Supply Chain: Spring Training

Posted by IMEC on Jun 12, 2020 9:50:41 AM

Part 6 of "The New Supply Chain" blog series by Mike Loquercio, Vice President of Supply Chain at Greenleaf Foods.

We are starting to see some signs of the economy opening up and supply chains getting some “swings in the cage” before the full season begins.  In many industries, COVID19 demand has stretched the supply chain beyond any reasonable expectations and yet we have found creative ways to make it work.  In other industries, we have been operating with diminished needs and looking for ways to repurpose and pivot to support the health care industry.

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Trim-Tex Team Takes on Six Sigma Green Belt Training

Posted by IMEC on Jun 3, 2020 1:46:47 PM

This is an original article, written by Trim Tex.

The story of every successful manufacturer is one of nonstop self-improvement. What may have been an effective process five or 10 or 20 years ago — or, for a manufacturer with a history as long as Trim-Tex’s, 50-plus years ago — may no longer be the best road forward. To provide customers with the best possible products and services, sometimes it can take a manufacturer shattering its own status quo. And sometimes that may take a little extra education. This is exactly what some folks here at Trim-Tex are doing, by enlisting in Six Sigma “Green Belt” certification training.

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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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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.

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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.

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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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The New Supply Chain: Make a Difference

Posted by IMEC on Apr 17, 2020 11:07:49 AM

Part 4 of "The New Supply Chain" blog series by Mike Loquercio, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management Expert.

I think we should all take a moment and recognize the extraordinary efforts by everyone involved in healthcare, police and fire departments, emergency responders, research scientists, lab workers, social workers, ANYONE helping feed and shelter the homeless and the entire list of essential employees making a difference.

We are still seeing shortages of PPE and medical equipment, food crops and products with expiring shelf life, stores with empty shelves, and other parts of the supply chain working to make it day to day.

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Lessons for Our Times from Two Iconic Leaders

Posted by IMEC on Apr 10, 2020 2:23:45 PM

This is an original article taken from the NIST Baldrige blog, written by Harry Hertz, Director Emeritus of the Baldrige Program. 

Over the past 1 1/2 years two iconic corporate leaders of the 20th and early 21st century passed away: Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines and Jack Welch of General Electric. Both built phenomenally successful companies during their tenures. Both had unique leadership styles, that differed in many ways. However, there were a number of striking similarities, that provide leadership lessons for all times and some specific pointers for surviving times of crisis. Not surprisingly, these are characteristics called out in the Baldrige Excellence Framework and displayed by leaders of Baldrige Award recipient organizations across all sectors. Let me share the characteristics I gleaned from numerous readings about these two leaders and summarized in these articles about Kelleher and Welch. I will relate them to the Baldrige framework and then to important lessons for times of challenge.

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