Simone Erskine

Recent Posts

Team Spotlight: Mark Baer

Posted by Simone Erskine on Jul 25, 2019 8:11:00 AM

After serving as a regional manager at IMEC for almost 20 years, Mark is retiring from the workforce! Over the years, and currently, he has been successfully assisting manufacturers in the Peoria area to improve their processes, efficiencies, and cut costs. Mark believes in assessing, suggesting, delivering, and servicing projects quickly and accurately. As a result, he is able to foster meaningful relationships with his clients and set them up for sustainable competitiveness.  

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Made in Illinois Featured Company: Midwest Turned Products

Posted by Simone Erskine on Jul 23, 2019 1:01:41 PM

Midwest Turned Products is a world class manufacturer of precision machined components. Their goal is to engineer, manufacture, and deliver each part to the exact requirements of our client. With a mission to serve customers, employees, shareholders and society through world-class precision machining service, they pride themselves on remaining flexible to meet the ever-changing needs of the marketplace.

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Made in Chicago Featured Company: Wichita Packing Company

Posted by Simone Erskine on Jul 19, 2019 12:00:51 PM

Incorporated in 1963, Wichita Packing Company has evolved into a corporation with global distribution and is the leading independent provider of pork ribs in the country. The company is rooted in its earned reputation as a worldwide provider of consistent, quality products. Regardless of a single unit or an international franchise, their goal is to work with clients to create an application for their establishment, based on specific needs.

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Not Yet Using the Baldrige Excellence Framework? Five Ways Forward

Posted by Simone Erskine on Jul 19, 2019 9:36:01 AM

This is an original article from NIST's Blogrige, the official Baldrige Blog, written by Christine Schaffer.

The national Baldrige Performance Excellence Program's website is the source of the regularly updated, widely validated leadership-and-management-strengthening tool known as the Baldrige Excellence Framework (which includes the Criteria for Performance Excellence).

Are you already using this comprehensive self-assessment guide to strengthen your organization’s performance?

If not, would you like to benefit from improvements and innovation in your approaches to leadership, strategy, customers, knowledge management and performance measurement, workforce, operations—and get better results in all these areas?

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Team Spotlight - Dean Harms

Posted by Simone Erskine on Jun 28, 2019 3:19:23 PM

Dean is a passionate and enthusiastic industry expert with over 30 years of experience and demonstrated success under his belt. He is driven by his desire to help people and believes in doing business with people, not companies. For the last year at IMEC, Dean has demonstrated his passion by working with and helping a wide range of organizations to create competitive futures in Northern Illinois.

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What Can Cobots Do for Your Business?

Posted by Simone Erskine on Jun 27, 2019 12:19:42 PM

This is an original infographic from NIST Manufacturing Innovation Blog.

Manufacturing industries as varied as automotive, electronics, chemical products and food already use collaborative robots (cobots) for tasks such as assembly, loading and packaging. The partnership between humans and cobots is an important one that combines tasks and drills with thoughts and skills.

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Getting Started with Journey Mapping: A Comprehensive Primer to Creating Your First Journey Map in Just Three Weeks!

Posted by Simone Erskine on Jun 20, 2019 7:49:00 AM

This is an original article written by Jon Berbaum, President of Highland Solutions.

Journey maps are very popular tools at the moment, and with good reason. They’re a simple, fast, and effective way to help a team understand the experiences that customers are having with an organization from the customers’ point of view.

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Are Your Customers Requiring you to Use ISO Standards?

Posted by Simone Erskine on Jun 14, 2019 10:33:10 AM

This is a guest blog, written by Alec Alessandra, M.B.A, former John Deer Executive, former IMEC Board Member, and Senior Strategist of Strategic Impact Partners, and Robert Pojasek, Ph.D, Senior Strategist of Strategic Impact Partners.

Many small and medium-sized supplier organizations are receiving notices from their larger sourcing customers to implement a variety of different international standards at their facilities. These standards could include:

  • ISO 9001: 2015 (for quality)
  • ISO 14001: 2015 (for the environment)
  • ISO 31000: 2018 (regarding risk management)
  • ISO 45001: 2018 (covering health and safety)
  • ISO 50001:2018 (covering energy management)
  • The Ethical Trading Initiative Program
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MEP National Network: Cobots Level the Playing Field

Posted by Simone Erskine on May 28, 2019 10:29:47 AM

This is an original article, written by Buckley Brinkman, the Executive Director/CEO of the Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing and Productivity (WCMP).

Reluctance to Employ Cobots Driven by 4 Common Misconceptions

It has been nearly six decades since the first industrial robots rolled on to a General Motors assembly line in Trenton, New Jersey. Today, a new generation of collaborative robots is changing how the manufacturing sector operates. These semi-intelligent machines are driving growth and improving efficiency not only for the GMs of the world, but also for small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) as well.

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Transforming the Workforce in the Era of AI Expansion - A MAPI Foundation Research

Posted by Simone Erskine on May 21, 2019 3:10:00 PM

The following is a description of MAPI Foundation's research on how AI is transforming the workforce, written by MAPI Foundation.

Manufacturing leaders are seeking strategies and solutions to address a burning question:
How will AI transform the workforce – the people, roles, skillsets – in the next 5 years?

THE CHALLENGE

Predictive maintenance, human-robot collaboration, and generative design are a few of the applications of artificial intelligence remaking manufacturing. Expectations continue to rise for AI to unlock elusive productivity gains. Industry leaders are adapting to the technological change — AI and related Industry 4.0 and IIoT technologies — that will continue to reshape their workforce, either through the automation and replacement of some workers or upskilling and new roles of others.

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