Midwest Manufacturers — Make Do, Can Do, Will Do

Posted by IMEC on Nov 19, 2020 11:09:18 AM

An original article from the NIST Manufacturing Innovation Blog.

As a proud son of the Midwest (yes, my family does exchange holiday cheese, and yes, it’s delicious, we have no regrets), I was particularly interested in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Partnership Extension (NIST MEP) virtual round table for Midwest manufacturers. All our nation’s manufacturers are important to me and, of course, we at NIST MEP love them all equally, but there’s always a certain extra curiosity about how the home team’s doing, isn’t there? On Aug. 26, 2020, we brought together manufacturers virtually as part of a series of conversations about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic impact. Our goal in hosting these listening sessions, which we call the “National Conversation with Manufacturers,” was to discern how best to support manufacturers through the current uncertainty and beyond.

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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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What Is Manufacturing’s Greatest Challenge?

Posted by IMEC on Mar 9, 2020 12:22:18 PM

An original article by Nico Thomas, Performance Analyst for the Program Evaluation and Economic Research  group of NIST MEP.

Technology is the single greatest challenge (and opportunity) for the manufacturing industry … or is it? It’s true that technology has evolved and changed how manufacturers—especially small and medium-sized manufacturers—operate their businesses, in ways that even a few years ago didn’t seem possible.

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What's Important for IIoT Planning (and What's Just Noise)?

Posted by David Boulay on Feb 18, 2020 9:55:56 AM

This article first appeared in IndustryWeek.

I do my best to stay attuned to manufacturing trends. There is a confusing barrage of articles and opinions on Industry 4.0. Some articles create new terms, others provide competing definitions around similar concepts, and others seek use cases to justify new technologies. Some are already talking about Industry 5.0 while 4.0 is still in its infancy and ill-defined.

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IMEC – 228 years in the making!

Posted by Dean Harms on Nov 13, 2019 8:00:00 AM

"There is no purpose, to which public money can be more beneficially applied, than to the acquisition of a new and useful branch of industry; no consideration more valuable than a permanent addition to the general stock of productive labour."
-- Alexander Hamilton, Report on Manufactures, December 5, 1791

IMEC exists to help manufacturing companies drive growth through enterprise excellence that leads to long-term competitiveness, economic and workforce development, and growth within Illinois. Consisting of a team of improvement specialists, they provide relevant tools and techniques that help organizations excel in 6 key areas: Leadership, Strategy, Customer Engagement, Operations, Workforce and Results.

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The Importance of Productivity

Posted by IMEC on Nov 8, 2019 9:38:59 AM

This is an original article taken from the NIST Manufacturing Innovation blog.

Productivity matters. It matters a lot. Yet it often seems that folks talk about productivity, but don’t do anything about it.  At least, it feels that way to me when I go outside of the MEP National Network™, where we’re always focused on enhancing manufacturing productivity. And you could say that productivity is a personal crusade for me, as is evident in blogs I’ve written over the last few years.

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The 5 Common Cybersecurity Threats to Manufacturers

Posted by IMEC on Oct 17, 2019 11:37:58 AM

This is an original article written by Elliot Forsyth, Vice President of Business Operations at the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (The Center), part of the MEP National Network.

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The Impact of Manufacturing

Posted by Simone Erskine on Oct 1, 2019 3:50:21 PM

As the country celebrates MFG Day 2019, and Illinois celebrates Manufacturing Month, it would be remiss of us to ignore this opportunity to acknowledge the impact of IMEC and the MEP National Network on our state and the country as a whole.  Being a part of the Network, IMEC has access to a plethora of local and national resources designed to strengthen an organization’s competitiveness and position them on a path to excellence. As a result of leveraging partnerships and our team’s expertise, IMEC has been able to make a significant impact on clients and the economy as a whole. In 2018 alone, we assisted 763 Illinois companies, created 6,793 jobs, and contributed aggregate impact to the state’s economy was $620,444,392.

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IMEC Experts Recognized Nationally at 2019 MEP Summit

Posted by Simone Erskine on Oct 1, 2019 9:32:53 AM

A couple of weeks ago, over 500 MEP center staff, partners, stakeholders, industry thought leaders, and NIST MEP staff gathered in Atlanta for the 2019 MEP National Summit. With the theme The United State of Manufacturing, this year’s summit intended to “lay the foundation for service and solutions that will grow the Network, improve the ways we serve small and medium-sized manufacturers, and strengthen and empower U.S. Manufacturers as we advance U.S. Manufacturing.” 

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