Illinois Machine Shops Eligible for Exclusive Access to Market Research to Achieve Global Competitiveness

Posted by Simone Erskine on Aug 24, 2020 10:41:48 AM

Illinois machine shops are a critical component of the small and mid-sized manufacturing community and are the foundation of metal manufacturing supply chains. This sector is highly competitive, and success is dependent on understanding where you stand in comparison to your counterparts and identifying areas of improvement – a tool like benchmarking can provide powerful insights. IMEC is partnering with Gardner Intelligence and the Modern Machine Shop’s Top Shops Program to provide a fully-funded opportunity for forward-thinking machine shops to attain custom reports and benchmarking analysis of their current operations.

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Five Helpful Lean Tools Manufacturers Can Use Today to Improve Productivity

Posted by Rick Winkler on Aug 21, 2020 11:19:30 AM

Lean manufacturing uses many lean tools to improve production and efficiency by getting the most out of each resource. The goal of lean manufacturing is to find better ways to do things – requiring less effort, less time, and fewer resources.

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Questions and Topics to Reduce Variability and Improve Visibility in this Ever-Changing New Normal

Posted by David Boulay on Aug 10, 2020 8:56:19 AM

Perhaps you’ve seen the meme that described 2020 as a unique leap year with 29 days in February, 300 days in March, and 5 years in April. The days and weeks have seemed to drag on – and it's only the middle of 2020. And who’s to say what will unfold in the coming weeks? It has been incredibly challenging to look 30 days ahead, let alone 12 months. You’re left wondering what’s next and when will things settle down.

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DOL Issues New Guidance in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted by IMEC on Jul 31, 2020 2:00:46 PM

An original article by T. Christopher Bailey, Scott Cruz from Greensfelder.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, employers find themselves facing new challenges. Recognizing that the “new norm” has led to workplace circumstances not previously considered, the U.S. Department of Labor issued new guidance to address several wage and hour and leave-related scenarios employers may face. Highlights from the new guidance include:

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How to Host a Virtual Manufacturing Day Event

Posted by IMEC on Jul 28, 2020 11:17:02 AM

Originally written by Anthony Diaz, Strategic Partnerships Manager in the MEP.

Given the limitations with public gatherings and social distancing practices prompted by the current pandemic, it’s uncertain whether manufacturers will be hosting traditional on-site tours of their facilities on Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) this October. But as we have learned with so many other aspects of our lives, a virtual option awaits.

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What to do During an OSHA Inspection

Posted by IMEC on Jul 24, 2020 4:03:11 PM

Written by Jeff Pacheco - Falcon Safety Group.

Prepare for the Visit 

In preparation for an on-site OSHA inspection, OSHA compliance officers will research the workplace that they will visit, look over previous site inspections, take notes of any citations or specific areas of concern, industry operations, and various compliance that may apply to the workplace.

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How to Seize a Digital Transformation Opportunity in COVID Times

Posted by Hanoz Umrigar on Jul 21, 2020 3:25:48 PM

The COVID-19 crisis is rapidly accelerating our need to prepare for a digital transformation and creating a digital strategy will be a roadmap for the transformation. The “new norm” of navigating the digital landscape in COVID times, highlights the reality of moving past the buzz words and catchy phrases, to aspiring to undertake a digital transformation agenda with both near and long-term strategic objectives in mind. This crisis presents its challenges to digital transformation planning: while certain sectors of the manufacturing industry are thriving, others are battling the fast-paced changes, challenges, and constraints.

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Infographic: The Defense Manufacturing Supply Chain

Posted by IMEC on Jul 14, 2020 12:26:40 PM

The defense manufacturing supply chain is critical to both the U.S. economy and national security. Support is needed for emerging technologies such as directed-energy weapons, hypersonics and cybersecurity, all of which are vital to national defense. While challenges exist, there have been remarkable successes due to the MEP National Network’sTM dedication to assist small and medium-sized manufacturers across the U.S. and in Puerto Rico. Manufacturers assisted have included those that supply a material, component or subsytem used in a defense or national security system. The Network continues to provide support in building a robust defense supply chain.

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The New Supply Chain: Back in the Game

Posted by IMEC on Jul 10, 2020 11:59:40 AM

Part 7 of "The New Supply Chain" blog series by Mike Loquercio, Vice President of Supply Chain at Greenleaf Foods.

Whether your industry is “back in the game” or not, we have seen several starts and stops across the overall playing field, especially the food and beverage markets given COVID19 impacts; your supply chain is different!

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Managing Productivity

Posted by IMEC on Jul 9, 2020 10:32:45 AM

This is an original article by Ken Voytek, Chief Economist at NIST MEP. 

I’ve made it my personal crusade to keep a focus on the fundamental importance of productivity to manufacturers, to the MEP Program, to the MEP Centers that do the daily work of helping small manufacturers boost their performance. It may seem strange to read a post about productivity given the current environment, but it remains important to both national economic and business success. Indeed, productivity will be even more critical as we recover from the current health and economic crisis. Currently, there is significant excess capacity of both capital and labor that we can reengage to help the economy grow faster and return to full employment and capacity utilization of plants as equipment is more fully used. In his 2004 book The Power of Productivity, William Lewis argues the real solution is not necessarily more capital or working smarter (although these things certainly help), but rather how a company organizes and deploys its capital and labor.

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