Why You Know More About Industry 4.0 Than You Think

Posted by IMEC on Dec 5, 2019 9:48:13 AM

This is an original article by Aaron Fox, President of Oregon MEP.

If industrial manufacturing had a buzzword of the decade, it might be “Industry 4.0.” The concept is inescapable, yet it can be hard to define, especially for small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs). After all, SMMs’ capabilities, needs, and budgets look very different from the large companies who often drive the latest innovations and trends. However, Industry 4.0 is so pervasive that many smaller manufacturers know more about the technologies than they might think. Below, we define Industry 4.0, then explore ways that SMMs can and do implement it already.

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Announcing the 2019 IMEC Awards for Excellence Recipients

Posted by Emily Lee on Dec 3, 2019 11:47:39 AM

IMEC announces five organizations as recipients of the IMEC Recognition Program’s 2019 Awards for Excellence. The high-performing organizations were evaluated against the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence by the IMEC Board of Examiners as part of the annual application process. Application scores and award determinations are made by the IMEC Panel of Judges.

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ISO 9001 and the Power of a T-Shirt

Posted by IMEC on Nov 25, 2019 12:36:57 PM

This is an original article by Robin Friestad of Quality Time Consulting.

I’ve recently taken the plunge into starting my own business. Part of what I’m learning to do is to “sell” what I love best. Twenty years ago, I would have been dumbfounded to predict that I would want to make a living out of ISO 9001 implementations and Internal Audits. I mean – I had been through a major implementation, several surveillance audits, and a couple re-registration audits at a Fortune 500 company. They were never pleasant. Oh, it wasn’t the external registrar, it was my upper management fretting about whether we would “pass” or not. I even came into work during my maternity leave to lend some confidence to my General Manager that it was going to be ok.

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Staying Safe While Traveling

Posted by Lori Amerman on Nov 14, 2019 9:06:00 AM

How long has it been since you have refreshed your team on travel safety?

Sometimes we are so focused on output and daily management that safety does not get the attention it deserves. Our employees are our most valuable asset. We are also busy. When time is taken to improve our safety and health programs and train the team, it is often focused on regulatory and highly hazardous activities.

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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 Food Safety Modernization Act in a Nutshell

Posted by IMEC on Oct 25, 2019 10:44:38 AM

This is an original article the NIST Manufacturing Innovation blog, written by Dileet Thatte.

According to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year 48 million people in the U.S. get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases. That means 1 in 6 people in the U.S. get sick from contaminated food every 12 months. These statistics are important to take note of and address since the U.S. food supply also represents a huge economic asset, contributing almost $1 trillion to the national gross domestic product (GDP) each year.

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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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LMI Chicago: Taking Leaders to the Next Level

Posted by Simone Erskine on Oct 3, 2019 12:12:43 PM

Who is LMI Chicago?

LMI Chicago is part of a worldwide organization called Leadership Management International. For over 50 years, in 80 countries and 27 languages, LMI programs have helped develop effective and productive leaders.  Jeff Johnson, President of LMI Chicago, personally completed the LMI programs with his management team (at his previous company) prior to starting LMIChicago four years ago. Witnessing the benefits, Johnson was attracted to the proven programs and processes and the difference they made in people’s lives.

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Surviving the Silver Tsunami: Participate in Manufacturing Month

Posted by Simone Erskine on Oct 1, 2019 7:55:00 AM

Facing the reality that the current workforce is dwindling down due to the silver tsunami sweeping the industry, manufacturers have a hard time finding quality replacement. The silver tsunami refers to the large number of baby boomers who are retiring from the workforce. For manufacturers, this is the majority of workers – they are not only losing employees, but also years of acquired knowledge and skills. It is time have to get creative about finding and developing talent while riding the tsunami wave. The problem is the disconnect between the industry and the general public. Unfortunately, the next generation of workers has misconceptions about manufacturing and trade jobs.

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