10 Hot Leadership Topics for 2020

Posted by IMEC on Jan 20, 2020 10:47:39 AM

This is an original article written by Stephanie Neal, Director of DDI's Center for Analytics and Behaviorial Research.

As we kick off 2020, expectations are high for the changes the decade ahead will bring. According to top HR and leadership influencers, this year will challenge leaders to face a new level of workplace transformation. Hot leadership topics for 2020 will continue to be shaped by accelerating technology change, increasing consumer expectations, and hyper-connectivity.

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5 Ways to Embrace Industry 4.0

Posted by IMEC on Dec 17, 2019 8:10:00 AM

This is an original article written by Shekhar Chandrashekhar of California Manufacturing Technology Consulting, part of the MEP National Network.

You may be adopting advanced manufacturing technologies but how do you deploy them at scale to realize true business results? Here’s how.

Embrace Industry 4.0 and start reaping the rewards new technologies promise — no matter what size your company.

Today, most manufacturers are engaged in activities that could be considered part of “Industry 4.0.” (70% according to the World Economic Forum’s [WEF] white paper, “Fourth Industrial Revolution: Beacons of Technology and Innovation in Manufacturing”).

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Made in Illinois Featured Company: Termico Technologies

Posted by Simone Erskine on Dec 6, 2019 12:55:26 PM

Termico’s core competency is the engineering, manufacture, and testing of self-regulating, PTC heaters. At Termico they strive to offer best-in-class application engineering support to assist customer product development efforts. With 80+ years of PTC industry knowledge on staff, they understand what it takes to produce safe, stable, and reliable heaters.

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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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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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Digital Manufacturing for Small Manufacturers

Posted by David Boulay on Jun 28, 2019 1:08:18 PM

Smart Manufacturing. Factory of the Future. Industry 4.0. These are the buzzwords used by those driving the manufacturing world forward. At the heart of these concepts is digital manufacturing and design (DM&D). But what exactly is DM&D? And what does it mean for the small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) that make up the majority of the industry?

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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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Incident Response Plan: The Tool You Hope You Never Need

Posted by Simone Erskine on May 15, 2019 12:55:00 PM

This is an original article written by Isaac Wright, a Cybersecurity Analyst and Trainer at Alpine Security.

It’s no question that in cybersecurity, defense is the best defense. In the constantly changing threat landscape, the tie often goes to the attacker, and businesses are forced to act like turtles putting up shells of security to ward off threats.  That is not always a bad thing; using a well-constructed defense- in- depth plan can greatly limit the likelihood of a successful attack.  I would like to believe we can get to a 99.99% level of security.  Even if that were true, that extra .01% keeps me up at night. What do we do if the controls fail? How do we respond then? What do we do the other 1% of the time? Once we find out that our emails have been hacked, or our money has been stolen is not the time to ask, “what now?” Even worse, what do you do when you suspect that an insider has embezzled funds and the evidence is located on their computer? Though we invest in and rely on our security controls, it is unfortunately not always enough.  We must have a plan for the .01%.

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Using Technology to Resolve Workforce Challenges

Posted by Simone Erskine on Apr 26, 2019 8:47:00 AM

We are all aware that technology is reshaping the economy – and now the workforce. It provides opportunities for companies to see their way through the ever-present workforce challenge - too many businesses cannot find the skilled workers they need, when they need them and where they need them.

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