Local sourcing can be more efficient and secure with blockchain and smart contracts.

Will Blockchain and Smart Contracts Accelerate Smart Manufacturing?

No manufacturer is an island – and thus a digitally connected supply chain is a cornerstone of any Industry 4.0 or Smart Manufacturing discussion. For most companies secure and semi-automated work with supply chain partners is just a concept, but now you can get started in earnest! On November 15, SyncFab, a procurement platform for […]

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Authentication in a wearable band for personnel can deliver great productivity, security and traceability

Data Integrity by Authenticating People and Process in Industry 4.0

What’s the #1 source of error and security problems for production processes and documentation? People! So I am delighted to meet companies working on the authentication of people as they perform their work. This is crucial to data integrity in the new digital world. Much of Industry 4.0 focuses on the product cyber-physical systems (CPS) […]

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Semiconductor: Escape the Trap or Die

The semiconductor industry is caught in a trap made of its own success. It’s called the whole-economy disruptor of Internet of Things (IoT). It’s alluring – huge growth potential, new applications an use cases… And yet, semiconductor makers can easily die in the trap of IoT’s need for higher mix and lower costs, faster ramp […]

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Siemens Digital Thread

Weaving the New Economy from Digital Thread

What if the new economy is already here? Some manufacturers have fully embraced the digital thread and are delivering fast, high-quality, cost-effective personalized products. As they set new expectations for customer time and value, they are also re-defining how the economy works. For these companies, Industry 4.0 is not decades away. They are designing and […]

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Think Direct Materials Negotiations Could be Better? Guaranteed.

Can you point to a way to save on your direct materials procurement negotiations? Maybe not. However, most professionals involved in sourcing and direct procurement know that they are leaving money on the table. As timeframes continue to shrink for complex supply chains to introduce new and improved products, it’s become harder to make good […]

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EVS Brings AI and Simulation to day-to-day WMS operations

Can Simulation and AI Optimize a Warehouse?

Can software that incorporates artificial intelligence and simulation actually optimize warehouse operations? EVS claims it can deliver insights by simulating the environment and workflow changes to gauge impact on productivity prior to making the actual changes. EVS claims that it’s the first and only company to do so with its new mobe3 warehouse management system […]

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Sounds create their own big data - hearing it may create advantage

Hearing the Big Data of Sound

What’s often the first indicator that something’s gone wrong? A change in what you hear. A sound. Think about this in your plant. Sound and vibration are powerful indicators of a change in condition. Wouldn’t it be great if you could incorporate that into your predictive and prescriptive maintenance? Or into your service offering for […]

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Analytics specific to e-commerce fulfillment can save companies money and help meet customers expectations.

Smarter e-Commerce Fulfillment: A Smart Investment

I love to shop on-line. When I order on-line, like everyone else, I look for fast, low-cost or even free shipping. Amazon has taught us to expect that, and reliable, on-time arrival goes without saying. By the way, I want easy returns too. It’s great for consumers, but not necessarily so great for companies selling […]

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Hardware and software work together for smart manufacturing

Smart Manufacturing is about Hardware: Yes or No?

I’m beginning to think my focus on manufacturing software is too narrow: from machine monitoring to MES/MOM and scheduling, supply chain, quality, PLM, ERP and analytics across all production segments. Does that sound broad or narrow to you? As a long-time industry analyst and advisor, I strive for a broad view. However, I see that […]

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Virtual and Augmented Reality Schneider buys MWPowerlab

New Reality for Augmented and Virtual Reality

Train operators, maintain assets, and maybe even develop processes… virtually. Are you doing it yet? Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are not new, but recent advances make it far more practical for process manufacturers to use. A sign that this is becoming mainstream: Schneider Electric announced it has acquired  its VR and AR […]

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