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Nicoal Crawford, CMP


Created: Aug 5, 2011

Blog Posts

Manufacturing Sustainability: Why M4.0 is Changing the Rules  in Sustainability

Here are three key reasons why manufacturing 4.0 should change the way you think about the future of sustainability in your manufacturing organization. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Dec 11, 2017
Views: 591
At Merck Plant Tour, Digital Skills, Data Take Center Stage  in The Innovation Enterprise

Manufacturing Leadership Council members gather at Merck's manufacturing site in Durham, NC, to see how vaccines and other drugs are made, and to discuss key issues in digital manufacturing, including needed skill sets and how to use data effectively. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Dec 07, 2017
Views: 590
Six Tips for Cashing in on the Promise of Smart Products  in The Innovation Enterprise

Smart, connected products offer manufacturers a wealth of opportunities to reduce operational costs while also driving new sources of revenue and higher levels of customer intimacy. But, in order to realize the promise of smart products, manufacturers will need to drive much more internal, cross-functional collaboration; cultivate new, closer ties with customers; and invest in upgrading legacy product and technology infrastructure. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Nov 21, 2017
Views: 2330
Ongoing Cyber Attacks Target Manufacturers  in Cybersecurity

Manufacturing leaders who still harbor doubts about the serious nature of the cyber attack campaigns today targeting their companies should take a close read of an alert recently issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the FBI. The document, officially called a Technical Alert, details what it calls an ongoing and persistent cyber attack campaign that has been underway since at least May of this year and that targets “critical manufacturing sectors” as well as government entities and organizations in the energy, nuclear, water, and aviation sectors, according to the report. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Nov 10, 2017
Views: 7785
Digital Transformation: The Key to Competitiveness?  in Factories of the Future

Speakers at the third annual Smart Factory World Symposium debate whether the U.S. manufacturing industry is still competitive as well as the challenges and opportunities of embracing Manufacturing 4.0, the next wave of industrial progress. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Nov 06, 2017
Views: 14775
Firstronic Plant Tour: Aligning a Manufacturing Organization Behind a Data-Driven Approach  in ML Council

"It was after the downturn in 2010 when we decided to shed 60% of our customer base." John Sammut, CEO of electronic manufacturing services provider Firstronic told members of the Manufacturing Leadership Council at a recent plant tour at his company’s Grand Rapids, MI, plant. How many CEOs have you met that would walk away from 60% of their customer base? Regardless of the scale, this is a bold move. Done for the right reasons with the right focus, these pruning measures can position the business for the right type of growth. Here is my take on how Firstronic’s market insight, organizational alignment, and customer focus paved the way for a great turn-around story. Read More →

Posted by Paul Burgo on Oct 18, 2017
Views: 11835
Share Your Insights on Manufacturing Sustainability 4.0  in Sustainability

The Manufacturing Leadership Council invites you to participate in this year's Manufacturing Sustainability 4.0 Research Project. The results of this survey will be published in the December 2017 issue of the Manufacturing Leadership Journal. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Oct 16, 2017
Views: 12292
CHINA JOURNAL: After the Trip, Reflections on China  in Industrial Policy

After a 16-day, four-city trip to China, ML Council co-founder David R. Brousell reflects on what he saw and learned about China and the country's manufacturing direction. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Oct 15, 2017
Views: 4057
Firstronic Plant Tour Shows that M4.0 Is About More than Digitization  in ML Council

We at the Manufacturing Leadership Council are of the belief that the journey to a next-generation manufacturing model isn’t just about aggressively adopting emerging digital technologies. Yes, IIoT, advanced analytics, modeling, smart products, and machine learning technologies are emerging as important components of M4.0 transformation, giving manufacturers unprecedented power to optimize operations in response to or even in advance of market and other changes. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Oct 12, 2017
Views: 5024
Europe Launches Digital Manufacturing Innovation Hub Network To Boost Industrial Digitization  in Factories of the Future

In a bid to accelerate the European manufacturing industry’s journey to a digital future, the European Union’s Institute of Innovation and Technology’s digital division (EIT Digital) has launched a new initiative to provide European manufacturing companies with easier access to the technological facilities and advanced skills of the multiple manufacturing innovation hubs now in place across the region. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Oct 11, 2017
Views: 7415
CHINA JOURNAL: Analytics, Digitization, and AI Dominate Day 2 at MIF2017  in Transformative Technologies

The second and final day of MIF2017 focuses on analytics and digitization, and includes presentations from ML Council members and an award winner. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Oct 01, 2017
Views: 4904
CHINA JOURNAL: From Mass Production to Quality Global Brands  in Factories of the Future

On the first day of the MIF2017 manufacturing conference in Tianjin, Chinese manufacturing executives say they are determined to change China's manufacturing image from a mass producer to one based on high quality brands. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Sep 29, 2017
Views: 5541
CHINA JOURNAL: A Car Plant Tour in Tianjin  in Factories of the Future

A day after arriving in Tianjin, China, ML Co-founder David R. Brousell tours an SUV final assembly plant just outside the city. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Sep 27, 2017
Views: 10404
CHINA JOURNAL: Shanghai is the First Step on the Journey  in Manufacturing Leadership Council

David R. Brousell, the Co-founder of the Manufacturing Leadership Council, begins a 16-day trip to China, where he will speak at the MIF2017 manufacturing conference in Tianjin on the subject of Manufacturing 4.0. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Sep 25, 2017
Views: 13746
Don’t Fool Yourself, Manufacturing 4.0 Means Exponential Change  in The Adaptive Organization

We often hear that, when taking first steps on the digital transformation journey, manufacturers should start small, build on successes, and then expand the vision once results and credibility have been established. This seems like prudent advice. After all, digitization often involves the implementation of new, relatively untested technologies, and leads to profound process and organizational change. Therefore, we’re often told, it’s best early on to reduce risk by narrowly defining the scope of digitization projects, focusing in incremental improvements, and leaving messy change management for later. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Sep 19, 2017
Views: 4654
At Women’s Summit, Brand Building, Workforce Issues and the Future of Manufacturing  in Next-Generation Leadership and the Changing Workforce

At the 7th annual Women in Manufacturing Summit, about 300 female manufacturing professionals gathered to hear inspirational keynotes on subjects such as building a personal brand, to engage in a workshop to improve problem-solving skills, to attend plant tours, and to participate in breakout sessions around advanced technologies, leadership and professional development, operational excellence, and diversity and inclusion. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Sep 19, 2017
Views: 3306
Manufacturing Leadership Awards Nominations Now Open for 2018  in Manufacturing Leadership Council

Manufacturing leaders from around the world are invited to nominate their breakthrough projects and outstanding individual achievements for Frost & Sullivan’s 2018 Manufacturing Leadership (ML) Awards, the industry’s most prestigious awards program. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Sep 06, 2017
Views: 4177
Manufacturing Leadership Council Releases New Critical Issues Agenda for 2017/2018  in Manufacturing Leadership Council

The Manufacturing Leadership Council encourages industrial leaders to grasp the competitive opportunities of Manufacturing 4.0 digital technologies, collaborative structures, enterprise-wide innovation, and sustainable production strategies to drive future growth in its new Critical Issues agenda for the year ahead. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Aug 11, 2017
Views: 8583
Plant Tour: At LAI, M4.0 is a Multi-Step Journey  in Factories of the Future

Members of the Manufacturing Leadership Council last week toured LAI International's 75,000-square foot plant in Maine, and heard about how the manufacturer of precision-engineered parts devised its roadmap to Manufacturing 4.0. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Aug 10, 2017
Views: 6038
Public Perception of Manufacturing Mixed but Improving  in Next-Generation Leadership and the Changing Workforce

The good news: Americans continue to believe that the health of the manufacturing industry is vitally important to the health of the country’s economy. And, increasingly, Americans believe that manufacturing jobs of the future will require high tech skills and innovation and will be clean and safe. The bad news: The vast majority of Americans still wouldn’t encourage their children to pursue manufacturing careers, and most don’t believe that manufacturing jobs today are interesting, rewarding, clean, safe, stable, and secure. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Jul 17, 2017
Views: 5828
Manufacturing Industry is Embracing IoT & Digital Transformation  in Transformative Technologies

Recently, I was lucky enough to have been invited to attend Frost & Sullivan’s 13th Annual Manufacturing Leadership Summit. The Summit brings together C-suite executives and leaders from some of the largest manufacturers in the US—such as GM, Nike, Raytheon, BASF, and Merck—as well as smaller, more progressive manufacturers to discuss the newest advancements in manufacturing. Read More →

Posted by Shahram Mehraban on Jun 29, 2017
Views: 7803
It’s Time for Action on Tax, Trade, and Regulatory Reform, Manufacturers Say  in Manufacturing Advocacy

Manufacturing leaders are encouraged by the Trump Administration’s early willingness to prioritize, protect, and support the industrial sector but, they emphasize, the industry needs positive, legislative action on tax and trade policies and regulatory reform, as well as support for workforce development and high-level policy representation in the new administration. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Jun 27, 2017
Views: 6771
Lockheed Martin Explodes the ‘Digital Tapestry’  in Transformative Technologies

Two years ago, at the Manufacturing Leadership Summit, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Vice President of Production Dennis Little laid out his company’s “Digital Tapestry” strategy which, he said, would reduce product cycle time, decrease costs, and fuel future product development. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Jun 21, 2017
Views: 7212
Manufacturers Must Pick Up the Pace on Digital Transformation  in Manufacturing Leadership Council

Manufacturing leaders must lift their sights above day-to-day operational challenges and embrace three types of significant change if they are to capitalize on the transformational opportunities presented by the digitized, Manufacturing 4.0 era, Manufacturing Leadership Council Co-Founder David R. Brousell today told attendees of the 13th Annual Manufacturing Leadership Council. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Jun 19, 2017
Views: 6936
2017 Manufacturing Leadership Awards Program Honors Trailblazers of Industry Transformation  in Manufacturing Leadership Council

On June 14, at the 13th Annual Manufacturing Leadership (ML) Awards Gala, produced by Frost & Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership Council, top honors were presented to Industry 4.0 founding father Dr. Detlef Zühlke who was named Manufacturing Leader of the Year. The Dow Chemical Company took home the Manufacturer of the Year, Large Enterprise Award. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Jun 19, 2017
Views: 8583
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Engineering Test Lab Management Solutions  in

First time user, if I posted in wrong spot, please advise. We have been searching to enabling technology solutions that will manage our Engineering test labs that are scattered across the Enterprise. As everyone strives for synergies, we continue to share these resources, making scheduling and management more complicated. Looking for a solution that will allow us to: - schedule work - manage inventory (consumables for the most part, think MRO) - manage resources - forecast I know this sounds like ERP and that is an obvious choice, however it is a little heavy for this application. Is anyone aware of enterprise solutions for this type of work. if not, how are others resolving this problem. Read More →

Posted by Mark Tudor on Apr 21, 2016
Tags :
Views: 3797
Open Days Really Can Change the Image of Manufacturing  in Next-Generation Leadership and the Changing Workforce

There are few better ways to transform the image of manufacturing amongst the next generation than by allowing young people to see for themselves what manufacturing looks like first hand. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Dec 15, 2015
Views: 17885
Digital Manufacturing Institute Awards First Innovation Research Contracts  in Factories of the Future

Twenty months after its founding, the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) this week issues its first five national contract research awards, cumulatively valued at $7 million. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Oct 19, 2015
Views: 16625
What’s the Future for 3D Printing in Manufacturing?  in Factories of the Future

A new report suggests that the growth in 3D printing technology in the manufacturing sector over the next three years will largely come in end-use production, with an emphasis on the use of metal materials. These two trends will combine to drive greater demand for expertise and know-how and further investments in 3D printing skills and research. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Oct 13, 2015
Views: 28065
Global Manufacturing Growth At Lowest Levels Since July 2013  in Manufacturing Leadership Community

September wasn’t the best month for global manufacturing. While most Western nations continued to show signs of measured industrial expansion, growth rates continued to slide in many Asian countries, according to the latest monthly Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) figures from industry analysts Markit Economics. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Oct 06, 2015
Views: 15312
Manufacturers and Makers Finding Ways to Work Together  in The Innovative Enterprise

For a long time, the maker movement and the world of quality, high-volume production have been worlds apart. Contract manufacturers and job shops didn’t know how to sell or cater their services to makers who may have been interested in moving their creations into production. And makers—enthusiastic individuals who use digital tools to turn ideas into designs and prototypes—often didn’t know how to find and work with manufacturers who could turn digital prototypes into high volume, commercial products. But a number of recent developments suggest the worlds of makers and manufacturers are finally beginning to come together. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Sep 30, 2015
Views: 15430
Germany Announces Five Industry 4.0 Competence Centers for SMEs  in Factories of the Future

The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has appointed its first five Centers of Competence to help support the country’s small- and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises in the development and adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Sep 28, 2015
Views: 26341
P&G, Alcoa, Tesla Pair Up With Clean Energy Experts To Foster Sustainable Manufacturing  in Sustainability

Backed by $2.6 million in state funds, the U.S. Energy Department’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative has announced a new program of two-year “Technology in Residence” pilot projects, pairing up a leading clean energy expert from a U.S. national lab, with a senior technology executive in a major manufacturing firm or industry consortia. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Sep 18, 2015
Views: 26566
GE to Move Some Production Offshore in Search of Export Financing  in Manufacturing Advocacy

General Electric said it will move some assembly and production of its aeroderivatives turbines to plants outside the U.S. in order to obtain access to government-backed export credit financing. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Sep 16, 2015
Views: 21748
What Are You Doing for Manufacturing Day on October 2?  in Manufacturing Advocacy

This year, America’s annual Manufacturing Day falls on October 2 and provides manufacturers large and small with a high-profile opportunity to showcase their achievements to potential future generations of employees, and to promote both the economic and social value that manufacturing brings to local communities. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Sep 14, 2015
Views: 18778
Alcoa Sinking $60 Million into R&D Center for 3D Printing  in Transformative Technologies

In a move that could boost the use of 3D-printed parts for production, particularly in the aerospace industry, Alcoa said is investing $60 million on an expansion of its Alcoa Technical Center near Pittsburgh, PA. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Sep 08, 2015
Views: 18038
Seventh Manufacturing Innovation Institute Formed to Focus on Flexible, Hybrid Electronics  in Transformative Technologies

The U.S. White House and Department of Defense today announced plans to create a manufacturing innovation institute that will be supported by $171 million in government and private funds and will advance research into and development of flexible electronic devices that can be used in wearable devices, soft robotics, and other systems. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Aug 31, 2015
Views: 16629
Coca-Cola Advances on Water Use Sustainability Goals, While Other Food Manufacturers Lag  in Sustainability

The Coca-Cola Company this week said it is on track to achieve its goal of replenishing all the water used to make its products by the end of 2015, five years ahead of its previously-announced schedule. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Aug 27, 2015
Views: 15371
Dollar’s Rise Erodes U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness  in Manufacturing Advocacy

The dollar’s rise compared to other currencies over the past year has made U.S.-based manufacturing less cost-competitive, particularly compared to some top European exporting nations, a new study from the Boston Consulting Group finds. But U.S. manufacturing competitiveness fell relatively little compared with major exporting countries such as China, India, South Korea, and Mexico, largely because currency value fluctuations have been less pronounced in those countries, the study finds. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Aug 19, 2015
Views: 16643
Tianjin Explosion: Does China Face an Industrial Safety Crisis?  in Manufacturing Leadership Community

Tragic events in Tianjin last week as a massive chemical storage facility exploded killing at least 114 people, injuring almost 700 more, damaging or destroying 17,000 nearby homes, and sending plumes of toxic gases into the air, raise serious concerns about the policing of industrial safety regulations in China’s industrial regions. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Aug 18, 2015
Views: 14310
Is Modi’s “Make In India” Manufacturing Campaign Starting to Pay Off with High-Tech Giants?  in Redefining the Supply Chain

There are signs that Prime Minister Modi’s high-profile “Make in India” campaign is starting to pay off, at least among some of the world’s high-tech industry leaders. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Aug 11, 2015
Views: 13938
Study: U.S. Manufacturers Trail Offshore Competitors on Innovation, Strategic Planning  in The Innovative Enterprise

U.S. manufacturers are falling behind offshore competitors when it comes to the breadth and formality of their innovation initiatives, according to a recent survey by accounting and consulting firm McGladrey. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Jul 28, 2015
Views: 22074
U.S. Launches New Photonics Manufacturing Innovation Institute with 124 Partners  in The Innovative Enterprise

The U.S. Department of Defense has announced the formation of a new Manufacturing Innovation Institute focusing on the development of advanced Integrated Photonics technologies. Photonics allow the use of light particles to carry information and images to help improve applications ranging from high-bandwidth communications, to energy-saving data centers, ‘needleless’ medical procedures, and advanced security and defense systems. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Jul 28, 2015
Views: 17219
Can Manufacturing Incubators Help Drive the Next Wave of Manufacturing?  in Factories of the Future

If you want to start up a new hi-tech software business, all you really need is a powerful laptop, a fast network connection, a desk (and even that’s optional), and a good idea. Easy, right? But if you want to start up an innovative new manufacturing business, the chances are you’re going to need a lot more space, a lot more complex equipment, and access to a few more like-minded people to make it happen. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Jul 07, 2015
Views: 27709
Advanced Manufacturing as Disruptive Innovation  in Transformative Technologies

Can advanced manufacturing processes themselves be the source of disruptive innovation? A high-profile start-up company in the hotly-contested lithium-ion battery space things they can. 24M—the founders were behind lithium-ion start-up flameout A123—has raised over $50 million from venture capitalists who are betting that the company can make the batteries cost-competitive with fossil fuel-based energy in the near future. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Jun 24, 2015
Views: 14460
Creating a Nexus for Collaborative Innovation  in The Innovative Enterprise

What if you could create a physical space where out-of-the-box thinkers from a variety of engineering- and design-related disciplines could easily collaborate and fail freely on the way to creating new things and ideas? That’s the concept behind New Lab, a 84,000-square-foot space in a part of the old Brooklyn Shipyard in New York City which has already attracted several ground-breaking tenants and a major investment from the City of New York. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Jun 15, 2015
Views: 19391
Is the Future of Robotics Modular?  in Manufacturing Automation

Modbot Founder Adam Ellison presents his vision of the future of robotics in manufacturing--think modular, ubiquitous, and connected. Read More →

Posted by Sue Pelletier on Jun 04, 2015
Views: 16239
Learning from DARPA  in The Innovative Enterprise

What manufacturers can learn from DARPA's initiatives, plus a challenge. Read More →

Posted by Sue Pelletier on Jun 04, 2015
Views: 13932
What's Next: Beyond Manufacturing 4.0  in Sustainability

Ted Duclos outlines a biologically inspired vision of sustainability--and manufacturing--at the ML Summit 2015. Read More →

Posted by Sue Pelletier on Jun 03, 2015
Views: 16596
Rethink Robotics Reboots, Launches Second-Generation Collaborative Robot  in Transformative Technologies

Boston start-up Rethink Robotics was supposed to be the poster-child for the movement toward a new generation of advanced robots that would be smarter, easier to program, less expensive, and safer around human workers than traditional industrial robots. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Apr 29, 2015
Views: 17163