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Critical Issue: Transformative Technologies

Large or small, manufacturing enterprises urgently need to learn how to identify, adopt, and leverage the right emerging technologies to enable rapid process transformation and the development of innovative new products and business services. They must also understand how these technologies may impact operational efficiency, responsiveness, predictive capability, resilience and the customer experience.

  • Big Data and Predictive Analytics
  • Internet of Things / Industrial Internet / Industry 4.0
  • Cybersecurity

Blog Posts

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: 3722
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: 6835
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: 6320
SAP Sapphire Day 1: Accelerating Digital Transformation  in Transformative Technologies

Nearly 30,000 SAP customers, partners, and media representatives converged at the Orlando Convention Center in Florida yesterday to open the software company’s annual Sapphire conference, and the message they heard was loud and clear – companies need to accelerate their transformation into digital businesses. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on May 16, 2017
Views: 5871
Exact Unveils Major Software Architectural Change  in Transformative Technologies

Exact Macola, a developer of business software for small- and medium-size companies, has unveiled a new release of its flagship Macola enterprise resource planning product that emphasizes greater usability, including its use on tablet computers. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Apr 27, 2017
Views: 6957
Augmented Reality is Center Stage at AGCO Plant Tour  in Transformative Technologies

Agriculture equipment maker AGCO Corp.'s pioneering efforts with Google Glass was the subject of a Manufacturing Leadership Council tour at the company's Jackson, Minn., facility last week. More than 70 ML Council members and invited guests toured the nearly one-million square foot site. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Apr 11, 2017
Views: 8363
Scaling Digitization Projects into an M4.0 Strategy  in Transformative Technologies

It’s one thing to take on a small, well-defined project aimed at proving the potential of digitizing a process such as maintenance on a single line or in an individual plant. It’s quite another to take the experiences gathered from such small projects and build them into a Manufacturing 4.0 roadmap that aligns with the strategy defined by the company’s senior leadership team. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Feb 02, 2017
Views: 12377
ML Awards Submission Deadline Extended to January 13  in Transformative Technologies

We at the Manufacturing Leadership Council are thrilled with the number and quality of nominations we have already received for the 2017 Manufacturing Leadership Awards. It’s clear from the projects nominated so far that Manufacturing 4.0 and the transformational opportunity that it represents are inspiring manufacturers to achieve great things, particularly in the areas of Big Data, the Industrial Internet of Things, and Talent Management. In order to ensure that as many of these worthy projects as possible make it into the Manufacturing Leadership Awards program, we have decided to extend the submission deadline to January 13, 2017. This one-time extension will give manufacturers and their partners some time after the busy holidays to put the finishing touches on their nominations. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Dec 12, 2016
Views: 11819
A "Cathedral of Manufacturing" Opens in Brooklyn  in Transformative Technologies

New Lab, an independent, interdisciplinary place for entrepreneurs working in robotics, artificial intelligence, connected devices, and other areas, officially opens in the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York City. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Oct 11, 2016
Views: 14733
Is Big Brother Coming to the Factory Floor?  in Transformative Technologies

Manufacturers invest lots of money and intellectual capital defining and documenting the philosophies and standard practices under which they want their plants to operate. Operations bibles such as the legendary Toyota Production System not only lay out standard operating procedures aimed at driving up quality and productivity, they also reflect the cultural aspirations of the manufacturing enterprise. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Jul 22, 2016
Views: 15507
White House Creates Sensor-Focused Innovation Institute, Plans Five More  in Transformative Technologies

The Obama Administration has announced the creation of a Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute which, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, will focus on accelerating the development of smart sensors, data analytics, and advanced control systems for manufacturing. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Jun 20, 2016
Views: 12451
Top Manufacturing Leadership Awards Winners Show that M4.0 Is Transforming the Industry  in Transformative Technologies

When the top winners of the 12th annual Manufacturing Leadership Awards were unveiled at a gala celebration on June 8, one thing became quite clear: The digital transformation that the Manufacturing 4.0 era promises is much more than a theory or a metaphor. Manufacturing leaders across a wide range of markets—from automotive to high technology—are becoming more efficient, more agile, and delivering more customer value by embracing the convergence of physical and cyber systems. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Jun 15, 2016
Views: 12518
Small Manufacturers Will Benefit from M4.0, Too  in Transformative Technologies

Why are large manufacturers investing in digitizing their product innovation, supply chain, and production processes? Many would say they recognize the need to respond to rapidly-rising customer expectations by becoming more data-driven and more agile. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Jun 15, 2016
Views: 11056
Another Additive Manufacturing Standards Group Sets Up Shop  in Transformative Technologies

While makers and other enthusiasts continue to proclaim the transformative potential of additive manufacturing and 3D printing, enthusiasm among many industrial manufacturers remains muted. One reason: The absence of a comprehensive set of standards and certifications that can assure manufacturers and their customers that 3D printing equipment, software, and materials will perform safely and to predictable specifications. Without such verifiable standards—or the willingness to test equipment and materials internally--many manufacturers remain reluctant to stake their reputations and customer relationships on 3D printing. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Mar 15, 2016
Views: 11472
The IoT Standards World Readjusts  in Transformative Technologies

At the Manufacturing Leadership Council’s special “Manufacturing 4.0 in Action” event in Nuremberg, Germany, last November, a member of the audience raised the very pertinent question of standards in the M4.0 era. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Mar 08, 2016
Views: 16416
Is Service the ‘Killer App’ for Augmented Reality?  in Transformative Technologies

In the technology field, it sometimes takes a long time for vision to become reality. Artificial intelligence, analytics, robots, many categories of software, and even the now-popular 3D printing technology have all traveled a lengthy road to get to the point of practical application and substantial, widespread use.The technology known as augmented reality is certainly an outpost on that historical road, with early work on the technology dating back more than half a century. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Feb 03, 2016
Views: 16095
Report: Continued U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness Could Hinge on Collaboration  in Transformative Technologies

Faced with increasing global competition as well as talent and skills shortages at home, U.S. manufacturers should improve how they collaborate with government, academia, and other businesses in order to continue to drive innovation. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Dec 01, 2015
Views: 17233
PTC Takes Next Step in Internet of Things Strategy  in Transformative Technologies

In an article about the emerging Internet of Things in the June 2014 issue of the Manufacturing Leadership Journal, James E. Heppelmann, president and CEO of PTC, wrote that manufacturers could take advantage of the huge potential surrounding the IoT only if they heeded three shifts in value creation – from hardware to software, from products to the cloud, and from products to services. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Nov 17, 2015
Views: 20528
VW and Digital Deception: A Warning to All Smart Product Makers  in Transformative Technologies

Volkswagen’s confession that it cheated regulatory authorities by embedding ‘defeat device’ software into 11 million diesel-powered vehicles to falsify the results of official emissions tests, raises serious issues about the need for greater vigilance by both regulators and manufacturers to ensure the future safety and integrity of smart products. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Sep 29, 2015
Views: 20586
Does the Road to Manufacturing 4.0 Begin Here?  in Transformative Technologies

Manufacturing 4.0, with its promise of plants populated with smart, connected machines, conjures an alluring vision of the future. Armed with loads of real-time data generated by ever-more-intelligent machines, manufacturers will be able to address potential production disruptions even before they happen. And more automated and agile work cells and production lines will be able to quickly adjust output to match changing demand signals. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Jul 06, 2015
Views: 36415
The Next Great Paradigm Shift, Manufacturing 4.0 Is Real, and It’s Here  in Transformative Technologies

Whether you call it Manufacturing 4.0, Industrie 4.0, the Industrial Internet, or Smart Manufacturing, the next major transformational era is here, it is real, and it represents a major opportunity for industrial enterprises. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Jun 09, 2015
Views: 26565
Digital Tapestry: Manufacturing's Magic Carpet Ride  in Transformative Technologies

Lockheed Martin Space Systems' Dennis Little shows Manufacturing Leadership Summit attendees how his company's end-to-end digital process can reduce cycle time, and so much more. Read More →

Posted by Sue Pelletier on Jun 03, 2015
Views: 18300
Rethinking the Manufacturing Organization in the Age of IoT  in Transformative Technologies

BOSTON--We all know the Internet of Things (IoT) will dramatically change the products we manufacture and use, making them smart, connected, and, ultimately, more autonomous. But what impact will the IoT and all of those smart products have on the cultures and organizational structures of the companies that manufacture them? It will be significant, said Michael Porter, an author and professor at the Harvard-based The Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, in remarks to the LiveWorx 2015 conference hosted here last week by PTC. And, said Porter, the manufacturers that manage to gracefully navigate those often challenging changes may find a significant competitive advantage. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on May 12, 2015
Views: 45363
QAD Reaches for the Cloud  in Transformative Technologies

The road to progress with every new generation of technology is paved with two things – a leap of faith and a lot of stamina. So it was with mainframes to minicomputers, from minis to personal computers, from PCs to client-server computing, and so it is now with Internet-based technologies. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on May 11, 2015
Views: 23184
At Raytheon Plant Tour, ML Council Roundtable Sees Much Headroom in Automation  in Transformative Technologies

Members of the Manufacturing Leadership Council last week gathered in Huntsville, Alabama to tour Raytheon’s sleek, 70,000-square-foot missile factory and to discuss a question that touches everything from workforce levels to time-to-market and even to how companies make decisions: Are there limits to the automation of manufacturing? Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Apr 07, 2015
Views: 15309
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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: 17618
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: 15854
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: 14024
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: 16737
IBM Will Invest $3 Billion in Internet of Things Initiative  in Transformative Technologies

Although the hype cycle surrounding the Internet of Things continues to ascend—Amazon Dash Buttons anyone?—many of the manufacturing leaders with whom we connect remain lukewarm to the idea that pulling more and more data off of more and more smart, connected products, devices, and machines is an important strategic issue today. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Apr 06, 2015
Views: 14243
UL Jumping into Testing of Materials for 3D Printing  in Transformative Technologies

Product safety consulting and branding service provider UL says it is creating a quality framework and analysis service designed to help manufacturers assure the quality and performance of materials being used to fabricate parts and products with 3D printers. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Apr 01, 2015
Views: 14993
Participate in the Council’s Big Data Research Project  in Transformative Technologies

In order to better understand one of the hottest and most controversial technology topics of the day – big data and analytics – the Manufacturing Leadership Council has launched a research study on the topic. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Jan 20, 2015
Views: 15114
Exosuit Robots Are Taking the Next Step  in Transformative Technologies

Manufacturers could benefit from current U.S. military testing of advanced exosuit robotics that, advocates say, will cut a wearer’s exertion level by 25% when carrying a 100-pound load while reducing injury and enhancing stamina. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Dec 03, 2014
Tags :
Views: 9908
Cybersecurity: Manufacturing Malware On The Rise  in Transformative Technologies

Recent revelations about the so-called “Regin” spying virus, plus new potential cyber threats to energy and national infrastructure systems, are pushing cybersecurity firmly back to the top of the manufacturing industry’s worry list. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Nov 25, 2014
Views: 17074
U.S. Manufacturing Technology Spend Accelerating Fast  in Transformative Technologies

The latest report from The Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT) reveals an impressive rise in manufacturing technology and machine tool orders among U.S. companies during September. Total orders reached $647.63 million during the month – an increase of over 77% from August, and up by 61% compared to the same time last year. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Nov 11, 2014
Views: 16371
Era of Additive Manufacturing in Space Is Launched  in Transformative Technologies

The role of additive manufacturing in the distributed production of replacement and new parts took a giant leap forward this week with the launch of an unmanned space craft carrying a 3D printer—among other things—to the International Space Station. The Zero-G 3D printer, designed for operation in space by California start-up Made in Space, will be used by astronauts on the space station to fabricate parts and tools as needed, allowing them to avoid reliance on expensive and infrequent shipments from the Earth’s surface. The device will also be available to researchers wishing to experiment with 3D printers in space. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Sep 24, 2014
Views: 14033
CIO Impact Awards Nominations Are Now Open  in Transformative Technologies

Is your company achieving breakthrough results by leveraging trending information technologies such as big data and advanced analytics, mobility, and social networking? If so, you can receive global recognition as an IT leader by submitting a CIO Impact Award nomination. Nominations are open now through October 17. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Sep 12, 2014
Views: 12334
Rising Robot Market Sees Accelerating Acquisitions  in Transformative Technologies

How much has merger and acquisition activity picked up in the robotics market in just the past four years? A chart, published recently by the Boston Consulting Group, shows a dramatic acceleration. While there were just four robotic company acquisitions in the 2007-2010 period, there have been 12 in the 2011-2014 period. Much of the M&A acceleration has been driven by new players in the market—such as Google—looking to establish leadership. But an expanding market, driven by a new generation of low-cost, highly-flexible robots, rising global labor costs, and labor shortages, is also attracting more capital. The International Federation of Robotics predicts a 9% annual growth rate through 2025, with the market reaching $66.9 billion. Industrial applications will represent the largest segment at $24.4 billion. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Sep 05, 2014
Views: 11114
New Generation of Robots Will Force Cultural Change  in Transformative Technologies

A new generation of smart, mobile, autonomous, and relatively inexpensive robots is about to hit the manufacturing plant floor and supply chain. These include telepresence robots that let supervisors and engineers thousands of miles away see what’s going on in a plant and collaborate with workers there. They include mobile warehouse robots, and so-called companion robots such as Rethink Robotics’ Baxter which, while slower than traditional industrial models, is much easier to program, less expensive, and safer for human co-workers to be around. They even include exoskeletons—such as one being developed by ship-builder Daiwoo Shipbuilding that workers wear and that give them greater strength to lift and carry objects. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Aug 20, 2014
Views: 12883
IoT Will Require a Renewed Focus on Data Accuracy  in Transformative Technologies

The Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to bring unprecedented levels of operational insight and product performance and use knowledge to manufacturers, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars of new market value in the near future. But the IoT will bring challenges also. Experts have already sounded the alarm about security breaches that have shown up in some smart, web-enabled products and platforms. But security won’t be the only challenge. Manufacturers will also need to do a much better job of validating the accuracy of the data being generated by the IoT. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Aug 06, 2014
Views: 15969
Study Finds Alarming Lack of IoT Security  in Transformative Technologies

How secure is the Internet of Things (IoT)? Not very, according to a new report from Hewlett-Packard Co. After evaluating 10 of the most popular IoT-enabled devices—mostly consumer products such as TVs, webcams, home thermostats, remote power outlets, sprinkler controllers, door locks, home alarms, garage door openers—HP’s security research organization found that most contain potentially serious security vulnerabilities. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Jul 31, 2014
Views: 18447
Will the Internet of Things Undermine Existing Channel Networks?  in Transformative Technologies

The trend toward adding intelligence to and connecting tens of billions of thing is predicted to create tens of trillions of dollars in new economic value annually by allowing manufacturers and others to understand faster and better how their products are being used and how their processes are working. By putting out smart products that communicate how they are being used and how well they are performing, for example, manufacturers will be able to offer directly to customers a wide range of new services that add value and may generate revenue on their own. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Jul 16, 2014
Views: 13911
3D Printing: A Material Challenge  in Transformative Technologies

As manufacturers begin to consider expanding their use of 3D printing beyond prototyping into production, many are being stopped in their tracks by this question: How can we be sure about the quality and performance properties of the materials we are being sold to use in our 3D printers? Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Feb 27, 2014
Views: 24280
Germany’s Bosch Targets Internet of Things Revolution  in Transformative Technologies

There are lots of names for the era of pervasive connectivity and embedded intelligence predicted to dominate both our personal lives and the manufacturing sector over the next ten years - the Internet of Things, the Connected Factory, Smart Manufacturing, Industry 4.0, the Industrial Internet … the list goes on. Whatever you want to call it, Germany’s Bosch is eager to get involved. And like charity, Bosch believes it starts at home. Read More →

Posted by Paul Tate on Feb 04, 2014
Views: 17238
Apple Investing More in Advanced Manufacturing  in Transformative Technologies

With competitors like Samsung breathing down its neck, Apple is reportedly turning to advanced manufacturing technologies to help it get new designs to market in volume faster and more reliably than its rivals. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Nov 19, 2013
Views: 11868
3-D Printing: New ATF Chief Sounds an Alarm  in Transformative Technologies

Even though the technology known as 3-D printing--also called additive manufacturing--has been around for decades, it has been getting a lot of attention lately, as the technology itself matures and it moves more into the public view. Read More →

Posted by David Brousell on Nov 18, 2013
Views: 8079
Smart Products Come to Football  in Transformative Technologies

As sensors become cheaper and more capable and wireless connectivity more ubiquitous, manufacturers are embracing the “Internet of Things,” adding intelligence to more and more products. The latest example comes from the world of American football, where helmet manufacturer Riddell is rolling out a system it calls Insite which isolates and records the intensity and type of head impacts that occur on the field. The idea is to reduce the number and severity of concussions and other head injuries by giving coaches, players, and doctors more information about what happens when very large humans run into each other for sport. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Nov 14, 2013
Views: 8209
The New Face of Vision Systems  in Transformative Technologies

Manufacturers are no strangers to vision systems, having used them for years to automate the monitoring of things such as product quality and equipment performance. But now solution providers are putting a new spin on vision systems, rolling out products designed to keep an eye people and their reactions to products, rather than machines. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Oct 30, 2013
Views: 9397
Study: Manufacturers Failing to Recognize the Transformative Impacts of 3D Printing, Intelligent Robotics  in Transformative Technologies

Most electronics manufacturers are unknowingly staring down the barrel of dramatic competitive changes that are being introduced by emerging technologies including 3D printing, intelligent robotics, and open source electronics hardware, according to a recently-released study by IBM’s Institute for Business Value. Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Oct 23, 2013
Views: 12827
Are Manufacturers Rethinking Social Media?  in Transformative Technologies

Are manufacturers having second thoughts about the effectiveness of their attempts to use social media to better understand and connect with customers? That appears to be the case according to the results of a recently-completed survey of 309 manufacturing leaders by the Manufacturing Leadership Council. Asked what new leadership skills and knowledge their companies will prioritize over the next couple of years, manufacturers placed the lowest emphasis on social media. The ability to collaborate with customers and partners and to better use customer data received the highest scores. At the same time, asked Read More →

Posted by Jeff Moad on Oct 03, 2013
Tags :
Views: 13364
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