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Does the IIoT need a reality check?

Industry Week’s recent research paper, ‘2016 Reality Check: Transforming industrial Businesses with the IIoT’ found that 82% feel the adoption of IIoT technology will be critical to the future success of their business. But only a quarter have a clear IIoT strategy. This is reflective of exactly what we are finding: many talk the talk on IIoT, understand its importance and want to harness its benefits – but don’t actually know where to start. On the bright side: the survey found that companies headquartered in North America are more likely to have an IIoT strategy than those headquartered elsewhere, so Read more…

Lean Forward: Continuous Improvement for Future Fit Factories

Lean manufacturing principles have been around a long time. They’ve not only been around, they’ve been successful. So it’s concerning to see that some think Lean is outdated. How can it be? Surely resource optimization and ROI maximization will never go out of style. We’re in an era of expanding opportunity, so focus has to be on affording the time and technology to realize those ‘first’ ambitions.  The stakes are high and it’s often hidden opportunities that hold the most potential.  Re-evaluating a company’s Lean status may uncover previously unexplored threads that could make the competitive difference. Lean principles helped Read more…

Aerospace, tight tolerances and titanium: it’s not rocket science

Titanium and its alloys are popular materials for the aerospace industry, because it is stronger than steel, has twice the elasticity and weighs half as much. However, despite its many beneficial properties, titanium is notoriously difficult to machine. That’s because titanium is a poor thermal conductor, so heat intensifies at the cutting area, and dulls cutting tools. Using dull cutting edges can generate even more heat, further shortening tool life.   Fortunately, there are some broad steps manufacturers should consider in effectively approaching titanium machining, and find the sweet spot where best practice tooling and optimal efficiency come together with Read more…