THE BUSINESS OF VISCOSITY BLOG



What is Industry 4.0 and What Does it Mean for My Manufacturing?

Posted by Mike Bonner

Mar 2, 2017 10:17:00 AM

Industry 4.0 refers to the rapid pace of digitization in manufacturing today.

As defined in strategy+business magazine, Industry 4.0 is the combination of innovations in digital technologies—advancements such as robotics and artificial intelligence, sophisticated sensors, cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), compliance with smartphones, and many other applications.

For generations, manufacturing processes and techniques have evolved and helped businesses improve their production, performance and output.

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Topics: Manufacturing

How the Internet of Things Can Transform Your Manufacturing

Posted by Mike Bonner

Feb 28, 2017 9:22:00 AM

If you work in manufacturing, chances are you’ve heard about “The Internet of Things.” As defined in this Forbes article, the Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the concept of connecting to the internet anything that has an on and an off switch.

For coating and print manufacturers, this can mean building a connected network of heaters, coolers, robotic spray arms, automatic control consoles, and other equipment.

How exactly would the IoT help to impact (and improve) your manufacturing process then?

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Topics: Manufacturing

Reduce Your Capital Investment Risk – Try Before You Buy

Posted by Rob Gladstone

Dec 16, 2016 9:28:00 AM

For those of us old enough to remember shoe shopping before the internet, there was a lot of going to the store to try stuff on.

What was the point of buying a pair of shoes unless you were sure they would fit? The process for buying shoes went something like this:

To get the exact measurements of your foot, you would place your foot on something that looked like it was designed for discomfort while the shoe professional made the required adjustments. The sales person would then go to the back to get a box. You would try on the shoes and walk around a little bit. If they fit, great.  If they didn’t, you would continue to try on shoes until you got it right.

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Topics: Manufacturing

Why Accepting the Status Quo Will Hold Your Business Back

Posted by Rob Gladstone

Dec 14, 2016 4:34:48 PM

As suppliers of process improvement equipment, we’re often faced with a conversation that centers on, “Why do we need it? We’re operating fine without it.”

For many other equipment suppliers, this is not an issue. Much of the time those conversations are centered on, “Why should I pick you?” We are fortunate enough, (or unfortunate enough), to have to engage in both conversations regularly.

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Topics: Manufacturing

Will The Shrinking Workforce Get You? (Part 2)

Posted by Rob Gladstone

Dec 8, 2016 10:12:00 AM

In Will The Shrinking Workforce Get You? (Part 1) we established that the concept of a shrinking force is real.

Just to be clear, the shrinking workforce has several factors, (including retiring baby boomers, people giving up on finding jobs, etc.), but we identified three factors that we, as manufacturers may be able affect.

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Topics: Manufacturing

Will The Shrinking Workforce Get You? (Part 1)

Posted by Rob Gladstone

Dec 7, 2016 1:42:00 PM

About five years ago, I visited one of our machining suppliers. During our tour, he told me that he could grow quickly if he could only find machinists. But, since he couldn’t find any, he was just raising prices and people were paying them.

Last year, the Automotive Industry Action Group worked with Deloitte Consulting LLP to compile survey data in a report they called Quality 2020. In that report, the survey respondents identified the most critical issues impacting quality. In their top five was “Loss of Experience.” The report states:

Over three-quarters of respondents rate their organizations, at best, moderately capable of preserving and transferring knowledge. However, over one-third of OEM respondents report somewhat or no capability.”

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Topics: Manufacturing

No Rejects = Happy Customers

Posted by Mike Bonner

Dec 2, 2016 9:14:00 AM

Time to examine your relationship with your customers.

How Do Your Customers Judge You?

  1. By your ease to work with? 
    Perhaps you offer stocking agreements to shorten lead-times, attractive payment terms, etc.
  2. By your responsiveness?
    Maybe you offer scheduling flexibility, moving other orders to get theirs in on short notice, or you react quickly to issues they encounter.
  3. By your on-time shipment performance?
  4.  By your quality?
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Topics: Manufacturing

Stabilizing Compound Temperature: The Secret to Liner Placement Consistency

Posted by Mike Bonner

Oct 25, 2016 9:31:00 AM

In our post, Temperature Variations Cause Inconsistent Liner Placement, we “proved” that compound temperature and placement are related – by using the transitive property from our old high-school algebra days.

Sounds “geeky," right?

Perhaps, but it proved to be a fun way to look at a couple of otherwise mundane subjects. Through that process we came to the conclusion that:

“…if we can control the temperature of the compound as it exits the nozzle, it will be at a predictable viscosity and we can go a long way toward controlling the liner process.”

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Topics: Manufacturing

Controlling Temperature to Reduce HFI's

Posted by Mike Bonner

Oct 24, 2016 1:22:00 PM

In our recent blog post, Five Reasons SPC is Nearly Impossible for Liner Operation, we determined that:

“For all of its importance, liner weight is an extremely difficult metric to manage – and it turns out that SPC is no help whatsoever!”

And as we unraveled all the reasons why, we determined:

“QC Holds are inevitable.”

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Topics: Manufacturing

Why Your Liner Quality Changes from Shift-to-Shift or Season-to-Season

Posted by Mike Bonner

Oct 19, 2016 9:08:00 AM

It’s the first sunny day of the week and you’re sitting in your office thinking about heading out a little early to enjoy it when your line supervisor steps into your doorway to deliver the news you were hoping wouldn’t come…

“The Liner’s Down…Again”

“QC put the lot on hold – two skids that may need to be sorted before they can ship, and if those ends aren’t there in the morning, there will be hell-to-pay!”

So much for leaving early…

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Topics: Manufacturing