Topic: Manufacturing Intelligence

Why build a culture?

Two years ago at Factora, we started a new building. The building of culture. Of course, Factora already had a culture, just as your company does. But we made the decision to invest significant thought, time and money into formally articulating and shaping ours. Why? Before I answer that question, let me tell you a bit about how we got there. A topic whose time has come I’ve spent my Read More

UX is the new UI: The user is king in great IIOT design

IIOT technology has evolved to the point that self-serve solutions are easier to configure, with your own display mash-ups and data analytics. Who needs that data scientist? Or system designer? No one! Uh oh, not so fast. There’s a flipside to this build-your-own-world. You still need good design and data management to make the content meaningful. But now, that role has been pushed out to the end user. The flexibility Read More

Being Dr. Dolittle: Smart Manufacturing is a mindset

Let’s say you’ve had your dog Woofgang for quite a while. You probably know how to interpret what Woofy is saying. His behavior tells you if his water bowl is empty, it’s time to go outside, or it’s been too long since the last run. But sometimes you fail in your interpretation, there’s a communication breakdown, and you come upon the unhappy result on your new Persian carpet. Uh oh! Read More

IoT kills SCADA. Live, at PTC Liveworx in Boston

The 2017 PTC LiveWorx event in Boston, from which I’ve just returned, was something to see. If you’re a current SCADA developer – say Siemens, GE or Schneider – you should be watching. And worried. LiveWorx has been building out a technology stack that allows seamless usage of PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) content across all elements of manufacturing. They’re now launching their next-gen IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) PLM platform Read More

The Harry Potter Problem: Define the Why to Succeed With Your Machine Learning Project

This article was originally published on IndustryWeek’s IdeaXchange blog, June 2nd, 2017. You might have noticed a comment was made on the first article in this series: I didn’t mention the ‘why’ as a KSF in bringing home a machine learning project. And it’s true, forgetting the why is a serious problem. As the commenter noted: Unless there’s a why and a businessperson involved, all you’ve got is a handicapped specialty Read More

Prepare for the unthinkable – two steps to stop knowledge loss

Everyone has subject matter experts Every business has their subject matter experts (SME). These experts gain their knowledge through years of projects and assignments, through the succession of successes and failures we call experience. We lean on these experts to help us through tricky problems. And that leaning is a source of pride for the experts and a source of inspiration for their junior employees. But! It is an ancient, Read More

Are You an Authority on Dumb Manufacturing?

This article was originally published on IndustryWeek’s IdeaXchange blog, December 1st 2016. Change is always met with resistance. And some groups or industries resist more than others. Manufacturers, on the whole, have been slow to embrace smart manufacturing. When an industry is based on heavy investment in capital equipment, it’s not only more difficult to change, it builds a culture of higher resistance to change. If you’re reading this, I expect Read More

How to implement a successful MES, #3 of 4

Below, here they are again – the 9 building blocks to implementing a successful MES. The first post focused on defining business scope; the second covered steps 2 and 3:  assessing MES readiness and documenting as-is operations. Today we’ll be talking about steps 4, 5, and 6: identifying pain points, assessing fitment and … past the tipping point here … creating a to-be vision and roadmap. Define and agree to Read More

How to implement a successful MES, #2 of 4

Assessing MES Readiness To refresh your memory, following are the 9 building blocks that we’ll discuss in this series. The first post focused on defining business scope. Today’s will cover steps 2 and 3:  Assessing MES readiness and documenting as-is operations. Define and agree to business scope Assessing MES readiness Documenting current (as-is) operations Identifying pain points and improvement areas Assessing MES fitment Creating “to-be” vision and roadmap Quantifying the Read More

Manufacturing Intelligence: Eyes on a higher goal

The goal in factories has always been to make people and machinery work as efficiently as possible. But now, our ability to collect, arrange and analyze data from the production floor introduces a new way to strive for increased efficiency. Ironically, success today calls for us to move some of our attention away from the actual machinery and information, a surprisingly difficult task. Manufacturing intelligence – it’s about narrowing the Read More