Topic: Return On Investment

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

2015 Results: Strong growth, with more to come

2015 was a banner year for Factora: We grew revenues by 65% We celebrated 20 years in business Over the past two years, we’ve tripled in size. We offer manufacturers a different mix Factora accompanies manufacturers on the road to WCM using a mix of engineering, IT, and business skills. It’s that mix that differentiates us – many of our competitors come into a plant with an IT-only solution. By Read More

Make it ugly: creating a compelling case for change

Exposing problems gets attention.  And what gets attention gets resolved. Yet this is a difficult practice to implement in the workplace. To start, what is our natural reaction when we discover a problem? Maybe it will go away by itself? Uh oh … this is embarrassing. If I report this, people will think that I am not working hard enough. In a class by itself is a well-known reaction of Read More

Six Steps To Finding The Profit Loops

You may have heard about the Pareto principle – the 80-20 rule, or the rule of the vital few. In most cases, 20% of factors make an 80% difference in a system. By experience, I would say that this also applies in manufacturing plants. I have seen this in control loops in plants as well as in key production, efficiency and quality measurements. Basically, 20% of the control loops control Read More

Implementing an MES can be a whole lot faster and easier than you think

Since about 1995, I have been involved in an incredibly diverse portfolio of MES projects. At one end, massive solutions, ones that tracked all aspects of a production process end-to-end. At the other end, little projects whose only goal was to track a single number from a single point in a plant. With products ranging from potato chips to car engines to high-grade steel to medical devices. One thing I’ve learned? Read More