Topic: World-Class Manufacturing

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

Partnering with Automatech for a major customer success

As the world becomes more specialized, manufacturing consultants need to partner seamlessly to deliver new levels of integrated services. In this video, you’ll learn how Automatech (an industrial automation specialist) and Factora (systems integrator) joined forces to deliver a major customer success. This video was first presented at the LiveWorx conference in Boston, June of 2018.  

Old Stubborn versus Inexperienced Youth

At Factora, we hire on potential. Typically, right out of university. Why? Because we’ve found that it’s virtually the only way to develop the senior employees we need. This means that Factora team leaders regularly come into work on a Monday morning to find a fresh-faced, experience-free, keen-as-mustard new member on their team. How does it work out? Does it work out? Why or why not? Get out of the Read More

Developers, follow these 10 steps to test your manufacturing code

Testing is an under-rated step on the journey to manufacturing excellence. It often lacks formal procedures. It can be rushed through when things get behind. Testing needs to be an integral component of your project plan, executed with respect. Thorough, disciplined testing delivers: Fewer go-live issues and corrections, not to mention issues in later use Greater operator uptake/use → higher ROI for the project Systems that best carry out the Read More

Sure, big data is awesome – but does yours have a story to tell?

As the rate of data collection has skyrocketed over the last several years, so too has the quest to extract meaning from every single point of data. And while all data tells a story, there are criteria every story must meet in order to convey a meaningful lesson. No lesson? No reason to make an operational change. No operational change? No chance of better performance and profitability. Introduction, conflict, and Read More

You are Robo Cop – it’s gonna be great

The concept of industry 4.0 has been out there for many years. Right along with it has been the pervasive fear, for so many in our industry, that robots are going to replace people. Let’s backtrack Why 4.0? Versus, say 3.0 or 5.0? The first revolution in the industry was steam. Steam locomotives to change transportation. Steam-driven motors to transform manufacturing. Next was 2.0. Electricity … mass production … Henry Read More

2017: Growth on all fronts, with strategic initiatives in play for IIoT

2017 was a year of growth on many fronts for Factora. We built up senior management, particularly in the overburdened area of sales/business development. We spent a great deal of time in the sky, mainly visiting current and prospective clients around the globe, but also travelling to industry trade shows. And we significantly increased our investment and commitment to ThingWorx, the world’s most widely adopted Internet of Things platform. Complementing Read More

Fake news isn’t always political! How real are your numbers?

All over the media, we regularly hear the word fake applied to news and information. Particularly in the political sphere. Today, I want to talk about how fake news creeps into the world of manufacturing. And the rabbit-holes it can lead us down. What is measurement, really? What do those terms mean (pun!)? Even a calculation as simple as an average can be misinterpreted. There’s the mean: sum of values Read More

A Look at GE’s Minds and Machines 2017: Predix isn’t a painkiller

As I write, GE is days away from its November 13th announcement re the divestiture of approximately $20 billion of business. This news item cast an interesting shadow over this year’s Minds and Machines conference. Still, Minds + Machines had its best turnout ever, with 3,500+ attendees coming in from nearly 60 countries. As you can see in the pic, GE went all out to glitz it up, with millions Read More