Posted By David Brousell, August 10, 2017
For LAI International, the creation of a roadmap to Manufacturing 4.0 started with putting customers at the center of the company’s thinking. A motto grew out of this orientation: accept no defect, make no defect, pass on no defect.
The thinking is much more than a motto, however. It has translated into a series of cultural, organizational, and technological changes at the 38-year old contract manufacturer of precision-engineered parts that is now serving as a role model for other manufacturers starting their own journeys to the data-driven era of M4.0.
Today’s LAI, which serves the aerospace and defense, energy, industrial, and medical markets, was on display last week as members of the Manufacturing Leadership Council toured the company’s 75,000-square foot factory in Scarborough, Maine, near Portland. The theme of the event was: “Building a Roadmap to Manufacturing 4.0”.
The Manufacturing Leadership Council encourages industrial leaders to grasp the competitive opportunities of Manufacturing 4.0 digital technologies, collaborative structures, enterprise-wide innovation, and sustainable production strategies to drive future growth in its new Critical Issues agenda for the year ahead. Read More →
Members of the Manufacturing Leadership Council last week toured LAI International's 75,000-square foot plant in Maine, and heard about how the manufacturer of precision-engineered parts devised its roadmap to Manufacturing 4.0. Read More →
The good news: Americans continue to believe that the health of the manufacturing industry is vitally important to the health of the country’s economy. And, increasingly, Americans believe that manufacturing jobs of the future will require high tech skills and innovation and will be clean and safe. The bad news: The vast majority of Americans still wouldn’t encourage their children to pursue manufacturing careers, and most don’t believe that manufacturing jobs today are interesting, rewarding, clean, safe, stable, and secure. Read More →
Recently, I was lucky enough to have been invited to attend Frost & Sullivan’s 13th Annual Manufacturing Leadership Summit. The Summit brings together C-suite executives and leaders from some of the largest manufacturers in the US—such as GM, Nike, Raytheon, BASF, and Merck—as well as smaller, more progressive manufacturers to discuss the newest advancements in manufacturing. Read More →
Manufacturing leaders are encouraged by the Trump Administration’s early willingness to prioritize, protect, and support the industrial sector but, they emphasize, the industry needs positive, legislative action on tax and trade policies and regulatory reform, as well as support for workforce development and high-level policy representation in the new administration. Read More →
Two years ago, at the Manufacturing Leadership Summit, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Vice President of Production Dennis Little laid out his company’s “Digital Tapestry” strategy which, he said, would reduce product cycle time, decrease costs, and fuel future product development. Read More →
Manufacturing leaders must lift their sights above day-to-day operational challenges and embrace three types of significant change if they are to capitalize on the transformational opportunities presented by the digitized, Manufacturing 4.0 era, Manufacturing Leadership Council Co-Founder David R. Brousell today told attendees of the 13th Annual Manufacturing Leadership Council. Read More →
On June 14, at the 13th Annual Manufacturing Leadership (ML) Awards Gala, produced by Frost & Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership Council, top honors were presented to Industry 4.0 founding father Dr. Detlef Zühlke who was named Manufacturing Leader of the Year. The Dow Chemical Company took home the Manufacturer of the Year, Large Enterprise Award. Read More →
In a recent “Factories of the Future” study, we asked manufacturing leaders how their factories would be managed five to 10 years from today. The largest group—39%--said the predominant management approach will be collaborative, “with greater emphasis on involving employees, customers, and suppliers in processes and decision-making.” Read More →
The one piece of good news coming out of the recent WannaCry ransomeware attack, which infected over 200,000 computers worldwide and at least temporarily crippled hospitals, shops, and schools, is that it does not appear to have directly targeted the control systems on which most manufacturing plants and equipment rely. Although the outbreak did reportedly upend some manufacturing operations—including production at Renault automotive plants in the U.K. and France—the exploit apparently targeted vulnerabilities in some unpatched instances of the Microsoft Windows operating system which is not at the core of most Programmable Logic Control (PLC) systems and Distributed Control Systems (DCS) in production operations at most plants. Read More →