Industry 4.0 upgrades can help factories stay competitive as the market fluctuates and consumer demands change, writes Andrew Minturn, strategic product manager at Bosch Rexroth. Minturn argues that Industry 4.0 sensors and other devices can be applied to every aspect of factory operations, including legacy assets, and can deliver huge financial and efficiency gains.
Patrick Industries' customer-centric focus and acquisition-based growth have helped it land the top post on the IndustryWeek 50 Best US Manufacturers list for the second year in a row. Patrick purchased seven companies for a total of $258 million in the first half.
Owners and operators could save up to 10% on any project by taking a cloud-based approach to sharing engineering, procurement and construction data instead of a document-based one, according to Aveva's Amish Sabharwal. "The cloud is the drafting table of today," says Sabharwal.
A recent cybersecurity scare involving fax lines and HP Officejet devices sheds light on the importance of having a strong asset inventory and knowing which devices various IP addresses are associated with, according to togoCIO.com founder and President Robert Covington. Vender interconnections can also be a serious vulnerability, he writes.
Safety instrumented systems are an important part of industrial control system safety and require ongoing attention from both suppliers and end users, writes Mark Sen Gupta of ARC Advisory Group. Gupta urges end users to stay abreast of supplier developments and to use analyses like ARC's Process Safety Systems report.
Grainger's distribution center in Bordentown, N.J., features a fully automated inventory process based on the Dematic Multishuttle System to seamlessly process, pack and ship multi-product orders. "This not only helps our productivity, but also helps our inventory accuracy because the machine is going to make a lot less mistakes than a person would make," executive Rich Travaglini says.
Manufacturers that use the industrial internet of things to transform their business model are in a unique position to develop long-lasting, lucrative relationships with customers, writes Vinay Nathan, co-founder and CEO of Altizon Systems. To accomplish this, he writes, manufacturers must offer services that complement their products and create value for buyers.
Online checklists and data such as images are powerful tools for storing and tracking safety-compliance information, writes James Robins of GoCanvas. He notes that online checklists that can be shared can help facilitate compliance with OSHA's injury-reporting requirements.
A bill in New Jersey would designate buildings once used for retail or office space that are now vacant, or at least 50% empty, as areas eligible for economic incentive. The effort aims to encourage repurposing of these properties through incentives such as making payments or starting pilot programs instead of paying taxes.
The Haven, a planned upscale retail outlet center in West Haven, Texas, will receive $5 million in grant funding for updates to area roads. The funding will help improve infrastructure to allow for the expected increase in traffic that the development will bring.