Project improvements and other upgrades may reduce costs and result in other benefits, but if they don't solve the problem, they're not worth the investment, argues KCE Consulting's Robert Simonis. Simonis cites projects in which equipment should've been eliminated instead of optimized.
Industry 4.0 is characterized by a high degree of connectivity, which means manufacturers, suppliers, businesses and other parties have to work together to create a secure environment, writes Andrew Howard of Kudelski Security. "A good rule of thumb and a sound approach for enterprises is to always adopt an evolving security posture," he writes.
A capstone research project by students at the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics explores how companies can use demand sensing to increase forecasting accuracy. There isn't a single approach, and the results may vary by company type, write Evan Humphrey and Federico Laino.
Artificial intelligence is coming to factories and will likely first take root in equipment that can use the technology to guide operational improvements, says Harmonic Drive CEO Doug Olsen. Watch for embedded "machines on the factory floor that can predict failures, gathering data about daily use to determine when systems need preventative maintenance," he says.
Many security breaches are linked to safety operations, such as plugging in the wrong machine or connecting to an unsecured network, and can be prevented with safety, operational technology and information technology teams working together, Laura Putre writes. The process should start with a safety assessment, says Rockwell Automation's Steve Ludwig.
More than two-thirds of 400 manufacturing executives say compensation is directly linked to worker retention, according to a survey from Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute. Four in five companies say they're offering higher wages or signing bonuses to attract or retain skilled labor.
Sony may be developing a PlayStation controller with a touch screen, based on a patent application filed in 2017. The present controller has a touch-enabled center button for menu navigation, and the screen might replace that button and offer a better interface for console information.
Albertsons is investing in sustainability including the purchase of 10 semi-trucks from Tesla, according to the company's report on green initiatives. "We're excited to pilot this expansion of our transportation program with trucks that help us limit our overall carbon footprint," said Tom Nartker, vice president of transportation for Albertsons.
Kellogg is considering a sale of its fruit-snack and cookie units, which include such brands as Keebler, Famous Amos and Stretch Island, as the firm works to focus more on core brands. The company also announced it would be reorganizing its operational structure in January to spur growth and innovation.