Manufacture Smarter Blog

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New Year, New Courses

1/6/2023 - BY: THE CENTER
Start the year on the right foot by focusing on employee skill development. Explore our new courses being offered in 2023. 


Avoiding 5S Graveyards

12/16/2022 - BY: MATT SHOFFNER
While touring a facility, I always look at how workspaces are organized. Occasionally, I see evidence of past Lean initiatives. 5S is the easiest Lean tool to spot on a tour and it is also the easiest to identify when it is no longer in use. When I find 5S that is no longer being followed, I call it a 5S graveyard because that is where 5S went to die. 5S graveyards were once initiatives optimized to improve flow through visual management of a workplace for inventory, tools and everything needed to do a specific job.


A Leafy Roadblock

12/2/2022 - BY: CHARLIE WESTRA
Recently, I tasked my two kids to help with the daunting task of raking what they thought was an endless pile of leaves – a chore they hadn’t helped with much previously due to their ability to help combined with my inability to not push them like I was pushed as a kid. Whispers from my father echoed in my head… “it’s work time, not play time” or “the sooner you start, the sooner we get outta here” or my favorite, “no time for a break, grab a rake.” Despite my father’s best intensions, he always had trouble getting us involved. I just hoped my kids were different.


What is "Industry 4.0" and Why Does It Matter?

11/18/2022 The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) shared this video from Automation Alley’s Integr8 conference on Industry 4.0 and how technology can benefit Michigan manufacturers. If you have questions or want to learn more about implementing technology, let us know, and we can provide a free Technology Opportunity Assessment.


Adopting Technology: Automated Material Movers

11/11/2022 - BY: CHUCK WERNER
As educators to small and medium-sized businesses on manufacturing technologies, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center’s (The Center) Industry 4.0 team participates in trade shows, expositions and technology events, allowing us to interact with experts, suppliers and adopters of technology. We are fortunate to experience current technologies, hear about implementation successes and failures, and get to see the upcoming developments in technology. While some of these new products may never mature into “game-changers” for manufacturing, the fact is that some, if not many, go on to revolutionize the processes and producers of products and services alike.


How Digital Marketing Can Help Michigan Manufacturers

10/28/2022 - BY: EMILY WICKER
Marketing is a key piece of the business strategy that puts value to products or services to satisfy a customer’s wants and/or needs. As technology continues to play a role in our everyday lives, it is important for manufacturers to utilize Digital Marketing within their overall business strategy.


What to Consider While Costs Are Rising

10/7/2022 - BY: ROB STAUFFER
Most manufacturers are facing inflation, which drives up the cost of just about everything they buy. At the same time, the price of petroleum has risen, increasing the cost of transporting items to and from their factories. The current talent and workforce shortage, particularly in manufacturing, has caused an upward pressure on wages. And to make things even more challenging, many economic indicators are predicting a looming recession, which tends to shrink consumption and slow down production.


Satisfy Your Search with CONNEX™

9/30/2022 - BY: REBEKAH MCCARTER
Using CONNEX™ Michigan, buyers are shortening their search process and finding suppliers with the capabilities they need to mitigate their risk and expand their product footprint. It’s time to start local and grow national. Maximize the success of your searches with CONNEX™ today.


Is Your Plant Designed for Success?

9/23/2022 - BY: ROGER TOMLINSON
Take a look at your facility. Are there ways you could improve the layout of your plant? Are employees walking far between jobs? Does the arrangement of equipment make the most sense for optimum efficiency? Plant layout is a great way to minimize operating costs by ensuring efficient workflow throughout the shop floor.


Retain and Attract Talent with the Going PRO Talent Fund

9/16/2022 - BY: TRICIA ONESIAN
With the manufacturing world struggling to retain and attract talent, having a culture of loyalty and investing in your workforce is more important than ever. Today, workers don’t necessarily seek employment with the highest paying opportunity, but rather with one where their career progression and development is important. Loyalty to an employer is now based on the loyalty the employer has to the employee.


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