Just-In-Time Isn’t Dead, But It Needs Adjustment

Just-in-time supply chains rely on close sourcing.  Worldwide shipping as shown in this photo can be counterintuitive.
A ship docks to unload multiple shipping containers.

Just-in-time supply chains have been the standard for many companies for decades. Originally developed in the 1950s by Taiichi Ohno, a Toyota engineer, this inventory philosophy relies on suppliers delivering components just as they are needed. This reduces the need to tie up capital in on-hand inventory, as well as the cost for warehouse space to house it all.

Continue reading “Just-In-Time Isn’t Dead, But It Needs Adjustment”

Impact of IoT Retrofit on the Manufacturing Supply Chain

man wearing orange hard hat
Photo by Kateryna Babaieva on Pexels.com

According to Hubspot’s Annual Manufacturing Report, 80% of manufacturers feel smart technologies and a move toward Industry 4.0 adoption will benefit their supply chain by increasing visibility, accelerating innovation, and enabling staff to work more efficiently.  Over 90% of those polled feel the same technologies will lead to increased productivity. 

This begs the question: if smart technologies are essential to efficient manufacturing, why aren’t all factories smart?  

It’s not that simple.  

Upgrades come with significant costs and productivity ramifications.  It doesn’t make sense to pull out legacy equipment in good working order simply because it wasn’t built in the age of connectivity.  Many systems continue in good working order for decades; that’s why we use the term “industrial-strength” to define something that safeguards against failure.   

Continue reading “Impact of IoT Retrofit on the Manufacturing Supply Chain”

PPE Manufacturers Busy in Q2

PPE manufacturers work to keep up with the demand for disposable face masks
PPE like Face masks remain in high demand.

Sourcing from PPE manufacturers for products related to the safety increased by almost 12,000%, according to recent data released by ThomasNet.com. (1) This included items like respirators, face masks, nitrile gloves, and hand sanitizer. Demand is expected to remain elevated as manufacturing tries to keep up with demand caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

Other areas of growth include in automation engineering services. This sector exceeded the anticipated growth of 6-9%. Actual sector growth was 16%. Robotic welding services also exceeded predictions, growing by 8%.

The benefits of automation have come to the fore in the wake of the pandemic and associated labor shortages, allowing manufacturers to optimize their plant efficiency and better utilize the human workforce available.

Thomas Index Q3 predictions include continued sustained sourcing activity for products related to PPE and other COVID-19 products. This includes plastic barriers, isopropyl alcohol, UV lamps, and cleaning products. Sourcing for farm equipment also increased as producers worked to keep up with food supply chain changes. Additionally, plastic injection molding services serving both the medical and food and beverage markets have increased.

(1) https://f.hubspotusercontent00.net/hubfs/242200/DG%20-%20eBook%20PDFs/Thomas%20-%202020%20Q2%20Sourcing%20Activity%20Snapshot.pdf?utm_campaign=2020%20Demand%20Generation&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=91093572&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9wkeXowZKAwkrq0IMy1iVMwq4vspOt5TZIxNyNiM0kj6pzg2KEf_nWkiagtYb0ayShJWQyk-l03fFXrnjcT8PwrAszbxwQpFBSncJtOFwN87t6-yk&utm_content=91093572&utm_source=hs_automation