Making a change in your plant

By Bob Vavra, CFE Media September 17, 2018

If there was one overriding topic at the recently-completed International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, it was change. New products and new strategies were in wide availability, but a lot of the discussion for the week was about how to change. Sessions focused on the challenges of workforce shortages and the proliferation of robotics, but some speakers noted that change itself was a necessary component of manufacturing’s future.

"The way manufacturers do business is constantly changing. Those who adapt have the competitive advantage. Those that don’t risk falling behind or risk going out of business." said John Schlemmer, chief operating officer of JAAS Systems Ltd. in his presentation "Trends in Manufacturing – 2018."

Tomer Goldenberg, director of marketing and strategy for Elmo Motion Control, said all these programs boil down to the same thing in his presentation "The Paradox of Smart Manufacturing."

"It’s all about making the manufacturing process better than it already is," he said. According to Goldenberg, there are four areas being improved by smart manufacturing:

  • Flexibility: These include rapid design and production changes as well as more customizable products.
  • Efficiency: Higher throughput, shorter time to market (TTM), higher operation simplicity, and less downtime.
  • Quality: This includes greater reliability and a higher yield.
  • Technology: Cutting-edge development that are mandatory for production to produce advanced and better products.

Bob Vavra, content manager for Plant Engineering, CFE Media,