News Feature | April 21, 2014

Manufacturing And Warehousing IT News For VARs — April 21, 2014

By Trisha Leon, contributing writer

Manufacturing And Warehousing VAR IT News

A survey reveals MOM solutions can help manufacturers overcome common hurdles to organization agility. In other news, manufacturing technology orders were down in February, but the outlook for the year is positive, and U.S. industrial output increased in March.

MOM Solutions Help Your Clients Overcome Common Challenges

Manufacturers are constantly seeking to better their organizational agility — the ability to respond to customer demands. According to a 2013-2014 manufacturing operations management (MOM) survey conducted by LNS Research in Automation World, the top two challenges faced by manufacturing companies in this regard are “a lack of collaboration across different departments and dealing with disparate systems and data sources.” You can help your clients overcome these challenges by getting on the same page with data, information, and KPIs. MOM application functionalities such as quality management, planning, scheduling and dispatching, and manufacturing execution systems (MES) support manufacturers in meeting the goal of heightened organizational agility.

February Orders For Manufacturing Technology Down, But 2014 Outlook Good

The United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report shows a drop in orders in most regions across the U.S. But despite low first quarter predictions that were exacerbated by a harsh winter, Douglas K. Woods, president of The Association of Manufacturing Technology, quoted in Industrial Distribution, says, “Many key industry factors indicate growth for manufacturing through the end of the year.”

March Sees A Rise In U.S. Industrial Output

Elvina Nawaguna of Reuters Magazine reports gains in manufacturing output: factory production — up 0.5 percent, industrial production — up 0.7 percent, and mining output — up 1.5 percent. Capacity utilization, which officials at the Fed look at as a signal of how much “slack” remains in the economy, and how much room there is for growth to run before it becomes inflationary, is up 79.2 percent.

Options For Your Clients’ Power System Management

In Data Knowledge Center, Bhavesh Patel, director of marketing and customer support at ASCO Power Technologies, highlights four prevalent technologies that can provide key information about the status of onsite power. A BMS (building management system), which typically covers heating, ventilation, and HVAC systems, and can include lighting, security, fire alarm systems, plumbing and water monitoring. Another system, the SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system, monitors and controls business operations via sensors placed at multiple sites at various locations and monitored from a single centralized location. SCADAs can provide equipment status to mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. DCIM (data center infrastructure management) monitors the facility infrastructure and use powerful analytics to provide intelligence and reporting for decision making that can improve efficiency of operation. Lastly, the CPMS (critical power management systems) — monitors, controls, and analyzes equipment for power generation and distribution, both for normal power and for emergency/back up power for any type of facility.

3-D Printing Gaining Ground

3-D printing is in the news again as Alex Halperin of Fortune Magazine tours Shapeways, a 3-D printing marketplace. The Shapeways factory in Long Island City, Queens, NY, is home to 3-D printers which create infinitely-varied, whimsical pieces customized by customers. The Maker movement, a community of do-it-yourselfers, has grabbed hold of this technology due to the level of creativity it allows. Other areas of the manufacturing, medical, aerospace, and life science sectors, have also discovered the nearly limitless potential 3-D printing offers and are amping up 3-D printing. With falling printer prices and improving software, this trend is likely to gain even more momentum.

Manufacturing And Warehousing IT Talking Points

The rapid growth of Big Data necessitates the implementation of a “Big Data supply chain,” John Haddad of InfoWorld believes. In order to put such an infrastructure in place, businesses must identify their goals, make Big Data insights operational, and build a Big Data pipeline, which would include operations to acquire and store, refine and enrich, explore and curate, and distribute and manage data.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Manufacturing And Warehousing Tech Center.