News Feature | August 11, 2014

Manufacturing And Warehousing IT News For VARs — August 11, 2014

By Trisha Leon, contributing writer

Manufacturing And Warehousing IT News

In the news, wireless control technology enables scientific devices to transmit data, much like smartphones or tablets. Also, a white paper tells how the Internet of Things (IoT) can contribute to universally accessible data — key for Big Data programs.

Wi-Fi: Not Just For Smartphones And Tablets

An article in R&D, “Making the Connection,” explains how vendors of specialized scientific or industrial equipment are beginning to use wireless technology to allow scientific devices to transmit data much like smartphones and tablets. On such vendor, Fluke Corp., Everett, WA, has introduced its first integrated, multi-product wireless control technology, called Fluke Connect. The technology lets technicians or researchers wirelessly transmit measurement data from their test tools to their smartphones for secure storage on the cloud, minimizing the need for paper and pen tracking. “We think we’re equal to, at least, pen and paper. And, more important, you can share a lot easier than with pen and paper. So you get a big benefit. It’s not just on your machine, it’s there with your team and without a lot of overhead or extra effort,” says Paul Heydron, vice president of engineering at Fluke.

How The IoT Enables Accessible Data

Zebra Technologies has released a white paper, “Zebra Accelerates Your Path to the Internet of Things: Create a Visible Value Chain across your critical business operations,” that explains how having universally accessible data throughout a value chain is key for Big Data, and how the Internet of Things (IoT) makes that visibility possible. In this whitepaper Zebra shares ways to use the cloud platform in conjunction with the IoT, and how doing so can help companies better understand Big Data and use it to make decisions that can increase their bottom line.

Areas Where Data Analysis Can Benefit Your Manufacturing Customers

Philip Odette, CEO of Global Supply Chain Solutions, shares with areas manufacturers can look at to improve output and improve productivity. Taking care with the use and acquisition of raw materials, incentives for workers who reach goals, applying lean principles to office departments — not just assembly lines — and seeking help from outside sources are all ways for organizations to meet new profitability heights. Odette stresses the integral role the workforce plays; he says “never forget that the workers who churn out product are a vital piece of production and need to be engaged with at every step.” VARs can provide technological solutions that improve communication between departments and analyze company metrics in order to improve productivity.

Manufacturing And Warehousing IT Talking Points

According to Industrial Distribution, orders to U.S. factories increased in June, led by demand for aircraft, industrial machinery, and computers and electronics. Orders for machinery rose 2.9 percent. Iron and steel mills had a 1.7 percent increase in demand, while orders for computers and electronic products were up 2.9 percent. The improved weather has helped manufacturing rebound, and The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, reported Friday that its manufacturing index rose to 57.1, up from 55.3 in June. A reading above 50 signals that manufacturing is growing, a good sign for factories moving forward.

Jerry Jasinowski, senior manufacturing advisor of Proudfoot Consulting, writes for Industry Week that companies who make proactive moves during an economic downturn are the ones who succeed. Like a deer in headlights, businesses will either freeze or take initiative to jump out of harm’s way. In the article, “New Economic Thinking Required: Successful Companies Will Be Proactive,” he highlights four main areas where companies can look to take a proactive stance and improve performance during lean times. Jasinowski says, “Virtually any company can survive the hardship of a recession. In fact, while competitors dither, lean times are periods of opportunity. All it takes is a proactive approach, proper planning and a strong battle plan. Companies that properly adapt to current conditions will see an even brighter future when the economy shifts upward.”

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