In our supply chains, we are used to flying blind and operating with little or no visibility of inventories, shipments, and activities beyond our own warehouses. Just imagine how much more effective management could be with supply chain radar?
There has been much in the press about self-driving cars and how the logic built into these vehicles may adhere to traffic rules but may have trouble in the real world. The same applies to robots used in manufacturing plants and limits their use much the same way that the need to recognize the possibility of unpredictable human behavior.
Automation continues to be a very significant factor in the loss of manufacturing jobs but there is still ample opportunity for workers to acclimate and thrive, as long as people are willing and able to change. Otherwise, it is likely that their earning potentials will unfortunately fall down the ravine of the U-shaped labor market.
Digital manufacturing is a strategy. Ideally, this comprehensive strategy for managing and sharing engineering data — product definitions, bills of materials (BOM), engineering specifications, etc. — through the entire product lifecycle can be valuable for design improvement, product support and logistics.
No company wants to have its products recalled. However, if a recall is necessary, the priority is to minimize the ramifications and complete it as quickly and efficiently as possible. Certain industries—such as consumer packaged goods, pharmaceutical, and automotive, among others—are well acquainted with the need to properly accomplish recalls. However, many other industries also are at risk, and they might not even know it.