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Crowdsourcing and Manufacturing

The challenges facing the US manufacturing industry are varied and well-known: foreign competition, regulatory and environmental concerns, and a decline in STEM education, to name a few.

Most of what we hear in the news is a continual stream of reminders of these challenges from politicians, pundits, etc. Everyone seems to acknowledge this is a problem, but what are we going to do about it?

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Continue driving the Internet of Things

So, in my last blog, I pointed out that Manufacturers, and particularly car makers, will be driving the Internet of Things (IoT) by incorporating standard networks into their machines.   I also indicated that evolving the standards is going to be critical to that adoption.

Applying standard networks (by that I mean Ethernet, IP, TCP/UDP, 802.11/WiFi, etc.) machines is going to be a distinctly different than the networking of computers, phones and the plethora of tablets and handheld devices that has driven the Internet and standard networks to date. Read More »

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Peter Granger in Automation World

Automation World

Recently, our very own Peter Granger was interviewed for an article in Automation World Magazine regarding the impact of social media on manufacturing collaboration.

Social media isn’t just for personal use any more. Businesses of all kinds, particularly manufacturers, are looking to leverage social media types of connections for easier access to needed expertise, business intelligence insights and new product ideas.

For manufacturers, the principal driver behind the move toward greater incorporation of social media for collaborative business processes is access to expertise.

Who knows what? Read More »

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A Series of Tubes

In 2006, the Internet was infamously described as “a series of tubes” during a debate over Network Neutrality.  However, a recent infographic may give a bit more credibility to that often teased comment:

“it turns out that the World Wide Web really is more like a series of tubes than anything else–at least when it comes to the problem of getting data packets across oceans. The Submarine Cable Map makes these undersea connections clear, complete with color-coded interactive visuals.”

Bridging Continents: The First International Network Read More »

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Converging on Convergence

What does Convergence mean to you? I recently did a search on the term “convergence” and found that it can relate to many technical, societal, political, and economic terms. All of them are correct, it just depends on the context.

I am going to be focusing on “convergence” as it applies to a Machine Builder that builds a machine that gets integrated into a manufacturing operation. You understand that, right? The final product gets bought and we all get paid.

So lets back up, just a bit. Machine Builder applies to those that build specific purpose machines that fit into a manufacturing operation. There may be decorating machines, metal forming machines, painting machines, wrapping machines, transfer machines, all sorts of machines. All of them tie together in some manner and form a production operation.

Every one of those machines may operate internally (so, within that specific machine) via its own network. I mean pieces talk to other pieces, right? But every one of those machines needs to integrate into the production operations at some point. And if the machine needs a gateway to talk to the line, that is an extra piece to maintain and more cost. Read More »

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