May 19, 2014 at 9:38 AM

How Can IT Prepare for the Future on the Shop Floor

We’ve already begun studying ways to use Augmented Reality on the shop floor. Are you ready for the future of manufacturing?

By Nick Stonebraker, CIMx Software Developer

It sounds like a scene from a science fiction movie – a shop floor worker wanders a warehouse or production area. He wears a device over his eyes, and everywhere he looks data scrolls before his eyes. The temperature of a machine appears in a graphic. An arrow points in the direction of the material he is looking for, while a red warning sign flashes over a danger on the floor.

It’s known as augmented reality – using technology and computer-generated sensory input to enhance the user’s view of the real world. With Augmented Reality, technology works to enhance our current perception of reality.

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December 12, 2013 at 5:24 AM

How We Can Make the Internet of Things Work for Manufacturing

The future is coming and carrying a wealth of production data, are you ready to capitalize on it?  Is your competition?

 By David Oeters, Corporate Communications with CIMx Software

I don’t know where I first heard the term, Internet of Things (or, if I was a Cisco Champion, The Internet of Everything), but I quickly filed the term away for future consideration.  Yet, we are quickly coming to the point where we may soon be a cog in the grand Internet of Things machine whether we want to or not, and it’s going to have a tremendous impact on manufacturing.
The Internet of Things is a conceptual world in which every object (a Thing) is given a Unique Identifier (UID) and the ability to automatically collect data and transfer it over a network without human or computer interface.  Currently, a Thing can be anything, from a sensor on your cell phone, to an RFID chip in a package, to a health monitor (such as the FitBit Flex) worn to track footsteps and your health.  In this way, everything operates in a giant system, continually collecting data to give a real-time assessment of a moment.  Still confused?  Consider it the first step toward living in the Matrix, or the tool the NSA is using to keep tabs on us.

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July 18, 2013 at 5:33 AM

Secrets to Overcoming the Qualified Worker Crunch

As manufacturers struggle to find qualified shop floor workers, it’s not enough to hope secondary education will improve.  It’s time to start finding solutions ourselves.

A recent survey by The Chronicle and the American Public Media Marketplace shined a light on the struggles manufacturers face when hiring qualified employees.  In an article reviewing the survey, hiring managers described potential candidates as, “woefully unprepared,” saying they lacked, “basic workplace proficiencies,” or even the, “ability to solve complex problems.”  Assessments such as these do not bode well for the future of manufacturing.

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May 2, 2013 at 3:56 AM

Deciphering the Future of Manufacturing

Manufacturing is changing. Can you make change work for you and your shop floor?

By David Oeters, Corporate Communications with CIMx Software

A recent (May, 2013) issue of Scientific America magazine featured two articles that got me thinking about the future of manufacturing. The first, written by David Bourne, discussed robots on the shop floor, and how science is working to integrate the capabilities of humans and robots to increase production and lower costs.

Another article by Larry Greenemeier took a close look at 3D, or additive, printing. Titled “Will 3D Printing Transform Conventional Manufacturing,” the article focused on the strengths and weaknesses of 3D Printing, and how it could be used by manufacturers in the future.

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