An Old Woman Weighing Gold Coins (Rembrandt School, 17th Century)

The ROI of IoT: Quantifying the Strategic Value of IoT

By | Internet of Things, Strategy | No Comments

The Digital Transformation: From Conduits to Content

In the earlier days of the Internet of Things, the industry was obsessed with the magnitude of the network and forecasting how many millions and billions connected “things” it will encompass. As it turned out, those predictions were mostly overblown, vague and inconsistent.

But the hypothetical ability to connect billions of devices to the Internet is of little or no consequence to most industrial companies. Of course, telecom companies, wireless carriers, and semiconductor manufacturers see growth opportunities across many industrial sectors, but these numbers are meaningless to an organization that is trying to harness the IoT to optimize and grow its business and its customers’ business.

The fascination with astronomical number of connected devices is finally subsiding and the conversation is moving gradually from data pipes and conduits to utilizing their content to create business value. Read More

Edison Baker Electric Car c. 1895

End of Tax Credit is Looming: Implications for Electric Vehicle Manufacturers

By | Automotive, Electric Vehicles | No Comments

Did you put down money for a new bright red Tesla Model 3? (Or did you skimp and got the standard any-color-so-long-as-it-is-black car?)

Tesla’s Model 3 order book backlog has been growing longer. The company has confirmed having about 420,000 Model 3 reservations, which, at the current production rate, will take nearly two years to deliver. Tesla has been struggling for more than a year to ramp up manufacturing to meet the demand. The company is targeting production rate of 6,000 per week, which is a significant improvement, albeit still only about 65% of the factory’s capacity when it was co-owned by General Motors and Toyota.

To accelerate production, Tesla reduced the number of available Model 3 configurations from thousands to about 100, which means you will not be able to get the exact car of your dreams. And by the time your car is ready to be delivered to you, the federal tax incentive you were counting on may be gone. Read More

PTC Rockwell Partnership

PTC and Rockwell Automation Partnership: A New Era of PLM Competition Begins

By | Internet of Things, Manufacturing, PLM | No Comments

PLM software vendor PTC and factory automation equipment maker Rockwell Automation recently announced  a partnership agreement. As reported, Rockwell is making a $1 billion equity investment in PTC to acquire 10.6 million newly-issued PTC shares and will become its third-largest shareholder. Rockwell will also get a seat at PTC’s board of directors.

This partnership is significant and will change the balance among the top-tier PLM and factory automation vendors for years to come. Read More

Suprematist Composition (Kazimir Malevich, 1916)

Design for Manufacturing as a Knowledge Management Tool

By | Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Manufacturing | No Comments

In the first part of this two-part blog article, I discussed how two global high-tech manufacturing companies use validation tools to formalize and automate the design review process for downstream manufacturing, thereby reducing costly and time-consuming rework and engineering change orders, manufacturing defects, and costs.

In this article, I discuss the benefits of using formal manufacturability validation tools as a mechanism for best-practice knowledge capture and continuous improvement.

A Growing Manufacturing Knowledge Gap

Many design engineers lack theoretical and practical manufacturing process knowledge in well-established manufacturing disciplines such as injection molding, casting, and sheet metal fabrication. This gap is more pronounced in newer manufacturing processes that involve composite materials and additive manufacturing. Read More

Suprematist Composition (Kazimir Malevich, 1916)

Design for Manufacturing: Getting it Right the First Time Pays Off

By | Manufacturing | One Comment

Competing in a Global Market – What’s Your Competitive Advantage?

Today’s global marketplace gives companies access to more customers and greater growth possibilities. But to succeed in a crowded, hypercompetitive market requires companies to outperform the competition in speed to market, product quality, competitive pricing, and strong margins.

Traditional product leadership tends to focus, not unreasonably, on competitive functionality and cost. But all too often management neglects to consider the far-reaching impact that suboptimal design could have during prototyping and manufacturing volume ramp up.  Whether because of time pressure, lack of experience, or just complacency, many product organizations often ignore downstream manufacturing during product design.

Study after study shows that inept design for manufacturability leads to unnecessary engineering changes, slower time to market, and higher manufacturing ramp up costs. Meeting project schedules, achieving a high level of quality, and controlling production costs are highly dependent on getting designs right the first time. Read More