Advance Your Materials Handling Operations with Real-Time Data

This article was originally published in IndustryWeek.

As manufacturers and distributors undertake new automation initiatives and push toward Industry 4.0 - the fourth industrial revolution - they have access to an unprecedented amount of data.

The industrial internet of things (IIoT), constantly streams data through different kinds of smart devices and software programs. The trick is figuring out how to use the data in an impactful way that brings immediate value and drives continuous improvement.

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5 Steps on Your Journey Toward Industry 4.0

Introducing new technology can be disruptive: upending the status quo is always challenging for businesses and their employees. For manufacturers, though, the idea of the smart factory of the future is quickly becoming a reality, and even those hesitant to embrace these advancements are finding it hard to ignore. As we advance steadily toward Industry 4.0, companies should prepare to redefine how they approach materials handling.

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Industry 4.0: Taking a Look into the Past, Present, and Future of Manufacturing

The introduction of new technology can be disruptive: change is challenging for businesses and their employees. But the smart factory of the future is quickly becoming a reality, and even those hesitant to embrace these advancements are finding it hard to ignore. We’re on the cusp of Industry 4.0 – a trend that is redefining how companies approach materials handling.

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Disruption Ahead: Automotive Manufacturers Look to the Future

After a banner year in 2015—with over 17.5 million vehicles sold in the U.S., according to the Wall Street Journal—the automotive industry is poised to continue this pattern of growth through 2016 and beyond. That doesn’t mean the industry is without challenges, though. Automakers are beginning to feel the effects of an increasingly competitive market as an influx of tech companies enter the automotive game, embracing big data to identify and solve problems, and touting a “fail fast” mentality that enables the quick production of innovative new products.

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IIoT: The Next Frontier in Manufacturing

Machines on the plant floor will soon actively identify problems, determine a course of action, execute, and measure those results—all without human interaction. It's not the Jetsons—it's the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and it's already beginning to reshape manufacturing. Though many manufacturers are just starting to explore the implications of IIoT, the Internet of Things (IoT) has been generating buzz for years and already represents a booming market opportunity.

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Aerospace Manufacturing: A Need to Innovate, But No One to Do the Work

Like many industries, the aerospace and defense (A&D) sector is facing increased pressure to continuously innovate and increase productivity, while also reducing labor and operating costs. Achieving all these targets requires a large, specialized workforce. A&D executives are feeling the pressure to simultaneously produce innovative products, control costs, and plan for future growth to stay ahead of this increasingly competitive market.

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