Cobots and the Changing “Face” of American Manufacturing

Posted by Todd Stukenberg

Nov 30, 2018 4:00:00 PM

Robots have been an important part of manufacturing on a global basis for nearly 50 years.  Perhaps most widely recognized for their place in automobile production, robots have been used to improve efficiency, quality and safety.  Historically, traditional production robotics has been out of reach for mid- and small-market manufacturers due to their cost, scale and specific capability limitations.  However, as the global economy has changed due to the reach of e-commerce and its enablement of these small and middle-market firms, interest in manufacturing improvements has grown, and this in turn has ignited the “cobot” movement. So what is a “cobot” and how does it compare to a traditional full scale production robot? 

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Topics: cnc machining, process improvement, contract manufacturing, Cobots

Does Your OEM Contract Manufacturer Conduct Engineering Release Meetings?

Posted by Jacob Miller

Jan 9, 2015 6:51:00 PM

 As an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), the goals of outsourcing work to a contract manufacturer (CM) are twofold: create a high-quality product and maximize your spend. Both of these goals can be successfully accomplished if your CM holds Engineering Release Meetings.

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Topics: oem, original equipment manufacturer, contract manufacturing, lean manufacturing, product development, process improvement

Lean Manufacturing: Put Your Bottom Line In Employees’ Hands

Posted by Craig Zoberis

Nov 18, 2014 7:46:00 AM

Every manufacturer is looking to increase its bottom line, but only a few are tapping into the secret of successful new profits: your employees.

Whether you’re a traditional Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) company or you’re outsourcing production to a partner, handing over more responsibilities to employees might sound like a recipe for disaster. However, with the right lean manufacturing approach, employee empowerment is the key to stronger bottom-line growth.

Here are six reasons why employee empowerment isn’t just optional for OEM companies and contract manufacturers – it’s required:

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Topics: lean manufacturing, process improvement

How Lean Manufacturing Powers Your Process Improvements

Posted by Craig Zoberis

Oct 14, 2014 8:17:00 AM

Many Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) see lean manufacturing as simply another set of tools or techniques for squeezing extra profit out of their manufacturing processes.

However, these OEMs misunderstand the true nature of lean manufacturing: It’s not a toolkit but a mindset. Lean manufacturing isn’t just about pinching pennies or putting unrealistic productivity expectations onto employees – it’s an entire philosophy of manufacturing that incorporates every aspect of your business processes.

And when your company’s processes are cluttered, unprofitable and in need of an upgrade, the lean manufacturing mindset is what helps power those process improvements.

Next time you’re enacting process improvements at your OEM – or encouraging your contract manufacturer to do the same – use these four steps to ensure your process improvements are tapping into the power of the lean philosophy:

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Topics: lean manufacturing, process improvement

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