Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine December 3, 2014
 
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
ABC News -- Amazon, Target and Macy's and other retailers are offering speedier delivery, including overnight and same-day options that will continue even past the holidays.

The focus on faster shipping is one way retailers are catering to shoppers who've become increasingly finicky and impatient. Since the recession, it's not enough to get lower prices; they want the deepest discounts. And when it comes to ordering online, orders need to be shipped fast.
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MHI Blog -- When the Terminator movies hit the big screen in the early 1990’s, it was man versus machine as the human resistance battled robots sent back in time to eradicate it from the world. Fortunately, today’s industrial robots resemble nothing of James Cameron’s infamous robot assassins.

In fact, innovations such as robotics and automation have paved the way for more efficient, productive, and intelligent industrial operations. And with these technological advancements comes the increasingly pervasive Internet of Things (IoT), which delivers increased data and sharing communication that Microsoft estimates could lead to $90 billion in added value for manufacturers annually.
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Huffington Post -- year ago, Amazon.com workers like 34-year-old Rejinaldo Rosales hiked miles of aisles each shift to "pick" each item a customer ordered and prepare it for shipping.

Now the e-commerce giant boasts that it has boosted efficiency — and given workers' legs a break — by deploying more than 15,000 wheeled robots to crisscross the floors of its biggest warehouses and deliver stacks of toys, books and other products to employees.
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The Wall Street Journal -- Planned federal rules would likely preclude delivery drones being developed by Amazon.com Inc. and Google Inc., and make some other potential drone uses too expensive for small businesses, industry proponents said.

The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to propose rules for commercial drones next month that would mandate operators have pilot licenses and limit drone flights to daytime hours, below 400 feet and within sight of the person at the controls, according to people familiar with the rule-making process.
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Supply Chain Digital -- FedEx Express, the world’s largest express transportation company and a subsidiary of FedEx Corp, is gearing up for the busiest day across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in the history of the company.

The busiest day for shipments for the courier and postal service going out from the region is expected to be 16 December.
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Material Handling & Logistics -- One of the realities of an interconnected and rapidly developing world is the need to transport valuable materials and equipment great distances. For manufacturing companies, that often means moving large, heavy and expensive equipment—frequently with great difficulty and at great expense—to emerging manufacturing countries like China.

Whether opening a new facility overseas or selling manufacturing equipment to a foreign firm, the fundamental challenges remain the same. This is transport on a grand scale, and the packaging challenges involved in making those large and unwieldy items safe and secure for travel are equally substantial.
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Vidir Inc.
The New York Times -- British supermarkets are selling beer in glass bottles that are a third lighter than they were a few years ago. Unilever, which makes products like Dove cleansers and Sure deodorant, has pledged to reduce its packaging by a third by 2020. Dell is cushioning computers and server parts with wheat straw and a compostable, mushroom-based material, instead of Styrofoam.

Across the business world, more companies, mindful of the environment and their bottom lines, are scrutinizing their packaging and cutting the excess. Less packaging means fewer raw materials to buy and lower shipping costs. The changes can also add up to fewer climate-warming carbon emissions and less garbage in landfills.
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Modern Materials Handling -- Data issued in preliminary survey results by the National Retail Federation in a New York Times report found that retail sales in stores and online from Thanksgiving through the end of this past weekend were down 11 percent annually compared to the same time a year ago, from $57.4 billion to $50.9 billion.

Though it is much too early to make a definitive statement on the success of the holiday shopping season, the results run counter to NRF projections suggesting a banner year.
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The Guardian -- 3D printing has come a long way in an extremely short span of time. Initially built by Charles Hull in the 1980s as a tool for making basic polymer objects, today, the technology has spurred remarkable efforts in several manufacturing sectors; from building intricate aircraft and race car components, to human organs and prostheses.

Now, the wider business world is beginning to understand the potential of 3D printing for cost-effective, efficient and environmentally-friendly manufacturing. It is little wonder that analyst firm, Canalys see the global market for 3D printers reaching $16.2bn (£10.3bn) by 2018. With increasing adoption, the technology will revolutionize manufacturing as well as the supply chain and logistics processes which surround it.
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Railway Age -- U.S. rail traffic for the week ending Nov. 15, 2014 continued to show strength, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday, Nov. 20.
 
U.S. freight carload traffic gained a relatively modest 0.3% for the week measured against the comparable period in 2013. U.S. intermodal volume did better on percentage terms, up 2.6%. Total combined U.S. weekly rail traffic was up 1.4% measured against the comparable week of one year ago.
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EBN -- Transporting goods quickly and efficiently is a complicated process that requires coordinating and managing different variables within a fast-paced and volatile environment. In a just-in-time environment, it's critical to carry just enough inventory, but to get there, OEMs require visibility throughout their supply chain.

Supply chain performance can be made substantially better by improving logistic systems. EBN recently spoke with a number of experts in the logistics field. Here are four tips to get your logistics systems revved up. 
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MHI Blog -- In the supply chain getting the best out of your employees is essential to working as a well oiled machine. Many people struggle at work to stay motivated and reach their full potential. How do you keep your team on track and inspire high quality performance? Here are a few things you can do as a leader to influence your team and generate positive results.
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Western Pacific Storage Systems
Logistics Viewpoints -- This past June, the largest overnight delivery carriers (FedEx and UPS) announced that they would apply dimensional weight pricing to all shipments, effective January 2015. It is expected that shipping costs will increase 20 to 30 percent and affect over 70 percent of all shipments. What shippers are truly affected by the new pricing model? What can be done to avoid the cost increase? Read on.
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EBN -- Risk isn't a new topic in the supply chain, but it's one that is moving up the priority list for many electronics companies, as a global reach becomes a reality. Changing weather conditions, evolving labor disputes, and shifts in economic growth all make the risk picture change over time -- requiring keen attention and careful planning.

"Risk comes at us in many ways," said Bindiya Vakil, CEO of Resilinc, a supply chain monitoring vendor, during a panel discussion at the recent Hi-Tech & Electronics Supply Chain Summit sponsored by Eye for Transport (EFT). "A lot of companies struggle with the business justification. How do we build the business case around it? We are all so ROI driven."
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Air Cargo World -- An agreement between Mexico and the United States, scheduled to become effective by Jan. 1, 2016, would remove all limits on the number of airlines that can provide passenger or cargo service between destinations in both countries.

If enacted, the new policy would allow new carriers to enter the market, while carriers already in the market would have the freedom to fly to new cities. A release from the U.S. Department of State said that, under the agreement, "cargo airlines, for the first time, will have expanded opportunities to provide service to new destinations that were not available under the current agreement."
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World Trade -- As "Black Friday" drew nearer, the National Retail Federation issued a statement from Matthew Shay, president and CEO, on reports that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) were taking a break from contract negotiations.

"We are greatly disappointed that the parties have decided to take an extended break from the ongoing contract negotiations. After six months of negotiations we have seen very little progress," said Shay.
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Engineering Innovation
 

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