Randall Manufacturing
Archive | Printer Friendly Version | Send to a Friend | www.mhi.org | MHI Solutions magazine July 9, 2014
Tauber Institute for Global Operations at University of Michigan
Modern Materials Handling
If you listen to the numbers on the billions of machines, automation controllers and other "things" being connected to the Internet as part of the Internet of Things (IoT) trend, one might assume that nearly every manufacturing plant would have an IoT project underway. After all, manufacturing is all about making things, and as part of that, moving materials.

But analysts and technology suppliers agree that it is still early days for the IoT, especially on plant floors. Hurdles for broader adoption include security concerns for plant-floor networks and a fuzzy understanding of how the IoT translates into practical use.
MHI Blog
U.S. economic growth in the second half of 2014 will be better than in the first half, averaging 1.8% during the first two quarters of the year and 2.6% in the latter two quarters, according to IHS Global Insight.

"The manufacturing outlook for 2014 and 2015 calls for about a percentage point acceleration in the growth rate each year," says Daniel J. Meckstroth, Ph.D., vice president and chief economist of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI). Business investment-driven manufacturing, says MAPI’s latest outlook, is the primary driver of the production growth. 
Supply Management
The influx of industry to low-cost sourcing destinations has brought about infrastructure development in those countries, increasing living expenses and wage expectations. 

Previously low-cost manufacturing regions have begun to see their competitive advantage reduced as their domestic costs begin to rise. So, with the cost benefits of a global supply chain reducing, it’s important to understand and quantify all financial impacts on a global network to guarantee the long-term success of this model (and protect the balance sheet from adverse working capital implications along the way). 
Bloomberg Businessweek
For the world’s biggest maker of air freighters, the most formidable competition is coming from the bellies of its own passenger planes. Sales of cargo versions of Boeing’s (BA) 777 and 747-8 aircraft have stalled as British Airways (IAG:LN), Delta Air Lines (DAL), FedEx (FDX), operator of the world’s largest cargo airline, and other carriers ground older cargo planes and transfer freight to Boeing’s widebody 777 passenger jets. The shift is forcing Boeing to rethink its cargo business as a glut of large passenger jets hits the market over the next two years.
Vidir Inc.
Logistics Viewpoints
You’re trying to do everything right to lure in online shoppers: You offer free shipping. Customers can return merchandise to a retail location. You even offer free returns through the mail. But this freedom for the customer can mean a lot of headaches and cost for you. 

The demands of the omni-channel marketplace are not only changing the way companies fulfill orders, but how they engineer reverse logistics processes. While you need to please the customer, you also need to be profitable.
Industry Week
It’s well-established that manufacturers who follow lean principles create significant profitability improvements over time, all while meeting and exceeding customer expectations. From production line workers to the board of directors to sales and marketing, everyone in an organization can benefit from adhering to lean principles. However, those improvements aren’t always evident when the P&L is tallied.

The reason? Poor pricing methods, which result in over-discounting, effectively transfer the incremental profits from lean activities away from the company and into the pockets of their customers.
CGMA Magazine
Top executives the world over spend a lot of time and effort to manage delays or disruptions in their companies’ supply chains – with widely varying results.
A global poll of more than 1,000 senior executives by consulting firm Accenture found that managing operational risks related to the supply chain was important or very important to 76% of respondents. 

But results of the efforts differed as widely as the approaches, which included monitoring risks, defining capabilities to fill potential gaps, and building excess capacity.
Material Handling & Logistics
More than 2.9 million of the 8.8 million medium and heavy duty commercial trucks registered in the United States are now equipped with newer technology clean diesel engines, according to new data compiled by HIS Automotive for the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF). Beginning in 2007, all heavy duty diesel trucks sold had to meet particulate emissions levels of no more than 0.01 grams per brake horse-power hour (g/HP-hr)—a level near zero. 

"Because more than 95 percent of all heavy duty trucks are diesel-powered it is significant that more than one-third of these trucks are near zero emission vehicles," said Allen Schaeffer, the executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum. 
Western Pacific Storage Systems
World Trade
In the near future, U.S. food importers and companies importing other goods regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will realize additional tangible benefits with certification in U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP’s) Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT). 

Under CBP’s Trusted Trader pilot, FDA will be able to recognize C-TPAT certified importers, which will allow the agency to better target and evaluate risk; therefore, streamlining the shipping process for certified shippers. Prior to this pilot, FDA was unable to recognize C-TPAT certified shippers.
Mobile Marketing
Logistics provider DHL has issued a new study into how augmented reality can be applied in different stages of the supply chain, with plans to test some of the derived use cases in proof of concept studies aimed at transforming the shipping and delivery businesses.
According to the study, AR technology could be applied to warehouse operations, transportation and last-mile delivery to enhance the service offered to businesses and consumers, as well as creating unique, value-added services for customers.
Bloomberg Businessweek
For many months now, I've been discussing various factors driving the resurgence of U.S. manufacturing, such as increasing labor costs in China, the productivity of American workers, the abundance of cheap energy here that "fracking" technology has brought about, intellectual property issues, and the fact that manufacturing in the U.S. involves far fewer headaches than managing long-distance supply chains.

In many cases, as I've stressed, choosing a location for the next manufacturing facility is not an either-or choice. Many companies will choose to manufacture in China, India, Brazil, and other overseas locations for the African, Asian, and Latin American markets, even as the U.S. and Mexico become increasingly attractive choices for companies making products for North America and Western Europe.
Supply Chain Brain
From siloed behavior to data-sharing and collaboration across disciplines -- that's the journey that companies are making today, as they pass through the five stages of logistics maturity, according to Greg Aimi, director of supply chain research with Gartner.

The first stage of logistics maturity is achieved by large global companies that are typically divided by businesses, divisions, regions and profit-and-loss statements. Logistics functions reside within each, with little synergy among the parts. Often the result is "individual autonomous groups being driven by priorities of other parts of the company," says Aimi.
Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute
Maritime Executive
Drewry’s 2Q14 Container Forecaster highlights that there is a widening gap between the positive financials of the few carriers really focused on cutting costs and the rest of the top 20 lines, as they battle with the pressure of falling freight rates.

Drewry forecasts that once again, average freight rates will be lower than in the previous year. Drewry estimates that on the headhaul transpacific trade alone, carriers have given away in the region of $1.25 billion in annual revenue via the lower annual contracts they signed with Beneficial Cargo Owner clients in May. They also signed new annual contracts on the Asia-Europe trade earlier in the year at levels of around $150-$200 per 40ft container lower than in 2013. On the positive side, they may have secured base cargoes to fill their ships at a low price. But this puts more pressure on carriers to try and recover revenue from the spot market. Drewry believes that volatility in the spot market will remain high this year.
Companies responded to the recession of the mid-2000s with an ever-vigilant focus on saving on transportation fuel costs, and they made it a priority to look at sea and land shipping instead of air to save on spending. Since then, new supply chain strategies, such as in-sourcing manufacturing and locating goods production closer to large consumer bases, have also reduced reliance on air cargo. As a result, air cargo traffic slowed in 2011 and experienced further contraction worldwide in 2012 of around 2 percent.

But for the electronics industry, air cargo continues to play a vital niche role -- not as the transportation mode of choice for most shipments, but as a transportation option that makes sense in certain situations.
MHI Blog
The 2014 MHI Annual Industry Report revealed that only 17% of executives view 3D printing as a strategic priority. This is understandable because 3D printing has not greatly impacted manufacturing or affected supply chains. However, less than a decade ago, the same could be said for internet retail and mobile shopping. 

Now, these technologies are fueling the emergence of same-day and next-day delivery. They also make it possible for smaller companies to deliver products to consumers as it eliminates the requirement of having a brick and mortar store.
Engineering Innovation


We would appreciate your comments or suggestions.
Your email will be kept private and confidential.