A recently published Deloitte report titled “Matching strengths: A new wave of corporate alliances may be on the horizon,” highlights how business uncertainties stemming from globalization, changing demand patterns, and technological developments seems to have led to increased mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in the US in the past three years.1 These trends have touched the additive manufacturing (AM) sector—an area we’ve covered in depth over the years. M&A deals in AM are increasing in size and pace, particularly in the US, where many non-traditional 3D companies have entered the market.
By Joe Mariani
A prosecutor stands before the defendant accused of price fixing and gouging consumers. She forcefully argues that the defendant did “knowingly and intentionally defraud his customers.” To which he only replies, “Prove it.” This may seem like nothing more than a bit of bravado from a bad courtroom melodrama, but in the current digital age – the 4th Industrial Revolution – it may actually take on greater meaning for businesses and all of us.
By Joe Mariani
Excerpt: Businesses need to keep pace with technology developments to stay competitive.
In today’s environment of technology-driven change, businesses have a vital need to know what the next technologies will be. The sooner a company knows what technologies are coming, the sooner it can begin to build business models and strategies to take advantage of them. New technologies can emerge from any number of sources, from the military to a student’s dorm room. But many of the cutting edge advances that will likely drive future change are also currently experiments in the labs of computer scientists. This blog will highlight two such research advances which point towards the future of the Internet of Things (IoT) and all of the industries that it touches.
One question I get a lot focuses on the difference between Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things. “Aren’t they the same thing?” Well, they are and they aren’t. The Internet of Things is a construct by which objects are connected and made smarter. Industry 4.0 connotes the fourth Industrial Revolution, in which this interplay between digital technologies and the physical world is scaled to an industrial level to enable connected production, supply chains, business operations, and beyond. In essence, it’s a scaled up, amped up, industrialized version of the IoT—which is why Industry 4.0 is also known to some as the Industrial Internet of Things.
Smart Predictive Maintenance accelerates the maintenance journey and has potential to increase machine availability and visibility across an entire asset network.
New techniques can improve plant throughput
Maintenance professionals today can face a number of issues, often including outsourcing, cost cutting, scarcity of experienced labor and increasing complexity of equipment. Whatever the challenge, maintenance and reliability professionals share a common goal – to maximize machine availability. Yet traditional maintenance programs can only take you so far. In fact, machine failures go well beyond statistical time-based failure. Recent studies show that only 20 percent of machine failures are time-based, while the other 80 percent of failures occur either in the infant mortality startup phase or most often due to random or unknown failure.1 But truly, no failure is random, only that the root causes have gone unidentified. Modern maintenance techniques can help detect impending failures before they happen with typically more accuracy than time-based approaches. For manufacturers, exceptional asset maintenance can be a strategic differentiator in improving a plant’s throughput, efficiency, quality and safety.
Four ways to bring architectural innovation to your technology
By Joe Mariani, Center for Integrated Research
When technology can’t give you a strategic advantage, connections can. Recent research on how to create a strategic advantage in manufacturing shows that proprietary technology may not always create competitive advantage. In fact, it is the connection—the architectural innovation—combined with technology that may provide the greatest opportunity for businesses.
It’s been 15 years since the term “Internet of things” was coined by Kevin Ashton, a technologist specializing in sensors and RFID.1 Since then, various applications of IoT have evolved in industries such as automotive, healthcare and consumer goods, among others. The various technological developments in the IoT space can be explained through the information value loop (IVL), which serves as a linchpin for evaluating these advancements, and linking them in order to create value for companies as well as customers. Refer to the paper, “The more things change: Value creation, value capture, and the Internet of Things” for detailed discussion of the value loop.
Posted by Michelle Drew Rodriguez
Research1 shows advanced manufacturing is more essential than ever to economic competitiveness and prosperity. But what is involved in driving, sustaining, and applying the innovation that makes a company or country a leader in advanced manufacturing? In this post, I’ll explore the drivers that make the US a leader in innovation. Research and development (R&D) certainly plays a role, but the real key may be an intangible one: the innovation ecosystem.