Manufacturing Digital news roundup: lean supply chains

This week in Manufacturing Digital, we looked at the pros & cons of reshoring, lean supply chains, 3D printing & how employers can support their workers

The pros and cons of reshoring & modern manufacturing

Mike Williams & Erik Olsen, of insurance company Chubb, discuss the domestic manufacturing industry in the USA, reshoring & the global supply chain.

What are the pros and cons of reshoring?

Williams: “Reshoring manufacturing jobs and facilities to the US has several benefits. Beyond creating jobs to stimulate economic growth, it also allows companies to maintain greater control over the production process. Domestic manufacturing also can improve lead times and enable faster responses to changes in the market and emerging trends.”

Olsen: “One overlooked aspect of nearshoring is the risk implications. For example, moving a plant to the southeastern United States may improve supply chain resilience while also increasing exposure to hurricanes. From our position, we’re working with middle market clients to facilitate these moves with the proper assessment of risk.”

Yann Rageul of Stratasys on lean supply chains & 3D printing

Yann Rageul is the Commercial Leader of the Industrial Business for EMEA and Asia at Stratasys. The business is leading the global shift to additive manufacturing (AM), providing 3D printing polymer solutions across industries such as aerospace, automotive, consumer products, industrial machinery and healthcare. Rageul’s role within that is driving the manufacturing segment, with a particular focus on helping businesses to solve their supply chain issues through additive manufacturing. 

Prior to working at Stratasys, he held managerial positions at Romax Technology, Ford Motor Company and Ricardo Strategic Consultancy.

“I have seen first-hand the opportunities that are emerging at the intersection of technology, software and engineering,” he says. “From the outset of my professional career, I have been fascinated by the way in which disruptive technologies are changing the face of manufacturing, and 3D printing is one of the most transformative technologies we have seen to date, with almost limitless potential looking ahead. It’s an extremely rewarding industry to work in, and one which I’m excited to see evolving year upon year.”

How manufacturers can safeguard from ransomware attacks

fifth of all ransomware attacks globally are directed at the manufacturing industry. In fact, over the past 12 months, almost half of all UK manufacturing firms were the victim of some form of cyber attack.

So why is manufacturing such a popular target for cyber criminals? Firstly, the sector is hugely profitable – despite the disruption caused by the pandemic and the continuing impacts of significant global headwinds, the sector hit US$44.5trn in 2022, says James DerbyshireGarrison’s Browser Isolation Expert.

At the same time, the automation and digitisation of the industry has left it particularly vulnerable to attacks. For most firms, everything from supply chain management to the production process is computerised, meaning not only that the threat surface is far greater, but that the potential impact of ransomware could be devastating to the business. If ransomware succeeds in taking operational systems offline, most manufacturers simply couldn’t operate. 

Transform operations through precision of execution

While many European organisations have lagged in fully embracing lean manufacturing principles, right now, the pressure to get on board with operational excellence is clear and present. Significant supply disruptions, talent shortages, increased competition, and now high inflation pushing costs out of control have created the “burning platform” companies need to eliminate waste, ensure their organisations run like clockwork, and turn their profitability around both financially as well as on sustainability agenda. 

But change takes more than a sense of urgency. It requires capacity, shared vision, and the right action steps to make it happen. Getting these three elements right comes down to Precision of Execution—the behaviours, process discipline, standards, and structure that allow companies to successfully identify areas for improvement and implement changes that lead to sustained cost savings and efficiencies. Companies that master Precision of Execution are fastest and best at achieving breakthrough performance, or sustainable impact of up to 10-30% depending on current state. 

Manufacturing employees want more health & wellbeing support

The Health, Wellbeing & Habits study (led by Vape Club) asked more than 1,000 employees to share details about their health status, in order to discover how shifting working patterns can impact employees' health and overall wellbeing, as well as how business leaders can take better care of their workforce.


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