PM Blog

Deal Differently with Certainty, Risk and Uncertainty

Making decisions when there is uncertainty is a different process than when you know the outcomes (certainty) or the expected range of outcomes (risk) for your machining business. The discipline of marshaling facts and using defined processes fails when the realm is uncertain.

Throughout my career, I have supervised and directed by acting to “intelligently manage risk.” Intelligently managing risk to me was to first, understand the potential consequences, then take actions needed to minimize the opportunity for those negative consequences to occur. 

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Sanitize Machine Controllers Regularly During Coronavirus Outbreak

This article was originally publish by sister publication, Plastics Technology.

We as processors tend to take the machine’s controller and operating panel for granted. We like some and despise others, but rarely do we give them the attention they deserve. Daily production pressures such as process interruptions, part defects, resin issues, etc., keep you so busy that the controller screen and buttons don’t really register as components that need attention. We just expect the controller to function properly … and most of the time it does.

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As manufacturers begin implementing more digital manufacturing solutions, the role of IT is becoming more important. Software programs such as ERP and machine monitoring affect all aspects of a manufacturer, from the front office to the shop floor to the IT department. Ryan Lanham has seen the expansion of IT’s duties in manufacturing firsthand—he has worked in the IT department at Dynomax, a manufacturer in Wheeling, Illinois, for more than 10 years. When the company recently implemented an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) cloud platform solution with MES functionality and machine monitoring from Forcam, his IT team was instrumental in ensuring the system’s success.

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Technical Education Teachers Deserve Recognition

Most of my time in the last four years has been dedicated to my mission to secure the American dream for the next generation of industrial talent. Industry is still that place where one can start out sweeping the floor, and end up running the company, or stop anywhere on the journey and have a noble, family-supporting, rewarding career. That doesn’t happen in most fields, but it does every day in manufacturing. 

This American dream, however, is at risk. We no longer do an adequate job of inspiring young people toward careers in advanced manufacturing. Far too few students are exposed to opportunities in manufacturing while in middle school and high school. Along with many others, I am working to change this.

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A Fond Farewell Heading into Retirement

Writers don't retire. I will always be a writer.

— Andy Rooney

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