Supply Chain
Top stories summarized by our editors
1/19/2018

The sale of robots in North America was up 14% in the first nine months of 2017, but automation additions to manufacturing are not the only trend. Robots such as Adam, which autonomously travels through the warehouse and accurately selects products from the shelves, are getting smarter and offering more mobility.

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North America, Adam
1/19/2018

Bread manufacturer Martin's Famous Pastry Shoppe reduced space needs by 50% and hours worked by 30% through a robotic picking solution paired with high-density pallet storage and retrieval, says executive Tony Martin. Automation helped the business manage peak seasonal demand and improve worker safety, Martin says.

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Tony Martin
1/19/2018

Employees often lose momentum when new leadership and its new directives come on board, so take the time to learn about each team's recent activity, writes Elizabeth Doty. "By taking the time to uncover what is happening on the ground now and affirming explicitly what you want to continue, stop, or start anew, you can dramatically reduce the reset effect," she writes.

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Elizabeth Doty
1/19/2018

Applied Industrial Technologies' pending acquisition of FCX Performance will expand its fluid power segment while increasing its differentiated specialty capacity. "We believe that distributors like FCX Performance and Applied Industrial, through their strong technical selling models, provide customers with solutions that cannot easily be replicated by online competitors," said Jason Kliewer of Baird Acquisition Group.

1/19/2018

Employers should simplify the application process and consider incentives such as housing for candidates willing to relocate temporarily, Bridget McCrea writes. Increase retention rates by assuring new hires of their value and assigning fulfilling tasks, says Beverly Kaye of Career Systems International.

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TED Magazine
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Bridget McCrea, Beverly Kaye
1/19/2018

Control loop performance monitoring and vibration analysis may be sufficient to monitor equipment rather than more expensive and complex predictive analytics solutions, writes Bob Rice of Control Station.

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Plant Services online
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Bob Rice
1/19/2018

Manufacturers wanting to be digital innovators should be pursuing the cost-management benefits of automation and the customer expectations of personalization, Brian Irwin of Accenture writes. He notes that they should also be hiring and training their employees in the necessary digital skills while spreading such knowledge throughout their supply chains.

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Accenture
1/19/2018

The Triton attack on a Schneider Electric facility in late 2017 breached a firmware vulnerability and is the first instance of a remote-access trojan deployed as a second stage of an industrial facility cyberattack, according to Schneider researchers. Analysts said the attackers, possibly affiliated with nation-state interests, had deep enough knowledge of Schneider's systems to allow reverse-engineered mapping.

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Wired online
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Schneider, Schneider Electric
1/19/2018

Some users may choose not to apply patches for the Spectre and Meltdown processor flaws because the fixes affect performance or may not be needed, Cliff Saran writes. How the industry responds could determine whether processors become a favored target of hackers, he argues.

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ComputerWeekly (UK)
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Cliff Saran
1/19/2018

Manufacturers should apply data to achieve the materials handling equivalent of overall equipment effectiveness, writes Jim Rock of Seegrid. "Starting out with an incremental program will establish a baseline of data for future comparison," he writes.

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IndustryWeek
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Jim Rock