For this edition of 'Friday's Quality Check', I'm doing things a little differently.
Here's a list of what I've enjoyed reading over the past 2 weeks:
1. An easy read: A nice intro to Industry 4.0 and the 'smart factory' by Bernard Marr at Forbes. He emphasizes the importance of 'interoperability', so that machines, sensors, and people connect and communicate effectively. He also notes the potential for computer control to produce more reliable and consistent outputs.
2. Quick fact: Did you know Cincinnati has dubbed itself an 'Industry 4.0 demonstration city'? It's true. The Mayor even signed an official proclamation to that effect.
3. Big picture thinking: McKinsey does a good job of putting Industry 4.0, 'manufacturing's next act', in context. They explain that it's driven by 4 key disruptions: big data, advanced analytics, human-machine interfaces, and digital-to-physical transfer.
4. A long read: Renishaw Inc. in Quality Magazine talks about the best ways to tackle process waste and boost profits. They introduce the Productive Process Pyramid (see below), a systematic approach to eliminating variation in manufacturing. They note that cost savings and improved control can be achieved without any big changes to machining processes. Investment requirements are low, with a typical payback period of a few months.
[image credit: The Productive Process Pyramid™, Renishaw Inc.]
5. Newsjack: The Harvard Business Review wonders Why Trump Doesn't Tweet About Automation. And Reuters reports that U.S. investors are expecting more automation with Trump in office.
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend!
P.S. As always, let me know if you found this content helpful by replying to this email.