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Additive Manufacturing Advances the Energy Industry   From wind to solar to nuclear, AM promises to revolutionize the energy industry. A new subsection of ASTM’s committee on additive manufacturing is bringing together the stakeholders who will write the standards that guide the industry's future. Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, has been around for decades. Thought of primarily as a prototyping tool in its earlier days, this technology has exploded in recent years. Fueled by a revolution in printer technology and materials, the field of AM has advanced into a realm many would have considered science fiction just a few years ago. ...
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When you look at all the certifications your organization may be complying with annually, including AS9100, ISO9000, Nadcap, and CQI-9 just to name a few, it is important you have the resources to fill all the continuous improvement and business planning gaps in your compliance process.  Think about all the key elements you need to demonstrate with compliance including:   Risk Thinking & Mitigation Handling Change Product Safety Awareness Human Factors and Error Prevention Product Planning and Realization Supplier Management and Backup Planning   MTI’s membership provides an entire array of tangible resources and programs to help ...
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Many factories are not yet ready to take the leap to 4.0. But is it necessary or even wise to take that leap? Part three of a  series . Industry 4.0 can demonstrably only work if the following conditions are met: Completely reliable machines that can be changed over  very  quickly. Each product is made individually to customer requirements and moves itself – based on its digital twin information- through the plant from one machine to another. The machine may require a different setup between each product, so machines have to be ready instantaneously.  Measuring thousands of machines, in my experience, the vast majority of machines have ...
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This is a historically terrible time to buy a car. The entire auto industry has been hobbled for months by the   worldwide shortage of semiconductor chips , which has prevented manufacturers from producing enough vehicles to meet the demand from Americans eager to spend their pandemic savings and stimulus checks. As a result, many dealerships are practically barren of inventory, and new rides are fetching   record prices . The cost of used vehicles, meanwhile, has rocketed into the stratosphere,   F9 -style . On Tuesday, the Department of Labor   reported   that the retail price of pre-owned cars and trucks jumped a record-breaking 10.5% in June, after ...
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Transitioning from an all in-office organization to an   all-or hybrid-remote organization   is not as easy as the pandemic may have made it seem. In 2020, employers asked workers to “power through” and keep working even as illness and national stay-at-home orders turned their employees’ lives upside down. To the surprise of many, most workers were   more productive   working from home. Now, those same employers are saying, “The pandemic is over! Come back to the office full-time just like you always did,” but employees are replying, “Not so fast.”   Study after study   shows that most workers want some version of the remote work they’ve experienced even ...
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And why it is so hard to excel for the long term? Executing a manufacturing excellence strategy, by any name, is a major challenge for leadership. Here are a few examples of why it is so hard to build a sustainable model that can be institutionalized for the long term. Education at the shop floor level . There is little chance of good execution until those responsible for execution are educated and trained. This goes for management as much as it does for hourly workers. Leaders must lead the training effort for all. When new thinking emerges, employees do not know what they don’t know, and it is management’s responsibility to eliminate the ignorance ...
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The excitement is already brewing for MTI’s Fall Meeting in San Antonio, Texas on October 4-6. The momentum MTI experienced from launching its first live meeting in 18 months at the Spring Meeting was off the charts, and since the Spring meeting, members have been sharing that they can’t wait to get together again at the Fall Meeting. The MTI Education Committee has designed another awesome line up of topics and speakers to hit at the heart of growing profits and productivity in every company. First things first, you must take a moment to reserve your hotel room and register as soon as possible. MTI’s room blocks sell out almost every year, and we expect ...
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Having the right information or data to make great decisions to grow your business is more important than ever. Every company experiences change and “the unexpected” coming at them more than ever in today’s dynamic economy. Everything from finding qualified people, cybersecurity, safety issues, technical specifications, keeping up to speed with digital marketing, and changes in how you sell your services in a post COVID market are all key elements challenging many heat treaters. If change and the unexpected are challenges for you in any of these areas, look no further than MTI’s Industry Support Team of 13 business professionals who each specialize in their ...
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The 2021 IndustryWeek Technology Survey sheds pandemic-shaded light on the ongoing digital transformation journey. The responses to the 2020 IndustryWeek Technology Survey painted a clear picture – manufacturers last year truly accepted the importance of undergoing a digital transformation. To be clear, it’s not that manufacturers didn’t understand the need pre-pandemic, but the impetus to intensify the journey was noticeably absent. It’s not anymore.   To say the past 12 months have been tough for manufacturers is an understatement. COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions continued to impact operations. Buying habits and customer expectations evolved. ...
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As I mentioned in my last video blog TurnoverTsunami, employers need to prepare for aturnover tsunami among their employees. Surveys and news headlines, which are  coming out with more frequency, are all saying the same thing. Now that the pandemic seems to be waning, employees are looking for a change. Over the past 15 months, most people focused on keeping themselves and their  families safe, and surviving the layoffs and downsizing happening in many companies  and industries. This type of survival mode can take a toll, emotionally and physically, and just like the impact on those that survived the layoffs of the  2007-2008 recession, employees can only work under the added stress of an additional  ...
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Conflict in the workplace happens for a variety of reasons: Poor decision-making processes, lack of clarity, ineffective communication, and hundreds of other reasons. Many leaders view conflict as problematic, but conflict is not the problem, mismanagement is. Mismanagement   occurs when leaders avoid, appease, or resort to aggression. Here are some common problems and some methods of effectively managing the conflict: Skipping chain of command When you lead a project, but a team member goes around your back trying to influence others before a vote or a decision, unnecessary conflict erupts. Trust and transparency start to erode. Members unintentionally ...
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Standards Up in the Air

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More than 100 years after the Wright Brothers took their first flight, ASTM International committees are working to enable technical innovation and keep the skies safer than ever.   One hundred years ago, the possibilities for the fledgling aerospace industry were limitless. Less than 20 years earlier, in 1903, Americans Wilbur and Orville Wright had proven that sustained manned and powered flight was possible. This opened the doors to aircraft production, sales, and military usage.  Subsequent technical innovations, including the conversion to metal frames, cantilevered wings, and the shift from biplanes to monoplanes further expanded the use of airplanes. ...
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Feeling stressed? Join the crowd. No matter your viewpoint on what’s going on in the world, the reality is that you have burdens a little closer to home -- as parents, leaders, students, or simply as adults who need to pay bills and navigate the complexity of your environment. Yep, stress can suck. It wreaks havoc with both your mental and physical health, to say nothing of your peace of mind. This is about the time to remind yourself that stress is timeless. Life has always been hard. People got sick, survived wars, endured famines, and raised teenagers. People have had to learn how to deal with stress since the beginning of time -- and survived, hopefully ...
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Bad managers exist in our organizations. We must find them, remove them from the Bosshole Zone and equip them with tools to help grow and develop their people.   At the risk of shocking people with the term “Bosshole,” I want to assure you that no managers were injured in the pursuit of creating “Bosshole-Free Zones” in organizations. The term itself is one that we’ve used for years to describe a manager lacking the essential traits and tools required to be an excellent leader and “developer of people.” This article will focus on managers elevated to a role that oversees others within the organization. A person placed in a management or supervisory position ...
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Are your people weary, worried, and disengaged? Dan Cable and Fran Gino suggest ways to re-engage them How are your teams responding to the challenges of Covid-19? Are they engaged and switched on? Do they see the crisis as an opportunity? Are they pulling together to spot opportunities and build the roadmap to recovery? Or are they washed out, fed up, and switched off? We know that the pandemic has taken a massive toll on workers all over the planet, leading to a global sense of fatigue: the blurring of home and professional lives; hours spent in front of screens; virtual connections replacing human interaction; and above all, the relentless uncertainty ...
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Summary:    When you’re in the middle of a difficult conversation, it’s common to focus solely on yourself: your ideas, your viewpoint, your feelings. But a “me-centric” approach can backfire. To achieve your goal, you need to think beyond yourself. While crafting your message, you must keep the other person’s feelings and opinions in mind, too. To do so, avoid these common mistakes: don’t assume your viewpoint is obvious; don’t exaggerate; don’t challenge someone’s character or integrity; don’t blame others for your feelings; don’t tell others what they  should do; and don’t say “It’s not personal.”   Difficult conversations are difficult for a reason, ...
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The #1 benefit members say they value is the face-to-face connection at MTI meetings.   MTI has reenergized its meetings with the recent Spring Meeting in Amelia Island, FL and the Midwest Chapter Meeting in April.   MTI is excited to announce it has finalized details for the Annual Midwest Golf Tournament and Dinner on August 25 at the scenic Geneva National Golf Club.   If you are a golfer, this is a course you want to play.   The day will encompass a full tournament, reception, and dinner.   During dinner, members will have open discussions on key issues in moving past COVID-19 including finding good people, HR requirements, and automation.  During ...
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“We have to recognize that the (electric) infrastructure in parts of this country has fallen behind that in many other parts of the world,” said one energy expert.   Four months after an unexpected ice storm caused much of the Texas power grid to crash, state regulators warned this week that a June heat wave is causing a “high number of forced generation outages.” The twin Texas crises have put the spotlight not only on the Lone Star State but on the entire U.S. electric grid. And that, in turn, comes at a time when the energy infrastructure faces growing demand from the electric vehicles expected to roll out by the millions over the course of the coming ...
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I've spoken recently with a number of people employed by companies, large and small, and to a number of consultants. The list of challenges most businesses face in the aftermath of COVID is rather significant. Many businesses are finding it difficult to find the workers they need, and those that do have the workers are struggling with remote or in person work issues. In the middle of 2021, it seems that inflation is almost inevitable, meaning that prices on a number of goods and services will increase. This expected surge in costs will force changes to existing plans. Supply chains are clogged, unable to rapidly restart as the economy improves, causing shortages ...
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The Reshoring Initiative said the push by companies to return operations to the U.S. was a COVID-19 silver lining. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. found itself unexpectedly facing down a global pandemic it was not materially supplied for. Shortages of PPE and medical technology pushed 3M protective mask operations into the headlines, and country-wide shutdowns led many to question the wisdom of complex international supply chains. That questioning has already begun to bear fruit, according to The Reshoring Initiative, which released its   2020 Data Report   on June 2. More jobs were created in the U.S. thanks to reshoring in 2020 than were created ...
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