A better way to build a better mousetrap

Your company can stay ahead of the competition by implementing modern advances in manufacturing technology

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manufacturing technologySAN FRANCISCO, Calif. Feb. 6, 2017/ Troy Media/ – The old idea of business was that if you built a better mousetrap the world would beat a path to your door. In today’s industrial world, there are a lot of good mousetraps out there. How do companies stay competitive now? You could say that it’s done by building that better mousetrap in a better way.

Economizing on design can cut costs, improve quality, and build a company for the long haul. And while this type of thinking has always been welcome, advancements in industrial technology have quietly revolutionized manufacturing in a way that makes that mousetrap cheaper and more durable than ever. Firms with forward-thinking leadership will always capture these opportunities.

Improved design

Imagine a pair of pants with modular knee pads, or a car with a snap-on transmission. We all use consumer items that wear out in one very confined area, rendering them useless even though the rest of the product is in good shape.

Industrial design is incorporating that philosophy. Industrial wear technology that marries multiple metals into alloys and separate support structures reflects a mastery of this concept. Like our knee pad example, this technique utilizes specialized materials in the area of greatest wear while using other materials to reinforce. The result is a modular structure that not only tolerates wear more durably but also can be repaired more easily.

Better equipment sourcing

One of the biggest expenditures in many manufacturing firms today is equipment. The vehicles, tools, and machinery required to build advanced products get more expensive every year.

An option that many firms have used successfully has been to consider buying used equipment. Other companies may have made product changes that render otherwise-good equipment obsolete. Some firms simply upgrade on a schedule regardless of condition.

Whatever the situation, there is often a good supply of used equipment on the market, and it can be better to buy used equipment of a good brand than to spend a comparable amount on new equipment from a lesser nameplate. The main consideration is the depreciation situation; if accounting finds that favorable, used may be the best option.

Automation techniques

One of the most problematic issues in manufacturing is managing tedious tasks. When a human being must perform the exact same task many times each day with minimal need for human judgment or measurement, there will inevitably errors due to confusion, distraction, or simple boredom.

Automation helps to conquer that issue. Computer-guided equipment can effectively complete the same work thousands of times a day with incredible consistency and accuracy.

Yet it’s not just a substitute for human workers; quite the contrary. Every automation requires people to program, maintain, and monitor the equipment, all of which are jobs that are far less redundant–and far more rewarding.

There is another industrial revolution going on, probably the third or fourth since the original, most famous one. This one involves an inward look at every product and process to see how things can be improved for better worker outcomes, more durable products, and lower expenses. Companies that outfit themselves for this type of thinking are participating in the latest industrial revolution, and are positioning themselves to succeed in the next one. These companies are not are likely to be left behind.

Rachel is a Troy Media contributor. [popup url=”http://www.troymedia.com/become-a-troy-media-contributor/” height=”600″ width=”600″ scrollbars=”1″] Why aren’t you?[/popup]

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