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'Tis the Season of High Demand and Few Available Workers to Meet It

Dec 04, 2019

With the holiday season upon us, factories and warehouses are starting to feel the full effects of the increase in gift purchases and the decrease in available labor. From clothing to electronics to a...

How Becoming a Showcase Facility Will Benefit Your Bottom Line

Nov 26, 2019

Warehouse managers who invest in innovative Industry 4.0 technology, such as automation, increase efficiency, reduce costs related to human error and adequately meet client needs. Automation can also ...

What Is the Smart Factory and Its Impact on Manufacturing?

Nov 21, 2019

You don’t have to look too closely to see that technology is having a profound impact on how factories operate today. The application of technology is making the process of manufacturing ever increasi...

How the 4 Main Sources of Waste Are Costing Factories Time and Resources

Nov 14, 2019

Waste reduction is an ongoing priority in many warehouses because companies understand the direct connection between eliminating waste and increasing efficiencies in the warehouse.  The four main sour...

Warehouse Automation Market to Hit $27B by 2025

Nov 07, 2019

Originally posted by Robotics Business Review on September 12th, 2019. ...

North American Robot Shipments Grow Beyond Auto Industry, RIA Says

Oct 31, 2019

Originally posted on Robotics Business Review on February 28th, 2019. ...

Robots Will Be Working in 50,000 Warehouses by 2025, Report Says

Oct 24, 2019

Originally posted by Robotics Business Review on March 26th, 2019....

Key Takeaways From Top Performing Industry 4.0 eBook

Oct 17, 2019

Automation has transformed the way factories and warehouses work, making it cheaper and faster to produce a wide variety of products. However, material handling remains an inefficiency in manufacturin...

Robot Mimicry or Mastery? The End of Bench Manufacturing Is Near

Oct 08, 2019

Originally posted by IndustryWeek on April 30th, 2019. Written by Ken Pulverman, CMO of Parsable....

OTTO Motors Discusses Safety of Self-Driving Vehicles Around Workers

Oct 02, 2019

OTTO Motors CTO Ryan Gariepy had the opportunity to present “8 Steps to Safer Autonomous Vehicles” at ROSCon JP on Wednesday, September 25th, 2019. Ryan had a blast discussing Industry 4.0 in front of...

Top 3 Takeaways From MHI's Annual Industry Report

Sep 25, 2019

The 2019 Material Handling Institute (MHI) Annual Industry Report contains a wealth of data on how companies are adopting new supply chain technologies. Here are the top three takeaways you need to kn...

How Autonomous Vehicles Benefit the Supply Chain

Sep 19, 2019

Manufacturers often struggle to find ways to improve their supply chain. Labour displacement, hiring challenges, and an increased need for safety all negatively impact productivity. However, investmen...

Hiring Qualified Workers Remains Industry’s Top Challenge

Sep 09, 2019

Ahead of other worthy contenders like customer demand for lower prices, faster response times, competitive pressure, and forecasting, manufacturers named “hiring qualified workers” as their top challe...

Move Fast and (Don't) Break Things: Commercializing Robotics at the Speed of Venture Capital

Aug 28, 2019

Clearpath, the parent company of OTTO Motors, had a blast attending 2019 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in Montreal, Canada from May 20-24, 2019. Our CTO, Ryan Gariepy...

5 Key Industry 4.0 Technologies

Jun 27, 2018

Originally posted via ARC Advisory Group. New Industry 4.0 technologies, spanning mobile computing to cloud computing, have undergone vast development in the last decade and are now ready to be used a...

Understanding Industry 4.0

Jun 20, 2018

You’ve heard it in the context of thought leadership, in conversations about advanced manufacturing, and from tech giants who are propelling innovation, but what exactly is Industry 4.0? To quote our ...

Does Automation Lead to Job Loss?

Jun 06, 2018

There is no denying that technology and automation are changing the way we work. With advancements in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and self-driving vehicles comes fear that many traditional...

6 Lean Manufacturing Principles

May 30, 2018

Most manufacturing companies will waste a large amount of resources in a single year -- sometimes as much as 90%. Following lean manufacturing principles, which originated from the Toyota Production S...

5 Supply Chain and Logistics Trends for 2018

May 25, 2018

This year is shaping up to be a transformative one for the supply chain logistics industry. Digital technology and other supply chain technology trends are enabling big changes for how companies sourc...

How Manufacturers Can Use Data to Improve Predictive Maintenance

May 09, 2018

When manufacturing production stops for an unplanned event, such as equipment failure, it accumulates down time. Maintaining equipment and machinery while keeping costs down is a constant challenge fo...

How Self-Driving Vehicles Contribute to a Culture of Safety

Apr 12, 2018

"Our goal is to meet human levels of performance and far exceed human levels of safety." - Ryan Gariepy, CTO and Co-founder, OTTO Motors...

MODEX 2018: Get Maximum Business Impact with OTTO Motors

Mar 29, 2018

Many of this year’s MODEX attendees will go to the show to see what technology is coming and how innovation can help the future of their business. But for those attendees that visit the OTTO Motors bo...

Removing Roadblocks of Machine to Machine Communication in Manufacturing

Mar 08, 2018

A big part of maximizing the value of industrial automation, and full realization of the benefits of Industry 4.0, is the flow of data and information. This has applications in a lot of environments, ...

OTTO Motors Joins Walter Isaacs on Onstage at SXSW 2018

Feb 28, 2018

On March 10th, 2018, OTTO Motors CEO and co-founder, Matthew Rendall, will join Walter Isaacson on stage as part of a special taping for the podcast Trailblazers. This will mark the second year in a r...

How Industrial Self-Driving Vehicles Use Sensors for Localization and Mapping

Feb 14, 2018

Any investment you make in your operations comes with an expectation that it is going to start providing value back into your business as soon as possible. Reliability and accuracy are crucial to runn...

Self-Driving Technology is Transforming Medical Device Manufacturing

Feb 07, 2018

Self-driving technology enables improved and more efficient production in increasingly complex and competitive industries, such as medical device manufacturing. ...

Technology and Material Handling Equipment

Feb 01, 2018

How efficiently materials move through a manufacturing or warehouse facility will affect the cost of production as much as any other part of the supply chain. Given its importance, companies have foun...

Self-Driving Vehicles as an Asset in the Warehouse

Jan 18, 2018

Automation has changed the landscape of the modern warehouse. It’s technology that can be used to improve operations by increasing efficiency, speed, reliability, and accuracy. High on the list of aut...

Lean Material Handling: The Role of SDVs in a Lean Environment

Jan 11, 2018

The manufacturing industry has been moving towards a lights- out approach, that is factories and warehouses operating with as little human intervention as possible. This has led the industry to adopt ...

Increasing Material Flow Efficiency in Your Supply Chain

Dec 20, 2017

Modern supply chains are fast, with most company’s success dependent on their ability to efficiently move parts from around the world to, and throughout, manufacturing facilities.  Products move from ...

The Move to a Connected Factory

Dec 07, 2017

Many of today’s customers want customized products, which does not always make for a cost-efficient manufacturing process.  Automation technology allows businesses to meet customers’ demands by integr...

Material Handling Process Best Practices

Nov 30, 2017

The foundation of warehouse efficiency is set by the material handling process. Inefficiencies in the handling of goods result in decreased performance throughout the warehouse operations, which in tu...

The Importance of Measuring Warehouse KPIs and Metrics

Nov 23, 2017

Measuring warehouse KPIs is one of the most critical components of managing a warehouse, and setting benchmarks for production, quality, safety, or service goals is essential. Whether a process is man...

Improving Materials Handling and Warehouse ROI Through Automation

Nov 16, 2017

Every warehouse is concerned with operating costs, and automation is one way to reduce expenses and increase efficiency. Automated warehouse operations can lead to increased productivity, better mater...

The Plant Manager's Guide to Industry 4.0

Nov 02, 2017

On October 26, 2017, managers from across North America joined us for a live webinar on the opportunities and challenges of Industry 4.0 for plant managers in manufacturing. The following is an introd...

How Industrial Robotics Create a More Productive Work Environment for Employees

Oct 25, 2017

Industrial robots have been used by manufacturers for decades. But, the ways and the complexity of tasks they can perform within that environment has increased dramatically in recent years. One way in...

OTTO Answers Questions on Industry 4.0

Oct 18, 2017

Cisco Canada recently sat down with industry leaders to ask some of the most common questions about Industry 4.0. The questions come from Canadian manufacturers, many of whom are still skeptical of th...

Using Kanban and Inventory Management to Increase Production Efficiency

Oct 12, 2017

Kanban is a lean manufacturing system that controls the rate of production by storing and using materials only when they are required. This means each step of the production process keeps on hand only...

Self-Driving Technology for Your Manufacturing Facility

Oct 05, 2017

On September 27, 2017, leading manufacturers from across North America joined us for a live webinar on the current state of material handling, the challenges associated with it, and how self-driving t...

Material Handling in the Packaging Industry

Sep 26, 2017

As a manufacturer in the packaging industry, you are forced to deal with an unprecedented level of product varieties and package complexities, along with overall manufacturing challenges such as labou...

Being on Time, Every Time: On-Time Delivery & Customer Satisfaction

Sep 21, 2017

Meeting customer’s expectations and delivery requirements has to be a priority for every business. The good news is those expectations are usually pretty simple: orders should be shipped accurately an...

The Heijunka System for Better Materials Management

Sep 14, 2017

When one part of the production process is delayed, it can cause a ripple effect throughout a manufacturing facility. A prime example of how this type of disruption can occur is when the function of m...

How to Build a Value Stream Map

Aug 31, 2017

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a planning activity used to determine opportunities for a leaner workflow. The value stream is a set of all actions necessary to bring the product to the customer. It ana...

5 Trends in Lean Manufacturing

Aug 29, 2017

[Original post on newcastlesys.com]  While it’s important for lean consultants to stay on top of current trends in lean manufacturing, it is difficult to keep up with advances in technology and new op...

7 Advantages of One-Piece Flow in Manufacturing

Aug 24, 2017

One of the most fundamental elements of creating a lean environment is operating with one-piece-flow. To think of processing one unit at a time can send a shudder through an organisation if this isn’t...

Inefficient Material Handling Leads to Supply Chain Problems

Aug 17, 2017

Every manufacturer is challenged by how to best handle the materials that go into their production. Even an automated production system can have areas of inefficiency which affect many other parts of ...

Introduction to Lean in a Job Shop Manufacturing Environment

Aug 10, 2017

Many companies find lean manufacturing is an effective method to cut costs and operate more efficiently. One area that has not embraced lean fully is the job shop environment, largely because of the d...

Industry 4.0 Fuels Lights-Out Manufacturing [Webinar Recap]

Aug 03, 2017

What is Industry 4.0 and how does it fuel lights-out manufacturing? Is lights-out really possible today or does it remain a far-reaching goal? In our webinar Industrial Robots for Lights-Out Manufactu...

Automated Material Handling is the Secret to One Piece Flow for Lean Production

Jul 27, 2017

Whether you’re running a mid-sized enterprise or a multinational conglomerate, a lean manufacturing system can be integrated in manufacturing and assembly cells that drive a variety of advantages with...

Industry 4.0 Readiness: The Connected Factory is Coming

Jul 26, 2017

In the midst of global change and innovation, there are indications that manufacturing has not kept up. It needs to. With Fortune 500 companies disappearing there is unprecedented threat, but also opp...

How to Set Up a Lean Factory That Works

Jul 25, 2017

[Original post on Industry Week] Lean manufacturers have a leg up on speeding products to market, reducing costs and keeping customers happy. In this overview, I’ll share how to engineer, set up and m...

Forklift Free Manufacturing: Is It For You?

Jul 20, 2017

Fork-free manufacturing is a fast growing ideology that removes fork trucks from the material handling equation. Favouring the use of carts and dollies to move materials to the line, fork-free also op...

Webinar: Industrial Robots for Lights-Out Manufacturing

Jul 13, 2017

Working toward their vision of lights-out manufacturing, automotive parts manufacturer HIROTEC AMERICA jumped at the opportunity to use mobile industrial robots in their facility. But why now? Because...

3 Best Practices to Achieve Lean in Workcell Design

Jul 06, 2017

Traditional machine and fabrication shops divide their floor into multiple departments that group similar equipment or processes, and then move materials in and out once the process is complete. For e...

Lights-Out Manufacturing with Mobile Manipulation: HIROTEC Case Study

Jun 29, 2017

How do you improve throughput and productivity in an environment that is already operating lean? HIROTEC AMERICA asked the same question after spending three decades focused on the K2 philosophy of wo...

In Search of Supply Chain Visibility: Transparency via The Cloud

Jun 27, 2017

[Original post on Industry Week] Responding to market volatility or uncertainty is a top pain point for most manufacturing supply chain executives, and the source of the problem is that most can’t ans...

Manufacturing Work Cell Design: How to Optimize Layout and Minimize Transit Time

Jun 15, 2017

You may have found success with integrating cellular manufacturing into your operation as it brings equipment, people and process into a single location for higher productivity. But you are most likel...

The New Lean: What it Means for Manufacturing

Jun 08, 2017

Written by Diane Huang Lean manufacturing, the buzz words that have been echoing from the walls of management meetings to industrial factory floors. Everyone is striving to perfect a process that is l...

Job Shop Manufacturing: Manual Material Transport Could Cost You $1M/year

Jun 01, 2017

Automation in a job shop can be used to take on low-value tasks so employees can stick to the high-value jobs - we’ve heard this before. Although this statement holds genuine truth, what’s not blatant...

North American Robotics Orders Jump 32% in First Quarter

May 30, 2017

Original post on DC Velocity. The North American robotics market jumped 32 percent in order volume for the first quarter, as industrial and retail giants such as General Motors Co. and Amazon.com Inc....

Clean Power Plan: How Public Policy Affects Manufacturing

May 25, 2017

Part 3 of our series on How Policy Affects Manufacturers explores changes to the Clean Power Plan. Announced in August 2015 by President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the plan f...

Right-to-Work: How Policy Affects Manufacturers

May 18, 2017

As part of our series, "How Policy Affects Manufacturers," we're discussing changes and impacts of right-to-work laws - it’s shaping up to be an active year in the U.S., with more individual states jo...

How the Industrial IoT Drives Productivity in Factories

May 04, 2017

Technologies that offer connectivity and utilize the IoT (Internet of Things) are able to collect and report a tremendous amount of data. As factory operators are continuously looking to solve for adv...

The Future of Facilities Management: 4 Technologies Changing How We Work

May 02, 2017

Original post by Control Solutions Inc.  Automation has long been a focus for facilities managers, whether that has meant the installation of dynamic thermostats in offices or working with full buildi...

Wage Increases: How Policy Affects Manufacturers

Apr 27, 2017

Labor is a variable, complex expense within the manufacturing sector that holds a great deal of influence on how an organization operates. Even incremental changes in minimum manufacturing wages can s...

Lean Manufacturing with Flexible Automation: GE Case Study

Apr 19, 2017

At GE Healthcare’s 280,000 square foot Repair Operations Center in Milwaukee, a fleet of OTTO self-driving vehicles are used to deliver parts to workstation cells to handle over 2,000 repairs of medic...

5 Reasons to Use Material Handling Automation

Apr 13, 2017

The concept of the last mile, and companies who are focused on making those deliveries, seem to get all the attention these days – largely thanks to Amazon and the talk about drone deliveries for the ...

Can Millennials Solve the Manufacturing Labor Shortage?

Apr 06, 2017

The Manufacturing Labor Shortage...

Automotive Manufacturing Keeps Up with Future Demand

Apr 04, 2017

Original post by David Stain at Zebra Technologies.  The future of automotive manufacturing in the UK automotive is set to increase by a third, to two million vehicles a year by 20201. And as the IoT ...

Reshoring to America: Why Companies are Moving from Offshore Manufacturing to Reshoring

Mar 30, 2017

In the past four years, there has been a 250% increase in North American manufacturers reshoring their operations to American soil. A change in the industry to this degree has not occurred since the o...

Trump Fuels Onshoring Movement in Manufacturing

Mar 23, 2017

There is significant change happening in the manufacturing industry. The new U.S. president, Trump, is already acting on his campaign promise of promoting onshoring – bringing manufacturing jobs back ...

AGVs Alternative: Self-Driving Material Transport

Mar 16, 2017

There are several types of industrial robotics that have changed how manufacturers and warehouses operate. But, all technologies are not all the same and many are improving. A prime example is the mat...

ProMat 2017: What to Expect in Material Handling

Mar 02, 2017

It’s been two years in the making, but now the countdown is officially on - ProMat 2017 is almost here. Held April in Chicago at McCormick Place, this year’s event features 850 exhibitors and over 35,...

Robots for the Economy: What is Technological Unemployment?

Mar 02, 2017

Defining Technological Unemployment...

Continuous Improvement Isn't Enough: Industry 4.0 Sets New Bar

Feb 28, 2017

Industry 4.0 provides manufacturers with opportunities to transform digitally and uncover value within their operations. It leverages internet-connected technologies to improve existing processes and ...

4 Ways to Optimize Material Transport

Feb 23, 2017

Material transport can be perceived as the "first mile" - the manufacturer's equivalent to the last mile concept in delivering products or goods to a customer. The first mile draws parallels to the la...

Material Handling Robots for Manufacturing

Feb 21, 2017

"Material handling robot for manufacturing" is a phrase you may searching to find a way to improve your operation. As a leader in manufacturing, you realize there's always a better way to get the jobs...

Manufacturing Data in Industry 4.0: Get Closer to the Customer

Feb 16, 2017

Deploying Industry 4.0 capability delivers benefits that extend beyond the notion of new products or services. It establishes a manufacturer - its employees and ecosystem of customers and suppliers - ...

Inventory Storage: Opportunity for Lean Material Handling

Feb 09, 2017

Manufacturers, warehouse operators and distribution centers continually look for ways to improve efficiency and productivity. Implementing lean material handling principles combined with increased use...

Why Is the Digital Supply Chain Important for Manufacturing?

Feb 02, 2017

Industry 4.0 is changing the way products are delivered to the marketplace, forcing manufacturers to quickly adopt new business and revenue models. Typically, products are delivered to customers throu...

Interoperability Is Key to Lean Manufacturing in Industry 4.0

Jan 26, 2017

Today, improving manufacturing requires more than simply finding ways to operate faster and reduce expenses. Modern manufacturing is about being smarter. This is where the importance of interoperabili...

Manufacturing Risk Management With Flexible Automation

Jan 19, 2017

Industry 4.0 technologies deliver opportunity for manufacturers to manage risks using flexible automation, particularly when it comes to material movement inside facilities. Automation capabilities ar...

Industry 4.0 Ushers in a New Era of Manufacturing Intelligence

Jan 05, 2017

Industry 4.0 may be in its infancy but there remain plenty of advances on the horizon, many of which are related to manufacturing intelligence. Manufacturers are currently deploying Industry 4.0 and t...

Year in Review: Industry Embraces Supply Chain Trends of 2016

Dec 20, 2016

This time last year we reviewed 3 Supply Chain Trends to Watch in 2016. The trends were bold, visionary, seemingly futuristic, but industry did not disappoint. There is still much work to be done with...

The Impact of Innovation in Material Transport Technology

Dec 15, 2016

While largely unnoticed by people outside the industry, an area significantly impacted by new technology is the material transport function of manufacturing. Changes to material transport technology a...

5 Articles to Understand Industry 4.0 in Manufacturing

Dec 08, 2016

Continuous improvement is a part of human nature - we work, learn, apply, and repeat. The same mantra can be applied to manufacturing. Whether it’s process changes, employee training, or advances in t...

The Expanding Role of Robotics In Manufacturing

Dec 01, 2016

Since their first use in die casting 50-plus years ago, robots have spread throughout manufacturing. Today they perform a wide range of duties in many different industries. Thanks to advances in senso...

4 Steps to Get Started with Industry 4.0

Nov 24, 2016

We are in an arms race to find a new means of raising the bar for productive, competitive manufacturing. Some say AI is the last tech human beings will ever really invent, learning from and adapting t...

The First Mile in the Manufacturing Supply Chain

Nov 14, 2016

As the final step in the supply chain, the Last Mile has always been a focus of improvement: “How do we cut costs? How do we get goods to the customer faster than on-time?” New processes, urban sprawl...

RoboBusiness 2016 Key Takeaways

Oct 25, 2016

This post is by Sam Bouchard and originally published on the Robotiq blog.  We’re back from our yearly sync with the robotics industry happening at RoboBusiness. As usual, there were great talks and g...

Mobile Cobots are Coming

Oct 19, 2016

Production plants and distribution centers spend much of their time moving goods, but many of the solutions currently in use are problematic. The forklift yields high labor costs, bringing with it ris...

Emerging Tech from IMTS 2016

Oct 04, 2016

IMTS 2016 featured over 2000 exhibitors and welcomed over 100,000 attendees ranging from eager-to-learn students to seasoned professionals who operate multi-million dollar manufacturing facilities. Th...

The Smart Factory: Manufacturing our Future

Aug 16, 2016

The link between manufacturing and economic growth is critical. For every dollar spent in manufacturing, another $1.37 is added to the economy—this is the largest multiplier of any sector. Manufacturi...

AI in the Manufacturing Industry

Jul 19, 2016

AI is having quite a moment, as buzzwords go. The Economist recently devoted a front-page to artificial intelligence....

Efficient Lineside Delivery in the Era of Lean Manufacturing

Jul 07, 2016

The goal of the assembly line has not changed since its introduction in the early 20th century. Products must roll off the line meeting the metrics of takt times and productivity along with being defe...

LEAN Manufacturing: ​A Solution for Lean Materials Handling

May 12, 2016

Sometimes we forget that lean manufacturing is a process and not a final destination - it can be easy to think that way. Your manufacturing operation achieved an improvement of “X” by uncovering signi...

LEAN Manufacturing: Eliminating the Transportation Muda

May 05, 2016

Manufacturing is broken and the transport of materials is responsible. There are of course other problems within manufacturing, but they often start with transport of material. Transportation is one o...

LEAN Manufacturing: Wasted Movement is the Silent Killer

Apr 28, 2016

So often we jump in to complete tasks reactively and neglect to realize that the process is, in actuality, unreliable. This came to mind as we did some spring cleaning and maintenance with our buildin...

LEAN Manufacturing: ​Changing Excess Inventory from Too Much to Just Right

Apr 21, 2016

You have likely heard of the phrase “too much of a good thing.” One may ask if it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Well, consider this example: in Canada and many portions of the northern...

Emerging Tech from MODEX 2016

Apr 19, 2016

Referred to as “the greatest Supply Chain show on earth,” MODEX 2016 made its mark in Atlanta, Georgia April 4-7th and did not disappoint. With over 800 exhibitors, countless networking opportunities,...

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