AMES, IOWA – The Iowa Lean Consortium (ILC), a nonprofit founded eight years ago to promote business efficiency throughout the Iowa economy, will be merging with Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) effective July 2.
Attention: Iowa Lean Consortium members! The renewal process for ILC memberships will operate differently this year.
We’ve heard the terms thrown around for years: Industry 4.0, Connected Machines, Internet of Things, Industrial Internet. Very quietly, this has all become real – your best customers, competitors, and suppliers have built digital capabilities that change the way they do business. At CIRAS, we group all this effort under the term Digital Manufacturing, defined as the ability to connect different parts of the manufacturing life cycle through data, and to utilize that information to make smarter, more efficient business decisions (source: DMDII).
For those of you that are asking “Does this apply to me?”, the answer is simple: Yes.
You hear it a lot around Iowa:
“I want to double in size in the next 5 years.”
“I just need one new OEM customer.”
It sounds so basic: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. SWOT. We’ve all heard it before, but few of us stop to take the time to do this critical first-step of strategic planning correctly.
More than 30 leaders from eastern Iowa manufacturing companies gathered in a Pella conference room last month for CIRAS’ first mobile effort at showing firms exactly what can happen in the labs at Iowa State University.
CIRAS’ top two administrators have been honored by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) for their work trumpeting Iowa manufacturing.
CIRAS Director Ron Cox and program director Mike O’Donnell, head of CIRAS’ Manufacturing Extension Partnership, jointly received ABI’s Manufacturing Champion Award at a dinner for Iowa business leaders on Tuesday.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is forecasting a 35% chance of above-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic for the 2018 hurricane season (June 1 – November 30). The disastrous 2017 hurricane season had companies scrambling to position themselves for a piece of the “recovery” pie.
CIRAS project manager Joy Donald will be honored with the Iowa State University Professional and Scientific Outstanding New Professional Award at a campus ceremony on September 23.
Are you anxious for inspiration? Excited to learn more about techniques that will help your company continuously improve and grow?
CIRAS suggests you make plans to attend the 2018 Fall Conference of the Iowa Lean Consortium. More than 375 Lean and learning-minded professionals are expected to wend their way to a West Des Moines hotel next month for a chance to tour successful companies, learn from innovative speakers, and network with their counterparts from around the state.
On January 24th, we at CIRAS hosted our first Future of Manufacturing event, focused on how Augmented and Virtual Reality are changing manufacturing. Experts from Mechdyne, ISU Mechanical Engineering, Newport News Shipbuilding, and Daqri gave an update on current and next generation technologies that are beginning to change manufacturing around the globe.
Here are our four key takeaways from that event:
Every manufacturer has tried to get better. Many have set goals to be great. Some even aim for world class.
Iowa manufacturers have employed a variety of tools to get there: Lean, Six Sigma, ISO 9001, Total Quality Management, and countless others.
But how do you know if you are “there”? What is great? What is world class? Here are three ways to measure yourself against the best in the nation and potentially get global recognition for your achievements:
With Earth Day on April 22, we wanted to take this time to remind companies of a few different ways we can help Iowa businesses with environmental sustainability.
It’s the dawning of a new era for the Iowa Lean Consortium, and Teresa Hay McMahon is focused on a new world of service.
McMahon, executive director of the ILC since 2015, just finished leading the consortium through a new phase of its evolution. On July 1, the ILC formally moved under the CIRAS umbrella as part of a merger that’s intended to give both entities more resources to achieve their goals.