Content By Ryan E. Day

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By: Ryan E. Day

Aquiline Drones Corp. (AD) quips that, “All roads lead to AI.” Recent developments in artificial intelligence (AI) integration make that statement hard to argue against, and the astute application of AI to AD’s cloud-based services also makes a lot of sense. So, smart drones are a real thing. But are they smart enough to solve problems and create a return on investment?

I’ve already written about AI in relation to the supply chain and automation, and with good reason. According to a report by Grand View Research, worldwide revenues for the AI market, including software, hardware, and services, are forecast to grow 40.2 percent annually, topping $997.77 billion by the end of 2028. Now, with AD acquiring ElluminAI Labs, I’m exploring AI in the realm of commercial aerial drones.

Ryan E. Day’s picture

By: Ryan E. Day

Manufacturing is a very competitive business where high-quality products are expected. And some clients require extremely tight surface measurement tolerances, so being competitive means investing in tools that can satisfy customer requirements.

The confocal advantage

Submicron 3D observation and measurement is a game-changing reality with confocal microscopy. Optical and standard digital microscopes are unable to measure such tiny shapes with the level of resolution and clarity that smart manufacturing demands.

Operators using Olympus’ LEXT OL5100 laser microscope have the advantage of more than 17,000X magnification. This kind of power allows for nanometer-scale measurements used for step-height and volumetric measurements. Many manufacturing clients also require surface roughness analysis of materials at this scale.

Olympus LEXT OL5100
Olympus LEXT OL5100 microscope

Ryan E. Day’s picture

By: Ryan E. Day

It is estimated that in 2021, the average person watches more than 100 minutes of online video every day. But is that relevant to your B2B marketing efforts?

“The vast bulk of this video consumption is marketing content,” says Maury Rogow, CEO of Rip Media Group and CMO of TheVideoBot. “Big-budget marketers are trying to out-shout each other, which does not work. It particularly fails to work in the business-to-business sector, where the marketing targets are professionals already being bombarded by cold calls.”

Rather than attempting to pump up the volume even more, Rogow suggests that ROI-conscious B2B marketers combine microtargeting with personalized video.

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By: Ryan E. Day

With the migration to remote and hybrid work during the last year, cyberattacks have increased at a rate of three to five times compared to pre-Covid. No big surprise that, for many businesses, virtual private newtworks (VPNs) have become standard operating procedure for security. But is VPN’s castle-and-moat concept an effective security strategy in today’s hybrid workplace?

The ubiquity of the decentralized workforce is now evident—we may never revert to the pre-Covid leviathan offices. Even before 2020 brought the world to a standstill, the office environment was fast becoming less centralized with the rise of software as a service (SaaS) applications for businesses.

Many companies are claiming an increase in productivity with their work-from-home (WFH) employees. And there must be a savings in operating costs associated with office closures. However, there is a downside.

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By: Ryan E. Day

Automation in the fresh produce sector is standard fare these days. What may not be so standard are the containers that get the produce from farm to market. The quality of produce containers has a direct impact on the quality of the produce—and maximizing profit margins for produce distributors and retailers.

As a produce retailer’s operation scales up, the need for reliable containers grows respectively. Standardized containers, such as IFCO’s reusable plastic containers (RPC), can be a significant advantage for automated logistics centers that might be handling more than a million containers every month. Even the smallest deviation of a few millimeters in container size can create cascading issues.

Unlocking hidden efficiencies

Using RPCs enables a one-touch system that contributes to time savings and reduced labor costs related to handling, storage, and transportation of fresh food.

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By: Ryan E. Day

Just like its predecessors, this fourth industrial revolution (dubbed Industry 4.0 in 2011) is all about increasing productivity. Unlike the first three revolutions, today’s pivotal technologies hold forth the possibility to also improve efficiency, quality, and human satisfaction.

Steam power, electrical power, and basic computer tech were the prominent themes that brought us out of a world where everything was literally handmade. These technologies were all, more or less, multipliers of manual labor. Basically, it was total throughput that was enhanced. The modern assembly line may be the final contribution to these first revolutions and represents the pinnacle of the “more output without more input” modality.

But manufacturing is now a global competition, and it is fierce. Gaining market share—and often just getting a foot in the door of commerce—requires more than increased throughput. We need better ways of building things. So, manufacturing and process engineers across the globe are doing what humans are famous for: tinkering.

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By: Ryan E. Day

Writing a press release is easy. Writing a great press release takes some thought. And great press releases can draw more potential customers into your sphere of influence. Fortunately, writing great marketing copy isn’t all that complicated. Include these three elements and you’re well on your way to writing a great press release.

What is it?

Identify what is the one product, service, event, or piece of information you are sharing. Write down what that one thing is, and then whittle away anything that isn’t necessary. Your headline is often the “what” of your press release. (See figure 1.)

In order to be great:
Make it brief. Stay away from extraneous adjectives and adverbs. Just say what it is. Nobody takes your “awesome” and “the best” seriously in any case.
Make it clear. Don’t leave any question what the “it” is that this press release is promoting. Stay away from obscure or proprietary acronyms. If you must use an acronym, be sure to also spell it out. (See figure 2.)
Make it first. Do not bury that one thing with your company spiel or this year’s tagline.

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By: Ryan E. Day

One of the technologies driving Industry 4.0 is artificial intelligence (AI), and AI is enabling massive change in manufacturing. It is also revolutionizing the smart manufacturing supply chain as well.

It seems that for every benefit technology provides, it also spawns an associated challenge. For instance:
AI benefit: AI enables manufacturers to provide customization in a much more compressed time frame than ever before. So much so that consumers are beginning to see customization—including instant delivery—as a standard service.
Associated challenge: Forecasting for supply, demand, and price is the supply chain’s bread and butter. And all stakeholders—suppliers, manufacturers, and fulfillment partners—now face an exponential challenge in providing customer satisfaction.

Jason Tham, CEO of Nulogy, believes that AI can leverage real-time operational data to unlock greater visibility and collaboration for supply chain ecosystems. Tham maintains this is the difference between old-school forecasting and what he calls “true agility.”

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By: Ryan E. Day

In an article published by Quality Digest, Julias DeSilva addresses recent declines in ISO certification and poses the question, “Does quality matter anymore?” His conclusion is that even if you don’t get certified, you will still gain from a well-implemented management system. But what do manufacturing companies think?

Many certifications are never seen by consumers. Compliance with standards like UL, ENERGY STAR, and USDA Organic are routinely displayed on consumer products, but ISO/IEC 17025, ISO 45001, and NSF/ANSI 173 standards... not so much. These might be considered B2B standards.

So, what’s the ROI for the considerable investment of time and money to certify to these standards? Let’s look at what it means for one of the world’s leading nutritional product manufacturers in the world.

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By: Ryan E. Day

With a hashtag of #WomenInScience, the United Nations kicked off its sixth annual International Day of Women and Girls in Science assembly. A short post on the BoldData website seems to suggest the STEM business sector may not have gotten that memo.

The unwomen.org prefaces the Feb. 11, 2021, event stating, “The world needs science, and science needs women and girls.” They also point out the undercurrent of gender inequality in STEM-related businesses:
“According to UNESCO’s forthcoming Science Report, only 33 percent of researchers are women, despite the fact that they represent 45 percent and 55 percent of students at the bachelor’s and master’s levels of study, respectively, and 44 percent of those enrolled in PhD programs.”
—unwomen.org