Five Steps to Being a “Smarter” Manufacturer

There’s no question the digital manufacturing revolution is racing at us.
As a small or medium-sized manufacturer, how close are you to already being “smart”? Here are five steps in the journey to becoming a smarter digital enterprise.

First and foremost, be cybersecure. Cybersecurity is an underlying tenant of being a smart and trusted business partner. The more you rely on a digital platform for manufacturing, the more secure you’ll want to be for customers, suppliers and investors. The NIST MEP website has several cybersecurity resources for manufacturers to help on this quest.

Second, understand smart manufacturing. Two formal definitions come from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition(link is external). Essentially, it is the idea of integrating all your technology together for monitoring, management and improvement. An excellent blog post by Steven Brand of the California Manufacturing Technology Consultants (CMTC), the California MEP, goes into this in some detail as it relates to small and medium-sized manufacturers(link is external) and even offers a downloadable version of CMTC’s Guide to Smart Manufacturing.

Click here to read the entire blog post by Tab Wilkins, Regional Manager for Strategic Transition and Senior Technology Advisor at NIST MEP, primarily supporting Centers in the western US.