Robots gain mobility when you add a linear seventh axis, which also could allow for smaller and less expensive robots, write Rick Wood and Alex Bonaire. Considerations to think about include the robot's load capacity, speed and precision.
A dual-sourcing strategy can reduce downtime if one supplier falls behind, but there's the risk of higher transportation costs and lower purchase volumes, Dave Turbide writes. When using dual sourcing, manufacturers should make sure their planning and management systems can handle the extra complexity.
While bundled IT solutions can be cheaper, a best-in class custom solution can be superior in the long term as conditions change, writes Mark Holleran, president of Xplore Technologies. When deploying mobile tools, consider how well they can integrate into existing workflows for wherever employees are located.
Batesville Tool and Die in Indiana has joined with a local high school and college, as well as other manufacturing companies, to allow high school juniors and seniors to spend half their day learning manufacturing techniques in a hands-on setting.
Michigan manufacturers are participating in the "Launch U" program, which provides a tuition-free, hands-on early-college experience that offers students a specialized associate degree or certification. Certifications include mechanical design, industrial technology and tooling and manufacturing.
Circle K parent Alimentation Couche-Tard is adding more than 1,000 Corner Store, Nice N Easy, Flash Foods and other CST Brands convenience stores following last year's $4.4 billion acquisition agreement, which will make Couche-Tard the largest independent c-store operator in the US. The deal is expected to close in the coming months, and experts say many CST stores' futures will include a rebranding under the Circle K banner and a shifting of brands and offerings.
Fekkai Brands has teamed with influencer Teni Panosian on a promotional campaign touting its hair care line and salons. Panosian, who has more than 1.1 million followers on YouTube, is expected to bring more than 150 people out to the company's New York City flagship today for a campaign event.
Cosmetics brand Urban Decay launched an after-sale customer relations campaign in which customers are directed to a company-branded site for package tracking information and additional marketing. Shoppers who visit the site via an email link are 31% more likely to make additional purchases, and those receiving after-sale service spend 37% more time on the company's site compared with the average visitor.
Johnson & Johnson will launch an exclusive collection from its French Le Petit Marseillais brand at Wal-Mart stores this month, including a new body wash scent called Mandarin Lime. The move follows the January launch of five body washes at CVS, Target, Walgreens and other stores.
James Charles, the first male representative of CoverGirl mascara, and Instagram star Manny Gutierrez offer beauty tips to millions of followers across social platforms. These influencers, a group that also includes Smashbox-sponsored Patrick Starrr and beauty blogger Alex Rivera, are part of a growing community of male cosmetics aficionados making money and landing product deals through their reach on social media.