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Chicomm Blog

Oct. 6 is Manufacturing Day, an annual celebration of modern manufacturing aimed at increasing the public’s understanding of the industry in the U.S. and inspiring the next generation of workers.

Companies, organizations, schools and libraries are holding events all over the country, including factory tours and open houses, as well as presentations from local manufacturing leaders.

In Illinois, more than 80 events are planned, with at least 11 in the Chicago area. Let’s take a look at a few geared toward the next generation.

Tags: Manufacturing

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Manufacturing communications may be one of the most misunderstood parts of the diverse manufacturing vertical. People either underestimate the reliability and enhanced functionality of radios for manufacturing, or they don’t fully appreciate how effectively wireless communications can increase uptime, productivity and safety.

Given the dynamic needs of the sector, technology provided by one-way paging or cell phones just isn’t robust enough. Two-way radios and other wireless solutions are key.

With that in mind, here are the seven most misunderstood facts about manufacturing communications.

Tags: Manufacturing

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Most lists of workplace safety tips focus on the physical: proper posture, the importance of the right safety gear, the need to take regular breaks. But what about workplace safety that relates to communication, not just technology, but workers’ ability to effectively relate to each other?

A National Public Radio story recently relayed how Shell drastically improved worker safety on oil rigs in the 1990s by transforming rig culture with an unorthodox approach: They got workers to be vulnerable with each other by communicating more openly.

Through a series of intense and emotional sessions, oil rig workers were encouraged to open up to each other about their lives and struggles. That vulnerability led to more honest communication about a host of other things, which led to more opportunities to keep themselves safe. And it contributed to a lower accident rate and higher productivity.

Tags: Safety Solutions, Manufacturing, Healthcare

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Lean manufacturing and its focus on creating customer value, eliminating waste and increasing efficiency has proven so powerful over time that it’s been applied across everything from education to healthcare to software development. Lean manufacturing has important applications in choosing and maintaining communications equipment and solutions.

Lean Manufacturing is Derived from the Toyota Production System (TPS)

To understand lean manufacturing, what it means for communications and how communications can help drive efficiency, let’s start by taking a quick trip back in time to the turn of the 20th century at Toyota headquarters in Japan, where many of the principles of lean manufacturing were born. Toyota is known for using the method and philosophies of lean manufacturing to transform itself from a small loom-making company to the world’s largest automaker.

In the 1920s, Toyota was a manufacturer of automatic looms, including a novel weaving machine that automatically stopped production when it encountered a problem. That focus on not wasting time and material is the seed of what became the Toyota Production System (TPS), which is what lean manufacturing is derived from.

Tags: Manufacturing

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There's no use building the perfect wireless communications solution if your facilities manager isn't prepared to support and maintain it. To attract, identify and hire the best fit for your business, you’ll need to craft a facilities manager job description with the right amount of detail about the technology and processes you need the person to be familiar with, and the skills you need them to have.

When it comes to crafting the perfect facilities manager job description, keep these pointers in mind:

Tags: Two Way Radios, Manufacturing, Facilities Management

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Shopping for facility management software can be time-consuming but ultimately rewarding: Investing in the ideal software solution to fit your needs can save time and money, so it’s essential that you do your homework before you buy.

In general, it's important to select a facility management software that will:

Tags: MOTOTRBO, Manufacturing, Facilities Management

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When Illinois gas company Aux Sable expanded its processing plant to increase natural gas liquid production, the company looked to Chicago Communications as their Motorola dealer to add to and enhance its MOTOTRBO digital radio system – not only for regular employees, but for contractors.

Aux Sable is one of the largest natural gas liquid (NGL) extraction and fractionation facilities in North America. A major player in the midstream gas processing business, Aux Sable operates facilities and pipelines in some of the most active shale positions on the continent, including Alberta, Canada and North Dakota.

Here's how Chicago Communications worked with Aux Sable to create a safe and productive way to meet their changing communication requirements.

Tags: MOTOTRBO, Manufacturing

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When London-based bank HSBC was looking at sophisticated business alarm systems for a 200,000-square-foot Data Center, its key considerations included automation, 24-hour coverage, safety and security, along with compatibility with Motorola MOTOTRBO radios. With all of that in mind, the Teldio Alarm Control System (ACS) was the clear choice.

The Teldio ACS integrates into existing building management and network systems to monitor for a range of alarms – including environmental emissions, fire, maintenance, security and technical maintenance –  and when an alert is raised, alarms are sent simultaneously via text or audio to MOTOTRBO devices (for more on using MOTOTRBO in manufacturing, check out our Motorola dealer case study on working with Aux Sable.).

In addition to audio and text, notifications and job tickets can be sent by phone call, Android App and Windows alert.

Tags: MOTOTRBO, Manufacturing

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In Chicago, logistics professional training is set to get a big boost with construction of a high-tech transportation, logistics and distribution (TDL) center at Olive-Harvey College. Work on the $45 million facility recently restarted after stalling last year amid Illinois state budget woes.

Industry Partnership to Fill Surge of TDL Jobs

The center is designed to help prepare students for 110,000 TDL jobs that are expected to come to the region in the next 10 years. The project was 60 percent done when work halted, and officials are hoping to finish construction in time for the Fall 2017 semester.

The facility is the first of its kind in Illinois and is a significant step forward for Olive-Harvey’s TDL programs, which focus on air, rail and road transportation. With a commitment to hands-on training, the program’s curriculum is being developed with industry partners and will serve an estimated 3,000 students.

Tags: Technology, Manufacturing

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During an emergency, seconds can feel like hours, especially when it comes to locating workers to make sure they’re safe or dispatching help when they need it. Eliminating any blind spots in your ability to track employees cuts both your response time and precious time spent looking for workers who don’t need assistance but can’t immediately be found during an accident or emergency.

The new Real-Time Location System (RTLS) Indoor & Outdoor Positioning System from Teldio for Motorola MOTOTRBO radios blends Bluetooth technology and GPS to give up-to-the-minute information on workers’ locations via a web browser that can be accessed on a computer or mobile phone.

Tags: Technology, MOTOTRBO, Manufacturing, Digital Two-Way Radios

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