Archives for the ‘Innovation’ Category

The Little Things that Matter at Work: The Inspiration of Positive Psychology

Written by Maria Moran, IMEC Regional Manager

Given the constant change and challenges we face as leaders, some foundations are so solid that they are truisms. Yet, sometimes we deserve a few reminders.

A Fresh LookPositive Psychology

Survival of the fittest instincts run through us all. We are wired to look for the negative in an effort to protect ourselves. What if we created a culture that trained teams to recognize the positive first? Would solutions be created more efficiently? What if you created a vibrant business by changing the lens that your business is viewed through by its employees?

Cybersecurity – It’s Just One Piece of a Comprehensive Information Security Program

By John Remsey, IMEC Senior Technical Specialist

Cybersecurity has become a hot topic within manufacturing over the past months, especially for the Defense supply chain with the federal government increasing their emphasis on addressing threats to the security of information.  In December 2015, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) released a rule to the Defense Acquisition Federal Regulation Supplement (DAFRS) that requires government contractors to implement the requirements of National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171 by December 31, 2017.  With this deadline fast approaching, conversation, and urgency, to become compliant is increasing.

Going Beyond Customer Satisfaction: Measuring Customer Loyalty

Written by Steve Schiera, IMEC Regional Manager

Net Promoter Score (NPS) can be a valuable tool for measuring customer satisfaction, increasing customer lifetime value and reducing customer turnover. The happier your customers are the more referrals you will get and the more successful and profitable your business will be.

Because loyalty is so important to profitable growth, measuring and managing it makes good sense.  The saying “What gets measured gets done” is extremely relevant with customer satisfaction.  Many organizations have no method to obtain this critical information and many existing customer survey approaches have not proven to be very effective. Their complexity makes it difficult to get responses from your customers and they often generate flawed results.

By substituting a single question for the complex black box of the typical customer satisfaction survey, companies can actually put results to use and focus on the task of stimulating growth.

Internet of Manufacturing Business Conference comes to Chicago

Interested in staying ahead of the curve on the latest topics in technology and manufacturing industry best practices?

Internet of Manufacturing

Internet of Manufacturing North America is the only event bringing together C/VP Level business and technical executives from leading manufacturers, to share best practices and inspire new revenue opportunities. The two-day conference and pre-event welcome day deliver high-level presentations, hands-on and interactive sessions, a live tour, as well as extended networking and team-building sessions to an audience of pre-qualified manufacturers.

Manufacturing and Marketing Can Make a Great Team

Two Illinois companies are working together to provide consumers with an exceptionally useful product. Technical Publication Associates (TPA) from Morton, Illinois and Plano Synergy (Plano) from Plano, Illinois are working together for the benefit of the consumer. Plano manufactures molded plastic cases to hold and protect a variety of sporting and/or hunting goods. TPA develops simple, yet effective, consumer instructions on how to use a product. “Our two companies working together has resulted in a high-quality product (Plano) with simple, effective instructions (TPA) on how our gun case can be customized, used, and maintained”, says John Whalen, Plano Engineer. 

Skokie Smart Manufacturing Summit

Skokie Smart Manufacturing Summit
November 4, 2015
2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Social/Networking/Tours: 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Illinois Science + Technology Park (IS + TP)
8045 Lamon Ave.
Skokie, IL 60077

Skokie Smart Manufacturing SummitTechnology advances are increasingly changing the way products are designed and produced. The Village of Skokie is hosting an informational event on November 4, 2015 to bring together thought leaders and local business owners to discuss ‘smart manufacturing’ technologies and share ideas about collaborating in preparation for the next age of industrial design and production. The goals of the summit are to provide:

  • A broad overview of technology trends that impact product design, customization and production
  • Practical information regarding software and hardware capabilities and information about how manufacturers are adopting new processes
  • Insights into workforce development and training resources

Quad Cities Manufacturing lnnovation Hub Will Help Regional Manufacturers Grow

The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce has announced the official launch of the Quad Cities Manufacturing Innovation Hub. The Quad Cities Manufacturing Innovation Hub will advance the area economy by helping regional manufacturers grow, diversify, and stay competitive.

“There’s a revolution underway in the manufacturing industry, and the Quad Cities Manufacturing Innovation Hub is here to help small and medium firms sort through the new technologies available, determine the impact to their business, and decide how to implement the changes,” says Curt Burnett, Executive Director, Quad Cities Manufacturing Innovation Hub. “We are at a unique point in time with so many new product forms, materials, manufacturing processes, and the internet of things coming together on the shop floor. Over the next few years, the ability to deal with this change will produce winners and losers all over the globe. The Hub is working proactively to make this region a winner.”

The Manufacturing Council and White House Steering Committee visit Chicago manufacturers

On Thursday, May 28, IMEC had the privilege of joining the U.S. Department of Commerce Manufacturing Council’s Sub-Committee on Innovation and Research and Development, White House Advanced Manufacturing Partnership officials, Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) and local manufacturers for a round table discussion.

Manufacturing CouncilThe discussion was held at the UI LABS: Digital Manufacturing Design Innovation Institute building in Chicago and was centered on the state of innovation in the American supply chain ecosystem, and effective strategies to help small manufacturers identify opportunities for innovation, invest in innovation and upgrade capabilities.

Caldwell Lifting Solutions Introduces New Dura-Lite Technology

Dura-Lite™ Composite Lifting & Spreader Beams


The Caldwell Group has introduced a brand new Dura-Lite™ product technology in their new Composite Lifting and Spreader Beams in which durable composite materials are bonded together to form ultra-strong lifters. The lightweight products are engineered to withstand the demands of rugged environments while being easy to handle and transport. 

Search Engine Optimization for Manufacturers

North Branch Works and IMEC are co-hosting an upcoming breakfast forum and discussion on Search Engine Optimization for Manufacturers on June 17th. The morning event will be held at WaterSaver Faucet in Chicago and feature web design and social media expertise from Orbit Media.

Why should you care about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Some companies think they’re immune to SEO because you may manufacture a very niche product and don’t have much competition. Why would you need some tech gimmicks to vault your name to the top of a search engine list?

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