Blog posts by Sam Wasylyshyn

MAGNET’S 2018 NORTHEAST OHIO MANUFACTURING SURVEY: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

February 22, 2018 by Sam Wasylyshyn

HEADLINE The survey definitively shows that product innovation leads to more growth, while “grow your own workforce” strategies will be needed to fill the major labor shortages hampering small manufacturer growth. Emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, and digital manufacturing are beginning to enhance innovation and productivity, but still have significant room for adoption amongst Ohio’s small manufacturing businesses. ABOUT THE SURVEY Under the direction of the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Ohio MEP), MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network conducted a thorough survey of Ohio’s manufacturing base. Contributing approximately 20% of Ohio’s jobs (and driving in some regions up to 50% of Ohio’s economy), and generating a disproportionate amount of export revenues and Gross Regional Product, manufacturing is critical to Ohio. Greater than 95% of Ohio’s manufacturers are small (under 500 employees), and these manufacturers need to remain competitive both nationally and internationally to ensure our economy’s health. Ohio’s Development Services Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which runs the MEP, recognizes the importance of this sector and fuels MAGNET and the Ohio MEP program to directly serve and support innovation, efficiency, and growth in small and medium manufacturers. What manufacturers need

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Manufacturing is Facing a New Reality

February 06, 2018 by Sam Wasylyshyn

How Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Can Help Keep Our Engineers Safe and Our Manufacturing Strong Recall how difficult it was to put together complex LEGO creations when you were a child or helping a child. Now, picture assembling a fighter plane from a room full of parts. Even highly trained engineers can benefit from technology to help improve consistency and quality. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are making near-perfect assembly a possibility in the manufacturing space. By wearing AR glasses that use cameras, depth sensors and motion sensors to overlay images onto the real working environment, engineers and factory workers can visualize the exact bolts, parts, part numbers and instructions on how to assemble a particular component correctly. Lockheed Martin began using AR goggles and improved F-35 assembly time by 30 percent, in addition to increasing accuracy to 96 percent[1]. In order to remain competitive, businesses should consider the ways VR and AR can improve efficiency and supply chain productivity. According to a recent BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research report[2], AR platforms can provide companies up to 25 percent in cost savings on installation of equipment. Here are four ways VR/AR is disrupting the mid-market manufacturing space:

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Is Technology Your Thing? Connect with TechLink

February 06, 2018 by Sam Wasylyshyn

Why should you consider TechLink? To date: More than 1,270 technology transfer partnerships brokered between companies and 110 DoD labs or centers, including all 65 DoD labs that generate patented inventions More than 600 license agreements facilitated between DoD and companies nationwide, transferring over 1,000 DoD inventions to industry Facilitated 60% of total DoD licensing agreements over the past 10 years What does TechLink Specialize in? TechLink specializes in 10 technology areas: Energy, BioTech, Materials, Sensors, Photonics, Software/Info Technology, Military Technology, Electronics and Environmental Technologies. 4 Ways TechLink can help you: Actively market DoD inventions to industry nationwide Help companies evaluate these inventions and submit license applications Facilitate communications between DoD labs and companies leading to “win-win” license agreements for both parties Maintain the nation’s only comprehensive database of DoD-patented inventions, fully searchable through techlinkcenter.org Why should you believe in TechLink? Check out the TechLink technology database and the Technology Spotlight for regular updates on available technologies and contact information for the related Technology Manager. The Manager will help you assess the technology for your company needs, facilitate your connection with DoD, and walk you through the licensing process. Most DoD inventions have civilian and commercial applications. DoD technologies licensed by TechLink have generated

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Lightweighting 101: Time to Upskill Your Workforce

February 06, 2018 by Sam Wasylyshyn

In collaboration with Lightweighting Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT) and other industry partners, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) developed specialized programming for working professionals to increase their knowledge of lightweight metals and other advanced manufacturing technologies. The Lightweighting Certification includes distinct modules in: Polymers for Lightweighting – March 12-13, 2018 Additive Manufacturing – March 14-15, 2018 Advanced Materials – March 26-27, 2018 The Professional Certification Program in Lightweighting at CWRU is sponsored by Lockheed Martin Corporation and offered in conjunction with LIFT. In partnership with MAGNET, CWRU will offer an advanced manufacturing assessment for manufacturers participating in the LIFT courses to advance design in lightweighting through additive manufacturing. Target Audience Selected group of manufacturing companies that eager to learn the secrets to lightweighting. The courses are designed for incumbent workforce participants from industry and government with a bachelor’s degree or equivalency in a STEM discipline. This is a GREAT way to upskill your existing workforce. How to Enroll To Register contact Monica Dumitriu, MBA, Project Director, Siegal Lifelong Learning Program, CWRU, mxd2@case.edu, or 216-368-3804. Registration for the LIFT courses in March is available on the CWRU SLLP website: http://case.edu/cps/

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Additive Manufacturing Assessment

February 06, 2018 by Sam Wasylyshyn

This COMPLIMENTARY assessment will be available to the first 15 qualified manufacturers. Space is limited, so sign up ASAP at the link below: RESERVE YOUR ASSESSMENT TODAY Why should you consider doing an Additive Manufacturing Assessment? Additive Manufacturing is an advanced technology that might be a way for you to solve challenges in an unconventional way. Do any of the following issues affect your company? Additive Manufacturing is effective at solving them. Cost of Material Issues Design Constraints and Long Cycles Long Tooling Cycles Prototype Development Costs High Manufacturing Process Costs What Happens at an Additive Manufacturing Assessment? MAGNET’s assessment occurs over a 4 hour period and is composed of 4 steps: Step 1: Intro Meeting & Additive Manufacturing Presentation (At Your Facility) Step 2: Facility Walk-Through & Analysis of Production Lines Step 3: Detailed Executive Summary of Results, Recommendations, and Suggested Next Steps (Done off-site) Step 4: Follow Up On-Site Meeting to Share Recommendations Who is doing the Additive Manufacturing Assessment? Assessments are led by MAGNET’s industry expert Dave Pierson. Over the past 30 years, Dave has established himself as one of the country's leading authorities in the field of 3D and Additive Manufacturing through his work with the

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4 Investment Strategies to Pursue in 2018

December 20, 2017 by Sam Wasylyshyn

With 2017 soon to be in the history books and 2018 on the horizon, have you started to think about what investments you want to make in your company? As a refresher, did any of the following cross your mind in 2017? We have been operating in survival mode without a plan… My sales are stagnant/shrinking and I don’t have resources… I’m getting traction in the market, but I don’t know how to scale to meet my demand… I want to create a business that provides financial freedom... If you answered YES to any of the 4 statements, then 2018 is the year to act. MAGNET has the resources to help make this a reality for a modest investment. In fact, the average initial investment is around $3-5K. The MAGNET process is simple: We identify critical business needs, we prioritize a project plan, and we implement the needed improvements. 4 Investment Strategies If you are a small manufacturer that wants to make a change for the better in 2018 lets talk more: Matt Sinclair – 216-534-9626 or matt.sinclair@magnetwork.org

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Coffee is STILL for Closers: 3 Things Needed to Close Any Sale

December 07, 2017 by Sam Wasylyshyn

The secret to closing any sale is to reduce uncertainty in the buyer and replace it with confidence in YOU, your PRODUCT/SERVICE, and your COMPANY. Step 1 – Confidence in YOU Someone buying from you wants to be able to fundamentally connect with you on a human level and feel confident that you’re an expert in what you’re selling If you’re selling paperclips, be an expert in paperclips If you’re selling design and engineering related services, be an expert in design and engineering related services Focus on addressing the problem, not the solution….MEANING you already know you have the solution, connect with the buyer by being an expert with the problem he/she is facing. Prove that you know the problem and all aspects of the problem like the back of your hand. Step 2- Confidence in the PRODUCT/SERVICE you are selling Someone buying from you needs to trust the product/service you are selling will solve their problem. It’s your responsibility to deliver a solution and the benefits associated with it. Basically you need to “Hit a Homerun” communicating this message. Tip – Use Success Stories: Share with the potential buyer examples of your product/service solving problems and delivering value for

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3 Factors Needed for Additive Manufacturing

November 30, 2017 by Sam Wasylyshyn

Right Application – “Find the Niches, Find the Riches” Right Material – “BUT, it’s gotta be this material!!” Right Machine – “Compromise is for politicians” Has your company ever brought up the topic of additive manufacturing (3D Printing)? Or discussed how you could use additive manufacturing at your company? I asked MAGNET’s Dave Pierson this question to better understand why some companies have been able to successfully utilize additive manufacturing and why others have failed. According to Dave, there are only 3 things “foundations” needed for successful use of additive manufacturing; Application, Material, and Machine. The Right Application: Must include Mass Personalization and/or Mass Customization 3D Printing Red Lego Blocks = NOT a good application 3D Printing Red Lego Blocks with personalized names on each block = A good application The difference between the two examples is the mass personalization aspect. If you are looking to produce large volumes of the same product (Red Lego Blocks) use existing blow and/or injection molded technologies, but if you are looking to add a certain customization feature (names, sayings, or logos), maybe additive manufacturing might be right for you. The Right Material: Function of the material is what matters Humans are creatures of

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When Ocean Freighters pull a Houdini

November 15, 2017 by Sam Wasylyshyn

During the early 1900s shipbuilders and shipping companies worked hard to make ocean freighters faster AND more fuel efficient. To a large degree they were successful, speed was up and fuel consumption was down, however their economies of scale became progressively worse and they were losing money BIG TIME! The owners and managers of these large ocean freighters suffered a serious incongruity between expectations and results. They assumed that a majority of the costs were incurred while the freighters were sailing through the oceans. In reality however, the real costs of the freighter are incurred when the ship is at the port sitting idle. So no matter how fast and fuel efficient ships would become, the industry would continue declining! True innovation occurs when individuals are able to bridge an incongruity, which is what the industry leaders were able to do. Once they realized where the true costs were, the innovations were obvious. The shipping industry pulled a “Houdini” and began applying some of the best practices of the railroad and trucking industries. Those industries were utilizing roll-on and roll-off container ships for several years, something the shipping industry couple replicate. It’s important to note that it was a shift

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Ideation at MAGNET: The Process

November 14, 2017 by Sam Wasylyshyn

Idea generation, or ideation as it is formally known, is an important part of the innovation process. MAGNET has a long history of helping manufacturers around the region ideate to solve specific challenges. Recently I sat down with Bob Schmidt, one of MAGNET’s Senior Growth and Innovation Advisors, to discuss the topic of ideation and to better understand MAGNET’s ideation process. First thing I learned….Not all ideations are the same MAGNET conducts TWO specific types of ideation sessions: 1. Technical – Technical Ideation Sessions are structured to solve specific “technical” problems…such as what manufacturing processes could be applied to develop a new product or developing design concepts for a new or enhanced product based on defined market criteria. 2. Growth – Growth Ideation Sessions are structured to solve business growth problems, specifically around market diversification. MAGNET and the client do a deep dive into the client’s core assets, current products/services, and market opportunities as a foundation for idea creation. Second thing I learned….There is a structured process in place at MAGNET for conducting each type of ideation session The MAGNET Ideation Process Third thing I learned…..”The Commonalities”. Regardless of what whether the ideation session is technical or growth oriented, there

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