November 09, 2018

Making Strides Toward Smart Manufacturing

by Guest Blogger

A recent piece in IndustryWeek caught my eye that I thought was worth highlighting, serving to highlight some of the transformation we’ve seen in the fenestration space in recent years.

From IndustryWeek:

It’s less risky to start smart manufacturing initiatives now rather than later. Why?

For one, there’s a good chance your competitors have started such initiatives, so you may be left behind. Our research at the not-for-profit Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA) shows that most manufacturers have had at least one project underway since the end of 2017.

Perhaps more importantly, moving to smart manufacturing can help you reach and serve customers better and more profitably.

We’ve seen this movement progress in our industry as many companies have invested in new equipment to create smarter factory floors. So while widespread adoption of cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, cloud computing and entirely automated manufacturing might be far off for many, we must think this way to remain competitive.

What’s at stake? Smart manufacturing and the technology that enables it—including sensors, robotics, control systems, meters, cameras, interfaces and beyond—are projected to grow significantly in the coming years. A recent forecast by Research and Markets projects that smart manufacturing is expected to be worth more than $170 billion this year and will reach nearly double that at $300 billion by 2023. Why? Because “Efficient, reliable and secure industrial communications help in improving operational efficiency and reducing overall operational costs of organizations,” as noted by Research and Markets.

So it stands to reason that manufacturers in any industry should be seriously considering making an investment in this sort of technology. Fenestration manufacturers are doing it, and robotic equipment for insulating glass manufacturing continues to advance. With automated loading, quality checkpoints and unloading technology built right in, new efficiency is readily at hand for those willing to take the leap.
But as we’ve noted recently, preparing your plant for the future of manufacturing is an ongoing process, not something you need to do all at once. Preparations must be made. New skills and strategies must be taught and learned. And incremental investments can be made at a rate that suits the needs of your plant.

And no matter what those needs are, Quanex’s Customer Care team is ready to help. Get in touch today, and find out what’s possible.

Questions or comments? Contact me directly at

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Posted: November 09, 2018 by Guest Blogger Filed under: automation, industry, technology