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66 SMT007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2019 been there—they have long become invisible. Digital manufacturing with IIoT-driven MES with CFX data is going to put the untainted answers to all these questions on your dash- board and into your reports. There is no hiding anymore; there is only opportunity. This par- ticular shock to the system is just one of many happening across many areas, including pro- duction engineering, routing control, quality management, test and inspection, and ware- house control. Going Digital The question is not so much related to what can be done with the data in a digital factory, but how best to engage to gain the most oppor- tunity and benefit. For many, and what is very much acceptable, starts with getting the real data. Include the true digital MES layer and start truly opening your eyes. Let your head get around to see your day with a fresh perspec- tive. Then, let's talk about all of the many ways your investment has paid off. It is also fine to pick up on a specific need, such as material management, to justify the initial investment. But know that open eyes and an open mind to change are really all you need. SMT007 Michael Ford is the senior director of emerging industry strategy for Aegis Software. To read past columns or contact Ford, click here. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and several other institutions have developed a novel class of liquids that may open up new possibilities for improving the efficiency and stability of supercapacitors while reducing their flammability. The new class of materials called surface-active ionic liquids (SAILs) could have a variety of applications for high-temperature energy storage, including for use in hot environments, such as oil drilling or in chemical plants. According to the researchers, the proof-of-concept work represents a new paradigm for electrochemical energy storage. The study was published in Nature Materials. (Source: MIT) New Type of Electrolyte Could Enhance Supercapacitor Performance • Why are several kits of materials being prepared in advance? • Why is there a huge build-up of materials on the shop floor, where few people, if any, know where anything is? • Why do materials get "stolen" from kit to kit? • Why do I get so many MSD violations and related defects? • Why do I experience many unexpected internal material shortages? • Why do I spend so much time and effort counting materials? • Why does my ERP inventory level still not match my physical stock? • Why do I need to waste about 2% overall productivity doing a stock-check twice a year? • Why do I get material-related quality problems coming and then going? • Why do I need so many material logistics personnel, when most of the time, they are grossly under-utilized? • Why are there so many questions? If you are not confident in answering any of the above questions or are happy to justify the associated losses in your own mind, then you need to see me after class. This is Lean Material Management 101. Though the major- ity of people in production must surely have the answers to these questions right in front of them, in most cases, they are blind to the consequences because the losses have always

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