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7 Tips for Staying Up-to-Date on Manufacturing Technology

Category: Business By: Benjamin Moses, Director of Manufacturing Technology - AMT The Association For Manufacturing Technology Sep 10, 2021

+8 MT Podcasts & 9 E-Newsletters

Managing a manufacturing operation today means staying up-to-date on the emerging and transformative technologies that can help you be more agile, especially in the face of the new health crisis hampering production around the world.

Learning from experts and more experienced manufacturers can be a great strategy. But how can busy manufacturers fit this into already demanding schedules?

Here are some ideas on how to gain and share information. Also, further below are two helpful lists of podcasts and email newsletters focused on the latest technologies transforming the industry.

  1. Determine how and when you prefer to consume information.
    Do you like to listen, watch, or read? Podcasts are great for those who like to listen while doing an activity requiring less brain power, such as driving, exercising, or even cleaning the house. You can watch videos while doing some forms of exercise or even during meal times. Readers may prefer breaktime with a cup of joe, before checking email, an afternoon break, or quieter times in the evening.
  2. Set a time limit.
    Not sure you have the time or are worried you’ll get trapped going down a rabbit hole? Time limits help create structure around technology research. Even five minutes per day is enough to stay informed on the latest technology trends or try 15 minutes one day per week. Eventually you’ll find a pattern that works for you.
  3. Make it a team effort.
    Suggest dividing podcasts and e-newsletters among your team to collect more information from a variety of sources on selected topics.
  4. Share information as part of business processes.
    Use team messenger tools like Slack or Teams.
  5. Search topics regularly to receive recommendations.
    YouTube allows you to search topics on which you would like to receive recommendations and updates. Today, many search engines, ping you when there is new information on your frequent topic. Google News will push content based on what you view in Chrome and items you searched through Google.
  6. Enable action.
    Information is only relevant with action. Warehouse information for future action. Or for a good time.
  7. Incorporate into annual and five-year business plan.
    Review warehoused information during these strategy cycles.
    1. Short-term implementation could include new cutting technology, process improvement, and digital manufacturing such as factory dashboards or manufacturing standards like MTConnect®.
    2. Long term investment would include high capital cost equipment, new machine, automation, digital infrastructure, and new talent.

So where should you go to find out the latest and greatest? IMTS spark sessions are still available on-demand, providing a wealth of information. From live exhibitor demos to the kind of conference sessions you see at IMTS, this complementary platform is a great hub for our community.

Additionally, the following are the top podcasts and email newsletters that I rely on to stay informed about the latest manufacturing technology and business trends.

8 Podcasts

  1. Tech Trends - My AMT coworker Stephen LaMarca, Manufacturing Technology Analyst, and I discuss the latest updates from their research on the technologies transforming the industry. In even-numbered years, we discuss technology to look for at IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show.
  2. Making Chips - Three manufacturers, each operating or working within their family-owned shop, talk about the state of the industry and tips for growing your business including equipment and technology investments.
  3. Manufacturing Now - Hosted by SME Media interviews leading providers of manufacturing technology to get a deeper understanding of available products and trends.
  4. Cisco Live - Cisco leaders and industry experts discuss best practices and trends in manufacturing technology.
  5. HBR Ideacast - Harvard Business Review hosts leading thinkers in business and management.
  6. TCT Magazine Additive Insight - The TCT editorial team interviews additive manufacturing leaders.
  7. Data Skeptic - For a new perspective on science, data-driven analysis and of course, “skepticism” on various topics such as big data, machine learning, statistics, and data science.
  8. The McKinsey Podcast - Insights from experts on business and management with an emphasis on digital, analytics, and deep dives intro specific regions and industries.

10 Email Newsletters

  1. IMTS Insider - Updates on manufacturing technology advances, industry news, and IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show.
  2. The Prepared - A weekly email, blog, and podcast with information on all things manufacturing including links to unusual news items, a jobs board, and whimsical videos. It touts itself as “a network for people working on real problems in a physical world.”
  3. Wired - Presents a wide variety of technology subjects relating to science, security, gear, culture, and ideas.
  4. AMT News - Helpful updates on government initiatives, economic forecasts, industry data, workforce development, business advice, and technology trends for the manufacturing technology industry.
  5. MTConnect - The latest info about the only open, royalty-free standard that provides a semantic vocabulary for manufacturing devices.
  6. The Hustle - Business and technology news in five minutes.
  7. The MIT Technology Review - Authoritative articles on emerging technologies.
  8. HBR Management Tip of the Day & HBR Strategy and Execution - Ideas and advice for business leaders. (Found under email preferences after signing in.)
  9. Product Collective - Resources and information for software product managers.
  10. The Tech Report - Not to self-promote (again), but my esteemed colleague Stephen LaMarca, Manufacturing Technology Analyst, and I also provide a weekly email about what’s trending in the MT ecosystem that week.

Perhaps you already listen to some of the podcasts or read some of the newsletters mentioned here. If you know of others that you really find useful that aren’t mentioned here, please share them with me at Happy listening, reading, and tracking.

About the Author

Benjamin Moses is Director of Manufacturing Technology at AMT-The Association For Manufacturing Technology. He worked in design and manufacturing world for aerospace components for 16 years, developing new products and implementing new and lean processes for legacy products. Benjamin now works with AMT’s Manufacturing Technology team to gather information about the latest technology research, concepts, and trends. This includes academic research and adoption of new technologies in manufacturing facilities. Through strong relationships with AMT’s membership, universities, and other industrial partners, AMT is able to gather a broad view on the state of manufacturing technology.

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