Many organizations are continuously searching for ways to become more efficient with time, resources, and processes. As a result, innovation continues to evolve at rapid speeds. Unfortunately, some companies may quickly become overwhelmed with the ongoing task of implementing new manufacturing ideas. For this reason, there may be some untapped resources that might already be available.

Google ‘Glass’ Returns For Factories

Initially introduced in 2013, Google Glass gained consumer praise with the release of head-mounted wearable computers.  At the time, there was great excitement surrounding the use of the wearable computer for augmented reality. However, privacy, health, and safety concerns overpowered consumer intrigue, which eventually resulted in a massive decline of interest by 2015. Despite its decline, Google didn’t abandon hope for the product.  Instead, it shifted its focus towards the Google Glass Enterprise Edition, which has found a home in the manufacturing industry. The new and improved version includes a better camera and a longer battery life. Factory workers now have the benefit of using Google Glass to review work instructions and checklists 1. The result is a safer, more efficient manufacturing working environment.

Reinforcing the Value of 3D Printing

The inception of 3D printing models traces back over 30 years. Benefits of 3D printing are certainly easy to see: lighter parts, a smoother assembly line process, and eye-catching design. The companies that have succeeded have found ways to create an entirely new workflow, using 3D printing and new materials. Products intertwine with existing methods to develop a successful formula. For instance, Apple just entered the watch industry about five years ago. Now, they have already dominated well established, high-end watch companies like Rolex and Swatch. Successful 3D printing should function similarly, with new value propositions 2 set as the primary focal points.

Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Solutions

Recent studies have shown that millions of tons of plastic are wasted in America every year. Plastic waste then turns into pollution in the ocean, which creates an even more significant issue. So, many organizations have looked for ways to create sustainable plastic solutions beyond single usage. The Vermont based Bee’s Wax food wrap company found a common dilemma and used existing products to solve for it. The kitchen wraps are designed for multiple uses (up to a year if cleaned and stored correctly) and are now available in 41 countries. Sarah Kaeck, Bee’s Wax’s CEO says that she was initially just trying to find a way to keep homegrown vegetables fresh 3. Bee’s Wax found a new solution to a long-standing issue, using existing resources, which also helps the environment.

Manufacturing standards have been forced to evolve, primarily due to digital advancements and increased demand. Although organizations may find it challenging to remain at the forefront of manufacturing innovation, some answers may already be available. Companies who continue to find ways to add new value from current resources are the ones who will stay ahead of the pack.

1 Google Releases New ‘Glass’ Headset For Factory Floors by Jillian D’Onfro
2 How To Create Colossal Value With 3-D Printing by Janne Kyttanen
3 Recycled Wine Corks, Pineapple Fibers and Beeswax: Plastic Alternatives for 2019 by Suzie Dundas