June / July 2021 Journal Issue

Next Gen Leadership

Through thought leadership around a member-defined set of Critical Issues, we are shaping the future of manufacturing.


Thought Leadership

Reimagining Possibilities at Rethink 2021

Rethink 2021: Reimagining the Art of the Possible

June 29, 2021

“We are in the midst of great change,” declared David R. Brousell, Co-Founder, Vice President, and Executive Director of the Manufacturing Leadership Council (MLC) in his opening speech at the MLC’s 2021 Virtual Rethink Summit today. “It requires us all to…

Schneider Lighthouse

At Schneider, ‘Small Steps’ Led to a Lighthouse

June 29, 2021

Schneider Electric’s Lexington, KY, plant is one of only a handful of manufacturing facilities in the U.S. that enjoys the coveted status of being a World Economic Forum-designated “Lighthouse” factory. To achieve that distinction, the Lexington plant, built in 1957,…

Rethink 2021 Intelligent Platforms

Rethink 2021: Accelerating M4.0 with Intelligent Platforms

June 29, 2021

Manufacturers are generating more data, faster, and from more aspects of their operations than ever before. The key to harnessing all that data to produce higher quality products more quickly and efficiently, and to speed up the decision-making process, is…


Rethink 2021: Enabling Evolution of the Frontline with AR

June 29, 2021

“Augmented Reality is definitely cool, it’s relatively easy to use, and it can have a big impact on productivity and quality,” argued Jim Heppelmann, Chief Executive Officer of PTC in an exclusive Executive Dialogue session during the Manufacturing Leadership Council’s…


Rethink 2021: A Better World for Tomorrow

June 29, 2021

“Manufacturers do not accept that anything is impossible.” In his opening speech for Rethink: The Manufacturing Leadership Summit, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons reflected on the world’s emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic and how digital technologies…


Rethink 2021: Shell utilizes AI to power the future

June 29, 2021

  When it comes to making a digital transition and realizing ambitious business outcomes, Shell believes that technology might be the least important element. During his session at Rethink: The Manufacturing Leadership Council Summit, Peter Westerink, General Manager of Digitalization…

Critical Issue: Factories of the Future

IBM Plant Tour: Driving Innovation Through Relentless Reinvention

May 7, 2021

IBM’s digital journey is keenly focused on building a cognitive enterprise that embraces an agile culture of innovation, combined with a client focus that leverages exponential technologies to deliver greater value. IBM executives on the MLC’s recent virtual tour of…

Critical Issue: Cybersecurity in Manufacturing

Manufacturing Cyber Security: MxD’s Protection Framework

February 25, 2021

As manufacturers accelerate the deployment of digital technologies to modernize and interconnect their facilities and supply chains, they also open up new risks for cyber-attacks, stressed Chandra Brown, CEO of MxD, during a recent virtual plant tour for Manufacturing Leadership…

Editor's Letter

The Future, Coming More Into View

February 1, 2021

There is nothing like an existential crisis to spur change. And the manufacturing industry seems determined not to waste the opportunity.


Reduce Risks and Safeguard Workers with New Technologies

January 28, 2021

The road to recovery and resilience begins with great ideas paired with great technology to create and implement a strong risk-reduction strategy that will continue to protect your organization and its people for years to come.


Fighting COVID-19 With Analytics

January 14, 2021

Data analytics are being employed at the heart of the battle against COVID-19. Tracing the outbreak and modeling data to predict outcomes is critical in this crisis. Businesses and governments around the world are starting to apply a wide range…


NAM Webinar Tackles Vaccine Questions

December 24, 2020

As COVID-19 vaccines such as those from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna begin to become available, manufacturers have a lot of questions about vaccination in relation to their workforces. To provide as many answers as possible at this point in the vaccination…

Ideas & Insights

Putting Intelligence Back into AI

December 8, 2020

Today’s version of artificial intelligence is at risk of undercutting the power of knowledge.To free this important technology, here are 10 recommendations that will enable AI in manufacturing operations to prosper.

Critical Issue: Transformative Technologies

5 Ways the Cloud is Transforming Manufacturing

August 11, 2020

The manufacturing sector faces a slew of challenges due to the pandemic. A recent survey by the U.S. National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) found that nearly four out of five manufacturing companies expect a financial hit from COVID-19. More than half (53.1%)…

Ideas & Insights

The COVID Effect: Managing Liability and Health with Technology

June 24, 2020

Whether your manufacturing activity ramped up for relief and recovery efforts, completely shut down, or remained open in limited capacity, the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the way many manufacturing organizations will function moving forward. Beyond physical cleaning,…

Critical Issue: COVID-19: What's Next for Manufacturing?

A Better, Stronger Industry Will Emerge

June 10, 2020

the 20th century, two of the most important disciplines that manufacturers embraced were lean manufacturing and safety…


Manufacturers Offer 4 Tips for Dealing With COVID-19

March 24, 2020

On a recent conference call held by the Manufacturing Leadership Council (MLC) and its parent, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), leaders from Premio Foods and Trane Technologies discussed tips and tactics for safeguarding workers and strengthening  operations throughout the…

Critical Issue: Factories of the Future

A Peek Into the Future

February 11, 2020

n January of 2012, the Manufacturing Leadership Council published its first study on the subject of future factories…

Manufacturing Leadership Council

M4.0: Is the U.S. Keeping Up With Global Competition?

June 20, 2019

“It will be very difficult for the U.S. to grow competitively in the future without increasing the speed of M4.0 adoption,” warns MLC Board Chairman John Fleming at the 2019 ML Summit.

Critical Issue: Factories of the Future

2019 MLC Summit: Maximizing return on data for real transformation

June 12, 2019

Data is manufacturing’s new gold, but much like any raw material, it only has value once it’s mined, refined, and polished to make it shine. Manufacturers generally have no problem collecting massive amounts of data, but leveraging it to its…

Critical Issue: Factories of the Future

Rise of the connected and intelligent enterprise

June 3, 2019

Diverse and disparate products and devices get connected over the Internet of Things (IoT). This is giving way to personalized consumer experiences, workforce empowerment, optimized operations and novel business models. In the past, customers were forced to buy a product…

ML Journal

AI in Manufacturing

April 9, 2019

When I think about artificial intelligence, particularly concerns about its effect on jobs, I’m reminded what Franklin D. Roosevelt said at the height of the Great Depression in his

Manufacturing Leadership Council

MLC Delegation Focuses on Latest M4.0 Technologies at Hannover Fair

April 1, 2019

Hannover Fair MLC Report, Day 2 –– Interoperability, IoT, collaborative robotics, AI in the factory, and digitally-driven enterprise strategies dominated the MLC Delegation’s stand visits during the first full exhibition day at this year’s Hannover Fair in Germany. First stop…

Manufacturing Leadership Council

MLC Delegation Attends Opening of Hannover Fair in Germany

March 31, 2019

Hannover Fair MLC Report, March 31, 2019 — The Hannover Fair, the world’s largest industrial exhibition, opened last night in Germany as political and industrial leaders, including a delegation of Manufacturing Leadership Council members, gathered in the Hannover Congress Centrum to…

Manufacturing Leadership Council

MLC’s First IoT Workshop Reveals Some M4.0 Truths and Lessons

March 11, 2019

Several months ago, a member of the Manufacturing Leadership Council from the automotive sector approached the MLC team with a proposition: What if they could host an IoT-themed workshop at their headquarters to discuss manufacturing digitization – and enlist the…

Critical Issue: Factories of the Future

Factories of the Future

February 11, 2019

Is data just a growing problem or a profound agent of change?

Editor's Letter

A Game of Risk

December 4, 2018

John Fleming, the chairman of the manufacturing leadership Council’s Board of Governors and former Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs at the Ford Motor Co., makes an important point about Manufacturing 4.0.

Critical Issue: Cybersecurity in Manufacturing

Cybersecurity Manufacturing

December 4, 2018

Is data just a growing problem or a profound agent of change?


IBM’s Cognitive Journey to M4.0

October 6, 2018

Ron Castro, IBM’s Chief Supply Chain Officer, believes the manufacturing industry is at an inflection point in its history where the opportunities for disruption are enormous.

Critical Issue: Factories of the Future

Manufacturing Leaders Accelerate the Transformation to M4.0

June 12, 2018

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA–Manufacturing leaders are becoming better prepared to accept the challenges involved in driving digital transformation, and their companies are taking a more serious and strategic approach to embracing Manufacturing 4.0. These were among the conclusions that were presented…