Technology in manufacturing enables product innovations and efficient processes that deliver higher value, without which NC manufacturers could not be globally competitive. As important technologies emerge and mature, appropriate applications to product developers and producers must be discussed and introduced effectively. Our smaller manufacturers are maintaining growth and profitability by applying tech acceleration practices for overall business management, design, production, and security. NCMEP leverages technology-driven solutions to support the profitable growth of the state’s producers.
Many companies may struggle with understanding their readiness for certain technologies. Business level decisions including “state of the art” business management software such as a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) or an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system can be confounded with design and production technologies including additive manufacturing and use of 3D printers. Combined with systems and equipment decisions are the realities of security concerns as we operate the new systems and equipment via wireless and the internet.
NCMEP can help with the evaluation of technology advancement through its national linkages with National Manufacturing Institutes (NNMI) combined with staff expertise and experience with technology applications. Some solution approaches include the following:
Engineering research at federal labs and state universities today offer substantially more opportunities for application into our state’s manufacturers. Smaller companies are just not able to sift through the many developing technologies and programs that could offer benefit to current product development and production.
NCMEP is here to serve as a conduit to applied research opportunities with NC manufacturers. As our staff learns of your industrial processes and product ideas, we are able to explore and connect through our center relationships with the 3 leading engineering schools in the state as well as relevant national laboratories in order to identify support for appropriate technology direction and to leverage leading-edge resources and expertise.
Getting a new product all the way to market can be a daunting task for manufacturers without the proper experience and discipline. As the drive for innovation with its continuous pipeline of new design ideas evolves, so can the proliferation of inefficiencies and costs. Small and mid-size manufacturers can be at special risk with their investment capital constraints.
NCMEP maintains staff engineers and unique partnerships with development and testing labs in industries critical to the state including plastics, textiles, and furniture. SMEs have access to the engineers and technicians at the time of need reducing the amount of underutilized infrastructure.
A recent NCMEP survey of small manufacturers in North Carolina confirmed that while Internet and wireless use across industry is pervasive, employee policies for protecting data and system compromise remain weak with breaches becoming more common.
Through its partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and programs such as the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, NCMEP has direct access to the latest in development of guidance and protocols concerning cybersecurity. Whenever you are ready, we are here to help you assess your vulnerability and options for more effective protection of precious data and controls.
If you are interested in minimizing your cybersecurity risks, but aren’t sure how to begin, NCMEP partner NC State Industry Expansion Solutions has created a free cybersecurity toolkit which you can download today.