Ideas in Motion

History of Bearings

Mar 22, 2021 8:00:00 AM / by

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As a kind of mechanical part, bearings are used in all types of machines. You might not be aware of how important they are because their use is often obscured.

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History of Belts

Mar 15, 2021 8:00:00 AM / by

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At its most basic level, a belt is a looped strip of flexible material used to bind two or more rotating shafts mechanically. They can be used to transfer objects, transmit mechanical power efficiently, or monitor relative movement.

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Looking at Warehouse Automation: The Benefits of Robotics and "Cobotics"

Mar 11, 2021 7:00:00 PM / by

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The robotics market has been growing for years. That’s hardly surprising given the variety of tasks robots can handle and the demand for supplementing human effort. Robotics applications generally limited to industrial usage in its infancy, have expanded to applications such as personal assistants, surgical assistants, autonomous vehicles, delivery vehicles, crewless aerial vehicles, and exoskeletons.   Valued at USD 24 billion, in 2020, the robotics market could reach USD 74 billion by 2026 quite realistically. 

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Teambuilding in a Remote Work Environment

Mar 4, 2021 5:30:00 AM / by

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Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most disruptive situations that many of us have faced. What was a “luxury” for executives, and a “reward” for top performers, telework has become a necessity for many organizations in the present situation.  For a few years, working from home was becoming a popular option for many Americans.  In fact, by 2019, about 43% of workers were teleworking at least part of the time. An additional 25 – 30% of employees have had to work from home full-time since the “lock down” began. Many companies are anticipating that telework arrangements will continue after the pandemic. Some, like REI and Nationwide Insurance, have begun to close facilities based on that expectation.

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Which Famous Landmarks are Powered by Gears

Mar 1, 2021 8:00:00 AM / by

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Anyone who has ever tried to ride a bicycle up a very steep hill knows how hard it can be. If you don't use the correct gear to maximize your climbing force, it is pretty much impossible. It's a different story once you're back on a straight path - after some momentum, you can go flick to another gear and make the wheels spin around even quicker than you're pedaling.

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Lessons from the Pandemic: Made in America

Feb 26, 2021 5:30:00 AM / by

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Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, we learned a painful lesson about outsourcing. The fact that there few or no domestic manufacturers of ventilators, face masks, and other critical medical equipment and supplies added to the severity and spread of the virus. In addition to the medical supply industry, 60% of manufacturers experienced significant disruptions in their supply chain.  It is time to take a hard look at insourcing/reshoring as part of America’s strategic preparedness plan, and that is exactly what astute manufacturers are doing.

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The COVID-19 Pandemic and Risk Management

Feb 22, 2021 5:30:00 AM / by

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After two decades of focusing on risk management in a continually disruptive business environment, the epic failure of preparedness for the COVID-19 pandemic is teaching American companies a hard lesson. It’s time to rethink how organizations approach risk management. If we didn’t understand that many risk management plans are the result of known implications and proven mitigation efforts in a static environment, we surely do now. There is nothing static about this virus. Nor can we expect the next crisis to be more predictable in what has become a globally volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment (“VUCA”).  This pandemic is an opportunity for risk managers to reimagine their approach for a highly uncertain future.

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Robotics: The Next Enhancement to STEM Education

Jan 4, 2021 7:00:00 AM / by

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Traditionally, school curricula focused on the ability to read, write, and communicate. As science and technology have advanced, “literacy” has taken on a much broader definition. The contemporary belief is that students must be proficient and fluent in technology tools, be able to manage, synthesize, analyze and critique multiple information streams of simultaneous information, all while maintaining ethical standards. These tasks are even more daunting in a world where globalization has encouraged (or even required in many roles) cross-cultural relationships for ideation, information-sharing, and problem-solving. Soft skills like collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking have become must-have “new literacy” for job applicants. In fact, an Oxford University study found that as many as 47 percent of jobs in the United States will become wholly automated within the next 20 years. This will lead to a transformation of labor, and will generate new job opportunities.

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Catalysts and Hindrances to Productivity and Creativity

Dec 28, 2020 7:00:00 AM / by

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Creativity is a skill most people have instinctually. We “practice” it” daily, whether consciously or purposefully. As we reflect on our accomplishments at work, for example, we find that to be a source of motivation. In fact, Kaizen, or “continuous improvement,” has as its central tenant an innate and unlimited ability to innovate and create. Here we will look at some catalysts for creativity and some hindrances as well. 

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Key Traits of Today’s Leaders

Dec 22, 2020 3:37:34 PM / by

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People don’t quit their jobs, they leave their toxic/incompetent leaders. Successful companies need a laser focus on developing effective leadership skills. The style of micro- management and command and control that prevailed years ago is irrelevant. The cornerstone of success in today’s employment environment depends on relationship-building that begins with a leader’s ability to facilitate authentic, nurturing relationships with colleagues and clients – especially in these difficult times of the COVID pandemic.

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