RTLS upgrades our field goal tracking
Patti Perspective March 2019

Hi there,

We hope you got a chance to join us at Manufacturing in America at Ford Field in Detroit last week.  We tracked over 1,000 kicks at our field goal kicking display and a few of you had been practicing!  With a few kicks predicted to have made it from 50+ yards, it might be time for you all to call a recruiter!  

This month, we're featuring an upgrade we completed to last year's display.

Our spotlight this month features one of the highlights from MiA this year, Shad Khan. Shad's fireside chat with Raj Batra kept everyone talking, and we're recapping a few of our favorite words of wisdom.

Feature Article
Upgrade Case Study
Adding RTLS to Our Field Goal System

Upgrading your facility doesn’t always mean ripping it to the studs and starting over entirely with all the shiniest new equipment Often, the best upgrade projects take something that works pretty well and add something to make it work better. That’s what happened on a project we completed this month for a customer with whom we’re quite familiar: ourselves.
Last year at Manufacturing in America, we introduced a field goal tracking system that added a control system to the tee, uprights, and check in, and analyzed the data using an app powered by MindSphere. This year, we added Real Time Locating System (RTLS) to the field, which provided the tee position and tracked other locations such as milestone kicks. Our upgrades reduced some friction in set-up, allowing the line to move just a little bit faster. And, since the goal of this system is entertainment - and competition - it allowed us to add a little bit of fun (see 0:32 in the video).
So what does that mean for you? Assuming you’re not installing a football field in your employee break room, there are lots of other ways that this technology could benefit your facility. Is there an area where you spend time looking for objects? A die field is one such area that comes to mind. A few minutes here and there wandering up and down the aisle looking for the right stamping press can add up to a lot of time wasted. Rather than rating your kicking distance, a paperwhite device could link to the necessary recipe needed for an item in a particular area. There are also implications for safety and process efficiency when the sensors are worn by operators.

As always, if you’re looking to figure out how your facility could benefit from an upgrade, discuss it with our experts.

Shad Khan

Photo credit: Amy Lemus/Lemus Photography, Courtesy Electro-Matic Products, Inc.

Fireside Chat with Shad Khan

Our spotlight this month is on an inspiring example of the American dream, Shad Khan. Shad immigrated to the US from Pakistan with only a few dollars in his pocket. Today, he is worth over $7 billion dollars. As the owner of Flex-N-Gate, he joined Siemens Digital Factory President Raj Batra for a “fireside chat” at this month’s Manufacturing in America Summit.

In conversation, Shad doesn’t speak often, but when he does his contributions are insightful.

One quote* from the fireside chat that was a conversation starter for the next couple of days was this:

“If you do everything the customer asks, you’re going to go bankrupt. You have to have the backbone to say no.”
The response to this was initial surprise, but upon further reflection, many concluded that indeed there needs to be compromise.

Another surprising comment came in response to the idea that automation technology is necessary for manufacturers moving forward. “Well I have to disagree with you on that,” Shad said. “Investing in technology for the sake of technology is not good. It’s like a cocaine addiction – it’s very expensive and a hard habit to break. Investment in technology has to make sense.” The crowd and Raj laughed.

Expounding on his cautious and purposeful approach to new technology, Shad later said, “When you are a small manufacturer and just starting out you do everything you can to keep your costs low and show the bank you can make a profit. You buy second hand equipment and refurbish it, you are working hard in the business. After you are up and running and making a profit you reach an inflection point where you have to spend money to make money. This is when you do invest in the best technology money can buy.”

Raj posed a challenge that we have heard from many of our customers: “The aging workforce will be an acute problem. 10,000 people in the U.S. are turning 65 every day. How do you handle that?”

Shad replied that “Manufacturing is not sexy. But I believe you get the workforce you deserve. It’s not your father’s workplace anymore. The manufacturing workplace has to change to attract the younger generation. It has to be clean, the culture needs to be good, and you need to accommodate families.”

One last piece of wisdom, about worries that automation will eliminate jobs, “Technology without people is nothing.”

*Quotes in this article were reconstructed from notes.

In Case You Missed It
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Blog post by Shahrokh Yousefi

This month we released our first app on the MindSphere Store: CNC PIPM.

Video: New Brewery App

We will be at the Craft Brewer's Conference  in Colorado April 8-11.  Stop by to find out about our newest app's capabilities.


We work as a partner in world-class industrial facilities so that your business runs faster, smarter, and more reliably.   What solutions can we work on with you?

Best regards,
Georgia Whalen

CALL US: (248) 364-3200 

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