With 2019 well underway, it’s only natural to look ahead to what’s to come. From upcoming events to new and exciting opportunities, a new year signifies a fresh start, a springboard from which to launch into the future. As a forward-thinking company, Great Lakes Case & Cabinet is constantly striving to learn and get ahead of new and innovative technologies and trends. That’s why we asked some of our top leaders in a variety of industries to tell us what they expect to see in 2019 and created this round-up of trends. Take a look:
Brett DeVita, GLCC’s Regional Sales Manager, Northeast Region
In the Northeast, I am encountering more and more opportunities to provide industrial solutions. Most new construction and expansion projects have requirements for NEMA or IP rated enclosures. These include outdoor junction boxes, security camera enclosures, and others. My customer base includes industries such as oil & gas, transportation, food & beverage, renewable energy, and manufacturing. Customers typically request NEMA 3, 3R, 3S and 12K. Often, the applications are unique, and the solution may not be black and white. They may require specific mounting hardware, conduit cutouts, or locking mechanisms to name just a few.
The need for custom engineered NEMA and IP rated enclosures will inevitably continue to grow.
Standard industrial enclosures face difficulty in meeting the needs of unique environments and applications. As connectivity and electrical distribution continue to evolve, so must the providers. The need for custom engineered NEMA and IP rated enclosures will inevitably continue to grow. The industries supporting current growth (oil & gas, transportation, etc.) are becoming increasingly more innovative in response to a rapidly changing world. Innovation ultimately creates new obstacles, and the answers may not exist yet. Manufacturers cannot afford to rest on their laurels and must be willing to meet new challenges head on. Success in this arena requires anticipation, collaboration and adaptation.
Data Processing Efficiency
with Dylan Hascher, GLCC Technical Support
As industries shift toward maximizing data processing efficiency, I have seen demand for access control and environmental monitoring solutions increase dramatically. Advancements in technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and edge computing, as well as the exponential increase in data generation and connected users, are all influencing how we deploy data centers.
IoT has broken into data centers in the form of DCIM tools. The way I see it, for a data center to be efficient it needs to remain in a steady state, the same way a car gets its best fuel mileage on the highway. Less physical interruption equates to greater data processing efficiency. Businesses can limit disruption and increase efficiency by implementing hardware and software that allows them to know every detail of their data center without ever needing to go near it. Environmental monitoring and intelligent access devices continue to improve, and the result is a shift toward “lights-out” computing in almost every major industry.
As industries shift toward maximizing data processing efficiency, I have seen demand for access control and environmental monitoring solutions increase dramatically.
Today’s businesses are also subjected to a new type of consumer that expects lightning fast results and as a result, edge computing is what I see most companies turning to. In a medical environment, latency can mean the difference between life or death. Even in the financial sector, bandwidth and connection speed are critical to success. For those reasons, edge computing is becoming more commonplace.
with Tom Demitras, GLCC Engineer
Internally, GLCC has seen more and more push for automation, both at the engineering level with the inclusion of database management software for engineering, as well as at the manufacturing level with automated welding and forming.
Three key factors have pushed the industry toward automation as a solution
- There’s increased competition for skilled employees
- Customers are now asking for tighter lead times, which doesn't allow room for "human error" in job completion
- Steel prices are on the rise, meaning scrap reduction is more important than ever
GLCC has seen more and more push for automation, both at the engineering level…as well as at the manufacturing level.
Automation means less setup parts on brake presses (reducing scrap), while automation in welding adds consistency to what may be more than 100 individual welds on a finished enclosure or more than 20 feet of weld on a NEMA style enclosure. Great Lakes currently uses two robots in forming, one robotic welder, and an additional brake that could be considered semiautomatic. It is manned but has automatic setups and tool changes along with a variety of sensors to ensure parts are formed as designed.
with Lee Patton, Great Lakes Manufacturing Sales Manager
As Great Lakes moves forward with our aggressive growth initiatives, we find ourselves needing to be more flexible than ever, more open to change, more aggressive in our thinking. While it’s not entirely new, we are finding PPAP – or the Production Part Approval Process – to be more important than ever.
PPAP is used as a risk classification and qualification process to ensure production runs with consistency and repeatability.
A standard developed for quality control and organization of documents, PPAP is used as a risk classification and qualification process to ensure production runs with consistency and repeatability. This ensures clear communication between customers and their suppliers. It provides confirmation that the customer and supplier have complete understanding regarding engineering design specifications and requirements. It validates that the manufacturing process has the ability to produce the part consistently, meeting all design needs during production and at the quoted production rates.
It is imperative that we continue to produce high quality products as we always have, while communicating effectively with our customers and internally as well. PPAP allows us to do both.
Do you have thoughts about the trends predicted or would you like to start the conversation about one of your own? Find us on Facebook and let’s connect!