Supply Chain

Supply Chain

About Supply Chain

Advances in digital manufacturing have dramatically changed the U.S. supply chain over the last decade. While some manufacturers are still struggling with the first step (going paperless), GPS systems are enabling unprecedented visibility into logistics, and online retailers have raised everyone’s expectations on the precision and speed of on-demand delivery. It’s no longer acceptable to have no idea when a delivery will arrive. And manufacturers want to have as little inventory as possible on hand to reduce costly waste and support “just-in-time” production.
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What Is Supply Chain?

The supply chain is the network of all businesses, resources, activities, and technology involved in the creation and sale of a product, from the initial raw materials to delivery of the assembled product to the customer. Manufacturing’s next advances on this frontier will include predictive analytics. Systems will warn manufacturers of potential disruptions in a supply chain before they happen and also will forecast which materials and components customers will want— when and why.

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What Does MxD Do?

MxD does two things to advance supply chain performance. First, it funds projects that optimize the supply chain, often incorporating sensors, software, and analytics. Second, it serves as a convener of organizations in the supply chain. Communication among suppliers and top-tier manufacturers often is lacking; a gulf exists between the digital haves and have-nots. Manufacturers large and small need guidance and a neutral forum to share best practices to bring along their supply chain.

Testimonials

“MxD can help transform the U.S. supply chain because it has industry-wide scope, serving multiple manufacturing industries including aerospace and defense suppliers.”

Shane Fazzio
Shane Fazzio

Senior Research Engineering Manager, Lockheed Martin

“American manufacturing must remain competitive since it underpins national and economic security. The advanced manufacturing technology being pioneered at MxD strengthens the U.S. industrial base and supply chain resiliency to support our warfighters.”

Tracy Frost
Tracy Frost

Director, U.S. Department of Defense Manufacturing Institutes

“The success of our company also depends on the success of our suppliers. Thousands of small businesses work with us daily, and they have to be successful for us to be successful. That has been part of the value proposition of MxD.”

Ademola Idowu
Ademola Idowu

Senior Research Scientist & Innovation Program Leader, Dow

Facts & Figures

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Facts & Figures

What is supply chain 4.0?

Facts & Figures

McKinsey & Company defines it as the application of the Internet of Things, the use of advanced robotics, and the application of advanced analytics of big data in supply chain management.

Facts & Figures

Where is the supply chain most disrupted by natural disasters and other weather events?

Facts & Figures

The United States. In 2017, the U.S. for the first time became the most impacted region in the world, according to Resilinc. (Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria)

Facts & Figures

What will parts forecasting look like in the future?

Facts & Figures

Advanced algorithms will provide probability distributions of expected demand versus a single number.

Facts & Figures

How important is the accuracy of shipping data?

Facts & Figures

Almost 20% of supply chain managers surveyed by Dunn & Bradstreet said they had lost a customer because of incomplete or inaccurate shipping information.

More Success Stories

Warning Manufacturers of Part, Materials Delays

Dow, Microsoft, ITAMCO, and two universities are teaming up to build a supply chain risk alert system that will warn manufacturers further down the supply chain of delays caused by emergencies, weather, or natural disasters.

Reducing Volumetric Error

Caterpillar and researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign generated new algorithms and methods for using laser trackers and scanners in manufacturing large cast parts.

Digitizing Legacy Machines

Replacing or modifying legacy machines sometimes is too expensive or would disrupt production or void a warranty. So MxD funded the development of a sensor retrofit kit that communicates data through an industry standard MTConnect interface to a cloud dashboard.

Defining the Jobs of the Future

In 2017, MxD (under its previous name, DMDII) and ManpowerGroup released a digital workforce taxonomy, a groundbreaking analysis that identified 165 new data-centric manufacturing jobs—roles like “collaborative robotics technician” and “predictive maintenance systems specialist.”