There’s no better place to turn for advice than to the experts themselves — the people who, through trial and error, have found better efficiencies, safer manufacturing practices and techniques that can help a manufacturing business thrive in the new economy.
Online forums are an excellent way to pose a question or to see if an issue you’ve experienced has come up elsewhere or has even been resolved. Often you can save time otherwise spent searching for live consultation or getting a help desk on the line. It’s also a great way to contribute based on your own experience and to network with like-minded manufacturers. Fortunately, you have your pick of manufacturing forums, but sorting through the online white noise can be daunting. Here are a few of the top manufacturing forums you should be paying attention to today. It’s recommended that you frequent sites like these so that you are up to speed on the constantly changing issues that are shaping this business.
Practical Machinist is among the largest forums of its kind online. One advantage of this forum is the wide range of topics that are discussed each day. You can search for forums related to specific machines or brands, for example, or you can browse the latest threads to see if there are any current trends that might pertain to what you are doing at your own business. Practical Machinist also carries a wide range of interactive content and useful videos
Lean Enterprise Institute
The Lean Enterprise Institute hosts popular and fairly thorough series of forums, many of which pertain to manufacturing — from management to plant layout to useful new technologies. The Lean Enterprise Institute itself is a nonprofit research and education group, acting as both a source of and aggregator for topical content, and providing useful forums to discuss it. It specializes in a range of subjects, from government and services to business and manufacturing. As a result, you can get a wide view on any number of topics related to what you do in manufacturing.
Topix – Manufacturing Forum
If you have ever participated in an online forum, then you likely have already used Topix. Topix is an incredibly useful site that hosts a massive assortment of online forums. Searchable by topic, Topix has an impressive section devoted entirely to manufacturing issues. Forum topics range from government issues to commodities prices to general repairs. A key benefit of using the Topix forum is that the site knows how to organize content in a way that’s useful to you. For example, you can easily view when the conversation ended and how many comments were made. When searching for information related to manufacturing, that can be useful, as you don’t want to wade into a rambling discussion that may or may not pertain to the stated subject.
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