The Thomas Blog

Industrial marketing and manufacturing sales tips to help you grow your business.

Video: The Latest Engineering Innovations From January 2017

New products are being created every day, so what’s new in the marketplace? Our friends at Industrial Equipment News created a roundup of their favorite product developments so far in 2017.

Here are some of the products that topped the list: 

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Video: Beer Pipeline Is A Sight To Behold In Bruges

The Belgian city of Bruges is well known for its historical sites, such as Belfry & Halle, Basilica of the Holy Blood and Markt. But beneath the city's cobblestone streets lies a spectacle that not too many tourists know about  a beer pipeline that stretches two miles long. 

De Halve Maan, or The Half Moon Brewery, created this pipeline to connect its historic 453-year old building to its modern-day bottling plant. With the help from experts in the oil and gas industry, the pipeline transports 1,000 gallons of beer (the equivalent of 12,000 bottles) every hour.

Want to learn the backstory of this beer behemoth? Our friends at Industrial Equipment News have the details. 

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Five Trends That Will Shape The Supply Chain In 2017

With the holiday parties and New Year’s celebrations in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to take a look ahead at what’s in store for supply chain in 2017. And while we don’t have a crystal ball to predict the future, there are some trends that will undoubtedly and irrevocably shift the supply chain in the year ahead.

Here they are:

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Five Skills That Will Lead To Supply Chain Success In The New Year

Far from slowing down, the pace of change in the supply management profession continues to accelerate. It’s critical for supply managers and for the survival of the profession itself that practitioners continually update their skill-sets to avoid being left behind. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are – if you let your capabilities fall behind while the profession continually reinvents itself, you might as well hand in your resignation today.

A common discussion we see on Procurious revolves around the new skills required for today’s procurement and supply managers. The catch is that even the latest skills are likely to become outdated with a matter of months as new technology and unexpected shifts in the global economy change the game again and again. That’s why the list below is comprised of five skills that will see you through the next year and beyond, despite the galloping rate of change.  

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Video: Saving Satellites And Spaceships From Space Junk

Ever since humans began exploring space, they've been leaving things behind. This includes the estimated half-million pieces of space junk that are currently being tracked by space programs around the world.

We know that space junk is an issue that's on the radar of NASA and other agencies. But now, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has designed an electrodynamic tether (EDT) to clean up the mess. 

The tether is a 2,300’ line that will use its own electric current and Earth’s magnetic field to detect debris, slow it down, drop the junk into a lower orbit, and then redirect it towards a harmless demise via re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere.

Want to learn more about the EDT? Our friends at Industrial Equipment News have the details. 

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Video: Top 10 New Fabricating Technologies - Part 2

Our friends at Industrial Equipment News had a blast at Fabtech, the annual manufacturing conference focused on metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing.

We covered some of the technologies that they saw at the conference here. Now discover the other five tech trends that topped their list.  

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Manufacturing and Supply Chain 2016: A Year In Review

From the rise of automation on the shop floor to foreign and domestic political changes impacting the status quo, 2016 has been a whirlwind year for the manufacturing and supply chain industries. Fortunately, at Tom’s Blog, we’ve been keeping a pulse on the industry throughout the year.

Want a recap of everything that happened? Here are 16 of our top stories from 2016.

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Industrial Buying Trends for 2016

So you want that $1,000,000 deal, right?

Your company's website is a conversion machine — you're doing SEO, PPC and email nurturing, and you're following all the inbound marketing best practices. Months go by, and you're seeing some really great prospects come through. You get a fair amount $10,000 or $50,000 contracts, but you're still searching for that dream contract that's going to pay for your kids' college.

Well, hate to be the one to tell you this, but you have about a 0.8% chance of getting that big million-dollar contract from a first-time customer. Think about your own business — do you give out big contracts to people you've never worked with before? Nope. You want someone you've vetted with a few smaller projects before you trust them with more of your business, and your customers are no different.

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How Will Wearables Change Manufacturing?

It’s 2020. You’re looking out onto the shop floor, and everything seems normal.

Machines are running, people are working, widgets are being made and parts are being welded. There is just one thing that’s different from the shop floors of days past: wearables.

The days when having a computer on the shop floor to view CAD files meant your shop was cutting edge are way behind us, and we're looking ahead at future technology. Wearables are a hot topic for the consumer space, but the next wave of cutting-edge shops will surely incorporate them as well.

Let's take a deeper look at how this technology has changed our industry — and will continue to.

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