3M Brings Innovation to the Manufacturing Supply Chain Environment

Exciting insights from Carl Doeksen, Global Robotics and Automation Director at 3M, on the changing landscape of robotics and automation.

“Automation is the key to staying competitive in the B2B landscape. By fostering a culture of innovation, collaborating closely with customers, and leveraging diverse expertise, businesses can position themselves as leaders in their respective industries.”

Understanding the Evolving Industry Landscape: Carl Doeksen kickstarted the conversation by emphasizing the role of 3M as an industrial company, known for its extensive range of industrial products, including tape, adhesives, and abrasives. With over 240 factories worldwide, 3M has developed a deep understanding of the manufacturing supply chain environment, propelling their foray into the automation space.

The Rise of Automation and Industry Collaboration: Automation gained significant traction in the past few years, as industrial customers approached 3M seeking solutions to replace manual and hazardous grinding processes with robotics. In response, 3M developed a vast ecosystem of industry partners to address customer needs, leveraging their expertise in programming, automation, and mechatronics. Technological breakthroughs, such as the declining cost of industrial robots and vision systems, have also played a crucial role in fueling this growth.

Active Compliant Force Control and Future Prospects: Carl highlighted active compliant force control as a critical technology in material removal applications, enabling robots to mimic human operators’ abilities. This technology, along with advancements in end effectors and vision systems, has made automation more accessible and efficient. Looking ahead, Carl predicts a growing interest in automation among small to medium-sized businesses, often overlooked in the past. By embracing fast setup, high mix, and low-volume applications, these businesses can enhance productivity and gain a competitive edge.

Emphasizing Safety, Quality, and Brand Image: During the discussion, Carl emphasized the need for a shift in focus within the automation industry. While productivity and cost savings are essential, safety and quality should take precedence. By leading with safety and quality, businesses can create a virtuous cycle that engages employees and enhances brand reputation. Carl further highlighted the importance of integrating automation and robotics into a company’s brand image, with consumer preferences evolving to value products made with advanced technologies.

Support for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses: Addressing the misconception that smaller businesses lack the capital for automation, Carl highlighted that many of these businesses already invest in expensive equipment, such as laser cutters and CNC routers. However, challenges arise in programming and utilizing robots effectively. To overcome this, Carl recommended exploring partnerships with companies like 3M or venturing into low-code or no-code automation solutions. Additionally, the availability of Robot as a Service (RaaS) models allows businesses to trial automation solutions without substantial upfront costs. Check out GrayMatter Robotics for more information there.

Conclusion: As the robotics and automation industry continues to evolve, Carl Doeksen’s insights shed light on the potential for small to medium-sized businesses to adopt automation and drive productivity. The convergence of affordable technology, active compliant force control, and an increasing interest in safety and quality opens up new avenues for growth. By embracing automation, businesses can enhance their brand image, improve product consistency, and drive long-term success in an ever-evolving market. As leaders in the industry, 3M’s dedication to innovation and collaboration paves the way for a future where automation becomes accessible to all.

Follow us on social media for the latest updates in B2B!



zero trust architecture
Secure Grid Modernization with Zero Trust Architecture
April 19, 2024

Ray Bauer of Verizon Business engages with Del Rodriguez from Palo Alto Networks at DISTRIBUTECH 2024. Rodriguez shares insights into the significance of cybersecurity within the utility sector, particularly in light of increasing cyber threats and the convergence of IT and operational technology (OT). Bauer and Rodriguez discuss Palo Alto Networks’ initiatives to enhance […]

Read More
private wireless networks
Private Wireless Networks
April 19, 2024

Verizon host Wayne Weeks discusses the evolving utility industry with John Gaster, CEO of KSI Data Sciences at DISTRIBUTECH 2024. Together, they explore how KSI focuses on harnessing data from remote sensing devices to enhance the safety, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of utility operations. Gaster emphasizes the significant role of AI and machine learning in […]

Read More
5G network platforms
5G Network Platforms
April 19, 2024

Verizon host Matt Montgomery chats with Blaze Vincent and Thedy Wana from Ericsson, where they discuss pressing challenges and opportunities within the utility sector, emphasizing the significant role of digital transformation and 5G technology in addressing these issues. The conversation highlights Ericsson’s contributions to smart grid modernization and how their innovative solutions are tailored […]

Read More
5G security policies
Leveraging 5G to Extend Security Policies
April 19, 2024

Guests Jeff Brown and Carlos Augusto from Fortinet join Brett Barganz of Verizon to discuss the integration of extended security policies with 5G technology at DISTRIBUTECH 2024. They delve into the transformation and challenges in cybersecurity within the utility sector, highlighting the strategic partnership between Fortinet and Verizon to advance security solutions that leverage […]

Read More