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It’s been an exciting whirlwind of a few weeks for our team! Beyond participating in demos and presentations at Formlabs’ The Digital Factory and EMO Hannover, we held our very own annual conference, Operations Calling™, for the first time ever on September 12th.
This all-day, multi-site event brought together manufacturers and industry voices from around the world, with nearly 300 in-person attendees and around 500 virtual attendees. We offered a jam-packed agenda that included various tracks with a mix of panels, presentations, workshops, and demos — ensuring all attendees got to check out content that they found relevant and interesting.
But in planning this event, we sought to do more than just develop a variety of valuable sessions on the latest manufacturing trends and innovations. We aimed to celebrate the manufacturing community and all that it has accomplished — and offer an opportunity for those at the heart of this community to build meaningful industry connections. This celebration manifested as everything from app-enabled basketball, to monitoring screen-printing machines, to dancing robot dogs.
And at the center of it all was our Partner Pavilion — which featured demos from 22 of our amazing Technology Partners. Throughout the event, many of our partners also gave presentations both on our Partner Stage and across the other sites.
There were too many amazing moments and memorable highlights from our first-ever Operations Calling to capture in one blog post, but here are some initial key takeaways that we think will inform the industry for many months to come:
1. Open Ecosystems = The Future of Manufacturing
“Any modern architecture today cannot exist in a single company,” said Natan Linder, CEO and Co-Founder of Tulip, in his opening remarks. “It is actually all about the ecosystem… we are living in a reality where we have to rely on open standards, protocols, and collaboration to solve for what customers need.”
It’s clear that as an industry we have moved beyond the era of using one system for everything. Today’s manufacturers can unlock new levels of efficiency, quality, and profitability by building a customized technology infrastructure for their organization.
Operations Calling attendees needed to look no further than the Partner Pavilion to see the real-life value of solutions providers working together to solve problems on the frontlines of operations — empowering manufacturers to build best-in-breed tech stacks.
2. It’s All About the People on the Frontlines
Our first annual conference brought together speakers and attendees across a variety of roles, sectors, and business sizes. Throughout the day’s events, it was clear that they each could learn a lot from one another’s experiences — whether that be how to overcome common challenges like labor shortages, supply chain issues, and budget cuts, or how to embrace common opportunities to adapt to new, evolving demands.
One theme that held strong amongst these conversations is that we need the right people to drive the new architecture — particularly in a world where speed and agility reign supreme. As Natan pointed out in his opening remarks, “people are the best computers we have on the shop floor. It is people that when the right time to step up, they will step up. And where there’s a huge problem to fix, they will fix — independent of what technology stack you run.”
It’s all about operations — and your operations are powered by the people who are doing the work building the latest and greatest solutions.
3. Tulip Has a Lot in Store Over the Next Several Months
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been all the buzz over recent months, but there are many ways in which this technology has been over-hyped. As drivers of the Augmented Lean framework to digital transformation, we at Tulip wholeheartedly believe that full automation is not the answer to solving the industry’s latest problems. Instead, we see the value of taking a practical, human-centric approach to AI — allowing manufacturers to empower their frontline workers to do their jobs better, smarter, and faster.
And that’s where Frontline Copilot, a collection of AI features, comes in — providing new, easy-to-use ways to interact with the Tulip platform without code. This new offering enables the rapid creation of custom analyses and dashboards, the power to chat with documents, and the ability to tap into advanced translation and classification capabilities natively within apps.
Request a demo of Frontline Copilot today >
In today’s manufacturing landscape, the ability to make data-driven decisions is critical to remaining agile and resilient in the face of new challenges. And making these informed decisions often comes down to having unprecedented production visibility.
With Machine Kit, manufacturers can easily connect any machine and integrate real-time data from people, devices, and sensors for a complete view of their operation. This kit can be set up in less than an hour, and monitors OEE and production rate out of the box, with a downloadable Tulip Library app and a guided setup flow.
The Bottom Line: Change is Happening, Right Now
Overall, Operations Calling provided valuable insights into the current state and future direction of manufacturing technology.
There’s no question about it: Leading manufacturers across different sectors are shifting from a monolithic approach customized by vendors to a human-centric tech stack, allowing them to establish an infrastructure that can more easily adapt to change.
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