We are makers and making defines us

Right now, the manufacturing sector is going through both an evolution and a revolution. On one hand comes the urgent need to solve everyday challenges – on the other, we’re fast unlocking capabilities in robotics, AI, machine learning and autonomy that are pushing new frontiers in innovation and productivity. This ‘all or nothing’ pace of change can make it difficult for leaders to build a strategy that unlocks true smart manufacturing capabilities.

Every manufacturer is different. Every manufacturing challenge is different. Where some companies are focused on reducing weak points in production or addressing skills needs – others are focused on reducing complexity, improving time to market, accommodating greater flexibility and customisation, upholding quality standards across their value chain, or improving sustainability performance.

One of my guiding principles in business is that every conversation should begin and end with the customer. Only then can we identify specific real-world problems and solve them to unlock game-changing new capabilities.

Technology is of course the single biggest way we can help manufacturers find a road to transformation that will be successful – but it’s important to also consider the evolving role of people.

Forrester’s Paul Miller addresses this in his report Smart Manufacturing: Don’t Forget The People, arguing that neither hardware automation, software automation or the human workforce have all of the attributes required to meet the needs of the modern industrial enterprise or its customers. Forrester’s Automation Triangle shows that all three are required and must work together.

Automation triangle from Forrester Research.

We are amidst a huge disruption that has already redefined supply chains, business models and what constitutes ‘good enough’ time to market for new innovations. As we’re all asked to do more with less, it’s easy to focus on just a single aspect of that value chain without fully appreciating that we work among a diverse cast of stakeholders – from designers and engineers to production, quality and data specialists feeding their insights back into the complex and iterative process that takes us from great ideas to real product. Despite the very well-publicised skills shortages our sector faces, manufacturing has never felt more vibrant or talent driven. For me, this is because technology and data are adding fuel to human talent and ideas.

When I joined Manufacturing Intelligence, I wanted to embed a mindset where we put our customers and their values front and centre of the way we think. And to me, the common thread that unites everybody in our sector is the passion for making. For bringing ideas to life.

Making is something deeply human, something in our DNA. Making transcends borders and unites us all. We all made things as kids. We all influence the process of making ideas real. We’re all trying to deliver a high quality product that delights customers. Whether we design, produce, inspect or service products, whether we manage that entire process – we are all makers.

The manufacturing sector has so much talent, and our role at Hexagon is to harness our ecosystem to develop solutions that maximise the potential of materials, components and processes to affect positive change. Put another way – you’re doing the amazing stuff and we want to help you at every step. From R&D to engineering, production, quality management and service life – Hexagon equips makers with solutions to gain the innovation edge, shape industries and create lasting change.

We empower makers. That’s who we are, what we do and most importantly, it’s how we help our customers to achieve their goals and deliver excellence.

Smart manufacturing isn’t just about automation applying data – it’s about people and ideas. Whether your teams are under the same roof, in another office or at a supplier’s site, we want to empower people to work more closely and collaboratively. Our solutions are designed to help augment human potential by helping people apply their knowledge and skills to explore better ideas, apply new materials or processes, and deliver the high-quality customer experiences that you’ve collectively promised.

For us at Hexagon, our goal is supporting our customers on every step of that journey which is precisely why empowering makers is our purpose. For me, empowering makers is about unlocking maximum potential. It’s a kind of unseen magic that provides huge uplift to the whole value chain.

But it’s not some pipe dream. It’s borne out of the needs you have to bring new products to market faster, to increase resilience to change, to delight customers and address sustainability challenges profitably. Empowering makers is our commitment to everyone in manufacturing that we exist to help you keep making better products and support new, innovative ways of doing it.

The concept of empowering makers underpins our product development goals. It speaks of our motivation to innovate to help you reach your business goals. Most importantly it speaks of our support for you. It underlines our need to respond and adapt. It’s a partnership promise.

Whether you’re looking to redefine your products or processes, for us, quality is a promise that spans the entire value chain from concept to customer. From early stage development to data for continuous improvement – our solutions are designed to minimise surprises and maximise potential. The creation of a digital feedback loop enables you to go faster and make better decisions by orchestrating quality across the value chain.

We hope you will see this in our recently launched Nexus platform. Nexus is an open cloud platform for makers, and our first offerings augment what materials engineers, additive manufacturing teams or those responsible for quality on the shop floor are doing. We want to help these makers collaborate more easily, design for manufacturing faster or simply work more productively. But platforms don’t do the work – they just connect building blocks such as simulation software, CAM, metrology data and machines with people so they can make ideas real. By pairing your chosen technologies with your ideas, our goal with Nexus is to give you the freedom to design and manufacture quality products together like never before.

By empowering your creativity with our open technologies and support ecosystem, we truly believe anything is possible and I’m excited to see what we can achieve together!


  • Josh Weiss

    Appointed President of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division in 2022, Josh Weiss leads the division’s global strategy and operations. He has served in multiple leadership roles in Hexagon since 2015 – from his most recent role as COO/CDO of Hexagon’s Geosystems division to the President of Geosystems’ mining and heavy construction businesses. Weiss started his career at ArcelorMittal and prior to joining Hexagon served as a senior manager at Deloitte. Weiss, a certified public accountant and chartered managerial accountant, holds a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance.

  • Join our HxGN LIVE Events Worldwide

    Hexagon hosts exciting HxGN LIVE events around the globe! Experience our technology innovations in a location near you.

  • Recent Posts