Book Review: The Art of the Start

I was hesitant to read this book - thinking it is another feel-good, self-help, inspiration, yes you can do it kind of content. However it turned out to be completely different. It is a step-by-step guide for entrepreneur to start a business.  There are 11 chapters each detailing a specific topic - the art of starting, positioning, pitching, pitching, writing a business plan, raising capital, bootstrapping, recruiting, partnering, branding, rainmaking and the being a Mensch. The book should be useful for starting any kind of business but is more geared towards technology start-ups seeking venture capital. The message is clear and simple – Put your passion to work –and the book will guide you to do so.


“Entrepreneur is not a job title.  It is a state of mind of people who want to alter the future.”

“The higher you go in big organizations, the thinner the air, and the thinner the air, the most difficult it is to support intelligent life”

“10/20/30 rule of presentations- 10 slides, 20 minutes, 30 font size”

Bozo explosion – “A” players hire "A+" players, but "B" players hire "C", "C" hire "D", etc..”

“Beware of the "successful bozo" wearing a nice suit - People automatically equate rich with smart"

“10 slides of VC presentation – Title, marketing and sales, problem, solution, competition, team, business model, projections, underlying magic, status and timeline”

“You should always be selling—not strategizing about selling. Don’t test, test, test—that’s a game for big companies. Don’t worry about being embarrassed. Don’t wait to develop the perfect product or service. Good enough is good enough. There will be plenty of time for refinement later. It’s not how great you start—it’s how great you end up.”

“And doing, not learning to do, is the essence of entrepreneurship.”

“The wisest course of action is to take your best shot with a prototype, immediately get it to market, and iterate quickly. If you wait for ideal circumstances in which you have all the information you need (which is impossible), the market will pass you by.

“Make the world a better place. Increase the quality of life. Right a terrible wrong. Prevent the end of something good.”

“Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws him, and then choose that way with all his strength.”

Book Review: The Magic of Thinking Big

The whole book can be summarized in just one sentence: You are what you think you are – so think big and be successful. There is no other success mantra in the book – if you are feeling low, pessimistic or need some motivation go ahead and read the book.


“A wise man will be master of His Mind. A Fool will be Its Slave."

“Look at things not as they are, but as they can be. Visualization adds value to everything. A big thinker always visualizes what can be done in the future. He isn't stuck with the present”

"Remind yourself regularly that you are better than you think you are. Successful people are not superhuman. Success does not require a super-intellect. Nor is there anything mystical about success. And success doesn't based on luck. Successful people are just ordinary folks who have developed belief in themselves and what they do. Never -- yes, never -- sell yourself short."

“Build castles, don't dig graves.”

“If you want something done give it to a busy person” (not a person who has a lot of time. Most likely the person will like to keep that way).

“Hope is a start. But hope needs action to win victories”

“Action cures fear.”

“Look at things as they can be, not as they are.”

“Whether the psychological problem is big or little, the cure comes when one learns to quit drawing negative form one's memory bank and withdraws positive instead”

“Those who believe they can move mountains, do. Those who believe they can't cannot.”

“The thinking that guides your intelligence is much more important than how much intelligence you have”

“Belief triggers the power to do.”

"The test of a successful person is not an ability to eliminate all problems before they arise, but to meet and work out difficulties when they do arise. We must be willing to make an intelligent compromise with perfection lest we wait forever before taking action. It's still good advice to cross bridges as we come to them."

"Believe Big. The size of your success is determined by the size of your belief. Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success. Remember this, too! Big ideas and big plans are often easier -- certainly no more difficult - than small ideas and small plans."

"How we think shows through in how we act. Attitudes are mirrors of the mind. They reflect thinking." 

“Knowledge is power only when put to use - and then only when the use made of it is constructive.”

“But there's another type of poison perhaps a little more insidious - thought poison - commonly called "gossip." Thought poison differs from body poison in two ways. It affects the mind, not the body, and it is more subtle. The person being poisoned usually doesn't know it. Thought-poison is subtle but it accomplishes "big" things. It reduces the size of our thinking by forcing us to concentrate on petty, unimportant things. It warps and twists our thinking about people because it is based on a distortion of facts, and it creates a guilt feeling in us that shows through when we meet the person we've gossiped about. Thought-poison is 0 percent right thinking: it is 100 percent wrong thinking. And contrary to lots of opinion, women have no exclusive franchise on gossip. Every day many men, too, live in a partially poisoned environment.”

“Get the action habit - you do not need to wait until conditions are perfect.”

“There is no such thing as smooth bump free road to success.”

“3 most common excuses of the “Exucites” disease: I don’t have time, my health is not good and I am not that intelligence.”

“Ability to think is much more important than ability to memorize facts”

“Confidence is built and developed. Nobody is born with confidence.”

“Ideas without action is like a car without engine”

“A fair idea is 100% better than a great idea that dies because it is not followed up”

When LinkedIn goes down …

Witty message… instead of getting frustrated makes you laugh.

Workforce Development Using MTConnect

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

Favorite Quotes

That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt

I enjoy looking at beautiful people, and I decided a while ago not to deny myself the simpler pleasures of existence.

Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.

I’d always thought the world was a wish-granting factory.

We find humor where we can.

I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it-or my observation of it-is temporary?

That's why I like you ... You are so busy being yourself you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.

Oh, I wouldn't mind. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.

Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.

I thought being an adult meant knowing what you believe, but that has not been my experience.

Grief does not change you. It reveals you.

You've gotta pick your battles in this world.

I take quite a lot of pride in not knowing what’s cool.

You realize that trying to keep your distance from me will not lessen my affection for you.

No matter how hard you kick, no matter how high you get, you can’t go all the way around.

The weird thing about houses is that they almost always look like nothing is happening inside of them, even though they contain most of our lives. I wondered if that was sort of the point of architecture.

People always get used to beauty.

Our fearlessness shall be our secret weapon.

I’m on a roller coaster that only goes up,' he said. 'And it is my privilege and my responsibility to ride all the way up with you.

There is no try. There is only do.

Ignorance is bliss.

The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people noticing things, paying attention.

Don't tell me you're one of those people who become their disease.

Pain is like fabric; the thicker it is, the more its worth.

Book Review: Great by Choice


Good is the enemy of great.

The purpose of bureaucracy is to compensate for incompetence and lack of discipline.

Bad decisions made with good intentions, are still bad decisions.

A company should limit its growth based on its ability to attract enough of the right people.

Creativity dies in an disciplined environment.

Great vision without great people is irrelevant.

20 Mile March describes the fanatic discipline that leads you to manage for the long term rather than chasing short-term results or the fade. Three reasons for 20 mile march:

  • Builds confidence 
  • Reduce likelihood of catastrophe 
  • Exert self-control in an out of control environment

It is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work.

By definition, it is not possible to everyone to be above the average.

What separates people is not the presence or absence of difficulty, but how they deal with the inevitable difficulties of life.

Letting the wrong people hang around is unfair to all the right people, as they inevitably find themselves compensating for the inadequacies of the wrong people. Worse, it can drive away the best people. Strong performers are intrinsically motivated by performance, and when they see their efforts impeded by carrying extra weight, they eventually become frustrated.

When you marry operating excellence with innovation, you multiply the value of your creativity.

Freely chosen, discipline is absolute freedom.

Boom Review: Conquering the Chaos: Win in India, Win Everywhere

This book is written by Ravi Venkatesan, Ex-CEO of Cummins India and Microsoft India. Ravi makes a case of why India is a great destination for multinational corporations (MNC) and associated challenges. According to Ravi, in spite of the well-known issues of poor infrastructure, bureaucracy, red-tape, corruption and land acquisition issues, India presents an excellent opportunity for MNC’s (even if Indian market contributes to less than 1% global revenue for the company). The author argues that there are more benefits than just low cost labor and low cost manufacturing (commonly termed as the offshoring) for setting up operations in India.

Several examples of world class companies like John Deere, Cummins, Nokia, Microsoft, Samsung and Unilever are included with case studies. One example stands out – John Deere and Mahindra. Mahindra has a majority of market share in India when it comes to low horse power tractors. Recently, Mahindra was also challenging John Deere in their strong foothold market in the some western countries by introducing low cost (but value) products. John Deere was losing on home front and also on foreign turf. For John Deere, all aspect from design to manufacturing to marketing were controlled from the headquarters. In the light of changed market conditions, John Deere decided to open a new facility in Pune, India for developing low power-low cost tractors. All aspects of the product development were managed form the Pune facility. The strategy paid off – John introduced a new tractor specifically tailored to the developing market like India. They were able to penetrate the market and claim a sizable market share. Additionally, they were able to launch modified version of these products on the home front to regain the lost share in the developed markets. Thus, by expanding in India and taking the competitors head-on, John Deere acquired essential skills and capabilities to innovate and develop tailored products.

For the India strategy to succeed, the author suggests a few tips:
- Instead of a strong headquarter control where every small policy and directive is issued, the author suggest to have some local autonomy for the Indian executives. Many MNCs control each and every aspect of business from the headquarter normally located in its parent country. The author argues that such a model is detrimental for India operations due to the differences in the cultures, business, political and social structures with respect to a typical western country. The strategies which  work well in a developed western country do not necessarily apply in India.
- Many MNC try to standardize and use the “one size fit all” model. This might need some change – Indian customers are not necessary ready to pay premium prices for premium brands – A typical Indian customer will look at the value versus allied services and brand name. For example, the sachet  size shampoos and conditioners packaging.
- The most important point which was highlighted in the book was – Use India as a testing ground for other developing countries. The author argues that skills a company will acquire as they work in India will be useful for other developing countries which ,might have even adverse conditions. If the company is successful is India, it can easily replicate the strategies in other developing countries, expanding their reach and market potential.
- Strategies to work with local politicians, corruption and red tape are interesting.
- Author’s views and suggestions of entering the Indian market with acquisition or joint venture with an Indian company are noteworthy.

Manufacturing Future with MTConnect + Google Glass + iBlue

The advent of MTConnect has revolutionized the manufacturing industry where propriety software and closed systems was common. MTConnect is an open, royalty-free standard that is intended to foster greater interoperability between devices and software applications.  By establishing an open and extensible channel of communication for plug-and-play interconnectivity between devices, equipment and systems, MTConnect allows sources to exchange and understand each other’s data.  This common communication is facilitated by XML and HTTP technology to provide real-time data from throughout a factory.  This common communication empowers software developers to implement applications aimed at providing more efficient operations, improved production optimization and increased productivity.

The presentation will focus on two MTConnect complaint “apps” which provide a holistic view of your manufacturing operations i.e. iBlue for real-time data collection and Google Glass for real-time data visualization.

iBlue, the world's first MTConnect enabled industrial Bluetooth transmitter lets you wirelessly acquire, record, and share manufacturing shop floor data by connecting to your computer, tablet or smartphone device. The (free) mobile application allows users to perform various tasks including check material hardness, temperature, and collect data with an easy to use interface.

Additionally, MTConnect enabled application developed for “wearable” Google Glass technology ensures that the information is available anytime and anywhere. Google Glass is a combination of computer and display, camera, touchpad, microphone, email, and Internet connection, all consolidated into an eyeglass frame, which maximize the benefits of “augmented reality”. One can monitor real-time machine information including but not limited to Power Status, Emergency Stop, Alarm/Messages, Block, Controller Mode, Line, Program, Execution, Path Feed-Rate, Spindle, Axis Positions, Spindle Overrides, Feed-Rate Overrides, Machine Location, Part Location, and Current Part Status. Also, if the machine is outfitted with a camera, Google Glass will stream video to the user and overlay the machine data so the user can compare, analyze, and decide.

Additional business-related data can be viewed by integrating functions such as purchase order management, master scheduling, material requirement planning and shop floor control with other business functions such as accounting, sales, maintenance and shipping. Benefits include real time production dashboard, alerts, equipment availability and usage, overall equipment effectiveness, production reporting/tracking, visualization of maintenance tracking, problem resolution and planning, energy conservation, quality, statistical process control, data mining, genealogy and security.

The presentation will highlight a case study describing the economics of using MTConnect compliant “apps” at a gear manufacturing factory along with benefits, limitations, return-on-investment, and future work.

Reference: Manufacturing Future with MTConnect + Google Glass + iBlue; Deshpande A., Neidig J.; IMTS 2014 Conference, Chicago IL, Sep 2014.

Book Review: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium Trilogy: Book 3)

The third book in the Millennium series “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest” describes Salander’s fight against the charges by the Police prosecutor, the court drama and finally the verdict that she is not guilty of any charges (actually she is victim of the government bureaucracy). The whole investigation is described in excruciating detail where none of the characters are well developed and prominent. An exception to this might be Inspector Monica Figuerola. There are loose ends (or maybe I just missed it ! – As I was bored) – What evidence was presented which proved Niedermann killed Buerman ? Were the charges against Bloomkvist dropped for possessing the illegal weapon ?  Even if we assume that the charges were dropped, why didn’t police interrogated as how the weapon was acquired ?  Paolo Roberto was completely forgotten, no mention at all ?

Overall, I found this book less than average. The story is not well developed and certainly not coherent. The way the Section's activities are described it seems more of a road-side gang conspiring instead of Government agency with top secret. This book is certainly no match with the first and second book in the series which kept me on my seat till the end.

Favorite Quotes

“The Doctor (Johansson) was the goalkeeper who stood between the patient and (Death) Fonus Funeral Service. His job was to decide what to do.”

“Intelligence officers never really retire, they just slip into the shadows.”
“All food is decent. ... No, I'm a workout fanatic. If you work out, you can eat whatever you want. Within reason.”

“The reason I work out is that it feels great. That's a normal phenomenon among people who do extreme training. The body produces a pain-suppressing chemical and you become addicted to it. If you don't run every day, you get withdrawal symptoms after a while. You feel an enormous sense of well-being when you give something your all. It's almost as powerful as good sex.”
“I don't read fiction, I never go to the cinema, and I watch only the news on TV.”
“But she was not someone who went in for one-night stands, although she did think that sex was an underrated therapy for just about all ailments.”
“If loving someone is liking them an awful lot, then I suppose I’m in love with several people.”
“But strangely enough despite your personality, You have a number of loyal idiots working on your behalf. I have already established an elite body called the Knights of the idiotatic table. We will be holding annual dinner at which we will have fun talking about you. No, you are not invited.”

Book Review: The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium Trilogy: Book 2)

The second book focuses on Elizabeth Salander’s life where the main plot revolves around a murder mystery in which Salander is falsely accused. I found the story more gripping than the first book where Bloomkvist is appointed to find the missing 16 year old girl from the Vanger family.

There are some missing threads – for example- the first 75 pages or so describe Salander’s time on Grenada island and murder of Mr. Forbes. There is no mention or link of these events in the main plot. I am assuming that everything will tie together in the third and the last book in the Millennium trilogy.

Overall a very interesting read – Once you start reading its difficult to stop before the suspense is finally revealed at the end. The police investigation is explained in too much detail which was a bit overdone in my opinion. There are more than required police investigation characters who do not relate to the main story nor have any relation to the main plot.

Favorite quotes:

“The opportunity makes the thief.”

“I have a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain.”

“It proved once that no security system is a match for a stupid employee.”
“I’m a cynic. I believe that everyone has it in them to kill another person. In desperation or hatred, or at least to defend themselves.”

“Nobody was innocent. There were only varying degrees of responsibility.”

Book Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy: Book 1)

The first book in the Millennium trilogy “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”   describes the investigation led by Mikael Bloomkvist (journalist) and Elizabeth Salander (computer hacker) to resolve the 40 year old mystery of a missing 16 year old girl - Harriet Vanger - from a family owned island in Sweden. The novel is a pretty easy read, gripping and a great thriller.

By the way, the book is much more interesting than the movie. The movie just misses on many details which enrich the overall storyline.  

Favorite Quotes:

“Armageddon was yesterday – Today we have a serious problem”

“The media have the ability to attract the craziest people to call in perfectly absurd tips. Every newsroom in the world gets updates from UFOlogists, graphologists, scientologists, paranoiacs, and every sort of conspiracy theorist.”

“Everyone has secrets. It's just a matter of finding out what they are.”

“The Stock Exchange is something very different. There is no economy and no production of goods and services. There are only fantasies in which people from one hour to the next decide that this or that company is worth so may billions, more or less. It doesn't have a thing to do with reality, or with the economy.”

“Being a homicide detective can be the loneliest job in the world. The friends of the victim are upset and in despair, but sooner or later after weeks or months they go back to their everyday lives. For the closest family it takes longer, but for the most part, to some degree, they too get over their grieving and despair. Life has to go on; it does go on. But the unsolved murders keep gnawing away and in the end there’s only one person left who thinks night and day about the victim: it’s the officer who’s left with the investigation.

“I've had many enemies over the years. If there is one thing I've learned, it's never engage in a fight you're sure to lose. On the other hand, never let anyone who has insulted you get away with it. Bide you're time and strike back when you're in a position of strength - even if you no longer need to strike back.”

“Friendship - is built on two things. Respect and trust. Both elements have to be there. And it has to be mutual. You can have respect for someone, but if you don't have trust, the friendship will crumble.”

“There’s always someone willing to believe malicious rumors.”

“Don’t ever do anything for nothing.”

Book Review: The Alchemist

Finally finished reading The Alchemist - which was on my to-do list for more than a year now. Simple, inspiring and a really easy read – You can finish it in a day The novel narrates the story of Santiago's ( a shepherd) journey from Spain to Egyptian Pyramids - in search of a treasure.

Favorite phrases:

“When you want something the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

“It's not what enters men's mouths that's evil. It's what comes out of their mouths that is.”

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.”

“It is the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it's better to listen to what it has to say.” 

“If you start by promising what you don't even have yet, you'll lose your desire to work towards getting it.”

Book Review: Drive - The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Daniel Pink in his book “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” argues that there is wide gap between what the science knows and what corporation do when it comes to implementing policies to motivate people to do their best. Pink argues that intrinsic motivation is much more powerful than extrinsic motivation. Company policies have long relied on boosting extrinsic motivation which works well in defined tasks but not where imagination, creativity and innovation is required. Pink states that only engagement can produce mastery and the pursuit of mastery. Today, more than 50% of employees in US are not engaged at work. The author describes case studies of implementing Motivation 3.0 in companies like Google (20% free-time where employees can work on their own pet projects), 3M and a software company in Australia.

According to Pink, there are three levels or types of motivations:
• Motivation 1.0 - The basic operating system for the first few thousand years based on the primary needs - food, shelter, clothing and reproduction
• Motivation 2.0 - The carrot and the stick - reward and punishment model
• Motivation 3.0 - Seeks engagement and a desire to do better which leads to mastery and the pursuit of excellence

Unleashing Motivation 3.0 requires three elements:
• Autonomy – provide employees with autonomy over the four main aspects of work: when they do it (time), how they do it (technique), whom they do it with (team) and what they do (task)
• Mastery – allow employees to become better at something that matters to them
• Purpose – People want to be part of something that is bigger than they are

While the message is very powerful, I don’t think it requires 250+ pages of text. The last section is a toolkit providing implementation guidance in various situations - which in my opinion is pretty much repetition. The TED Talk (can be accessed at - ) by the author summarizes the concepts. If you are interested and short on time just listen to the TED talk and you should be pretty well informed. Overall the message is pretty powerful  – I wish it was a shorter – Maybe a research paper in a journal or a magazine article ?


“Rewards, by their very nature, narrow our focus. That’s helpful when there’s a clear path to a solution.”

“Goals that people set for themselves and that are devoted to attaining mastery are usually healthy. But goals imposed by others – sales targets, quarterly returns, standardized test scores, and so on- can sometimes have dangerous side effects.”

“The businesses that offered autonomy grew at four times the rate of the control-oriented firms and had one-third the turnover.”

“Intrinsic motivation is conducive to creativity; controlling extrinsic motivation is detrimental to creativity.”

“"Being a professional - is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don't feel like doing them."”

“Carrots (rewards) & sticks (punishments) are so last century. Drive says for 21st century work, we need to upgrade to autonomy, mastery, & purpose.”

“The best use of money as a motivator is to pay people enough to take the issue of money off the table.”

“The essential requirement: Any extrinsic reward should be unexpected and offered only after the task is complete.”

 “When money is used as an external reward for some activity, the subjects lose intrinsic interest for the activity,”

“An algorithmic task is one in which you follow a set of established instructions down a single pathway to one conclusion. That is, there’s an algorithm for solving it. A heuristic task is the opposite. Precisely because no algorithm exists for it, you have to experiment with possibilities and devise a novel solution.”

Book Review: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

I have read a few inspirational and self-help live-better books and this book will certainly not rank among the top tier. The story just does not flow naturally –  giving it a second thought it seems more like a Bollywood saga. All bad things happen to a successful person, he fights back and then a happy ending. I will rate it as an average book in the relevant genre.  Nonetheless, even though the binding story is mediocre, the message is very powerful. Sharma states 7 principles and explains them in detail:
1. Master your mind
2. Follow your purpose
3. Practice kaizen
4. Live with discipline
5. Respect your time
6. Selflessly serve others
7. Embrace the present  

Favorite Quotes: 

“Happiness is a journey, not a destination”
“The moment I stopped spending so much time chasing the big pleasure of life. I began to enjoy the little ones, like watching the stars dancing in moonlit sky or soaking in the sunbeams of a glorious summer morning.”

“Saying that you don't have time to improve your thoughts and improve your lives is like saying you don't have time to stop at the gas station because you are too busy driving.”

“Act as if failure is impossible, and your success will be assured. Wipe out every thought of not achieving your objectives, whether they are material or spiritual. Be brave, and set no limits on the workings of your imagination.”
“Never be a prisoner of your past. Become the architect of your future.”

 “When one door closes another opens. But we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we fail to see the one that has opened for us.”
“Time slips through our hands like grains of sand, never to return again. Those who use time wisely from an early age are rewarded with rich, productive and satisfying lives.”
“Wage war against the weaker thoughts that have crept into the palace of your mind. They will see that they are unwanted and leave like unwelcome visitors.”
“The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master”

“Worry drains the mind of its power and, sooner or later, it injures the soul”
“The Chinese character for 'crisis' is comprised of two sub-characters: one that spells danger and another that spells opportunity. I guess that even the ancient Chinese knew that there is a bright side to the darkest circumstance — if you have the courage to look for it”
“I have had dreams and I have had nightmares. I overcame the nightmares because of my dreams”
“Things are always created twice: first in the workshop of the mind and then, and only then, in reality”
“There is nothing noble about being superior to some other person. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.”
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all of your thoughts break their bonds: your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
“Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued. It must ensue. And it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself.”
“There are no mistakes in life, only lessons. There is no such thing as a negative experience, only opportunities to grow, learn and advance along the road of self-mastery. From struggle comes strength. Even pain can be a wonderful teacher.”
“The only limits on your life are those that you set yourself.”

Printing my comb

A Makerbot printing my comb ..

Makerbot in action

Raw Material: Which color comb do you want ?

The makerbot scanner


The CAD application

Other cool stuff made by makerbot: Gears

 Other cool stuff made by makerbot: Lego blocks

Enabling Real-time Supply Chain Visibility

Supply chain visibility and integration is critical in today’s age of globalization where supply chains extend across continents leading to greater lead times, increased inventory and need to control downstream and upstream information. The recently introduced MTConnect standard helps capture real-time manufacturing data to help improve operational speed and timeliness of customer shipments. Manufacturers can now have more than just track-and-trace visibility giving them accurate and real-time information regarding planned versus actual order progress and instantly assess which jobs are lagging behind the promised delivery date. Separate supplier and buyer portals ensure relevant information for the respective entities in the multi-party supply chain. The session will explore lessons learned from the implementation of MTConnect complaint application at two General Electric Aviation suppliers located in Southern Ohio.

Reference: Enabling Real-time Supply Chain Visibility, MC2 2014 MTConnect: Connecting Manufacturing Conference ; Wickelhaus D., Deshpande A.; April 8-10 2014, Orlando, FL. 

Workforce Development Using MTConnect

Manufacturing industry relies heavily on the skilled workforce to drive innovation, productivity and remain globally competitive. The rise of the high-tech manufacturing is changing the environment drastically; there is a need to attract young skilled personnel to take over the existing aging manufacturing workforce. Employment in high-tech manufacturing is expected to grow by 23.8 % over next 10 years . The aerospace and defense industry has already a backlog of production that extends to 2030, requiring continuous requirement of new workforce. Unfortunately, the sector has failed to attract the young and bright student to choose manufacturing as their career path. Manufacturing has a perception of old, smoky work places with repetitive jobs, lack of technology and no advancement prospects. According to a recent skills gap report, more than 83 % of U.S. manufacturers report an overall shortage of qualified employees. There is urgent need to revamp traditional teaching meth¬ods used in manufacturing education to ensure a robust supply of essential human capital required for a thriving domestic manufacturing industry.

Reference: Workforce Development Using MTConnect, 2014 MTConnect: Connecting Manufacturing Conference.

Book Review: And the Mountains Echoed

The third novel by Khaled Hosseini “And the Mountains Echoed” is a family saga following the lives of multiple characters across decades in several countries including Afghanistan, Greece, USA and France (plus some events in India). The book is more of a collection of several character’s short life stories all tied together around a single family. The book goes back and forth with several characters narration which might be a bit confusing sometimes. Personally, I enjoyed The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns more than And the Mountains Echoed. The novel starts with a fast pace but after 175 pages or so loses the momentum until finally picks up in the last chapter. Also there is no clear note or the “Ahh” moment at the end – the story kind of drifts and finally ends with no compelling message. Overall, its an average book compared to the first two novels by the author. The author has tried to include all the family relationships including brother-sister (Abdullah-Pari Sr.), mother-daughter (Nila- Pari Sr.), brother-brother (Timur-Idris), friends (Thalia-Markus) and daughter-father (Pari Jr. –Abdullah) with moderate success. I enjoyed the previous novels with the story revolving around two brothers in The Kite Runner and two women a generation apart in the A Thousand Splendid Suns. Overall not a bad read, but certainly does not match the level of earlier novels. 

Favorite quotes: 

…there was comfort to be found in the permanence of mathematical truths, in the lack of arbitrariness and the absence of ambiguity.

…an avalanche buries you and you’re lying there underneath all that snow, you can’t tell which way is up or down. You want to dig yourself out but pick the wrong way, and you dig yourself to your own demise…

"… people mostly have it backward. They think they live by what they want. But really what guides them is what they're afraid of. What they don't want.”

“Beauty is an enormous, unmerited gift given randomly, stupidly.”

Book Review: The Kite Runner

I read A Thousand Splendid Suns (second novel) before The Kite Runner (first novel). A Thousand Splendid Suns has a female protagonist who depict a story of two women separated by a generation, brought together by war, fate and family. The Kite Runner on the other hand has a male protagonist who depicts the story of two brothers and the way their life is shaped by family, culture, war and customs. The book is very well written, you can pretty much “live" the characters - though the ending could have been shorter and apt. The book ends with not necessary a happy note but certainly with full of hope. The book describes the protagonist life in the California bay area; as I lived there for some period of time; it was interesting (for me) to see how the author portrays the region. Overall, it’s a good read.

Favorite quotes:

“There is a way to be good again.”

“For you, a thousand times over.”

“If America taught me anything, it’s that quitting is right up there with pissing in the Girl Scouts’ lemonade jar.”

“Quiet is peace. Tranquility. Quiet is turning down the Volume knob on life. Silence is pushing the Off button. Shutting it down. All of it.”

“Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors.”

“A man who has no conscience, no goodness, does not suffer.”

“They only let you be this happy if they're preparing to take something from you.”

"it always hurts more to have and lose than to not have in the first place."

"A boy who won't stand up for himself becomes a man who can't stand up to anything"

"I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night."
"Time can be a greedy thing-sometimes it steals the details for itself."

"People say that eyes are windows to the soul."

“lifting him (a young boy, protagonist’s nephew) from the certainty of turmoil (Afghanistan) and dropping him in a turmoil of uncertainty (United States)”

Book Review: A Thousand Splendid Suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns, though a fiction, describes the political and social climate in Afghanistan from 1960’s to 2000’s. The wars due to Russian invasion, Mujaheddin faction fights, Taliban and then northern alliance has left the country in doldrums. The book is a pretty easy read – The story line is full of twists, turns and suspense. The book uses many Afghan words – you will need to get used to them.  

One thing is certain after you read the book, you will be grateful that you live in a country where there is freedom to live. You will be thankful that you have your friends, family and social acceptance in the society. 

Favorite quotes:

“It falls on the sober to pay for the sins of the drunk.”

“Regret... when it comes to you, I have oceans of it.”

"Tell your secrets to the wind but don't blame it for telling the trees.”

First High School Using MTConnect for Manufacturing Engineering Education

 Plymouth High School


The Haas Machine 

Haas Lathe

The MTConnect streams for the two machines can be accessed at:

Haas Mill TM1P -
Haas Lathe TL1 -