165: Unlocking the Full Potential of Frontline Operations, Lean Manufacturing, and Industry 4.0 with Natan Linder

Frontline operations platforms help manufacturing teams upgrade their processes. So what’s the story behind the world’s leading frontline ops platform and how do they simplify workflows for the manufacturers of today and tomorrow? 

You may have heard the phrase ‘a good engineer is a lazy engineer’. It’s certainly an exaggeration, but what is true is that manufacturers are always looking for shortcuts. That’s why Natan Linder took a step back from his previous venture to focus on building Tulip Interfaces. 

Natan, Co-Founder and CEO, joins Manufacturing Happy Hour to explain how Tulip provide tools and data to manufacturing companies and helps them become the flexible businesses they want to be. 

He shares why connection and composability are key as manufacturing moves forward and tells us why manufacturers leveraging data and tech will become the most competitive. 


Apple | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | YouTube

3 Quick Things from this Episode

  1. There are not enough software engineers to provide truly flexible manufacturing experiences 
  2. Composability gives power to the people running production environments 
  3. The industries of the future will be connected and have composable architecture 

Enjoying the show? Please leave us a review here. Even one sentence helps. It’s feedback from Manufacturing All-Stars like you that keeps us going!

Tweetable Quotes

  • “Frontline operations platforms bring in a Platform as a Service (PaaS) to the people who are designing, building and operating production lines and operational environments.”
  • “It’s going to be tremendously impactful that companies adopt an agile, composable approach.”
  • “With the book and podcast, we wanted to have different ways to bring the community together and tell stories.”

Please Scroll Down for Recommended Resources from this Episode

Do you want to connect with other leaders that are moving the needle in manufacturing everyday? Then make sure to join us in the Manufacturing Happy Hour Industry Community on LinkedIn. 

Gray Solutions isn’t just a systems integrator. They’re a team of intellectual rebels on a mission to revolutionize smart manufacturing through innovation. They in specialize in Digital Transformation, OT Cybersecurity, Robotics + Vision, Process + Packaging, Turnkey Solutions, and more. Make sure to check out Episode 158 of Manufacturing Happy Hour for a full interview with their Founder & CEO Walker Mattox, or head to their website to connect with a Solutioneer today. 

3M’s Clash of the Grinders: Student Edition is a high-stakes grinding and welding competition that pits soon to be pros against each other to find the next best in the skilled trades. 3M is committed to skilled trade education with a goal of creating 5 million skilled trades and STEM learning experiences designed to inspire curiosity, improve educational outcomes, and provide transformational opportunities for underrepresented individuals. Make sure to subscribe to the 3M Abrasives YouTube channel to catch Clash of the Grinders today. 

What We Discuss with Natan Linder

  • How his time working with Samsung and Sun Microsystems shaped his views and ideas around frontline operations and encouraged him to switch up his career plans and start Tulip Interfaces while still at Formlabs 
  • Natan explores how he navigates career changes, explaining the similarities, differences and decision-making behind his switches from mobile to 3D printing to frontline operations 
  • A deep dive into how Natan’s work “aims to fuse design and engineering to create novel human experiences” and why he finds it fascinating when tech changes people’s processes in the workplace 
  • Natan shares why the availability of more tools could help the industry attract more software engineers 
  • The problems within lean manufacturing which led him to write his book Augmented Lean to update it for the “reality we live in today”. When lean manufacturing first came into existence, the Internet didn’t exist! 
  • Natan’s thoughts on Industry 4.0 and why manufacturers who leverage data will be more competitive and successful  
  • Why Natan believes his book and podcast have helped him create a “real ecosystem”, tell stories and bring his community together 
  • Why Natan believes the frontline operations category is important, attributing it to a lack of technological advancement in some manufacturing businesses 

Recommended Resources

  • Tulip Interfaces, the industry’s leading frontline operations platform, giving manufacturers a holistic view of quality, process cycle times, Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and more 
  • Formlabs, the largest supplier of professional stereolithography (SLA) and selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printers in the world 

Connect with Natan