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Government policies working against U.S. manufacturing?

Government policies working against U.S. manufacturing?

Aug 22, 2016

By Fox Business Humanscale CEO Bob King on what is needed to boost job growth in America.         Watch the latest video at...

Five Ways 3D Printing May Improve Your Life

Five Ways 3D Printing May Improve Your Life

Aug 18, 2016

By David Mantey, Industrial Equipment News These applications could improve, and even extend, our lives. The medical industry has only scratched the surface when it comes to 3D printing applications. Now, bioengineers are looking at the future, and in a special issue of Trends in Biotechnology, researchers came up with five ways that 3D printing might improve and quite possibly extend our lives.     1. Made-to-Order Organs-on-a-Chip Organs-on-a-chip are 3D microengineered systems that mimic human tissue. Researchers have already grown tissue on chips using human stem cells, but 3D printing could reduce the labor and costs necessary to build, seed, and meet the demand for chips. 2. Skin Manufacturing Printed skin has already been made by placing cells on a collagen gel, but skin bioprinting, or manufacturing, is on the horizon. Researchers are now considering the designs that are necessary to help patients, especially those with burns or chronic wounds. 3. Facial Reconstruction Bone, cartilage and muscle have already been printed in a lab, but constructing more complex designs that can be implanted in patients is still in development. Craniofascial reconstruction, for people who have cancer or facial injuries, is an obvious candidate. That’s right rebuilding faces. But we’re close, as we’re already using 3D-printed scaffolds for facial reconstruction. 4. Multi-Organ Drug Screens Creating man-made organs, or “organoids,” to evaluate how new drugs would interact with the organs. 5. Plug-in Blood Vessels Finally, we have 3D blood vessel networks within bioengineered tissues, which are particularly important, because it not only means keeping the tissue alive as its being printed, but also making sure it survives after it’s inside...

Manufacturing in the U.S.A -Welcome back baby!

Manufacturing in the U.S.A -Welcome back baby!

Aug 16, 2016

By Juan J. Flores Jr. , Miami Dade College, Professor of Transportation and Logistics Manufacturing has been the bedrock of the modern U.S. Economy. The U.S. has revolutionized manufacturing practices from Henry Ford’s assembly line to the military industrial complex born out of the two World Wars to offshoring. For decades now U.S. companies have focused their manufacturing operations on lowering costs to give “us” those low –low prices. In the process, they’ve developed ever so complicated logistics, transportation and supply chain operations that span all four corners of the world. Inventory management was a nightmare BUT, the world has changed dramatically. In a prior article, I wrote about the Just-in-Time demands of consumers which have not only transformed logistics but have also transforming manufacturing practices. The name of the new game is called reshoring! Nonetheless, despite what the rhetoric would have us believe, global manufacturing is trending in a positive direction for the United States. Factory jobs are on the rise here; many of these new jobs are coming back into North America from China. Since March 2010 (when manufacturing employment in the U.S. hit an all-time low of 11.4 million jobs), nearly one million new factory positions have been created. Most of these positions are in the Southern states; particularly North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.  A colleague of mine from Norfolk Southern Railroad (NS) recently took a trip to Shanghai. You may wonder, ‘why is a railroad company located in the U.S. taking a trip to China?’ NS has a presence in China and other cities to build relationships with companies considering relocating their manufacturing facilities in the United States. Their marketing groups are aggressively pursuing business opportunities in a range of emerging markets; most notably in the energy arena, but also in manufacturing as well. NS has been discussing possibilities with interested Chinese partners; they desire to assist them in identifying opportunities and locations that would be mutually beneficial for both parties. Market possibilities include: automotive, chemicals, and metals- all with a Chinese brand. According to Quanton Data (an agency that tracks global job postings by industry), open manufacturing positions in China have been dropping consistently since 2012- down nearly six percent. In January 2016, the country’s...

A Powerful One-Two-Three Punch for American Manufacturing

A Powerful One-Two-Three Punch for American Manufacturing

Aug 15, 2016

By Mark Shortt, Design-2-Part Magazine Reshoring is real, but it’s only one part of a robust expansion currently taking place in U.S. manufacturing. Paul Elio wants to keep the American Dream alive. The 52-year-old mechanical engineer started his own car company, Elio Motors, in 2009, after 13 years as head of an engineering consultancy, ESG Engineering, and a four-year stint as a design engineer at Johnson Controls. If things go according to plan, the first Elio automobile—an 84-mpg three-wheeler with a base price of $7300—will roll off the assembly line at GM’s former Hummer H3 plant in Shreveport, Louisiana, next year, carrying with it Paul Elio’s commitment to creating American jobs and his faith in American automotive ingenuity. “From day one, I wanted to build a 100 percent American car,” Elio told D2P in a phone interview. “I can show, with data, that we can build a low price, high quality vehicle in this country with about 90 percent North American content. We have to make things in this country and we have to export from this country. I think it’s critically important to our long term survival as a nation.” Elio estimates that manufacturing the car—known as the Elio—in the United States will create more than 1500 jobs at its Shreveport facility and approximately 1500 jobs throughout the supply base, most of which is located within easy reach of Elio’s design center in Livonia, Michigan. Another 18,000 jobs are projected to be created as an indirect result of the manufacturing. The company is currently building its E-Series test vehicles at its Pilot Operations Center in Livonia, where its engineering team and supplier partners will put the cars through a battery of safety, aerodynamics, and durability tests before the final design is approved. The Elio is a compact three-wheeled vehicle that uses a combination of strong, lightweight materials and aerodynamic design, including front-to-back, two-person seating—to achieve fuel efficiency targeted at 84 mpg on the highway and 49 mpg in the city. Safety is a high priority of the design, which calls for three airbags, a reinforced roll-cage frame, an anti-lock braking system, and crush zones 50 percent larger than those on similar vehicles. One...

How to win the global manufacturing race

How to win the global manufacturing race

Aug 12, 2016

By Deborah L. Wince-Smith and Barb Renner, Startribune You may not be able to hear it, feel it or smell it, but manufacturing has changed — the mood has swung. After a long bout of winter blues, the spring and summer of 2016 has acted as light therapy for an industry seen unfavorably as unattractive and likely shrinking. For four consecutive months, the manufacturing sector has expanded, according to the Institute for Supply Management. Some say the trend is merely the product of lessons learned during the recession. But the 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index, a joint study by the U.S. Council on Competitiveness and Deloitte, suggests there is much more at play here, predicting that the United States will unseat China as the most competitive manufacturing nation by 2020. While China holds the top spot according to the index, the U.S. is feeling the early rumblings of a technological earthquake that’s changing the manufacturing landscape into a sector that is smart, safe and sustainable. The index surveyed more than 500 senior manufacturing executives from around the world, and its findings were the subject of Capitol Hill hearings. During testimony delivered to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, experts spoke eloquently about the ongoing transition to a world of advanced manufacturing and an emerging innovation ecosystem where industry, start-ups, national labs, and universities all sit at the same research bench and collaborate on research and development. This new public-private partnership serves as an innovation incubator, and it’s worth supporting. In fact, new lightweight materials are being developed that save energy costs and help our nation’s manufacturing base compete in the global energy race. During the Senate hearing, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken declared enthusiastically, “This makes me an optimist.” In Minnesota — where manufacturing is the largest private sector industry — there’s every reason to be optimistic. New advances in energy, high-tech modeling, robotics, 3-D ­printing and simulations fueled our “Manufacturing Spring” of 2016. So how can Minnesota continue to be competitive in manufacturing? The 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index provides a road map that will help create jobs and a vibrant economy. Here’s a top-five list of manufacturing competitiveness drivers: • Talent. Skilled...

5 Communications Skills Needed to Advance an Engineering…

5 Communications Skills Needed to Advance an Engineering…

Aug 11, 2016

“5 Communications Skills Needed to Advance an Engineering Career” By Mitch Maiman, Design News There was a time when engineers could work within companies and have minimal (or even bad) communication skills. While it is not necessarily important for engineers to become great public speakers or authors, it is increasingly important for them to possess effective communication skills. Here’s why. Engineers Need to Sell Engineers do not necessarily need to become card-carrying sales people, however, they do need to be able to sell their ideas. In interactive discussions with technical and management team members, or even with clients, it is necessary to present your story well. Doing so helps convince others of the merit of your “case,” and furthermore, builds confidence in your perspective as a professional. It is about relationship building; an engineer who can prepare and deliver a clear, concise, and believable message will come across well. Engineers Need to Capture User and Client Insights for Specification Documents Often in the aerospace and government contracting worlds, product requirements and needs are clearly, and often completely, defined in specifications and requirements documents. In the commercial, industrial, and consumer product worlds, this is often not the case, and engineers need to alone or with a diverse team, meet with prospective or current clients to extract the opportunities and needs. In such situations, engineers will often be communicating with others who do not share their perspective and technical competence. Extracting information requires good listening skills and the ability to translate what is heard into technical requirements. Engineers Need to Create Clear Written Content Engineers must craft clear, concise written documents, emails, and presentation materials to be effective at their jobs. Be careful not to use jargon and technical terminology, especially if the receiver of the information is not a technically oriented person. The engineer needs to step into the mindset of the audience/readers and write in a form that gets to the point quickly and speaks in a language that is readily understood by the audience. Engineers Need to Present in Front of Groups As an engineer advances, either in-line or into management, it will increasingly be important to them to be able to present...