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Report Highlights How the Manufacturing Landscape Is Set…

Report Highlights How the Manufacturing Landscape Is Set…

Sep 19, 2018

“Report Highlights How the Manufacturing Landscape Is Set for ‘The Next American Industrial Revolution’ “ By Quality Magazine OYSTER BAY, NY — The manufacturing landscape is about to change and change in a big way, announced ABI Research, a market-foresight advisory firm. The debate over if digitization will impact this market has passed, according to ABI Research. The key questions that should be asked by all involved in this market now are: When will these changes happen? What do I need to do to prepare for this? And finally, which horse do I bet on in terms of technological investment? ABI Research had seven analysts from its Industrial research group on-site at the IMTS 2018 (International Manufacturing Trade Show) conference in Chicago, and their observations have been compiled into four brief reads: “The Next American Industrial Revolution: Key Takeaways from IMTS 2018 and Hannover Messe USA.” There are several emerging technologies that look set to enable manufacturers in developing markets to remain competitive. Some noteworthy findings from the whitepaper include: Additive manufacturing is on the cusp of being able to demonstrate its applicability for scale deployment.  Generative design promises to reduce wastage, speed design processes, and revolutionize material usage. Virtualization, visualization, and digital twins are set to reduce machine downtime and machine commissioning time as well as improve the efficiency of all aspects of part and product manufacturing, from start to end. Cobots and autonomous material handling robots are set to enable a more efficient and zero touch environment that not only optimizes the shop floor but also extends beyond the line to both ends of the process in the warehouse and eventually into the logistics supply chain. AI (Artificial Intelligence), sensorization, connectivity, and IoT (Internet of Things) will be key to optimizing productivity. However, they are currently being held back by conservative attitudes toward data management and connecting machines. This will change as the market pressure mounts. “These technological advancements hold the promise of enabling a cleaner, more efficient, and relevant manufacturing sector for developed markets. The innovation outlined in the ‘The Next American Industrial Revolution’ paper will spill over into the supply chain, and the two market segments will be characterized by...

US manufacturing at highest level in more than 14 years

US manufacturing at highest level in more than 14 years

Sep 4, 2018

By Leia Klingel, Fox Business Trump: We’ve added over 400,000 new manufacturing jobs President Donald Trump touts U.S. job growth during a Make America Great Again Rally in Charleston, West Virginia.       Watch the latest video at foxbusiness.com The latest reading on America’s manufacturing activity has provided yet another piece of evidence that the U.S. economy is firing on all cylinders. In August, economic activity in the U.S. manufacturing sector hit its highest level since May 2004, according to the Institute of Supply Management (ISM). The ISM’s August manufacturing index was 61.3, above the 57.7 economists were expecting, and also above July’s 58.1 reading. According to ISM, sales of factory-made products, output and employment all increased in August, while inflation slowed. Recent tax cuts and strong consumer sentiment are positives for the U.S. economy, but manufacturers have expressed concerns about cost pressures due rising employee wages and supply chain inefficiencies. Additionally, survey participants voiced anxieties about how reciprocal tariffs will impact company revenue and current manufacturing locations. Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 16 reported growth in...

Mobile Computing – The Eyes That Empower People on the…

Mobile Computing – The Eyes That Empower People on the…

Aug 29, 2018

“Mobile Computing – The Eyes That Empower People on the Plant Floor” By Chris Ealahan, Sales Manager at Teguar Corporation Featured on Manufacturing.net The robots are taking over! Not so fast. In the real world of manufacturing, there is no man vs. machine terminator war when it comes to getting jobs done. Rather, there are functions that both sides do better than the other. A lot of these activities have to be done using on-the-spot deductive reasoning that, people, for the most part, are endowed with. The most successful manufacturing operations must have capable employees, but they must also be empowered to do their jobs. Just sending them out on the plant floor with a clipboard is not the way to do it. These technicians need ways to gather information and intervene when necessary that are as advanced as the systems they are interfacing. Mobile computing devices play a big role in enabling plant workers to stay on top of the operation as they traverse the vast expanse of the plant floor. People As Part of the System Just about all plants, regardless of size, are being managed with the help of Enterprise Resource Planning Software (ERP), such as Warehouse Management Systems. Enabling control and getting operational information to the ERP happens by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), an array of connected electronics, site software, sensors, actuators, and connectors that make up its nerve system. The challenge has been getting sufficient visibility into the job at hand for the most efficient results. Advancements in cloud technology, independent of location, are providing real-time, contextual data directly to technicians’ devices. As a result, IIoT connected processes enable information-sharing and increase collaboration, along with helping technicians understand cause and effect. The job experience changes from simply receiving and completing tasks, to demonstrating increased levels of responsibility and increased comprehension of the system as a whole. Mobile Computing: the Tool for Accessing the ERP System Not too long ago, workers were discouraged from bringing cell phones and tablets into the work place, over a concern about distractions. A growing number of employees are being wired. Management is beginning to relent on the device ban and is slowly coming to...

New Manufacturing Process Creates Super-Small Channels to…

New Manufacturing Process Creates Super-Small Channels to…

Aug 20, 2018

“New Manufacturing Process Creates Super-Small Channels to Repel Water” By Yung Shin, Purdue.edu Featured on D2PMagazine.com The process has potential to improve medical and electronics devices, researchers say   WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.—A new manufacturing process developed by Purdue University researchers may improve the water repellency for some common products, ranging from medical equipment and sensors to vehicle engines and windshields. The Purdue team, led by Yung Shin, the Donald A. and Nancy G. Roach Professor of Advanced Manufacturing in the Purdue School of Mechanical Engineering, developed a new method to create super-hydrophobic micro channels on polymers. This technology provides a quick and inexpensive fabrication technique to create microfluidic devices having channels with controllable flow rates, without the use of chemical treatments or complex flow-control devices. “These are basically small channels that are made in such a way that water cannot stick to the surface or give little resistance in the flow,” Shin said in a press release. “You can then send water or other liquids through and create smaller cooling channels and microfluidic devices.” Shin’s team uses a two-step process to create the super-hydrophobic surfaces. First, they create patterns or features on a metal surface with an ultra-fast laser. Then, in a process called transfer molding, the researchers create that same pattern on the polymer. “Our process is unique because it allows for the creation of these surface patterns or features on the inside of the polymer, and not just the outside,” Shin said. “We are essentially using these features to control flow rates without the need for expensive chemical treatments and coatings that can be washed away or wear off.” Shin said the technology has many potential applications, including medical equipment and sensors that use circulating fluid to detect abnormalities or unhealthy conditions in a patient. It could also be used for micro cooling systems for electronics, microfluidic devices, microelectro-mechanical systems (MEMS), self-cleaning surfaces, and micro hydraulics systems in airplanes and automobiles. The technology could help create windshields that are better able to repel water and require less wiping. The technology may also be used, according to Shin, in heat exchangers by removing condensed water drops, improving the heat transfer efficiency. Another possible application...

Trade War Casualties: Factories Shifting Out Of China

Trade War Casualties: Factories Shifting Out Of China

Jul 30, 2018

By Kenneth Rapoza, Contributor, Forbes Supply chains starting to shift at a faster pace as companies look to avoid tariffs.  China-based manufacturers were already in the process of moving to lower-cost Southeast Asia. Now that trade tariffs have been enacted on at least $50 billion worth of goods, and another $200 billion likely by summer’s end, they are shifting their supply chain. It’s happening. “With recent tariff battles, companies aren’t as eager to have production in China,” says Nathan Resnick, CEO of startup company Sourcify. The business-to-business manufacturing platform has offices in San Diego and Guangzhou. “We run production runs in India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Philippines, and Mexico right now. Labor costs are actually more affordable outside of China, so for products like apparel where there is a lot of cut-and-sew labor, most companies are moving out of China anyway,” he says. Sourcify raised $2.5 million through Y Combinator this winter. “I’ve been going back and forth to China for years, and it is getting more expensive. With all these tariffs coming, why not run some of your production runs elsewhere? Companies are saying that the scare of these tariffs has decreased the incentives to manufacture in China.” Sourcify is small, but Kerry Logistics Network, a Hong Kong-listed firm owned by Malaysia’s billionaire Kuok family, is not. The South China Morning Post reported that Kerry shifted part of its production lines from mainland China to its corporate home further south in order to avoid tariffs. “Our clients have been shifting part of their production lines as early as March from China to other Asian countries where they already have manufacturing plants,” William Ma Wing-kai, Kerry’s managing director, was quoted saying in the Hong Kong daily. “This is a reallocation of global production bases,” Ma said. For the last couple of years, China has been moving to a more automated assembly line, pushing lower-cost manufacturing to Vietnam and elsewhere. China is now one of the world’s largest producers of robotics used in manufacturing assembly lines. As the country moves up the value chain, old-school labor like stitch-and-sew apparel manufacturing is leaving the country. Now that the tariffs are in place, with more promised, companies that were...

Taking IIoT to the Edge

Taking IIoT to the Edge

Jul 25, 2018

By Jeff Reinke, Industrial Equipment News (IEN) Edge computing’s ability to supply real-time, plant-floor data will continue to drive it forward. The Industrial Internet of Things has unlocked a number of opportunities that the manufacturing sector can now leverage in streamlining operations, improving quality and cutting costs. However, perhaps the most unique benefit of the IIoT has been the ability to customize the application of these technologies according to the needs and preferences of a specific enterprise – even as the number of solutions falling under the scope of IIoT continues to expand. To discuss one such example, IEN recently sat down with John Fryer, senior director of industry solutions at Stratus, to discuss best practices for leveraging IIoT capabilities with Edge Computing strategies.  Jeff Reinke, IEN Editorial Director: The concept of a connected enterprise has been around for a while, but what do you think were the driving factors that brought the term “Internet of Things” into manufacturing’s lexicon? John Fryer, Senior Director of Industry Solutions, Status: Firstly, we should not forget that “connectivity” and “analytics” have been key components of industrial automation implementations since the first uses of digital controls over 40 years ago. PLC’s have been used to control plant floor activities in many industries, but often in isolated silos. The key elements of the “Internet of Things” are ubiquitous connectivity, almost unlimited computing power and advanced analytics, often using machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies. The advent of the Internet has driven exponential growth in digital connectivity, primarily in human to machine interaction. In recent years, this has been extended to machine-to-machine interaction and the introduction of machine learning to enable automated control of “things”. Perhaps the best examples are self-learning thermostats in homes, which can also be connected to safety systems, such as fire alarms.  Providing plant-wide connectivity with standard technologies, such as Ethernet (or variants) and using the Internet Protocols (IP) enables interconnection of disparate systems, both within the plant, and between plants and Enterprise systems. This makes it easier to deploy additional computing power at the Edge, within a plant, or in the Cloud, and to apply analytic and machine learning technologies to improve a whole range of production and business processes....