Recent Posts

Opinion: Think nothing is made in America? Output has…

Opinion: Think nothing is made in America? Output has…

Jul 20, 2016

“Opinion: Think nothing is made in America? Output has doubled in three decades” By Rex Nutting, MarketWatch U.S. manufacturing isn’t dead; factories are running at close to a record pace   The U.S. manufacturing sector doesn’t get any respect. Ask a random sample of people on the street and you’re likely to hear that America doesn’t make anything anymore, that China, Mexico and Vietnam took all of our factories, and that the only jobs left in America are flipping burgers and cleaning hotel rooms. “Throughout history, at the center of any thriving country has been a thriving manufacturing sector,” says presidential candidate Donald Trump. “But under decades of failed leadership, the United States has gone from being the globe’s manufacturing powerhouse — the envy of the world — through a rapid deindustrialization.” As with all myths, there’s some element of truth in what everyone says. The number of jobs in the manufacturing sector has declined by about 5 millionsince 2000, falling from 17.3 million at the turn of the century to 12.3 million in 2015. During World War II, when America was the Arsenal of Democracy, manufacturing provided more than a third of civilian jobs in the U.S., but that share has declined to only 8.7% in 2015. Only one of every 11 jobs is in a factory. Retail, health care, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality services now employ more workers than manufacturing does. The decline in manufacturing jobs certainly makes it seem as if America has been deindustrialized, but it’s not so. America still makes lots of stuff, but the number of jobs has shrunk because it doesn’t take nearly as many workers as it used to. Here are four surprising facts about American manufacturing you may not know.   Surprising Fact No. 1: Manufacturing is the largest and most dynamic sector of the U.S. economy. China became the leading manufacturing economy in the world in 2010, but the United States maintains a strong second-place standing. The value added by U.S. factories is more than $2 trillion a year, equal to the next three countries (Japan, Germany and South Korea) combined. U.S. manufacturing is still the envy of the world. Gross output of U.S....

Manufacturing in the U.S. Gains More Than Forecast in June

Manufacturing in the U.S. Gains More Than Forecast in June

Jul 19, 2016

By Shobhana Chandra, Bloomberg Manufacturing in the U.S. last month posted the strongest advance since January, helped by automobile production and a sign domestic demand is improving. The 0.4 percent gain at factories, which make up 75 percent of total industrial production, followed a 0.3 percent decline in May, a Federal Reserve report showed Friday in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 25 economists called for a 0.3 percent rise. Total industrial production, which also includes mines and utilities, jumped 0.6 percent, also exceeding the median forecast and the biggest gain in almost a year. Stabilization in oil and commodities prices and the fading drag from a stronger dollar are allowing manufacturers to find their footing. Trimmer inventories and a pickup in household demand will underpin factory activity, at the same time the fallout from the U.K.’s impending exit from the European Union poses a hurdle for American companies that sell overseas. “As growth in consumer demand starts filtering through into the production front, we should see an improvement in manufacturing,” Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto, said before the report. “It’s still going to be a slow process.” Manufacturing accounts for about 12 percent of the economy. Economists’ estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from unchanged to an advance of 0.6 percent for factory output. The previous month’s reading was revised from a drop of 0.4 percent. For total industrial production, the Bloomberg survey of 77 economists showed estimates ranging from a decline of 0.1 percent to a rise of 0.9 percent. The prior month was previously reported as a decrease of 0.4 percent. Capacity utilization, which measures the amount of a plant that is in use, rose to 75.4 percent from 74.9 percent in the prior month. Utility output surged 2.4 percent, after a 0.9 percent drop the previous month, the Fed report showed. The results probably reflected warmer weather. It was the warmest June on record for the 48 contiguous states, with above-average temperatures from coast to coast, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Mining production, which includes oil drilling, increased 0.2 percent, reflecting stabilization in the price of oil and...

U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness Rising, Set to Take No. 1…

U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness Rising, Set to Take No. 1…

Jul 18, 2016

“U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness Rising, Set to Take No. 1 Spot from China by 2020” By Michelle Drew Rodriquez, Manufacturing Leader, Center for Industry Insights at Deliotte In a study I recently coauthored and conducted in collaboration with the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, executives indicated the United States is expected to be the most competitive manufacturing nation, moving China into the number two position by 2020. The study – 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index – by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (Deloitte Global) and the Council on Competitiveness (Council) – follows earlier studies we released in 2010 and 2013. The findings are based on an in-depth analysis of survey responses from more than 500 chief executive officers and senior leaders at manufacturing companies around the world, ranking nations in terms of current and future manufacturing competitiveness as well as the global drivers at the heart of manufacturing competitiveness. A number of interesting findings arose this year. For instance, the 2016 study finds the United States is expected to be the most competitive manufacturing nation by 2020, and consistent with prior reports, talent is identified as the number one driver of manufacturing competitiveness. To take a look at the many aspects of the study, and slice and dice the data through interactive drill-downs of rankings and drivers, be sure tovisit the GMCI Interactive Website. The following summarizes key findings related to country level competitiveness and key drivers of manufacturing competitiveness: Rankings: The United States is projected to take number one spot by end of decadeimproving its ranking from 4th in 2010 to 2nd in this year’s study, and is expected to reach No.1 by 2020. As the U.S. invests heavily in talent and technology, it ranks highest as an advanced manufacturing economy. The “Mighty Five” (MITI-V) is starting to show face as manufacturing power group. Made up of the five-Asia Pacific nations of Malaysia, India, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, the MITI-V or “Mighty Five” could represent a “New China” and enter the top 15 rankings of global manufacturing competitiveness over the next five years. The study also indicates BRIC crumbles as member nations’ individual ratings shuffle. Among the BRIC countries, only China is viewed as a top manufacturing nation in 2016. The other three – Brazil, Russia and India –...

How Manufacturing Cloud ERP Helps in Production

How Manufacturing Cloud ERP Helps in Production

Jul 14, 2016

By Futuresoft Academy of Learning If you are a manufacturer, you must be familiar with those conversations with your friends in the manufacturing network, that relate to simplifying work related to supply chain, logistics, services and distribution. Your obsession with incorporating applications that will make your work easy and simple is understandable. You need to ensure that your process speeds are a competitive force among your business rivals. This continuous pressure to increase efficiency and accuracy in the manufacturing cycle has made many forward thinking manufacturers to implement Cloud ERP systems. How does a Manufacturing Cloud ERP ensure an Efficient Control on Production? In a broader perspective, when a cloud ERP is implemented to streamline key processes of the business, manufacturers have more time to invest in strategic analysis into new products and processes. Here we, ERP training team at FutureSoft, have highlighted how this improves efficient control over production.   Using the Cloud ERP’s HR Management to build an Efficient Plant Floor Factory/Plant Managers have the onus of ensuring a smooth operation in the production lifecycle. This is possible only if they are provided with the right tools – manpower, machinery and efficient processes. If one of them is missing, the plant floor will have a reduced efficiency. For example, having a qualified worker and the best machinery will not give the best output if the operational process being followed does not allow for optimization. Using the cloud ERP’s HR management system will be essential in such cases. The HRM system will help the manager see the resources at his disposal and their qualification and skill set. Assigning the right person to work on the right machinery following the right process will ensure that quality product is manufactured and that the work gets completed in the right time safely.   Using Information to Make Faster & Better Decisions One of the main advantages of a cloud based ERP is that it ensures that updated information is available at all times. All relevant information from the factory/plant will be recorded in the cloud and available to decision makers across geographies. Up to date information on inventory, quality, manpower, production, timelines, shipments, etc. are available...

Boeing shows off capabilities of new 787-9

Boeing shows off capabilities of new 787-9

Jul 13, 2016

By Michael Cruickshank, The Manufacturer US aircraft manufacturer Boeing has this week shown off the aerobatic capabilities of its recently released 787-9 jet. This large passenger jet is one the most high-tech passenger aircraft in the world, and Boeing is keen to show off its prowess. Throughout a newly-released video, the 787-9 is filmed conducting a number of aerobatic moves which push the aircraft above and beyond its standard operating conditions. One of the more spectacular of these manoeuvres is a near-vertical take off, more reminiscent of a military fighter plane, than a commercial wide-body craft. In addition, the aircraft is seen conducting a touch-and-go landing, a critical ability in an emergency situation. Finally, Boeing also demonstrated the 787-9’s ability to conduct high-banking turns that show ‘wing flex’. The aircraft in the video was flown by 3 Boeing test pilots: Capt. Van Chaney, Capt. John Misuradze, and Capt. Randy Neville. The flights themselves were conducted on an ANA (All Nippon Airlines) 787-9, the first launch customer for the aircraft series. Following the video, the same aircraft will be flown between July 11 and 13 at the Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough in the UK. 787 development continues This primary purpose of this video was for Boeing to show off the latest model of its 787 jet which is currently in production. While earlier 787 designs already made use of carbon fiber construction, larger windows, and lower-altitude pressurization, the 787-9 features a number of significant changes. These include a longer and stronger fuselage able to typically seat around 280 people, and an increased flying range of 14,140 km on a full tank of fuel. Right now over one hundred 787-9 aircraft have been delivered by Boeing, with the company claiming to have received so-far 571 orders by 38 customers worldwide for these planes. The continuing advancement of this aircraft and its strong sales figures, show that Boeing has seen success in pushing past some of the teething problems associated with the 787, most of which were linked to faulty...

Five transformative effects Advanced Manufacturing is…

Five transformative effects Advanced Manufacturing is…

Jul 11, 2016

“Five transformative effects Advanced Manufacturing is having on the power industry” By Steve Bolze, President & CEO at GE Power GE’s founder Thomas Edison once said: ‘Opportunity is missed by most people because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work’. Most people resist change, but to innovate, we must force ourselves into new ways of working, no matter how much effort it may seem. GE has embraced this philosophy, and nowhere is this more evident than our new Advanced Manufacturing Works (AMW) facility, opening today in Greenville, South Carolina. It’s the embodiment of our GE Store, taking our smartest minds and technologies from every part of our business to drive innovation, growth, and ground-breaking customer outcomes. Customers determine our success, and increasingly they challenge us to help them deliver more value in today’s fast shifting market. This means getting new concepts and innovations to production quicker.  With our new AMW facility we’ll be able revolutionize the way GE Power designs, improves, and creates products. Here are five key examples: Connecting people to machines The AMW team is a working laboratory for our GE Power advanced manufacturing method. At the heart of this approach is the union of the physical and the digital – human and machine – into a seamless thread of systems, people, and data facilitating near-instantaneous information sharing. Just like a Fitbit-style wearable health monitor, in a Brilliant Factory (and our customer environments) we monitor our machines’ health. Using sensors, data analytics and the Industrial Internet, we better understand the well-being of our factories and products. Additive manufacturing – accelerating innovation Additive manufacturing, the industrial version of 3D printing, enables speed to market by making innovative, rapid product prototyping and initial production possible. Our AMW facility uses additive manufacturing to manufacture test components of new design ideas for our gas turbines, accelerating their development. Additive manufacturing allows us to optimize a design concept through 10 or more iterations in just a few months, with production parts capable of following just four months later. Using traditional techniques it would take 10-12 months longer. Speed doesn’t mean “easy” here.  Metal additive machines, although fast and powerful, are in their early days; yet gas turbine technology...