Retrain Or Retreat: The Next Battlefield For U.S. …

Retrain Or Retreat: The Next Battlefield For U.S. …

Dec 12, 2017

“Retrain Or Retreat: The Next Battlefield For U.S. Manufacturing” By Harold L. (Hal) Sirkin , Forbes The concept of “lifelong learning” has gained widespread popularity in recent decades as a way to keep senior citizens intellectually engaged. But how about lifelong learning as a way to keep people employed, especially those in manufacturing? Think of it as learning for the sake of economic survival. More than one expert is predicting that robots and artificial intelligence will make work all but obsolete in the future. “Some entrepreneurs such as Tesla Inc. founder Elon Musk predict so little human work will be left that a universal social safety net will be needed to maintain economic order,” the Wall Street Journal’s Vanessa Fuhrmans reported last month. Such notions are gaining currency. For several years now, various publications, ranging from The Guardian and The Atlantic to Forbes, have been publishing stories about the possibilities of a future “world without work.” This is somewhat misleading, as it’s not work that may become obsolete, but rather our skills, as the digital revolution speeds ahead. Unfortunately, the current educational system, which was designed for the generation that came of age during the 1940s and 1950s, and for the baby boomers that followed, can’t fix this problem. The only way to fix it is to take the words “lifelong learning” seriously, even literally, and embrace continuing education as an integral and necessary part of our adult lives. The nature of work clearly is changing—and dramatically so. The pace of change is increasing as well, and may even accelerate. In such an environment, keeping up will require more than occasional refresher courses and attendance at professional development seminars. If you were starting a career 40 years ago, you probably believed—correctly, in many cases—that you’d be able to do whatever you were trained to do for your entire life. That’s no longer true. Today, technologies that were considered science fiction just a decade ago—3D printing, artificial intelligence (AI), drones and driverless vehicles, among others—are becoming realities. And there’s more to come. Our educational system was structured to maintain the status quo. Students spend 12 years in the classroom—with perhaps an additional two years at a community college or in an apprenticeship program, or four...

Insulated Connectors Excel in Harsh Climate Conditions…

Insulated Connectors Excel in Harsh Climate Conditions…

Nov 9, 2017

“Insulated Connectors Excel in Harsh Climate Conditions, Manufacturer Says” Featured in Design-2-Part Magazine BRADENTON, Fla.—ETCO Incorporated, a manufacturer of custom precision metal stampings, wire termination parts, and molded products, recently announced the performance results of its insulated connector line for wire termination connections. In a press release, ETCO said that the glass-reinforced insulated connectors provide improved performance over simple native polymer connectors. ETCO’s engineers tested the glass-reinforced insulated connectors against competitor offerings to evaluate the differences between the products. The competitor connectors use simple native polymers and lack glass reinforcement. In high humidity climate conditions, their native polymer connectors expand and weaken, resulting in hazardous conditions, ETCO said in the release. The glass-reinforced ETCO insulated connector is engineered to collapse on itself in a scenario where there’s a malfunction. This allows it to hold until an automatic shutdown cycle occurs within the operating equipment, the company said. ETCO’s insulated connectors are rated UL94V-0, RoHS compliant and are flame retardant. In 96 hours of testing in humid conditions, the connectors are reported to have required 3.5 times the separation force when compared to competitor offerings. “With 3.5 times the separation force compared to the nearest competitor, ETCO’s insulated connectors are second to none in the most rigorous conditions,” said ETCO Vice President of Sales John Stiness, in a statement. The insulated connectors, available in straight and flag styles, mate with 0.110 inch x 0.020/0.032 inch, 0.187 inch x 020/.032 inch, and 0.250 inch x 0.032 inch NEMA male tabs. The AWG wire range is 18-14 and 22-18. ETCO (https://www.etco.com) manufactures precision stampings, as well as rubber and plastic molded products used in a range of industrial manufacturing, including the automotive, appliance, aviation, medical, information technology hardware, and networking markets. The company has factories and a research complex in Bradenton, Florida, and a factory and engineering center in Warwick, Rhode...

3D-Printing Marine-Grade Steel

3D-Printing Marine-Grade Steel

Nov 2, 2017

By Jeff Reinke, ThomasNet Marine-grade stainless steel, or 316 as it’s called in the industry, is highly sought after for applications that range from underwater storage tanks to kitchen utensils and appliances. This need stems from its unique ability to resist pitting and corrosion after being exposed to salt and water. However, these properties are usually obtained by adding molybdenum, which can have an adverse effect on the ability to stretch and form a metal. Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory may have come across a way to preserve the non-corrosive capabilities of 316 while simultaneously improving its ductility. The team announced a technique for 3D-printing a low-carbon type of marine grade stainless steel that they’re calling 316L. As profiled in Nature Materials, the additive production process has been found to enhance both strength and ductility properties. This breakthrough translates to expanded capabilities in industries such as aerospace that operate in harsh environments where materials need to be durable, flexible, and non-corrosive. The ability to 3D print these types of materials stems from analyzing their structure and understanding the small, splinter-like defects that seem to form when the metals are produced in traditional ways. Bringing an additive process addressed these gaps while preserving the essential benefits. Perhaps more exciting is that researchers believe this breakthrough could lead to improved production approaches for numerous other materials by using 3D printing. The results could enhance quality exponentially across a range of products and...

Amazon can ‘overwhelm the competition with brute force’

Amazon can ‘overwhelm the competition with brute force’

Oct 16, 2017

By Business Insider Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at NYU and author of the new book “The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google,” discusses Amazon. He says that whenever the company is bumping up against the other three juggernauts, it’s winning. He cites how Alexa is beating Siri, and mentions the company’s torrid pace of growth. Galloway thinks that Amazon’s core confidence is storytelling, and mentions Amazon having access to the cheapest cost of capital in history — which allows them to overwhelm the competition with brute...

GM to Produce 20 New Electric Cars by 2023

GM to Produce 20 New Electric Cars by 2023

Oct 4, 2017

By Charles Murray, DesignNews Future GM battery-electric vehicles will include coupes, sedans, crossovers, SUVs and possibly even pickup trucks. General Motors raised the stakes in the auto industry’s ongoing competition to build more affordable, long-range electric cars this week, announcing it would roll out two more all-new EVs in the next 18 months, and 20 more by 2023. The giant automaker said that the first two vehicles will be “based off learnings from the Chevrolet Bolt EV.” The others will include coupes, sedans, crossovers, and SUVs. GM told Design News that it would also not rule out the possibility of a pickup truck. To underscore its effort, GM released a photo including eight different vehicles silhouetted underneath drapes, clearly exhibiting different sizes and shapes. The silhouetted figures represent the array of pure, battery-powered cars that the company will release in the next five-and-a-half years, all designed from the ground, up. “The Bolt EV was the first, affordable, long-range all-electric vehicle,” said GM spokesman Kevin Kelly. “We’ve cracked the code. We know how to do it.” GM’s statement comes at a time when much of the entrenched auto industry seems as if it is racing to make bigger and bigger announcements about electric cars. Today, Ford Motor Co. said it has formed an internal unit, called Team Edison, whose charter it is to accelerate development of electric vehicles, while forging partnerships with other auto manufacturers and suppliers. Similarly, Toyota Motor Corp. said last Thursday that it is teaming with Mazda Motor Corp. and with supplier Denso Corp. to “jointly develop basic structural technologies for electric vehicles.” The announcements provide a broad signal that traditional automakers have accepted electrification, but it’s still clear that most of them are unsure how fast it will take place. Industry analysts, such as Navigant Research , have predicted that approximately 4% of vehicles sold worldwide in 2025 will be battery-electric. Other analysts, however, have forecast figures in excess of 20%. “If you try to guess anything out to about 2030, your crystal ball will be pretty fuzzy,” Kelly told us. Analysts today acknowledged that no one’s sure whether consumers, even the younger ones, will embrace pure electric cars. “Engineers are starting to see a...