Ultimaker’s New Strategy is Paying Off Far Faster…

Ultimaker’s New Strategy is Paying Off Far Faster…

Feb 26, 2018

“Ultimaker’s New Strategy is Paying Off Far Faster Than Expected” By Fabbaloo Call me surprised, but Ultimaker is moving ahead rapidly. The company embarked on a tricky strategic change a couple of years ago and now it seems to be paying off with a blockbuster announcement from Bosch. The giant manufacturer has agreed to equip their worldwide offices with Ultimaker 3D printers. This could amount of thousands of machines, creating massive market momentum for Ultimaker. The specifics of the deal are explained by Ultimaker: Robert Bosch GmbH, the leading global supplier of technology and services from Germany, will invest on a global scale in Ultimaker 3 Extended printers. After comparing several desktop 3D printers, the Additive Manufacturing department of Bosch selected Ultimaker as the most reliable, easy-to-use and professional machine. The printers will now be used in different locations across Germany, Hungary, China, India, the United States and Mexico for printing prototypes, tooling, jigs and fixtures—meant to boost innovation while cutting manufacturing and design costs. I am very surprised about this because it seems to be a kind of short-circuit for their intended strategy. If you recall, they announced the Ultimaker 3 some months ago, a desktop machine with a stealth feature. Well, the feature was that the machines could, on their own, network to each other to coordinate activities. One machine acts as the “master” and the others become “slaves”. The impromptu network is then operated as a single utility through their Cura Connect software. While this is obviously a useful feature, it had a subtly different, far deeper purpose: taking over 3D printing in larger corporations. If you haven’t worked in a large company, let me explain a phenomenon that is universal: No one wants to deal with the IT department. This is because the IT department is almost always viewed as a “cost center”, whose activities must be kept to a minimum. In reality, IT is very often the heart of a business, even if executives don’t actually understand that. Nevertheless, IT departments institute control regimes that drive down costs, but often dramatically reduce end-user flexibility, performance, quality of work and much more. It’s a very common organizational flaw. In companies...

Raising the Alarm for US Manufacturing

Raising the Alarm for US Manufacturing

Feb 7, 2018

By Steve Minter, IndustryWeek Rebuild Manufacturing: The Key to American Prosperity In her latest book chronicling the state of U.S. manufacturing and the policy changes needed to shore up the sector, Michele Nash-Hoff, a contributor to IndustryWeek, notes that one of her ancestors was Paul Revere. While Nash-Hoff has not been galloping through the Massachusetts countryside warning of British troops, she has been crisscrossing the United States in recent years visiting American factories, warning of threats to domestic manufacturing and offering advice on how to rebuild the manufacturing ecosystem. Paul Revere, a celebrated silversmith who also ran a foundry after the Revolutionary War, would be proud. Rebuild Manufacturing (Coalition for a Prosperous America, 2017) starts off with a recounting of statistics that are familiar to many manufacturers but still shocking. The U.S. lost 5.86 million manufacturing jobs between 2000 and early 2010, or roughly the populations of Chicago, Houston and Indianapolis combined. During that decade, the U.S. lost 57,000 manufacturing firms. Throughout this period and for a considerable time before, educators and parents were watching (or experiencing) what was happening in manufacturing. The lesson they imparted to countless kids: Manufacturing has no future in the U.S. and neither will you if you choose a career in a factory. Thanks to a long recovery beginning in the Obama administration and continuing in the Trump presidency, manufacturing is coming back, though that journey is far from over. Activists such as Nash-Hoff have helped turn the tide against the popular belief in Washington and other centers of economic thought that the U.S. had grown out of the need for manufacturing. It is increasingly clear that a vibrant manufacturing sector is crucial to a healthy and growing U.S. economy. In Rebuild Manufacturing, Nash-Hoff offers a wealth of information and recommendations on what can be done to strengthen U.S. manufacturing. She points the finger repeatedly at the huge trade imbalance with a mercantilist China (in 2017, nearly $309 billion through October) and calls for action by Trump and Congress to fight intellectual property theft and take a much tougher stand against acquisitions of American companies by Chinese firms. “Letting Chinese corporations acquire American companies, especially energy or technology-based companies is the biggest threat...

U.S. Manufacturing Expands at Close to Quickest Pace Since…

U.S. Manufacturing Expands at Close to Quickest Pace Since…

Feb 2, 2018

“U.S. Manufacturing Expands at Close to Quickest Pace Since 2004” By Sho Chandra, Bloomberg U.S. factories expanded more than forecast in January and near the fastest pace in more than 13 years, indicating manufacturing was still powering ahead at the start of 2018, Institute for Supply Management data showed Thursday.Factory index was little changed at 59.1 (est. 58.6) from 59.3 in Dec.; readings above 50 indicate expansion Highlights of ISM Manufacturing (January) Factory index was little changed at 59.1 (est. 58.6) from 59.3 in Dec.; readings above 50 indicate expansion  Gauge remains close to Sept. reading of 60.2, which was the highest since June 2004 Measure of new orders cooled to 65.4 from an almost 14-year high of 67.4 Employment gauge fell to an eight-month low of 54.2 from 58.1   Key Takeaways The January reading, which exceeded the 57.4 average for 2017, shows manufacturing is benefiting from solid consumer spending and business investment. What’s more, a measure of exports advanced to an almost seven-year high, underscoring improving overseas markets.  The pickup in manufacturing is starting to generate inflation pressures as factories demand more raw materials including crude oil. The ISM’s measure of prices paid increased to the highest level since May 2011.  In a sign factories are challenged by elevated demand, the ISM’s measure of supplier deliveries climbed to a three-month high and its backlogs index rose to the highest level since September. The ISM report comes a day before the Labor Department’s January jobs report, which is projected to show an increase in factory payrolls helped to boost overall employment. Other Details ISM measure of prices paid jumped to 72.7 from 68.3 Index of factory inventories rose to 52.3, indicating stockpiles were expanding, from 48.5  Gauge of production fell to 64.5 from 65.2  Export orders measure advanced to 59.8, the strongest since April 2011, from 57.6 Supplier deliveries gauge rose to 59.1, indicating longer lead times, from 57.2; index of backlogs climbed to 56.2 from 54.9  — With assistance by Chris...

Trump highlights Staub Manufacturing Solutions at SOTU

Trump highlights Staub Manufacturing Solutions at SOTU

Jan 31, 2018

  Featured on Fox News   President shares company’s story during address and invites members to the White House.     Watch the latest video at...

The State Of Manufacturing Reshoring Today

The State Of Manufacturing Reshoring Today

Jan 17, 2018

By Team Thomas of ThomasNet.com Over the past several years, many U.S. manufacturers have moved operations offshore in order to reduce labor costs and bring jobs closer to their raw material sources. Although this can be an efficient way of increasing profits, it does come with its drawbacks — more complex supply chains, delivery issues, culture and language barriers, and long distances to operations, to name a few, making it hard to keep track of jobs and quickly address issues as they arise. For these and other reasons, reshoring — bringing operations back to U.S. shores — is becoming increasingly common among manufacturing and industrial companies. A Look At Reshoring by the Numbers Over the last half-dozen years or so, manufacturing reshoring has brought hundreds of thousands of jobs back to U.S. soil. The Reshoring Initiative, a nonprofit organization that aims to bring well-paying manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., took a look at where those jobs are coming from and how the industry is benefitting as a result in their Reshoring Initiative 2016 Data Report.  According to the report, the transportation equipment sector, in particular, has seen the lion’s share of this growth with the addition of nearly 134,000 jobs. More than 35,000 jobs have been added in the electrical equipment, appliances, and components sector. Plastic and rubber products, fabricated metal products, computer and electronic products, apparel and textiles, chemicals, and machinery sectors have also brought jobs back to the United States, with each sector accounting for thousands of new positions. Source: Reshoring Initiative 2016 Data Report So where are these jobs coming from, and where are they going? The following countries saw the most jobs being brought back to American soil: China (nearly 80,000 jobs), Germany (over 54,000 jobs), Japan (over 35,000 jobs), and Mexico (over 19,000 jobs). Jobs are also pouring back in from Canada, Switzerland, Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Denmark. Source: Reshoring Initiative 2016 Data Report Nearly all U.S. states are seeing job growth due to reshoring efforts, but those with the greatest influx are South Carolina (over 51,000 jobs), Tennessee (over 36,000 jobs), and Georgia (nearly 24,000 jobs). Source: Reshoring Initiative 2016 Data Report The Factors Fueling Reshoring But why now? There...