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These 7 Exoskeletons Are Making The World Easier…

These 7 Exoskeletons Are Making The World Easier…

Jan 10, 2018

“These 7 Exoskeletons Are Making The World Easier To Navigate” By Tech Insider 1. You can literally take this seat anywhere. The Chairless Chair is a tool you can lean on. When locked, it can be rested on. 2. Lowe’s is giving its workers “Iron Man suits.” It makes carrying heavy loads easier. Lowe’s worked with Virginia Tech on the project. 3. This exoskeleton can help people with paraplegia walk. “Phoenix” was designed by suitX. suitX calls it “the world’s lightest and most advanced exoskeleton.” 4. Ford assembly line workers are testing EksoVest. It helps reduce injury from repetitive tasks. 5. This robotic glove is helping some people with paralysis. The Exo-Glove Poly is a wearable soft robot. The motion of your wrist control the fingers. Users can lift and grasp things up to a pound. 6. This suit gives you super strength. suitX makes five types of modular suits. They help reduce workloads of the user. 7. Ekso exoskeletons can help people with paraplegia walk again. It’s a robot that adds power to your hips and knees....

US Manufacturing Adds 25,000 Jobs in December

US Manufacturing Adds 25,000 Jobs in December

Jan 9, 2018

By Bill Koenig, AdvancedManufacturing.org US manufacturing added 25,000 jobs in December, primarily in durable goods. Makers of durable goods boosted payrolls by 21,000 jobs, according to a breakdown by industry sector released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs gains were widespread throughout durable goods. Major gainers included machinery (up 6000 jobs) and fabricated metal products (up 5400). The only durable goods category posting a job loss was furniture, down 700. The December results capped off a year that saw manufacturing employment expand by 196,000 jobs, of which 130,000 was in durable goods industries. Manufacturing lost 16,000 jobs in 2016, the bureau said in a statement. In 2015 and 2016, aerospace and the auto industry were the strongest job performers in manufacturing. During 2017, other industries picked up the pace of job generation. Manufacturing totaled 12.539 million jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in December. That’s up from 12.514 million in November and 12.343 million in December 2016. Total Jobs Total non-farm employment increased by 148,000 jobs last month, the bureau said in the statement. That was less than the 190,000 median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The US unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1%, the bureau said. Manufacturing jobs peaked in June 1979 (19.6 million on a seasonally adjusted basis, 19.7 million unadjusted). That sank to a low of 11.45 million adjusted and 11.34 million unadjusted in February 2010 following a severe recession caused by the 2008 financial crisis. Since that low, new manufacturing jobs have been created requiring increased skills because of increased automation and technology in...

Will Millennials Change Manufacturing?

Will Millennials Change Manufacturing?

Jan 2, 2018

Will Millennials Change Manufacturing?  The largest generation in the U.S. is taking its place in manufacturing — and the experts are betting this tech-savvy cohort is ready to stir things up. By Steve Minter, Industry Week  Dark, dirty and dangerous — mention the 3Ds of old-time manufacturing and HR managers shudder. It’s exactly the image they don’t want the public — or millennials considering careers in manufacturing — to have of the industry. They want to be able to talk about an industry that is attractive and safe, innovative, even cool. So it must gladden the hearts of Lockheed Martin recruiters when Emilee Bianco talks about being “excited” to work at Lockheed Martin Space System’s facility in Sunnyvale, Calif. Bianco, 25, has been working on building solar arrays to power satellites. As a manufacturing engineer, Bianco takes design specifications, puts them into work instructions and then works to ensure that satellite hardware is built correctly. Though she has been working just over a year for Lockheed Martin, she has already been part of a transition to a new type of solar array that uses thin, flexible sheets in place of rigid panels. The flexible arrays produce 50% more power but with 30% less mass. Bianco has also been part of automation efforts where robots are used to place solar cells on panels. Working with Lockheed on space technologies, she says, is “almost a guarantee” that you will be working on cutting-edge projects. Bianco’s generation now makes up the largest in the United States — 83.1 million, according the U.S. Census Bureau versus 75.4 million baby boomers. Not surprisingly, millennials also make up the largest share of the American workforce — one in three workers is a millennial, the Pew Research Center reports. As baby boomers leave the workforce and millennials make up a more significant part of it, many manufacturers believe that this generation will change manufacturing. “Millennials have already started changing the manufacturing and supply chains — and for the better,” says Kathie Karls-Bilski, HR director for 3M Supply Chain. For example, she says that supply chains are becoming more digitized and millennials will foster that change because of their facility with new tech....

ITAMCO Ramps up Additive Manufacturing with New…

ITAMCO Ramps up Additive Manufacturing with New…

Dec 20, 2017

“ITAMCO Ramps up Additive Manufacturing with New EOS Printer” Featured in Design-2-Part Magazine PLYMOUTH, Ind.—ITAMCO (Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies) is delivering components—made with its new EOS M 290 additive manufacturing printer—to the medical device industry, the company announced recently. The EOS printer was delivered in June 2017, and ITAMCO was shipping components to a medical device supplier in August. The fast ramp-up is partially due to the experience the ITAMCO team gained while contributing to the development of additive manufacturing software. The company was part of a consortium of manufacturers and universities that collaborated to develop the program through the multi-million dollar manufacturing initiative, America Makes, one of the 14 Manufacturing USA Innovation Institutes. The software, Atlas 3D, is now marketed through a division of ITAMCO. “The EOS printer is the right tool for our complex components made with DMLS (Direct Metal Laser Sintering), and the EOS team trained our staff and got us up and running quickly,” said Joel Neidig, director of research and development for ITAMCO, in a statement. “The printer works seamlessly with Atlas 3D, too.” ITAMCO (http://itamco.com) reported that its technology team quickly built a good working relationship with the EOS sales and support team. Jon Walker, area sales manager with EOS North America, called ITAMCO an ideal partner for EOS. “ITAMCO is an ideal partner for EOS because three generations of ITAMCO leaders have supplied traditional subtractive manufactured parts to some of the best known organizations in the world,” he explained. “Due to their reputation, ITAMCO’s investment in additive manufacturing validates the 3D printing market, especially in highly regulated industries where testing and validation of components or devices is critical. We’re thrilled that they have invested in an EOS M 290 3D printing platform, smartly positioning themselves to become an additive manufacturing leader in robust medical and industrial markets for the next three generations and beyond.” The medical device industry is a relatively new market for the company that has serviced heavy-duty industries for decades. “Additive manufacturing is allowing us to do things we’ve not done before, like producing the smaller, more intricate components for the medical device industry,” said Neidig. ITAMCO sees its entry into the medical...

Apple invests $390 million in TrueDepth component maker…

Apple invests $390 million in TrueDepth component maker…

Dec 19, 2017

“Apple invests $390 million in TrueDepth component maker Finisar” By Romain Dillet, TechCrunch Apple announced a substantial investment in Finisar. Apple is giving Finisar $390 million to build a new 700,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Sherman, Texas. Finisar is going to hire 500 people to work on the laser sensor in the TrueDepth camera in the iPhone X. Today’s investment is part of Apple’s commitment to invest $1 billion in U.S.-based companies with its Advanced Manufacturing Fund. Apple says that Finisar is going to work on both research & development and high-volume production of optical communications components. The most complicated components are the vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) used in the iPhone X for Face ID, Animoji, Portrait mode and other face-mapping technologies. But Finisar also works on proximity sensors including the ones in the AirPods. And it’s quite easy to understand why Apple is investing in Finisar. There are simply not enough suppliers in this field today. In the fourth quarter of 2017 alone, the company will purchase 10 times more VCSEL wafers than the entire VCSEL production in the world during the fourth quarter of 2016. So Apple needs to foster production. The new facility should be up and running at some point during the second half of...

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...