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China Says Trade Talks With U.S. ‘Moving Forward’

China Says Trade Talks With U.S. ‘Moving Forward’

Apr 11, 2019

By The Associated Press BEIJING (AP) — China said Thursday that trade talks with the U.S. are “moving forward” after nine rounds of consultations aimed at ending a standoff that has shaken the world economic outlook. The latest discussions had achieved “new substantial progress,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a daily news briefing. “We also feel that the consultation is moving forward. We hope that the two sides can continue to work together to properly address each other’s concerns on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit,” Lu said. Lu’s comments were echoed by those from Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng, who said “new progress” had been made at the talks. Gao said the sides were now in “close communications with all effective approaches.” “They will spare no efforts for the negotiations and working toward the direction of implementing the important consensus reached by both leaders,” Gao said at a weekly briefing. The three days of talks in Washington last week dealt with issues including technology transfer, intellectual property rights protection, non-tariff measures, agriculture and enforcement of agreements. Leading the delegations are U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders earlier said “significant work remains” before an agreement can be reached. The dispute centers on the Trump administration’s allegations that China steals technology and coerces U.S. companies to hand over trade secrets — all part of Beijing’s zeal to overtake U.S. technological dominance. To pressure China, the United States has imposed tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods. The Chinese have counterpunched by taxing $110 billion in U.S. imports. Forecasters at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, among others, have downgraded their outlook for the global economy in part because the U.S.-China rift is damaging trade and causing businesses to slow investment until they know how the dispute will end. Tensions have eased somewhat since Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Buenos Aires late last year and the administration ended up suspending its plans to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports to buy time for...

Desktop Metal Introduces New, Enhanced Model to…

Desktop Metal Introduces New, Enhanced Model to…

Mar 20, 2019

“Desktop Metal Introduces New, Enhanced Model to Production System Platform” Featured on D2pMagazine. com Company anticipates first shipments to start in 1st Quarter of 2019 FRANKFURT, Germany—A larger build envelope and faster printing speed are among the new advancements that Desktop Metal has made to its Production System™, a metal 3D printing system that the company calls “the fastest metal printer in the world.” Desktop Metal’s new Production System™ has a 225 percent larger build envelope (750mm x 330mm x 250mm) and a 50 percent increase in print speed to 12,000 cm3/hour, the company said in a press release. Desktop Metal (www.Desktopmetal.com) made the announcement before previewing a broad range of metal 3D printed parts at Formnext 2018, an international trade show for additive manufacturing. The first installation of the Production System is scheduled to take place during the first quarter of 2019 at a Fortune 500 company. Additional customer installations at major automotive, heavy duty, and leading metal parts manufacturers will follow throughout 2019, with broad availability in 2020, the company said.   “As we continue to expand our list of global customers and partners, companies that are turning to the game-changing technology available with the Production System, and installations set to begin rolling out in the coming months, Desktop Metal is looking to further shift the industry beyond prototyping to now include full-scale metal manufacturing, said Ric Fulop, CEO and co-founder of Desktop Metal, in a statement. Powered by Single Pass Jetting™ technology, the Production System is said to be the first and only metal 3D printing system for mass production that delivers the speed, quality, and cost-per-part needed to compete with traditional manufacturing processes. It is also reported to be more than four times faster than competing binder jet processes and 100 times faster than laser-based systems. The improved system includes two full-width print bars, advanced powder spreaders, and an anti-ballistic system that spread powder and print in a single quick pass across the build area. According to Desktop Metal, it is the most sophisticated single-pass inkjet printhead ever installed in a binder jet system. The system uses 32,768 piezo inkjet nozzles that enable a broad range of binder chemistries to print an...

Q&A: Unlock a Bright Future With 3D Printing

Q&A: Unlock a Bright Future With 3D Printing

Mar 19, 2019

By Manufacturing.net Ben Schwauren, CTO and co-founder of Oqton, discusses how even the smallest advancements in 3D printing can unlock a bright future for factories that meets new industry demands. Manufacturing.net: How can additive manufacturing lead to a more agile operation? Ben Schrauwen: There are a few key ways that additive manufacturing can result in a more agile manufacturing operation. One commonly discussed is that additive hardware ‘doesn’t care’ about what it’s creating. A 3D printer generates thousands of unique pieces at an equal effort it takes to generate thousands of identical pieces. This allows manufacturers to remove cost and time barriers when setting up production, particularly for smaller batch sizes. Further, the complexity of a part is not an issue in an additive process. For example, parts with internal structures can be additively built as one piece, rather than multiple pieces that require assembly as via other methods, speeding production and also reducing opportunity for failure or error. The other important way that additive lends agility is in its ability to support rapid iteration. Small changes to the design file can immediately be implemented in the produced part, offering manufacturers increased opportunity to test, iterate and bring more valuable products to market, quicker. Manufacturing.net: What would it take (skill, training, expense, etc) to see 3D printing at work in factories? Ben Schrauwen: Additive technology has been at work in prototyping labs for decades, but it’s struggled to drop cost in order to make the shift into the production environment. Cost of the machine currently accounts for between 60 to 80 percent of total metal production AM expenses. But cost continues to decrease and machine quality increases as more competition enters the market. A bigger issue is that the machines and accompanying software tools are too hard to use, requiring lengthy training including expensive trial-and-error in order to become familiar. Additive tools have to become smarter on their own in order to take the burden off their operators. Skilled engineers shouldn’t have to repeatedly work through the same issues because the hardware or software isn’t intuitive. Manufacturing.net: What changes can we expect to see in the industry if there is greater adoption of 3D printing?...

Welding breakthrough could transform manufacturing

Welding breakthrough could transform manufacturing

Mar 7, 2019

By Heriot-Watt University Featured on Phys.org Scientists from Heriot-Watt University have welded glass and metal together using an ultrafast laser system, in a breakthrough for the manufacturing industry. arious optical materials such as quartz, borosilicate glass and even sapphire were all successfully welded to metals like aluminium, titanium and stainless steel using the Heriot-Watt laser system, which provides very short, picosecond pulses of infrared light in tracks along the materials to fuse them together. The new process could transform the manufacturing sector and have direct applications in the aerospace, defence, optical technology and even healthcare fields. Professor Duncan Hand, director of the five-university EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Laser-based Production Processes based at Heriot-Watt, said: “Traditionally it has been very difficult to weld together dissimilar materials like glass and metal due to their different thermal properties—the high temperatures and highly different thermal expansions involved cause the glass to shatter. “Being able to weld glass and metals together will be a huge step forward in manufacturing and design flexibility. “At the moment, equipment and products that involve glass and metal are often held together by adhesives, which are messy to apply and parts can gradually creep, or move. Outgassing is also an issue—organic chemicals from the adhesive can be gradually released and can lead to reduced product lifetime. “The process relies on the incredibly short pulses from the laser. These pulses last only a few picoseconds—a picosecond to a second is like a second compared to 30,000 years. “The parts to be welded are placed in close contact, and the laser is focused through the optical material to provide a very small and highly intense spot at the interface between the two materials—we achieved megawatt peak power over an area just a few microns across. “This creates a microplasma, like a tiny ball of lightning, inside the material, surrounded by a highly-confined melt region. “We tested the welds at -50C to 90C and the welds remained intact, so we know they are robust enough to cope with extreme conditions.” Read more...

Robots could bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.

Robots could bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.

Mar 6, 2019

By Robert Dalheim, Woodworking Network How could robots potentially bring jobs back to the U.S.? If American companies invest in them. Industrial automation robots improve factory productivity, maximize repeatability, drastically reduce errors, and lower long-term costs. As more companies adopt automation technology, a vast amount of workers are expected to lose their jobs. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that up to 800 million global workers will lose their jobs by 2030 because of robotic automation. The study, which assessed 46 countries and 800 occupations, found that one-fifth of the global workforce will be affected. Industrial, richer nations could see one-third of their workforces displaced. But robotic and tech industry executives say robots can help the U.S. reshore jobs, especially from low-cost countries like China. How? American companies who adopt robotic automation will have an advantage over their Chinese competitors because of relative wage rates. Robots will cost the same for both Chinese and American companies but Chinese companies will benefit less as their labor cost advantage is lessened. “Despite the fact that automation will continue to eliminate some low and mid-skill jobs, it decreases cost and restores competitive advantage, making more reshoring possible,” says the Reshoring Initiative (RI), an organization focused on bringing jobs back to the U.S. “More reshoring and less offshoring means more manufacturing jobs.” “Automation helps developed countries more than developing countries,” RI continues. “Automation reduces the labor hours required to produce goods and shifts the mix toward higher skilled workers. Compared to China, the wage gap is smaller at higher skill levels. Additionally, automation can actually be more costly in China because machinery is subject to their Value Added Tax.” Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of robot maker ABB, is an executive hopeful about automation and reshoring. “Automation technology can help U.S. factories get production costs to Chinese levels,” he told Barron’s Business. There may be fewer workers in a factory, but there was no factory before, Barron’s summarized. The cost of robots is less than a dollar an hour, says tech entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa. He says an entire economy could be built with highly automated robots. The Reshoring Initiative says the impact of automation on jobs is exaggerated thus far. For the last two...

Disruptive Technologies Are Changing Automakers’ Needs…

Disruptive Technologies Are Changing Automakers’ Needs…

Feb 19, 2019

“Disruptive Technologies Are Changing Automakers’ Needs, Creating Opportunities for Suppliers” Autonomous, electric, and connected vehicles require new designs, new suppliers By Mark Shortt, Design-2-Part Magazine   Carmakers in North America, Europe, and Asia are doing a lot of things today that they’ve never done, or even attempted to do, before. When you consider that the crown jewel of their research and development efforts—self-driving cars—is rewriting the rules of how cars are designed, manufactured, and used, that starts to make more sense. “When you look at autonomous driving, it still is amazing to me that you could sit in a car and it drives itself,” said Ken Beller, vice president of sales and marketing at The Weiss-Aug Group, a group of manufacturing companies headquartered in East Hanover, New Jersey. “It stops at red lights and parks itself, and that’s truly amazing.” Self-driving, or autonomous, cars are part of a larger trend currently sweeping the global automotive industry: the development of what are known as ACES—automated, connected, electric, and shared—vehicles. In a major announcement last March, General Motors said that it plans to begin producing self-driving cars, without steering wheels or pedals, in 2019. Along with the car, GM plans to start a commercial service centered on an app that enables people to hail rides. General Motors said that the car, the Cruise AV (autonomous vehicle), is based on its Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle (EV). It will be produced at the same plant where the Bolt EV is produced—GM’s Orion Township plant in Michigan. GM took a major step toward commercialization of the vehicle after it acquired Cruise Automation, a San Francisco-based developer of autonomous vehicle technology, in 2016. The car is part of GM’s efforts to enable a future with “zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion.” General Motors’ efforts to commercialize autonomous cars at scale were bolstered last May, when the SoftBank Vision Fund announced that it would invest $2.25 billion in GM Cruise Holdings LLC (GM Cruise). In a statement announcing the funding, Michael Ronen, managing partner of SoftBank Investment Advisers, said that “GM has made significant progress toward realizing the dream of completely automated driving to dramatically reduce fatalities, emissions, and congestion. The GM Cruise...