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The New American Reshoring Movement By the Numbers

The New American Reshoring Movement By the Numbers

Jul 26, 2017

By Cutting Tool Engineering Magazine Many people are under the impression that manufacturing jobs are only moving in one direction: offshore. While many corporations are shifting certain jobs overseas to reduce manufacturing costs, there’s a lot more to the story. In reality, there are many businesses that have been making strenuous efforts to bring jobs back to the United States, a phenomenon known as the reshoring movement. Want to learn more about reshoring in the United States? Keep reading to see which U.S. companies have brought the most jobs back to the states, plus more information on this important new movement.     Companies reshore jobs in part due to increasing foreign labor costs, but that’s just one reason. Simply put, as automation and tools for engineering have improved, so too has the complexity of the manufacturing industry. And many specialty manufacturing jobs can’t be easily sent overseas. Contrary to popular belief, improvements in automation technology and engineering tools have been major assets to the new American economy. While some manufacturing jobs have been lost in recent decades, the productivity of the U.S. manufacturing sector has actually increased substantially. That means American companies are producing more goods for less cost, which results in better prices for consumers and better wages for workers. Even so, companies in the manufacturing industry are making continual efforts to bring jobs back into the United States. Often, these new manufacturing jobs and the latest tools for engineering require advanced education and highly technical skills that only American workers have to...

Engineers Use Giant Balloons to Build Underground Tunnels

Engineers Use Giant Balloons to Build Underground Tunnels

Jul 24, 2017

By David Mantey, This is Engineering By Design, Industrial Equipment News Also, human space pods, and radiation-resistant robots.   Human Space Pods Back in March, space tourism company Zero 2 Infinity announced that they were taking their balloon-based flight concept and expanding it into the commercial satellite launching business with Bloostar. I feared that the news meant that the company was abandoning plans to take space tourists to the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere in large pods tied to huge balloon. It turns out that the company not only remains committed to space tourism, but they just unveiled the final design of the Bloon pod. Over the course of the last nine months, the company worked with the Elisava School of Design and Engineering on the interior design of the pressurized pod. Bloon rides could be operational within the next two years, and to gain some insight on the user experience, six student designers on the project locked themselves in a 12 square meter space for six hours, about two hours longer than the expected duration of the flight that will carry four passengers and two pilots nearly 22.5 miles (36 km) above the earth’s surface — 1.5 to climb, two hours of viewing, and then a one-hour return. During the return, the pod will actually detach from the balloon and allow passengers to experience free fall and zero gravity before the parachute engages. The design is a modular space five meters in diameter. The pod will have reclinable and movable seats, washbasins, floors and walls built with soft materials. And the windows will be smart, so you can actually use applications in the windows to listen to music, or locate places on Earth, for example. Tickets for a trip in a Bloon pod will cost more than $125,000 (€110,000).   Robot Withstands Massive Levels of Radiation The cleanup effort at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant has had some robot problems. Since the radiation levels in some areas are enough to kill a person instantaneously, officials working on decommissioning the plant need to rely on robots to assess a lot of the damage. The problem is, until now, the robots were not working. Back in March, the remote-controlled...

US nonfarm payrolls total 222,000 in June vs 179,000 expected

US nonfarm payrolls total 222,000 in June vs 179,000 expected

Jul 7, 2017

By Jeff Cox, CNBC Nonfarm payrolls jumped 222,000 in June, against expectations of 179,000. However, wage growth was muted, with average hourly earnings up 2.5 percent on an annualized basis. The U.S. economy added a better-than-expected 222,000 new jobs in June and the unemployment rate held at 4.4 percent, according to a government report Friday. Economists surveyed by Reuters had been expecting nonfarm payrolls growth of 179,000 and the unemployment rate to be 4.3 percent.   Wage growth, however, remained muted, with average hourly earnings rising 2.5 percent on an annualized basis, essentially unchanged from the previous month. On a monthly basis, the rise was 0.2 percent, which actually was a shade below the 0.2 percent expectation. The average work week edged higher, rising 0.1 hours to 34.5. The report “is another illustration that the real economy is in good health,” said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics. “The only disappointment is that wage growth still shows few signs of accelerating.” The jump in payrolls came following a disappointing May that saw an increase of just 152,000. However, even that number was revised up from an initially reported 138,000, and April was revised upward as well, from 174,000 to 207,000. Employment gains have averaged 180,000 per month in 2017, a shade below the 187,000 in 2016. Health care was the biggest contributor, with 37,000 new positions, with professional and business services adding 35,000. Social assistance added 23,000, Wall Street-related jobs grew by 17,000 and mining — a focal point for the Trump administration — saw 8,000 new positions. An alternative measure of unemployment that counts discouraged workers and those holding part-time positions for economic reasons — the underemployed — rose from 8.4 percent to 8.6 percent. The labor-force participation rate edged higher to 62.8 percent.Those considered out of the labor force declined by 170,000 to 94.8 million while the labor force increased by 361,000 to 160.1 million. The employment population ratio rose to 60.1 percent, a full half percentage point above its level from a year ago. Jobs overall tilted to full-time positions, which grew by 355,000, while part-time fell by 224,000. Investors watched the report both for headline numbers and for...

AI Will Amplify The Manufacturing Workforce

AI Will Amplify The Manufacturing Workforce

Jul 5, 2017

By Jeff Kavanaugh, Manufacturing Business Technology Every day, we hear of new examples of artificial intelligence (AI) being used to support, or supplant, the human workforce. Many of these discussions revolve around consumer-facing situations. However, the AI wave could have an even larger impact on the manufacturing sector, with its complex processes and machine-to-machine interactions spanning products and assets, within factories and across global supply networks. This was highlighted in a recent study that investigated the approach of senior decision-makers in large organizations toward AI and its future applications. Consider the digitization of factories. Flush with data from a sensor-enabled landscape, they’ve had a chance to join the ranks of the information intelligentsia and effectively drive rich floor output. Unfortunately, some in the manufacturing sector have ignored or even denied the disruptive impact of digital technologies. It took leaders like GE to envision how the Industrial Internet could become real for manufacturers.  Smart Manufacturers are Automating Data According to Oxford Economics, the Industrial Internet, with its connected sensors, represents more than 60 percent of the gross domestic product for the top 20 national economies. So for those using data automation to make more informed decisions, the opportunity — and also competition — is exploding with the emerging Industrial Internet binding products, equipment, and systems in a web of communication. Eventually, Industrial IoT will permeate global supply chains, allowing manufacturers to accelerate product launch, coordinate demand-supply planning, and optimize production, in ways not possible without such advanced collaboration. Currently, the Industrial Internet is still in early development, but early adopters are seeing anecdotal successes as proof of concept projects continue to mount.  Smart Manufacturers Can Automate Processes, too The recent Infosys study, Ampliyfing Human Potential: Towards Purposeful Artificial Intelligence, surveyed 1,600 IT and business decision-makers from organizations of more than 1,000 employees with $500M or more annual revenue and from a range of sectors. The research was carried out in the U.S. and six other manufacturing and industrial nations. It found companies planning to or currently using AI technology, such as robotics, anticipate a nearly 40 percent boost to their organization’s revenue by 2020. The economics of investing in robotic efficiencies is not lost on manufacturers. An example is...

Exclusive: GM CEO Mary Barra says the world needs more…

Exclusive: GM CEO Mary Barra says the world needs more…

Jun 30, 2017

“Exclusive: GM CEO Mary Barra says the world needs more coders” By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNNMoney A lot of resources go into building cars, like steel, aluminum, rubber and glass. Also critical: Brains. But the engineering talent and computer coding skills that the industry needs is in short supply. That’s why General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced a new push to train engineers on Wednesday in New York City. The effort is specifically aimed at recruiting women and minorities. GM has long helped train engineers. Barra earned a degree in electrical engineering from General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan — now Kettering University — an engineering and business school that was, at the time, operated by GM. “A car today has hundreds of millions of lines of code,” Barra said in an exclusive interview with CNN. “We do see a shortage if we don’t address this and I mean fully fundamentally. Every child needs to have these skills.” “A car today has hundreds of millions of lines of code,” Barra said in an exclusive interview with CNN. “We do see a shortage if we don’t address this and I mean fully fundamentally. Every child needs to have these skills.” So GM (GM) is working with groups that will train teachers and work with students from grade school on up for jobs in computer engineering, Barra said at Cadillac’s global headquarters in the West Village. In Detroit, there are currently three times as many job openings in computer programming as there are in manufacturing, said Hadi Partovi, founder of Code.org, which is one of the groups that GM is teaming up with. Code.org creates online computer programming lessons and works with schools to build computer literacy curricula. The group boasts that almost half of its 19 million online course participants are members of minority groups and that 9 million of them are girls. GM announced Wednesday it’s giving $200,000 to $250,000 each to Code.org and three other national groups that promote computer literacy GM is also working with Black Girls Code, a group that aims to increase the number of African-American women in the technology industry. Specifically, GM is helping Black Girls Code to start a chapter in the Detroit area. Another...

Inspired by Trump, Samsung in Talks to Open South Carolina…

Inspired by Trump, Samsung in Talks to Open South Carolina…

Jun 26, 2017

“Inspired by Trump, Samsung in Talks to Open South Carolina Factory” By Timothy W. Martin, Wall Street Journal South Korean electronics giant would move some oven-range production to Newberry, S.C., facility from Mexico SEOUL— Samsung Electronics Co. is in late-stage discussions to invest about $300 million to expand its U.S. production facilities at a factory soon to be vacated by Caterpillar Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, with an announcement expected as early as next week. The facility eyed by Samsung is in Newberry, S.C., a town located about 150 miles northwest of the port of Charleston, the people said, with plans to shift over some production of oven ranges made currently in Mexico. The investment could generate around 500 jobs, and though the start date is unclear, production would likely begin next year, the people said. Samsung could eventually ramp up U.S. manufacturing of refrigerators, washers, dryers and other home appliances in subsequent years, the people said. Final details over incentives and other matters are still being hammered out between Samsung and South Carolina officials, the people said. Though unlikely, it is still possible for either party to walk away from the pact, the people said. The timing of the announcement could still change, the people said. But South Korea’s newly-elected President Moon Jae-in is scheduled to meet U.S. President Donald Trump for the first time next week in Washington. A Samsung spokeswoman declined to comment. Samsung’s interest in a U.S. factory was influenced by the election of Mr. Trump, who vowed on the campaign trail to bring more manufacturing jobs back into the country, The Wall Street Journal reported in March. Mr. Trump’s reshoring mantra brought promises from Asian billionaires such as SoftBank Group’s Masayoshi Son and Foxconn Technology ’s Terry Gou. Foxconn, the assembler of iPhones and other electronics, said Thursday it was considering seven states in the American heartland to invest $10 billion or more in factories. Samsung’s crosstown rival LG Electronics Inc. said in February it planned to build a new factory for washing machines in Tennessee, its first major U.S. plant. Samsung had previously said that it started reviewing U.S. options in the early fall last year,...