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HANNOVER MESSE: US Manufacturing Is Resilient…

HANNOVER MESSE: US Manufacturing Is Resilient…

May 4, 2016

“HANNOVER MESSE: US Manufacturing Is Resilient, Innovative, Increasingly Digital” By Raj Batra, Siemens USA, Industry Week On the eve of the world’s largest industrial show, American manufacturers “don’t just want to keep up,” according to one leader. “They want to be trend-setters.” Digitization is playing a big part in that success. Next week, the United States manufacturing sector will have the spotlight at the world’s biggest industrial fair, Hannover Messe. This is the first time since the inaugural German fair in 1947 that the United States was chosen as the partner country — and the timing could not be better. Hannover is a global demonstration of the digitalization of industry that is leading us toward the Industrial Internet of Things and a Fourth Industrial Revolution. And the United States, represented by more than 400 companies, has an opportunity to show that we’re ready to embrace this revolution. America is indeed poised to drive the Industrial Internet of Things forward. With a proven track record in innovation, software development, and university education, we are in a strong position to make rapid progress. But U.S. manufacturers still have a long road ahead of them. Capital investments have been lagging for some time and our manufacturing infrastructure is becoming obsolete. The technology that we hold in our hands every day bears little resemblance to the 1980s equipment seen in many factories. Even digitally mature manufacturers admit that parts of their operations still rely on PCs with floppy disk drives running DOS. And perhaps no one captured the challenges facing U.S. manufacturers better than Gregg Sherrill, Chair of the Board of the National Association of Manufacturers and Chairman and CEO of Tenneco Inc., at the recent Manufacturing in America event, held in Detroit. “The speed of change,” he said, “is not linear. Companies don’t just want to keep up; they want to be trend-setters.” To be trend-setters, manufacturers must leverage state-of-the-art industrial hardware and increasingly sophisticated industrial software. But the reality is, the U.S. manufacturing sector has a growing gap — as McKinsey & Company recently put it — between industry’s digital “haves,” “have nots” and “have mores.” While some are boldly setting trends, too many are hesitating and taking a...

Report: U.S. Manufacturing Retaining Its Competitive Edge

Report: U.S. Manufacturing Retaining Its Competitive Edge

May 2, 2016

By Jeff Moad, Manufacturing Leadership Despite significant headwinds brought on by the dramatically strengthening U.S. dollar and upheaval in the oil and gas industry, the U.S. manufacturing sector remains the most competitive worldwide, according to a new report by economics forecasting and modeling company Oxford Economics. Impressive and ongoing productivity gains among U.S. manufacturers over the past few years as well as easy access to robust domestic markets have offset the strong dollar, collapsing oil prices, and other factors such as moderately rising wages, continuing to provide the U.S. manufacturing sector a sustained competitive advantage over most other countries, according to the report from Oxford , which is a commercial venture that partners with Oxford University’s business college. The report also predicts that, barring an unexpected additional surge in the dollar’s value on global markets, the U.S. manufacturing sector will continue to enjoy a competitive advantage over at least the next year. “Since the US manufacturing sector’s competitive edge emanates from a combination of higher absolute productivity than most of its peers, solid productivity growth partially offsetting wage growth, and a myriad of other indirect advantages, including low energy costs, a stable regulatory environment, and proximity to a large domestic market, we believe it would take a substantial further appreciation of the US dollar to make it lose its global leader position,” states the report, authored by Oxford Economics’ Head of US Macroeconomics Gregory Daco and Director of Industry Services Jeremy Leonard. The report said the basis of U.S. manufacturing’s continued strong competitive position is increasing productivity. The productivity of U.S. manufacturers has risen by 40% since 2003, outpacing competitors such as Germany (23%), the UK (30%), and Mexico (18%). While productivity of manufacturers in China and India has more than doubled over the same period, the report notes, U.S. manufacturers in 2016 are still nine times as productive per employee than manufacturers in China. “In 2016, US manufacturing productivity was 25% higher than the second best economy, Japan, and 45% higher than in Germany,” the report says. “Compared with emerging economies, the US manufacturing sector remains 80-90% more productive than Mexico, India, Brazil and China.” Besides enjoying a continued productivity advantage, U.S. manufacturers...

3D printing comes of age in U.S. manufacturing…

3D printing comes of age in U.S. manufacturing…

Apr 29, 2016

“3D printing comes of age in U.S. manufacturing, says PwC survey” By Norbert Sparrow, Plastics Today More than two-thirds of manufacturers use 3D printing Manufacturers in the United States have moved past “experimentation” and are now firmly committed to additive manufacturing, aka 3D printing (3DP). In fact, the technology has become “mainstreamed,” writes professional services firm PwC (New York, NY) in a report published this month on the role of 3D printing in the U.S. industrial manufacturing ecosystem. Be it in prototyping or end-product fabrication, “manufacturers of all stripes are building 3DP programs, and are likely to continue to expand those programs as advancements in 3D printers, software and printing materials . . . make adoption easier and more cost effective,” writes PwC, which produced the report in conjunction with the Manufacturing Institute (Washington, DC). The report is based on a poll of 120 U.S. manufacturers conducted in October 2015, and it is the second time that PwC has analyzed the adoption of 3D printing by U.S. manufacturers. Some interesting observations emerge when one compares this survey with the one conducted in 2014. Today, more than two-thirds of U.S. manufacturers are using 3D printing in some form. That is slightly up from 2014—71.1% versus 67%—but what is more revealing are the shifts in usage that have occurred during those two years. In particular, a higher percentage of manufacturers are applying the technology to prototyping and parts fabrication than they did two years ago (51% versus 35%), and the number of companies “experimenting” with the technology has dropped from 28.9% to 13.2%. A larger percentage of companies anticipate the use of 3D printing to rise in high-volume production than in 2014. Two years ago, 38% of respondents expected 3D printing to find applications in high-volume manufacturing in the next three to five years; in the current survey, that number climbed to 52%. Most manufacturers continue to believe that 3D printing will be used primarily for low-volume, specialized products, writes PwC, although that number has slipped from 74% in 2014 to 67%. Those are among the 3D-printing opportunities perceived by manufacturers, but there are also challenges. In both surveys, supply chain restructuring topped the list. Other...

Boeing-Inspired Golf Club Helps Win the Masters

Boeing-Inspired Golf Club Helps Win the Masters

Apr 28, 2016

By Charles Murray, Design News In his recent victory at the US Masters tournament, golfer Danny Willett unknowingly received an assist from an unexpected source –- The Boeing Co.’s computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software. CFD software, more commonly used on airplanes and automobiles, improved the aerodynamics of Willett’s driver, giving it greater club head speed and stability. “With CFD, we can analyze the drag associated with the club’s crown, face, sole, or hosel,” said Evan Gibbs, research and development manager of woods at Callaway Golf, which makes the new driver. “And we can see how much it impacts the club head speed.” The resulting club, Callaway’s XR 16 Pro Driver, is said to offer a boost of about 1 mph to 2 mph. It’s being employed, not only by Willett, but golfer Lydia Ko, who used it to win the Ladies Pro Golf Association’s (LPGA) ANA Inspiration Tournament April 3. The team effort between Boeing and Callaway was years in the making. Callaway’s engineers worked with the giant aircraft manufacturer on composite clubs a decade ago, during Boeing’s 787 design. Recently, they returned for the aerodynamics collaboration. “We’d been looking at aerodynamics for many years, and we wanted to take it to the next level,” Gibbs told Design News. “To do that, we knew we needed to improve our understanding of aerodynamics, so we brought in Boeing.” The aerodynamic challenge, common to the design of all drivers, is to reduce the drag that’s created whenever a golfer swings the short, stout head of a wood at high velocities. Specifically, the issue is pressure drag. Pressure drag is created whenever air flows across the face of the club and strikes the crown. Once that happens, the flow separates from the club head, creating a turbulent wake on the trailing side that sucks the club head backward, slowing its forward motion. That phenomenon is common, engineers say, because a wood is a so-called “bluff body” –- a flat surface in front of a short, rounded shape. Boeing’s in-house CFD software enabled Callaway and Boeing to create a so-called “trip step” (a small step shape near the crown) in the front of the club head, prior to...

The Next Revolution: Hybrid Manufacturing

The Next Revolution: Hybrid Manufacturing

Apr 27, 2016

By Wesley Hart, Marketing Director at Imperial Machine & Tool Co. Every day there seems to be a new industry Buzzword. A term being thrown around with increasing frequency is “Hybrid Manufacturing.” It sounds futuristic and high-tech, but what is hybrid manufacturing really?g The hybrid manufacturing approach is fairly simple; use additive and subtractive manufacturing together, with the goal of creating a superior finished piece. For readers not familiar with industry jargon, read as: 3D Printing + Traditional Machining = Hybrid Manufacturing. But why is it better to use both processes together? Limitations of Additive Manufacturing The reason it’s important to use additive and subtractive manufacturing was summed up nicely by Chris Joest, one of the earliest adopters of hybrid manufacturing and president of Imperial Machine & Tool Co. “People have focused on additive manufacturing as this revolutionary technology. The thing is that additive can’t stand on its own. The important part is starting early in the design process knowing there are certain things that can only be done additively, and certain things that can only be done subtractively. When you design parts from the beginning with this in mind – that’s how you make parts that could never be made before.” Joest distilled things even further. “Because of how the technology functions, every printed part takes some level of post processing. If you need to post process anyway, why not design the part to capture additional benefits?” The Hybrid Approach Since all parts made by metal 3D printers need traditional machining before they’re fit for end use, savvy manufacturers are changing their design approach to leverage this fact. It starts at the computer, ensuring the CAD model is optimized for printing andmachining. Then it’s over to the 3D printer – where parts with complex internal structures are constructed one layer at a time. From there it’s on to the machine shop, where surface finish and detailed external features can be handled with absolute precision. Joest smiled as he shared another insight he picked up during his hybrid manufacturing journey. “In my generation holes were round and straight. It was simple, drill bits are round and straight – so are holes. But now there’s no need for that. Holes can be square, or...

7 Ways 3D Printing Is Making Manufacturing More Competitive

7 Ways 3D Printing Is Making Manufacturing More Competitive

Apr 26, 2016

By Louis Columbus, Forbes 71.1% of manufacturers have currently adopted 3D Printing. 52% of manufacturers expect 3D Printing will be used for high-volume production in the next 3-5 years. 22% of manufacturers predict 3D Printing will have a disruptive effect on supply chains. Global spending on printers was predicted to reach $11B in 2015 and forecast to reach about $27B by 2019. These and many other insights are from the Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) and Manufacturing Institute report published this month 3D Printing comes of age in US industrial manufacturing.  You can download the report here (10 pp., PDF).  Manufacturing CEO: “We Are Going To Disrupt Ourselves Before The Market Does By Relying On Advanced Technologies Including 3D Printing.” During a recent conversation with the CEO of one of the leading industrial equipment manufacturers in the Midwest, she told me that her company sees disruption as key to their survival and growth. “We are doing to disrupt ourselves before the market does by relying on advanced technologies including 3D Printing,” she told me. This CEO successfully has turned around a series of product lines that had flat sales growth, using a combination of cloud platforms, analytics, mobile and rapid prototyping including 3D printing. She says that by putting the customer at the center of these initiatives unifies them and makes their impact on sales and customer satisfaction immediately measurable. 7 Ways 3D Printing Makes Manufacturers More Competitive 71.1% of manufacturers are now using 3D Printing for prototyping and final products.PwC found that more manufacturers are using 3D Printing for prototyping and final products compared to two years ago (35%). Time-to-market and increasingly unique customer requirements are driving up adoption of 3D Printing in product development and production workflows across global manufacturing today. 52% of manufacturers expect 3D Printing will be used for high-volume production in the next 3-5 years. Manufacturers are looking more to 3D Printing than ever before for high-volume production, with just over half (52%) evaluating it compared to 38% just two years ago. 22% of manufacturers predict 3D Printing will have a disruptive effect on supply chains in the next 3 – 5 years. An additional 18% believe 3D Printing is a...