Electric cars with their “green” electric motors continue to grab the spotlight, having unseated the internal combustion engine from its perch as the heart of the automotive industry. A growing number of car makers are unveiling new EV models they expect to release to the marketplace over the next five years. The wish list is made up of well-established manufacturers and some new names like Byton, Lordstown and Rivian.
In the Northern Hemisphere spring will officially begin on March 19. For 10 to 20 percent of the population, winter, with its short days, murky skies and lack of sunlight, means the onset of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The depressive condition is said to occur four times more often in women than in men. Whether or not you have SAD, the environment—outside or inside—can influence behavior, mood and motivation.
We all know that CMMs measure the geometry of physical objects by using a probe to sense discrete points on a part’s surface. Numbers tell an interesting story. In fact, the laws of mathematics govern everything around us from the ability to tell time to balancing a checkbook, cooking a meal or being able to assess whether a sale price on an item is really a good deal or not.
“Avengers: Endgame” is predicted to pass $937 million shortly. When that happens, media experts will crown the latest Marvel film as the biggest hit ever. The film debuted April 24 but its’ directors along with a number of media outlets have asked viewers not to spoil Endgames for others by talking about it. The point to this is that individuals have gone to great measures to protect the film from leaks and fans have endured long lines and hours of waiting in some cases, to be among the first to see the film on opening weekend.
This week we celebrated Presidents’ Day. If you are a history buff you know that the holiday was born in 1800 following the death of George Washington in 1799. It was an unofficial observance at the time though marked by historical events like the 1832 centennial of Washington’s birth and the construction of the Washington Monument which started in 1848. In 1879, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed Washington’s February 22 birthday into a federal holiday. At first, the holiday only applied to the District of Columbia. In 1885, the entire country was invited to participate in the holiday.
Since the Fourth Industrial Revolution (the Internet of Things) swept the manufacturing scene, the shop floor has evolved into a smart environment where workers, aided by intelligent “co-bots” are creating and producing products and services with a new generation of technologies.
A strong economy is providing a much needed boost to the manufacturing industry but many companies will tell you they are being squeezed by an increasingly tight labor market. The Manufacturing Institute projects that by the year 2025, some 2 million jobs within the industry will go unfilled. Experts say the lack of workers is due to a combination of economic expansion and baby boomer retirements. But there’s a third factor behind the scarcity of experienced employees— the skills gap.
I'd just graduated from high school when I saw Star Wars in 1977. I basically witnessed the moment that cinematographer George Lucas changed the way movies are made by pioneering a new direction for computer animation and digital effects. Now, 40 years later, digital IQ technologies are changing the way manufacturers operate. Consider for example the "smart factory." Its goal is to help companies gain significant real-time quality, time, resource and cost advantages from their production systems. Coordinate measuring machines play a key role as parts become more complex, with tighter tolerances and shorter customer lead times. But don't just take our word for it - let's hear from Pratt & Whitney's Wayne Nye.
The Reshoring Initiative is an organization dedicated to showing manufacturers that local production can translate to lower cost of ownership of purchased parts and tooling. In addition to dispelling manufacturing "urban myths," the Initiative, founded in 2010, “trains suppliers to effectively meet the needs of their local customers by giving them the tools they need to understand how to sell against lower priced offshore competitors.” But as much as this term is used - do we all understand what it means? And why bother?
Last minute gate changes, canceled flights and long lines at security can make air travel frustrating. Despite these stresses, a number of frequent fliers have taken up a costly hobby - collecting passport stamps. Coveted destinations include the Republic of San Marino, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch in Wales, Antartica and Tristan da Cunha, which has a stamp in the shape of an island and a bird.
Why all this talk about passport stamps? Because for manufacturers looking to export products, a CE Marking is considered the “passport” that allows companies to gain access to the European Union and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) market.
In the market for capital equipment? You’ll want to look at three things before taking the plunge: budget, cash flow and the parts you need to make. It’s equally important to know the markets you support and where they're heading in terms of growth, technology and changes that could impact the way you do business. Let's look at the aerospace industry as an example and the role coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) face in the constant push for faster, streamlined production.
Manufacturers’ Monthly recently reported on disruptive technology trends poised to emerge in 2017, citing “more connection, more automation, and more significant impact in business and investment than ever before. “ Automated banks will proliferate; big data will get bigger; the Internet Of Everything will “truly begin;” space exploration will become more affordable and mobility will dominate from shopping by phone to working from home.
"Count the cost" is a phrase that's hung over most of us at one time or another like an ominous cloud. As a kid you may have heard something like it when you pleaded for a puppy or made a case for your first car. The Cambridge and MacMillan Dictionaries define the idiom as the first step to “defining how badly something has affected you.” Author Daniel Defoe's protagonist Robinson Crusoe learned the value of these words after he disregarded his father’s advice, went to sea, met with disaster and was marooned on an island for four and a half years. “Now I saw, though too late, the folly of beginning a work before we count the cost, and before we judge rightly of our own strength to go through with it,” he writes.
Tracking the world economic forum? Monitoring manufacturing trends here in the U.S.? If you produce a product, you're likely feeling the impact of Industry 4.0. Underpinned by automation, innovations like 3-D printing, smart technology and real-time data, the new industrial revolution is here along with the tools to help companies increase productivity and reduce costs across their supply chain.