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Industrial Manufacturing News Manufacturing News, Events and Opinion

Linear Friction Welding in North America

Linear Friction Welding in North America

LIFT, Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow located in Detroit, MI, proudly announces they have North America’s “first linear friction welder capable of full-sized part development.” LIFT is operated by American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII), a founding member of Manufacturing USA. Manufacturing USA is a federal public/private initiative designed to facilitate technological and manufacturing innovation.

“Linear Friction Welding is a solid-state process in which one part moves in a linear motion at high speed and is pressed against another part held stationary. The resulting friction heats the parts, causing them to forge together.” This quote is directly from Manufacturing Technology, Inc., the builder and installer of LIFT’s linear friction welder.

Reshoring: The Return of Jobs to USA

Reshoring: The Return of Jobs to USA

A record number of companies bringing jobs that had shipped overseas came back to the USA in 2018, according to Reshoring Initiative. This is referred to as reshoring. Additionally the report indicates that the reasons for reshoring are related to “ a higher emphasis on Made in USA image, automation and re-design of the product. FDI places more emphasis on government incentives and skilled workforce.” FDI stands for Foreign Direct Investment. Tariffs and corporate tax cuts are also cited as reasons for more recent reshoring. Concerns with intellectual property infringement and counterfeiting were also cited among companies’ reasons for returning operations to the US.

Robots and Humans

Robots and Humans

A recent Forbes article takes a look at the widely discussed concept of robots taking over human jobs. Many tasks can be done more efficiently with robots. The idea is that the loss of automated jobs to robots will be replaced by human jobs tending to the robots. Much has been said about the need for highly skilled workers to maintain and repair robots.

The University of Michigan's Latest Iconic Cube

The University of Michigan's Latest Iconic Cube

Many are familiar with and have given a little spin to “The Cube” located on campus near the Michigan Union. Thanks to teams of engineering students, U of M has a second giant cube. This one is located on North Campus and is also a famous puzzle! “Now North Campus has an iconic cube of our own,” said Ryan Kuhn, one of the engineering student developers.

U of M Engineering students created a 1,500 pound, primarily aluminum, Rubik’s Cube. According to Michigan Engineer News Center, the giant Rubik’s Cube “is believed to be the world’s largest hand-solvable, stationary version of the famous puzzle.” Like it’s older brother, this cube is meant to be touched. By design, the large scale puzzle requires teamwork to manipulate.

NetFlex Announces Fifth Project Call

NetFlex Announces Fifth Project Call

On June 10th, 2019, NetFlex announced another project call. The expectation is that multiple awards will be offered, worth an anticipated total amount of more than $10.5 million dollars. This process of project calls is now on its fifth cycle. Each project call has sought to expand and implement (FHE) Flexible Hybrid Electronics. Previous project calls have received a total investment of over $73M.

A part of Manufacturing USA, NetFlex is America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics (FHE) Manufacturing Institute. “Our Project Calls address industry-driven problems, those critical manufacturing issues that are best solved collaboratively,” said Malcolm J. Thompson, NextFlex Executive Director. Manufacturing USA is a public-private initiative that seeks to advance technology and manufacturing in the United States.

FHE, Flexible Hybrid Electronics seeks innovations in materials and processes to improve circuitry in a wide range of applications.

Robots Can Be A Solution For Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturers

Robots Can Be A Solution For Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturers

Recently Industry Week posted an article outlining four ways robots can really help SMMs, small to medium size manufacturers. The article points out that while SMMs make up the lion’s share of manufacturing in the USA, “they are often the least likely to take advantage of the potential ROI from a robotics investment, from reducing bottlenecks and increasing production to addressing industry labor gaps and improving job satisfaction.”

School’s Out Summer Project

School’s Out Summer Project

Right now in the midwest the weather has been a rainy mess, but we all know heat will join the humid party soon. Many of us have that one location that is not cool enough or we have differing opinions on temperature settings. Making your own air conditioner/cooler might provide a solution and be a great summer project to teach older kids a thing or two. Adult supervision would be absolutely required as power tools and electricity are used in this project.

Increased Injection Mold Demand Leads to 5th Business Expansion in US

Increased Injection Mold Demand Leads to 5th Business Expansion in US

To accommodate increased demand for their injection mold and medical device business, GW Plastics recently announced a fifth expansion in Royalton, VT. “On the heels of a major expansion in Ireland, we are delighted to announce this expansion in our home state of Vermont, reaffirming our commitment to growing in Vermont and the United States while serving the needs of our customers globally,” stated Brenan Riehl, President and CEO of GW Plastics.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Started in 1985, the goal of NBCAM is to promote mammography and raise awareness of breast cancer symptoms for early detection. Roughly 1 in 8 women in the United States will get breast cancer during their life.

IMS Supply Announces New Facility in Mount Sterling Kentucky

IMS Supply Announces New Facility in Mount Sterling Kentucky

Mount Sterling, KY – Demand for environmentally friendly and cost-effective solutions for surplus industrial equipment has never been higher and IMS Supply is answering this strong demand. Today, IMS Supply announced that it is expanding its asset recovery operations with a new processing and distribution facility to be located in Mount Sterling, Kentucky.

American Manufacturing Still Matters

American Manufacturing Still Matters

It seems like every day we hear about some new app or Silicon Valley wonder company but we sometimes forget about the importance of Manufacturing. Let's start with one key fact, Manufacturing Matters, especially in the United States. It provides high-wage jobs, new ideas, and new products. Manufacturing is also a key factor to trade deficit reduction according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Automotive OEMs Show 5 Trends to Help Flexibility for Production Lines.

Automotive OEMs Show 5 Trends to Help Flexibility for Production Lines.

With changes in the buying trends going from sedans to SUVs, automotive companies are changing their production lines to be able to produce different vehicles on the same assembly line. Ford has decided to move its Focus production to China facilities, 60% of Fords new vehicle sales were trucks in 2018, which is prompting the switch. Similarly, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, has shifted its production by discontinuing the Chrysler 200 and the Dodge Dart to focus on the Ram and Jeep SUVs. These changes were all made to optimize production lines to product SUVs and pick-up trucks which have seen a drastic increase in purchases over the traditional sedan. Why the change in buying trends? Many SUVs are built on the same lightweight car frames allowing to get similar mileage to sedans. With the average pump price around $2.50 per gallon this might be prompting the change in vehicle purchases to an SUVs over the smaller sedans.

New Technology That Can Read Your Mind!

New Technology That Can Read Your Mind!

MIT researchers have created a new headset that uses a person’s internal voice to control devices and ask questions without speaking but BY READING YOUR MIND! AlterEgo, as the device is called is able to transcribe words that the wearer verbalizes internally but doesn’t say out loud. 

Politician Says

Politician Says "the Robots Are Coming!" as 2020 Campaign Message

A potential presidential candidate, Andrew Yang, is gaining some attention due to his views on automation and his ideas about UBI. UBI stands for Universal Basic Income, an idea that Every adult over 18 years old would receive a monthly stipend of $1,000. The motivation for his UBI plan is the claims that Automation will take away 1/3rd of American jobs within the next 20 years.

Is Automation the Future of Our Food?

Is Automation the Future of Our Food?

A Turkish design company named Dahir Insaat released their concept of an automated restaurant concept video recently. They believe that their concept will increase the number of customers served and drastically cut labor costs.

Make Your Vision Right Before Your Eyes with AR Assisted Manufacturing

Make Your Vision Right Before Your Eyes with AR Assisted Manufacturing

A New 3D printing concept usings AR and robots is making news. Augmented reality and 3D printing are not exactly new concepts but Cornell University is experimenting with something that is both new and unique. Other companies such as Google and HTC have dabbled in merging the two formats together, but they have nothing on Cornell’s new real time input and collaborative printing between humans and machines.

Stone Age Technology Meets Space Age Technology

Stone Age Technology Meets Space Age Technology

The ground-breaking SpaceX launch earlier this year that put the Tesla Roadster in orbit had a surprise hidden in its trunk. A new form of storage technology, a quartz disc 1-inch-wide that is laser-etched that can hold 360 Terabytes of Data called Arch. This specific disc is inscribed with Isaac Asimov's "Foundation" trilogy that is about the preservation of human knowledge. This disc is a symbolic parallel of the gold disc’s on the Voyager Space Craft, preserving and sending out examples of knowledge for future humans or aliens.

Baldor Electric Company is now ABB

Baldor Electric Company is now ABB

Baldor Electric Company has changed its name to ABB as of March 1st, 2018. This rebranding is to bring everything under the ABB-owned brands under ABB’s master brand. Balder has already been a member of the ABB group for over 7 years.

Who Are the 10 Most Automated Countries in the World?

Who Are the 10 Most Automated Countries in the World?

According to the 2017 World Robot Statistics it was revealed that we have seen an increase in the average of robots units used per employee from 2015, going from 66 robotic units per 10,000 employees to 74 units last year. Europe leads with the average robot density with 99 units, the Americas are second with 84 units and lastly Asia with 63 units. Asia, has shown the highest growth rate of that robot density though, with an annual growth rate of 9% between 2010 and 2016, slightly higher than America’s 7% and Europe’s 5%

Using AI Drones for Industrial Equipment Inspection

Using AI Drones for Industrial Equipment Inspection

Conducting inspections on equipment is a critical duty for anyone in the manufacturing industry. Some inspections are rather difficult and fairly dangerous. A new option that combines artificial intelligence and drones might help to make these jobs a bit safer without having to cut back on the inspections.

American Factory Orders Up by 1.7% in December, 8.4% Annually

American Factory Orders Up by 1.7% in December, 8.4% Annually

New orders for manufactured goods in December increased $8.5 billion dollars or 1.7 percent to $498.2 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. American Factory orders have seen growth six of the last seven months, including a 1.7 percent increase in November 2017. Shipments of manufactured durable goods were also up 1.2 billion dollars or 0.5 percent.

IMS Supply Announces Availability of Techniks Tooling Solutions

IMS Supply Announces Availability of Techniks Tooling Solutions

Following Techniks Industries successful acquisition of the tooling division of Parlec, Inc., IMS Supply is proud to announce the availability of both Parlec and Techniks tooling products. IMS Supply had been a distributor for Parlec's high performance tool holding, modular production boring, tapping, tool measuring and inspection products. The addition of Techniks tooling solutions to the IMS Supply catalog will allow IMS to provide a wide range of value-added aftermarket machine tool accessories to its customers world-wide.

Solve Automation Problems with Swivellink Mounting Solutions

Solve Automation Problems with Swivellink Mounting Solutions

The Swivellink product was originally designed to provide an ergonomic and robust way to put operator start buttons onto custom built industrial machinery. The goal was to protect the expensive button and route the quick disconnect cable internally, because a simple wire break or damaged button can cause hours of costly production down time.

Keep Your Business Moving Forward

Keep Your Business Moving Forward

President Donald Trump recently announced that he wants to level the playing field for the manufacturing industry. He presented a speech to the National Association of Manufacturers, noting that he plans to take historic actions to create fair and reciprocal trade for companies in America. While this is certainly good news for people in the industry, it is also a call to action for all manufacturers.