Tag Index  /  Showing 1 - 20 of 29 results for “manufacturing”

Analytics & Data Manufacturing

Manufacturers Struggle to Turn Data Into Insight

Let’s tone down the hype about the Industrial Internet of Things. While the concept shows promise—building smart machines that use sensors and Internet connectivity to improve performance and catch problems—the far more pressing opportunity is learning to make better use of the mountains of data that factories already generate each year, data that manufacturers today often discard after a production run or store unexamined.   More

Jobs Manufacturing

People Are Still More Adaptable Than Robots

The media and pundits have exaggerated the threat robots present to human workers' livelihood, claims labor market scholar David Autor. Reporting on ideas Autor presented at a recent bankers' conference, New York Times writer Neil Irwin sums up the argument: "Even as computers have gotten better at rote tasks, they have progressed far less in applying common sense."   More

Global Tech Manufacturing

Electronics Manufacturers Bet Big on Vietnam

Attracted by low labor costs and other advantages, global electronics manufacturers invested billions in Vietnam over the past few years. As they continue to build new factories in 2014, Vietnam’s economy will benefit from the influx of foreign capital, talent, and technology. A small player in the global electronics supply chain just a decade ago, Vietnam exported $38 billion in devices and components last year, according to data from the International Trade Center. Although this pales next to the $560 billion shipped by China, the world’s leading producer of electronics, Vietnam now ranks as the 12th largest electronics exporter in the world.   More

Manufacturing

Innovation Hubs Are Accelerating American Manufacturing

There’s a renaissance underway in American manufacturing. Even as rising wages and energy costs in China are leading more U.S. companies to bring manufacturing stateside, economic indicators point towards real industrial progress. The Institute for Supply Management's monthly Report on Business shows that 15 of 18 manufacturing industries grew in June, and a composite index based on five industry indicators shows a steady expansion in manufacturing for the 13th consecutive month.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Manufacturing

This Manufacturing Technique Will Make 3D Printing Seem Old-School

Getting living organisms to do our manufacturing work for us may be the next big shift in materials science. This Quartz article explains how it becomes not inconceivable that in the nearish future we will have biological materials helping us assemble solar panels, for example, or possibly helping work with a variety of different non-biological materials. The ability of living cells to help assemble non-living ones is a big breakthrough the article reports on. It suggests that future capabilities might even include things like tape that repairs itself biologically if it detects that its adhesive is weakening. Wow.   More

Global Tech Manufacturing

Techonomy’s Kirkpatrick Moderates CFR’s 3D-Printing Panel

It's hard to believe you can manufacture your own toys and tchotchkes—not in a factory, but in your home. But companies including MakerBot and Solidoodle are already making it possible, selling low-end 3D printers to consumers for as little as $499. The printers spray liquified powders in thousands of layers to form almost any imaginable shape. And industrial models can even "print" objects made out of Titanium, glass, and many other materials.   More

Business

How Detroit Can Compete Globally

If you ask Michael A. Finney if Detroit is going to become a tech hub, he'll tell you to look around—Detroit already is a tech hub. "Detroit is loaded with technology," the Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO said. Finney, appointed by Michigan's Governor Rick Snyder, talked with us at our recent Techonomy Detroit conference about Detroit's talent-driven infrastructure, from community and business leaders to universities, companies, and the auto industry. "It's a question of building on all the great strengths we have right now in the auto sector and extending it into other sectors," Finney said, calling Detroit "an ideal location for future development."   More

Manufacturing

Roboticist Rodney Brooks on How Automation Helps Makers

Rodney Brooks, founder and CTO of Rethink Robotics, joined us at our Techonomy Detroit conference to talk about the intersection between robotics and the maker movement. Robots like Rethink's Baxter offer small industries a tool to make workers more productive. But because Baxter operates on a software platform, it also benefits from users who think of new functionality and specializations for the robot. "There's going to be some kids out there who come up with some ideas that we would never have thought of in a million years," Brooks said. Those users may in turn use Baxter for smaller scale, maker oriented production.   More

Global Tech Manufacturing

Where Do Apple’s iPhones Come From?

Apple has never been as popular as it was in the 2nd quarter of 2013. In the Q3 earnings call, Apple reported that 31.2 million iPhones were sold in that quarter. This was a quarterly record for Apple. Contrast this with 26 million iPhones sold last year. In this infographic, we trace the iPhone 5 supply and manufacturing chain. Did you know that 90% of all the rare-earth minerals used on an iPhone 5’s circuitry, screen, speakers, and glass cover are mined in China and Inner Mongolia? What does the rest of the world contribute to the making of the iPhone 5?   More

Cities Manufacturing

Detroit’s Creative Corridor Sparks Small Manufacturing

Detroit may be known for its automobile manufacturing, but lately it has seen a burgeoning class of small manufacturers and makers of watches, bicycles, jeans, and other goods. This is happening “just as the country experiences increasing consumption of domestically produced goods,” Crain's Detroit reports. In Detroit, the urban manufacturing resurgence has been guided by organizations like the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, which has expanded its mission beyond creative-industry entrepreneurs.   More

Manufacturing

The Next Manufacturing Revolution Is Not 3D. It’s Software

A major challenge to creating and filling manufacturing jobs in the U.S. is the ever-increasing skills gap. There is a widespread misconception that these jobs are low-skill. To the contrary, a large portion of U.S. manufacturing is complex, requiring a high level of expertise that is hard to find. Investment in improved education and training is surely needed to fill more jobs. But the long-term solution is to lower the barriers of entry to manufacturing work through technology—specifically by using widely accessible, easy-to-use automation software that grows revenues, increases efficiencies, and reduces costs for manufacturers and their customers.   More

Manufacturing

Staples Brings 3D Printers to the Mass Market

Designers have used 3D-printing websites like Shapeways to manufacture and market their wares for several years now, while some intrepid DIY makers have taken production into their homes by investing in desktop 3D printers from New York-based MakerBot. But 3D printing machines have yet to make their way into mass-market retail stores. Until now. Last week Staples announced that it will sell the Cube 3D printer, made by South Carolina-based 3D Systems Corp., in select stores. Priced at $1,299, the machine sells for almost half the cost of Makerbot's Replicator 2.   More

Business Manufacturing

An Online Matchmaker for Designers and Manufacturers

Repatriating U.S. manufacturing jobs isn't just about bolstering the economy. There are practical business problems associated with outsourcing production abroad. It's not uncommon for shipments of products made in countries like China to arrive with defects, which can be hard to rectify from the other side of the world. In a report on WNYC's New Tech City, Matthew Burnett, a small business owner in Brooklyn, says quality control wasn't the only issue he ran into when he used foreign companies to manufacture parts for his designer watch company—language barriers and time-zone differences hampered routine communications. When Burnett started his next company, a clothing line, he decided he only wanted to make his products in the U.S. That way he could order smaller batches and call up the factory directly if there were any problems.   More

Energy & Green Tech Jobs Manufacturing

Deloitte’s Chris Park: 3D Printing for Cleaner and Leaner U.S. Manufacturing

Revitalizing manufacturing is essential to U.S. economic recovery, but it’s not clear yet how this new phase might look. One thing is certain: it won’t look anything thing like manufacturing did 15 or even 5 years ago. PARC CEO Stephen Hoover has spoken at Techonomy events about how innovations like 3D printing and crowdsourcing can drive a paradigm shift in manufacturing. But can a new American manufacturing approach also be eco-friendly? Techonomy spoke with Chris Park, a principal at Deloitte who helps clients with their environmental, social, and sustainability performance, about how next-generation manufacturing technology could reduce environmental impact and bring jobs back to the U.S.   More

Manufacturing Startup Culture

In Defense of Dustpan Innovation, Product Developers Protest

Outraged over ergonomic gadget maker OXO’s introduction of a $25 dustpan-and-broom design that closely resembles a two-year-old, $12 Quirky model, Quirky staffers staged a street protest in New York last week.   More

Manufacturing

Why Robots Might Boost Industry While Killing Jobs

Globalization is an easy culprit for the recent wave of U.S. unemployment, with domestic jobs shipped overseas to be replaced by cheap labor, often without adverse impact on the quality of a company's products or services. Apple is just one high-profile example of this trend. But automation and robotics may be contributing even more to our stubborn unemployment figures. Paradoxically, robots could also help bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. The Jan. 13 broadcast of 60 Minutes featured several Techonomists to help explain how this might happen.   More

Manufacturing

Manufacturing Innovation Will Drive U.S. Economic Growth

Reviving U.S. manufacturing could mean more than creating new jobs; it has the potential to spur a more innovative and sustainable economy. As reported in The New York Times, economic theorists are warning that a diminished U.S. manufacturing base could dampen innovation and long-term growth. Experts theorize that keeping researchers and manufacturing workers in close proximity, rather than sending production overseas, is a path to increased productivity. A General Electric battery plant in upstate New York is putting this theory into real-world practice.   More

Manufacturing

Apple to Revamp U.S. Manufacturing Efforts

Good news for U.S. manufacturing: Apple is bringing some of its computer manufacturing back to the United States, Timothy Cook announced on Thursday. The company plans to spend $100 million in 2013 on producing one of its existing Mac lines in America. Apple is often criticized for outsourcing almost all of its factory work to Asia in the late 1990s.   More

Jobs Manufacturing

Skills Don’t Pay the Bills

What is the biggest threat to jobs in American manufacturing: robots or a skills gap? Many manufacturing jobs are vanishing because of computer-driven machinery, as discussed at Techonomy 2012, and nearly as many jobs have been outsourced. Thus, the industry’s future seems to lie in a new generation of highly skilled manufacturing employees who can run the computer that runs the machine. This means they must have a basic understanding of metallurgy, physics, chemistry, pneumatics, electrical wiring, and computer code.Some say there’s a skills gap, and employees with the right training simply do not exist. But that may not be the whole problem.   More

Techonomy Events

Meet Baxter: The Robot That Will Take Your Job

Who’s your biggest competition for that new job? Turns out, it could be a robot named Baxter. This humanoid robot, created by Rodney Brooks and his team at Rethink Robotics, is easy to program and costs only $22,000. At the Techonomy conference in Tucson, Ariz., Brooks joined MIT research scientist Andrew McAfee to talk about how robots will change our lives.   More