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Machines & Automation

IBISWorld: Decline in US Manufacturing Has Been Relative

The demise of American manufacturing has become a familiar headline. Technological change, deregulation, outsourcing and increasingly competitive foreign producers all continue to do their part in hollowing out the US industrial base. For instance, over the 10-year period to 2015, manufacturing’s share of the US economy (as measured by value added*) is expected to fall from 10.7% to 8.1%. Similarly, US manufacturing employment is anticipated to fall 15.6% over the same period.

Viewpoints Blog

Viewpoints: Look to Suppliers to Help Fill Skills Gap

The recent upswing in US manufacturing due in part to rising production costs overseas, higher shipping costs and more companies interested in reshoring has been great for our industry and the nation’s economy. With such growth, however, comes a set of challenges that we, as an industry, must tackle together to continue to increase domestic demand and successfully shape the future of manufacturing in this country.


Advances in Hand-Held Metrology

While high-end metrology devices like advanced laser scanners or precision CMMs garner a lot of attention, it is hard to imagine any industrial setting without the presence of work-a-day hand-held, contact metrology tools such as calipers or micrometers. That is what Justin Frazzini, quality manager for A.A. Jansson (Waterford, MI), retailer and calibration and repair service provider, observes in his practice.

Controls & Software

New Software Puts Big Data to Practical, Specific Use

Today’s metrology software—compared with applications available as recently as the turn of the century—is more accurate, has the capacity to analyze bigger data sets, is faster, and makes using it easier. “It’s mind boggling how fast it moves data. And that’s really critical to getting your job done,” said Ron Rode, past president of the Coordinate Metrology Society (Weatherford, TX). “Scanning is getting more and more accurate, you’re able to take bigger and more dense cloud points, and the software is getting much more robust.”


Off the Line: Pratt & Whitney Engine

Since April 2015, Pratt & Whitney PurePower geared turbofan engines have been rolling off of new assembly lines in Middletown, CT, and West Palm Beach, FL. Concurrent with the design of the new engine family was a new design for engine assembly, now in use in both locations as well as in Mirabel, QC, Canada. This new system—in some ways the biggest innovation in engine assembly in decades—combines lean thinking, DFM and a variation of Henry Ford’s innovation, a moving horizontal assembly line.

Event Coverage

CAR MBS: Recovering from a Dark and Stormy Night

Power was not fully restored to the Grand Traverse Resort until more than an hour after the scheduled end of the first day of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Management Briefing Seminar (MBS). That could have been the bad news. It wasn't. Thanks to diligence, effort and not a small bit of luck CAR was able to salvage the afternoon session of the event in the wake of a ferocious thunderstorm that ravaged northwestern lower Michigan the night before.

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