Archive for January 15th, 2013
1/15

A recent broadcast segment by 60 Minutes titled “March of the Machines” highlighted the evolving roles of robots on shop floors, with an emphasis on how the rise of such machines and advanced automation is tied to job loss. Respective industry experts, including the Automation Industry Association, were quick to criticize the report. Read more


Cut Spending 2

The patchwork deal to prevent the U.S. from going over the so-called fiscal cliff included numerous policy changes and deals that will have a direct positive effect on manufacturing businesses, but manufacturers remain deeply concerned about lingering problems that will need to be addressed in coming months, particularly budget sequestration. Read more


Labor union

Many states have adopted new right-to-work laws, which prevent workers from being forced to pay union fees. While supporters of these laws claim they are an important step in boosting competitiveness, opponents argue that they hinder a union’s effectiveness. Here we separate the truth from the misconceptions in this controversial debate. Read more


Credit: IBM

New technology greatly improved industrial production in 2012, as manufacturers focused on non-traditional resources, such as mobile apps, the cloud, and a wide range of sustainable energy sources. As we begin a new year, what are the tech trends we should watch out for in 2013?

Read more


RecReadingMakers

In Makers, author and Wired magazine editor Chris Anderson explores how today’s cutting-edge manufacturers are harnessing high-tech tools, like open source design and 3-D printing, to usher in a new age of custom-made, do-it-yourself production. Read more


1/15

Dell Computers is turning to bamboo as a source for its packing materials. Credit: Brian Wilkins.

In an effort to maintain corporate sustainability goals, many companies are examining their entire product lifecycles to find places to “go green”: from materials procurement to the manufacturing process and facility infrastructure to shipping and transportation to waste disposal, it’s all under review. Is it because companies are becoming more concerned with the environment?

For some, that may be the case, but for most, it’s simply too expensive to be wasteful today. Arbitrarily using and discarding resources may be a viable (though irresponsible) option when resources are plentiful and cheap, but increasingly, this is no longer true. Read more


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