Industry Market Trends

Additive Manufacturing Technology and Smart Packaging: A Reality Check

June 25, 2013

As everyone from defense contractors to hobby enthusiasts explore the possibilities of additive manufacturing (AM) technology (popularly known as 3D printing), the question must be asked: with its seemingly endless applications, is it the answer to all things manufacturing related? Is it truly a panacea, or “just another tool in our manufacturing toolbox,” as Tim Caffrey, an associate with Wohler Associates, suggests? Read More

Industry Market Trends

One Manufacturer Redefines the Term 'Power Walking'

June 25, 2013

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Power walking isn’t just a health craze -- it could produce electrifying results!

Energy Floors, a Netherlands-based company, wants to be a player in the sustainable energy market. They don’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk... literally. Their products, the Sustainable Energy Floor and Sustainable Dance Floor, convert footsteps into electricity. As a person steps on an Energy Floor tile, the tile flexes about 10 mm. That movement is converted into electricity --  15 W on average, and up to 25 W peak. The tiles are modular; connect 40 tiles together and the network can generate up to 1 kW. The company wouldn’t give me details on the generator, except to say that it’s not piezoelectric. Based on the diagram below, it looks like a rack-and-pinion that drives a small permanent magnet generator. Read More

Industry Market Trends

Does Apple Brouhaha Put Light on Tax Disadvantages of Tangible Goods Makers?

June 25, 2013

Last month, a sensational series of hearings by the U.S. Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations shined a light on tax-avoidance practices of U.S. tech companies, particularly Apple Inc. The subcommittee's investigations revealed that the nation's manufacturers are at a disadvantage when it comes to minimizing the effects of high U.S. corporate taxes. Read More

Industry Market Trends

Strengthening STEM Mentorships with the US2020 City Competition

June 25, 2013

This month the Clinton Global Initiative hosted CGI America, an annual event that highlights ways to boost U.S. economic recovery, and much emphasis was on STEM education. Former President Bill Clinton announced the launch of the US2020 City Competition, in which cities and counties across the U.S. will answer the challenge to increase the number of local STEM professionals as mentors for students. Read More

Industry Market Trends

Small Manufacturers Taking the Brunt of Sequestration

June 25, 2013

Earlier this month, IMT examined the nature of the mandatory federal budget cuts known as sequestration and how they were likely to affect U.S. manufacturing. A second article looked at how some of the largest contractors were coping with the cuts. Here, IMT outlines the fallout on small companies in the defense contractor supply chain. Read More