Industry Trends: Business & Industry

Business & Industry

Editor's Note: Reshore. Live Better?

By now, you're probably aware of Walmart's 10-year, $250 billion pledge to source American-made goods for its U.S. stores. The retailer has publicized the job-igniting effort with TV ads celebrating U.S. manufacturing and the middle class. Voiceovers by all-American pitchman Mike Rowe serenaded reshoring supporters' ears. Let's forget for a second that Walmart was one of the biggest offshorers...

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Business & Industry

Metal Injection Molding Lowers Product Costs

MIM combines the benefits of net-shape metal parts and molded-in part functionality not possible with machining. MIM is a growing technology, with automotive being one of the promising application markets. High costs of machined metal parts are triggering greater interest in a semi-obscure metal molding process rapidly moving into the manufacturing mainstream. According to a new report from BCC...

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Business & Industry

Inventory Optimization Helps Straddle the Line Between Shortage and Excess

Companies of all sizes and in all industries are recognizing the value of inventory optimization (IO) for improving gross margin. The potential benefits are substantial. Marisa Brown of the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC) has written that carrying costs for inventory typically come to 10 percent of the annual value of a company's inventory, although they can be much higher. On the...

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Business & Industry

Industry Crib Sheet: Manufacturing Coming Out of Hibernation

Businesses Thaw Hiring Freeze Trade Gap Deepens in January U.S. factory orders in January slipped for the second straight month, and the brutal winter proved a drag on manufacturing as shipments of goods also fell. The latest Department of Commerce report indicates new orders for manufactured goods fell 0.7 percent in first month of the year, while unfilled orders and manufacturers' inventories...

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Business & Industry

The Light Side: As Winter Ends, So Go the Traffic Sneckdowns

Company Creates Environment "Tricorder" T. gurneyi = Jurassic Europe's Apex Predator Top 10 Songs for Engineers It's safe to say that most of us are tired of the snow and can't wait for spring to officially roll around in exactly two weeks. Then there are the traffic engineers, who don't want to see the winter sneckdowns end. Unless you are a civil engineer and/or work in city planning, chances...

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Business & Industry

Trade Show Preview: Gathering Schools Together at IMTS

This year at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, the Smartforce Student Summit will once again get students, young adults, and educators engaged in manufacturing with keynote speakers, interactive exhibits, meetings, and face time with industry members. It has been well documented that manufacturing faces a severe shortage of skilled workers. The latest Bureau of Labor...

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Business & Industry

Trade Show Preview: Integrating the Industry at Hannover Messe

Hannover Messe, a major annual industrial fair in Germany, predicts that this year will see pivotal developments in plant integration technologies representing the stepping stones to tomorrow's intelligent, fully automated factories. As the ripples of change spread the pace of innovation and development in the industrial sector, it is expected to move into overdrive. A great shift towards...

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Business & Industry

Editor's Note: Desperately Seeking Science

What do advanced polymer composites and mantis shrimp appendages have in common? They're both looking for research money, as President Barack Obama ceremoniously hands his fiscal 2015 budget request to Congress. The president's budget plan will be examined and dissected in the days to come, as a matter of course. He is seeking an extra $56 billion not in the two-year budget pact negotiated by...

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Business & Industry

Survey: Small, Midsize Manufacturers "Conservatively Optimistic"

With 2014 in full swing, many are looking to the manufacturing sector for an indication of how the economy will perform this year. Sage North America recently conducted a survey of small and midsize manufacturers to find out their business outlooks and trends they expect, as well as investment priorities. The economic uncertainty of the past few years clearly had a stifling affect on some...

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Business & Industry

Passive vs. Semi-Passive vs. Active Tags in RFID

There are many types of tags used in radio-frequency identification, but they can all be found in one of three general classes: passive, semi-passive, and active. The choice of tag may be driven by performance, cost, and other use parameters. It's up to the engineer to determine the best tag for the job. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems are relatively simple: There are readers and...

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