Author: Debbie Holton, Director of Events and Industry Strategy, SME
As the plane touched down in Beijing, I didn’t know what to expect. I had traveled internationally for business many times but never to Asia or specifically China. I was excited to embark on a new adventure, but a little nervous about being in a country where I was obviously a stranger and couldn’t speak a word of the language.I was fortunate to have been invited by AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology – to visit CIMT 13 – the China International Machine Tool Show as their guest in the USA pavilion. Full Article
Author: Harry Moser, Founder and President, Reshoring Initiative
In January, The Economist hosted a several-day online written debate that asked: "Do multinational corporations [MNCs] have a duty to maintain a strong presence in their home countries?" I presented the affirmative case that they did, while the opposing point of view was presented by Jagdish Bhagwati, Professor of Economics and Law at Columbia University, Senior Fellow in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations and co-chair of the Eminent Persons Group on Developing Countries in the World Economy. Full Article
Author: By Chris Kaiser
BIG Kaiser Precision Tooling Inc.
Hoffman Estates, IL
Imagine looking out over your shop floor and seeing a young boy steering his tricycle through your machines. How many OSHA laws would that be breaking? How many safety regulations? Full Article
Author: Gary Hargreaves
Vice President, Business Development
CNC Software, Inc.
One of the premier venues for countries anxious to show the world the skill levels achieved by their best youngsters is the WorldSkills
Competition held in a different member country every two years.Begun in Madrid shortly after World War II to bring attention to the need for skilled workers in Spain, the event has grown to attract over 1,000 competitors from more than 50 countries. Full Article
Author: By Vince Trampus
Heller Machine Tools
Web site: www.heller-usa.com
Over the last 20 years, Heller machine tools have become 70-80% more productive yet use 30% less energy. Much of these savings have come from improving the energy efficiency of controls, drives and switches. Full Article
Author: Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster
As bad as the Great Recession might have been for manufacturing, it’s had a fascinating silver lining for the image of manufacturing, which not too long ago felt like a lost cause. Politicians at the federal, state and local levels are now aggressively investing in and courting activity in the sector, as evidenced by President Barack Obama’s focus on manufacturing in the State of the Union. Full Article
Author: Brian Papke
The US is currently one of world’s most attractive places to manufacture. In fact, after years of decline, a larger percentage of the US GDP is attributable to manufacturing. Full Article
Author: Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster
The renewable energy industry kicked off the New Year with celebration after Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 in the first days of 2013. The law averted a tumble over a fiscal cliff of automatic spending cuts and also extended the popular tax credits that had been set to expire. The federal renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC) is a per-kilowatt-hour tax credit for electricity generated by qualified energy resources. While wind and ethanol producers are the big winners in the move, the PTC also covers other sources of power generation such as specific types of landfill gas, biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal electric, municipal solid waste and others. Full Article
Author: NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray
Amidst all of the conversation about the fiscal cliff, slowing global growth and other economic anxieties, it is easy to overlook that the long-term prognosis for the manufacturing sector remains strong. Some of 2012’s economic bright spots should continue into 2013, and manufacturers will benefit. Full Article
Author: Editor-in-Chief Sarah A. Webster
It’s difficult to determine what facts are the most disturbing about our nation’s skills gap: The fact that U.S. students recently finished 25th in math and 17th in science. Or that employers – already strained to fill about 600,000 current vacancies -- have a bevy of issues with their current workers, too. Full Article
Author: Senior Editor James D. Sawyer
The Pittsburgh region is once again a hotbed of energy production and manufacturing -- thanks to the Marcellus Shale and fracking. Full Article
Author: Michael Freimann, Mastercam University, Certification Coordinator, CNC Software Inc.
Today, with orders on the rise, manufacturers are looking toward multiaxis CNC machines like never before to get more done with less. Good for us. Technology could allow North America to be the global manufacturing powerhouse it once was. This, however, leads us to a burning question: "Who is going to do all of this sophisticated CNC programming?" Full Article
Author: Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster
I am struck by how much the basics still matter. Basics such as: Leaders who (duh!) lead. Competent workforces that can execute in increasingly advanced environments. Lean Plan-Do-Check-Adjust approaches that are not just rooted in management memos but also in a company’s culture—and in reality.
Author: Phillip S. Waldrop, PhD.
Professor of Manufacturing and MER Steering Committee member
Given the shortage of skilled front line workers and leaders, it is critical to the employer to not only hire qualified people, but to then protect their recruitment, selection, and training investment by keeping them on board into the future. Full Article
Author: Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster
I was quite surprised – astonished really – when a report landed in my in-box this October from the Boston Consulting Group with this headline: “Skills Gap in US Manufacturing is Less Pervasive Than Many Believe.” Full Article
Author: Ro Khanna, Author, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce
Despite cheaper labor abroad, currency manipulation, intellectual property theft, and subsidies to foreign competitors, American manufacturers are still global leaders in manufacturing. Many manufacturers are small or medium-sized businesses that are family owned. Some are large corporations led by executives who still believe that America is the best place to set up a factory. Full Article
Author: Editor in Chief Sarah A. Webster
Manufacturing education is, indeed, in crisis. When manufacturers have hundreds of thousands available jobs and nobody to fill them, during a period of high unemployment, the crisis is obvious. There’s just not enough people to get the job done. Full Article
Author: Karin Lindner, Karico Performance Solutions
I am disappointed when I see people working in a poisoned environment, toiling in negativity day in and day out. It not only has a detrimental impact on their productivity, but more importantly, on their health and well-being, all for the illusion of security and a regular paycheck. Why do so many organizations ignore their crippled company culture and choose to stick with the status quo? It’s time to wake up! Full Article
Author: Don Graham, Education and Technical Services Manager, Seco Tools
Henry Ford is considered a mechanical genius, but he was once publicly humiliated in court for his lack of knowledge. When asked by an opposing attorney who the first president of the US was, he couldn’t come up with the answer. Many teaching experts believe a major reason was because he was the type of person who learned by doing. Full Article
Author: Terri Helmlinger Ratcliff, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Executive Director, North Carolina State University, & Louis A. Martin-Vega, Dean of Engineering, North Carolina State University
For too long, manufacturing’s vital role in our nation’s economy has been misunderstood, downplayed, or even ignored. Occasionally politicians or the media pay short-term attention to manufacturing, when it suits their own agendas, but that kind of attention is not always positive. Full Article
Author: Jim King, President and COO, Okuma America Corporation
In the past three years, we have seen our industry live through one of the toughest downturns in history. However, we have recovered faster than any experts forecasted and, hopefully, from the depths of dispair will come great innovation. Our industry has been given a chance to perform better than any other in the world. Full Article
Author: Ki Hyo Park, President, Hyundai WIA Machine America Corp.
The earliest multitasking mill/turn, turn/mill machine tools began showing up on the floors of job shops and industrial-scale production facilities in the early to mid 1980s. These were the result of the demand to do more with less—more operations, less setup and operator involvement.An important driver in today’s multitasking environment are smaller lot sizes. The days of doing million-part production runs are few and far between. Full Article
Author: Carlos Cardoso, President and CEO, Kennametal
This is an exciting time to be in manufacturing! Our industry is leading the economic recovery and all of us should feel proud to be a part of this sustaining force. As I travel across the country, I take every opportunity to promote our successes in the manufacturing sector and share the many examples I hear about that companies are taking to advance manufacturing in the US. However, despite these positive stories, I continue to encounter many that contradict the truth about manufacturing. Full Article
Author: Don Lane, President and CEO, Makino Inc.
According to the headlines and recent stock market performance, overall economic conditions remain unsteady. However, the machine tool industry is experiencing a recovery from the recession that has been quicker, stronger and more robust than any other in history. Full Article
Author: Barbara Morrison
There is broad agreement that growth in manufacturing is critical to the nation’s economic recovery. A number of recent measures are giving the sector a much-needed boost. One initiative in particular, the Small Business Jobs Act, has made investing in property ownership and refinancing current holdings more affordable and accessible to small manufacturers. Full Article
Author: Brian Papke
The time is now for manufacturing in the United States. Exporting is on the rise, we have faster tax write-offs on capital equipment, and lending has improved dramatically. The US dollar is attracting foreign work to this country, and in an increasing number of instances, it’s no longer more cost-effective or efficient to have work done offshore. Full Article
Author: Kevin Meehan
For once, the manufacturing community is in the enviable position of being the shining star in our otherwise lackluster economic recovery. Full Article
Author: Joe Campbell
Time costs money. A stitch in time saves nine. Better late than never. Don’t delay, put your toys away. As kids, we are taught that time matters, that quicker is better, that delays are bad. And when we grew up and went into the business world, we learned a whole new set of time-based axioms: net present value, cost of capital, 2%/10, net 30. Full Article
Author: Vincent Trampus
When you consider the progress in machining technology, you might wonder if the special-purpose machine has seen its day. Not quite yet, but sooner rather than later. The characteristics of the machining center today greatly broadens its scope, allowing it to work with tooling and fixturing that only a few years ago would not be considered likely. Full Article
Author: Dave Lawrence, President, Milacron's Plastics Machinery
The American manufacturing industry is growing, and it has been for well over a year. Despite the hard knocks of the last couple years, manufacturing is leading a dramatic resurgence. Full Article
Author: Thomas R. Dillon, Vice Chairman, DMG / Mori Seiki USA
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, "by failing to prepare you are preparing for failure." At no other time in my manufacturing career has this statement been more poignant. It has been just over two years since virtually every industry was negatively impacted by the global financial crisis. Full Article
Author: Richard J. Schonberger
We’ve all read the stories: angry employees at Chinese factories protesting and striking over working conditions, pay, and in some cases co-workers’ suicides. And companies responding with wage increases.It’s a bitter palliative: Chinese companies are jacking up pay so employees will stay at their workstations doing intolerable jobs. How intolerable? Full Article
Author: Dean Bartles
Isn’t it interesting how a term catches on and spreads like wildfire? Surely the word "analytics" has been around a long time. Recently, however, it seems I can’t get through a magazine article, conference, or blog site without the term coming up. So what does "analytics" refer to, as the term is being used today? Full Article
Author: Will Slota
As an educational applications engineer, I see many things other people don’t. So when I am at a social gathering and overhear some of my peers talking about manufacturing being dead, I roll my eyes, take a deep breath, and restrain myself from launching into a rant. If they knew what I know, they might think differently. Full Article
Author: Brian Summers
As the developers of Mastercam CAD/CAM software, piracy, the unauthorized copying or distribution of copyrighted software, is an issue we contend with daily. Some people are honestly unaware that there is a distinct difference between "owning" something and purchasing a "license" or "seat." Full Article
Author: John Israelsson, President, Sandvik Coromant US
The year 2010 may have marked the start of a new decade, but for manufacturing it ushered in the beginning of a new era. For the last 18 months, the name of the game has been survival. Manufacturers that invested revenues in new technologies, expanded capabilities, and maintained skilled workforces were able to endure the recession and maybe even gain a competitive edge. However, these preventive measures will not have a lasting impact if we cannot close the talent gap, and stop the exodus of our brightest minds to other industries. Full Article
Author: Harry Moser, Chairman Emeritus, GF AgieCharmilles
I am dismayed by US manufacturing's decades-long decline, a major cause of high unemployment and massive trade and budget deficits. Unlike the government, which so far has talked but not acted, three US trade associations are striving to reverse the decline. Full Article
Author: Nick Giannotte, Vice President, Mitsubishi EDM and Waterjet, MC Machinery
There is no denying that manufacturing has been hit hard by the recession. Declining sales and an uncertain future have left many shop owners questioning what theirk next move should be. If you are planning to deal with current challenges by quickly reducing investments, or by laying off employees, you should reconsider. Cutting these expenses to gain a short-term benefit can lead to major problems down the road. Instead, adopt a proactive approach: reevaluate your current strategy to gain a comprehensive understanding of the issues affecting your business and overall operation. Full Article
Author: William A. Levinson, CMfgE, CEI, PE, Principal, Levinson Productivity Systems PC
Henry Ford said that there are exactly three ways to create wealth: grow it, mine it, or make it. In 1999 only 18% of the US gross domestic product consisted of growing, mining, and making, and it is even less today. Because Ford also was able to continually reduce the per-unit labor content in his vehicles, he made labor's wages largely irrelevant. Full Article
Author: James P. Womack, Founder and Chairman, The Lean Enterprise Institute
We've all now learned one more time that stable growth is hard to achieve in modern economies. The lure of financial fiddles to garner short-term windfalls is very strong, and the will of politicians to nip bubbles in the bud is very weak. Then, when the bubble bursts, regulators—like generals preparing for the last war—put controls in place to prevent the disaster that has just occurred, not the next one. Full Article
Author: Mitch Free, CEO, Mfg.com
There are glimmers of hope for recovery in the world's economies. Not that we're out of the woods by any means. There's still a lot of work to do. To that end, our president has appointed a manufacturing "czar" to construct a policy to resurrect, redirect, and revitalize US manufacturing. I've thought a lot about this role, and the challenges the czar faces. Full Article
Author: John Cheung, CEO, OMAX Corp.
The past year's economy has been difficult for almost all American companies, but it may eventually prove to be a blessing in disguise for many job-shop owners and contract manufacturers. As times have become tight, many companies have begun to discover some of the hidden costs of foreign production. Full Article
Author: Norbert Junreithmayr, President, WFL Millturn Technologies
Has America lost its way? This is a question, not a statement, because I could be wrong. The following are some of my thoughts. The US is still the greatest country in the world, but the world's largest and most diversified economy seems to be losing ground when it should be gaining ground. I am not talking about just this last year's numbers, because strictly by the numbers the US is still number one both economically and socially. I am talking about the long-term view. Full Article
Author: Glynn Fletcher, President, GF AgieCharmilles
The pressures and challenges presented by today's economy have taught all of us some very hard but nonetheless valuable lessons. The current recession has forced us to take a closer look at American manufacturing and the role it plays in our national economy. Many of the past's greatest manufacturing giants have stumbled, and some have fallen, as they failed to take the steps necessary to adapt to the changing market. It is vital that we learn from these highly visible examples, and examine what they mean for the future of manufacturing in the US. Full Article
Author: John Israelsson, President, Sandvik Coromant US
No one needs to be told that the past year has been a tough one for American manufacturers. The economic crisis has had a profound effect on business, and the overwhelming majority of shops have experienced significant reductions in orders. On the other hand, although the current environment negatively impacts sales, it also offers a singular chance to create or improve long-term strategic advantages. Full Article
Author: Mark Summers, President, CNC Software Inc.
Recessions are challenging, and this one in particular has created more obstacles than I've experienced in my 30 years in the industry. In this economy, I need to feel like I'm doing something more that will help our company not only survive, but make us a better and stronger organization when we emerge from the economic cycle. Full Article
Author: Vincent Trampus, Vice President, Heller Machine Tools
Looking ahead to the time when vehicle production stabilizes, it's evident that vehicle producers will want greater support from manufacturing-system providers. Financial independence and stability, R&D commitment, global presence, demonstrated problem-solving capability, process expertise, local production and service, qualified personnel, and a proven ability to meet the customer's total-cost-of-ownership requirements will top the list of desired characteristics. Full Article
Author: Chris Kaiser, President, BIG Kaiser Precision Tooling Inc.
The current economic crunch is forcing all of us to take a closer look at our processes, and find ways to operate more efficiently to stay profitable. When business is strong, we are too busy to step back and evaluate our processes and applications. This has always seemed like flawed logic to me, but I suppose I can understand it. After all, if we are operating at or near full capacity, there's not exactly an abundance of extra time to look at things on a grander scale. Full Article
Author: Jim Ellison, CEO, Ellison Technologies, Inc.
Just when the public perception of US manufacturers finally moved from irrelevant to significant—at long last acknowledged as the mighty engine sustaining our world leadership as producers and exporters of manufactured products—two shoes dropped. First, the real estate and financial markets led us into widespread, even global, economic contraction, pushing the manufacturing sector to the back pages of the newspapers. Full Article
Author: Carlos M. Cardoso, Chairman, President, and CEO, Kennametal Inc.
It is no doubt that today's challenging economy is on everyone's mind. Its effects are evident everywhere you look. Unfortunately, manufacturing operations around the world are not immune to the downturn, and have been left to make difficult decisions about how they will position themselves to survive this current crisis. Full Article
Author: Mark Adkins, Director, Kennametal
It's beyond debate that machine tools and their output in numerous manufacturing industries constitute one of the hallmarks of a modern society. Machine tools are levers that can lift entire industries and move them into rapid growth, profitability, and higher levels of technology. Full Article
Author: Bob K. Simpson, President, AMT--The Association for Manufacturing Technology
Yes, the headline is correct and no, you do not have to have your eyes checked. A major dilemma facing our membership at AMT (and similar manufacturing industries) is the lack of skilled workers. Yet, surprisingly, we are constantly bombarded by news of manufacturing job losses. Full Article
Author: Scott Walker, President, Mitsui Seiki Inc.
Our company has been quietly involved in an R&D project with a major aerospace company for the last three years to figure out how to design a machine tool to cut the new triple-nickel titanium materials. We, along with makers of cutting tools, have learned a tremendous amount. We are learning more every day—not just how to cut it, you can cut it with a file—but how to cut it with significantly improved productivity and economy. Full Article
Author: Brian Papke, President, Mazak Corp.
We are living in an age where innovation and ingenuity are accelerating at such a rapid pace that the global energy landscape has been forever changed. Like the aerospace and medical industries whose booms preceded it, the energy industry is ruled by the maxim that speed is king. From downhole tools to oilfield valves to threaded pipes, manufacturers are challenged to produce increasingly complex parts with smaller lot sizes, quickly, efficiently, and at minimal cost. Full Article
Author: Richard J. Schonberger, Author: "Best Practices in Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement"
There's a great deal wrong with OEE (overall equipment effectiveness). OEE comes up short as an equipment management device, and is poorly cast as a centerpiece of total productive maintenance (TPM). Moreover, linking OEE to lean is perverse. Full Article
Author: K. Subramanian, Director, Core Technology (SPT), Higgins Grinding Technology Center, Saint-Gobain Abrasives
Everyone has an opinion about what we in US manufacturing need to do next. But none of these opinions really matter unless they are transformed into policies and plans. So, here are a set of opinions and ideas, offered in the hope that some of them will find their way up the chain to the decision makers. Full Article
Author: Mike Shipulski, Director of Engineering, Hypertherm Inc.
Have we read enough, talked enough, circled, and delayed the issue enough to finally do something about the decline in US manufacturing? Are we afraid enough yet, after each quarterly government trade report, to undertake what is obvious as far as engineering goes? Full Article
Author: Larry Schwartz, President and COO, Okuma America Corp.
As I travel around North and South America, I have wonderful opportunities to visit many different manufacturing companies whose markets include aerospace, construction, farm, automotive, medical, and many others. As I walk the customer's floor, I see how technology is and isn't used to its full capacity, and I wonder if they were sold the right technology for their needs in the first place. Full Article
Author: John B. Byrd III, President, AMT--The Association for Manufacturing Technology
For the staff at AMT, an even-numbered year means we will be in Chicago the week after Labor Day as sponsors of the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS). But for most everyone else in Washington, DC, an even-numbered year means Election Year, with all the accompanying political rhetoric. Full Article
Author: J. Patrick Ervin, CEO, Hardinge Inc.
It's critical that a company which manufactures machine tools understand what customers are trying to achieve from a manufacturing process and, more importantly, what they view as value-added and are willing to pay for. As a machine-tool builder, we realize that what customers demand from a manufacturing process may vary significantly, depending on what they are attempting to achieve. Full Article
Author: Mark Summers, President, CNC Software Inc.
For decades now, many of us have been concerned about the declining number of skilled machinists. Within the last several years, though, effective efforts have been made toward correcting that trend. Today's students are starting to get the message that 21st-century shops are sophisticated, challenging, and lucrative places to have a rewarding career. Now it's up to us to make sure that those claims remain true to attract and keep the level of talent we need in our companies. Full Article
Author: Tomohisa Yamazaki, President, Yamazaki Mazak Corp.
As manufacturing technologies advance at a fast pace, it has become more and more difficult for companies to utilize and fully benefit from innovation, though they absolutely must do so to achieve real competitiveness and long-term success. In part, this is due to the global scarcity of highly trained and experienced personnel as alternate careers may appear more attractive than working in a factory—even a "high-tech" one. Full Article
Author: Bruno Schmitter, President/CEO, Hydromat Inc.
The US has become the bargain store for the western world. Europeans and Canadians flock across the borders to take advantage of the strong Euro and Canadian currencies, and gobble up luxury goods, stocks, and real estate. Lured to the States seeking 30–40% discounts on these goods, wealthy buyers find these purchases and investment opportunities a "no-brainer," and seize on the moment in a type of feeding frenzy. Full Article
Author: Masahiko Mori, PhD, FSME, President, Mori Seiki Co. Ltd.
When discussing the challenges facing American manufacturers, the shortage of skilled workers is almost always near the top of the list. Due to many factors, fewer and fewer young people are seeking careers in manufacturing. Often, new hires possess no practical experience or relevant education, and must be trained on the job. For many shops, this problem can go so far as to constrain their capacity, impacting profitability and growth. Full Article
Author: Norbert Jungreithmayr, President, WFL Millturn Technologies
I always try to read Viewpoints because it shows many different opinions and approaches to a wide variety of subjects important to the manufacturing community. I especially agree with Jim Ellison in his article: "We are Competitive" (September, 2007). Contrary to popular belief, manufacturing is still big in the US. Outside of the US, "Made in America" indicates quality and innovation. Full Article
Author: Donald L. Brown, Vice President, Fluid Power Group, Eaton Corp.
Building an effective operations team is a top challenge for manufacturing executives. Plant Manager and General Manager roles are core to a company's success and sustained growth. As leaders, however, too often we commit a career development "crime:" we find as many good manufacturing/quality engineers, lean coordinators, and production supervisors as we can, and sit on them, for years, for our own benefit. Full Article
Author: C. Denver Lovett and M. Alkan Donmez, Standards Committee
The Viewpoints article in the July 2007 issue of Manufacturing Engineering highlights an important need of industry, namely a standard for defining and assessing the volumetric accuracy of machine tools. While drawing attention to this need, however, the article makes significant generalizations as well as technical misconceptions that may mislead the reader. Full Article
Author: Jamie Flinchbaugh, Partner, Lean Learning Center
Over the past 10 years I have visited many companies to observe and provide consultation on their strategies for lean transformation. Unfortunately, at least half of the companies have an inadequate approach to lean, implementing what we refer to as "event lean." Full Article
Author: Vincent Trampus, Vice President, Heller Machine Tools North America
Less maintenance, less floor space, and lower per-piece cost are goals for every production plant in the world. In the critically important automotive field, shorter innovation cycles, more models, faster model changes, and fluctuation in demand require a machining system for prismatic parts that can adapt quickly for today and tomorrow, while reducing the cost of piece parts as much as possible. Full Article
Author: Jim Ellison, Chariman/CEO and CFO, Ellison Technologies Inc.
Is everything really broken? Is American manufacturing truly in jeopardy? Before we throw in the towel, let's pause for a moment and consider the facts about US manufacturing. American manufacturing is not dead or dying. It is alive and well, and continues to be vital to our future. Full Article
Author: Glynn Fletcher, President, AgieCharmilles
The manufacturing world has changed dramatically in the recent past, both in its scope and the rate of its evolution. Geographic boundaries have been transcended to create a truly global marketplace, while technological breakthroughs are constantly providing improved methods of production. Full Article
Author: Scott Walker, President, Mitsui Seiki USA Inc.
In all machine tools, mass is driven along the way system.The mass needs to move straight, without pitch, yaw, and roll, because any variation of these three movements is amplified as travel goes further and further along the machine tool's way system to the outer edges of the work envelope. Full Article
Author: Rodger W Pinney, President and CEO, United Grinding Technologies Inc.
Thoughts of another hectic day in the world of automotive parts manufacturing cross the operator's mind as his CNC machine spits out a seemingly endless stream of transmission parts. Milling, turning, and grinding are all being done in his lean manufacturing cell. Full Article
Author: Olaf Tessarzyk, Chairman and CEO, Index Corp.
American manufacturers of precision parts are being chased up the pole by global competition. Those still in business have found that the simple parts are being produced offshore, and that the remaining parts tend to be more complex and do not necessarily come with guaranteed long runs. Full Article
Author: Dick Morley, Chairman of the Board, National Center for Manufacturing Sciences
I am a venture capitalist, one of the early builders of the programmable controller, and a Harley guy. [Editor's note: Morley is considered the father of the PLC.] Enough about me. Let's talk about the new robotics. The new robotics use machine-to-machine (M2M) concepts. Full Article
Author: Dan Janka, President, Cincinnati Technologies
Futurists are having field days speculating on what globalization means economically, politically, and culturally for various nations and regions of the world. Fortunately, a new metaphor for globalization's impact—"The World Is Flat"—doesn't apply to flight plans. Full Article
Author: Howard Michael, President and CEO, Toyoda Machinery
Today's manufacturing trend toward automation and software management systems has had a tremendous impact on shop floors in the US. Modern-day technology is making us more productive than ever, and allows us to automate previously manual operations. This shift, however, has led to a very controversial topic among US manufacturers: are our jobs being sacrificed to technology advancements? Full Article
Author: John Engler, President and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)
Manufacturers enter 2007 with a full head of steam, coming out of our most productive year ever with production and new orders for durable goods at all-time highs.While we face many competitive challenges in building upon our country's standing as the world's leading manufacturer, none is more significant in the long term than China's rapid economic expansion. Full Article
Author: Brian J. Papke, President, Mazak Corp.
In the machine-tool business and all its related technologies, customers make choices every day. They are bombarded by many competing messages and claims regarding product, service, support, commitment, and philosophy. Full Article
Author: Jim Minock, Product Manager, Seco-Carboloy
We live in an age of speed and flash—the quicker we can get information, the better we can accomplish a task. But, is this always true on the shop floor? Computers and software have made incredible differences in the way companies do business and in the way they manufacture products. Full Article
Author: John Israelsson, President, Sandvik Coromant US
The options available to today’s manufacturer are changing faster than ever before. Whether considering dramatic shifts in machine design, the maturation of relatively new technologies like multi-tasking, or subtle innovations in tool design, there has never been more information for shops to monitor. Full Article
Author: Michel Baudin, Member, MMTI--Manufacturing Management & Technology Institute
As this article is written, Delphi, 22-time recipient of the Shingo Prize, has filed for bankruptcy. It's a bad sound bite for lean manufacturing, but decades-old commitments, not lean, caused Delphi's problems. The reference for lean is not Delphi but Toyota, whose profits in 2005 exceeded those of all US competitors combined. Full Article
Author: Harry C. Moser, President, Charmilles US
Competition from third-world, low-wage countries and regions, such as China, India, and Southeast Asia, has changed the manufacturing landscape in North America. Eventually, the advantages enjoyed by these countries will erode. Currencies will be allowed to adjust. Chinese students will learn to prefer liberal arts to engineering and manufacturing, as have students in Japan over the past twenty years. Full Article