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June 2020

The June 2020 edition of Smart Manufacturing is now available as a digital magazine. Links to individual articles are below.
Comau’s MATE, an acronym for Muscular Aiding Tech Exoskeleton, transfers about 30 percent of the muscular burden from the shoulders to the pelvis.

For older workers, wearables are where it's at

May 13, 2020
When the ergonomics team at General Motors decided to field test wearables to augment their plant workers’ physical abilities, they partnered with body mechanics experts who collect data in a scientific way—and talked with users.
Ilene Wolff
By Ilene Wolff Contributing Editor, SME Media
Andrew Scheuermann giving a presentation in Beijing as part of a 2018 tour introducing U.S. tech firms to Chinese manufacturers. The tour was sponsored by Legend Star, the financial side of Lenovo.

Crossing the digital divide key to improving labor productivity

May 18, 2020
Inside an electronics factory in China as late as early 2019, workers and smart machines were building circuit boards with chips in a multi-step process using a variety of machines from different vendors.
By Karen Haywood Queen Contributing Editor, SME Media
20 Most influential professors

The 20 most influential professors in smart manufacturing

May 13, 2020
Innovation in smart manufacturing can come in a flash from a lightbulb moment, but those instances are few. More often than not, breakthroughs in technology, such as bioprinting, blockchain, cloud-based manufacturing and real-time production control, happen after years of careful study accompanied by painstaking, methodical work done sometimes in academic settings.
Ilene Wolff
By Ilene Wolff Contributing Editor, SME Media
Sander Rotmensen, head  of product management for industrial wireless communication at Siemens, taking part in a 5G panel discussion at Hannover Messe last year.

For manufacturers and 5G, it’s still ‘early days’

May 14, 2020
Although the first iteration of 5G technology has offered limited use cases in manufacturing, the next two generations, now expected to be available in the fall of this year and then the fall of next year because of COVID-19-related delays, will help factory owners achieve greater digital transformation of their factories.
By Karen Haywood Queen Contributing Editor, SME Media
An explosion on May 22, 1919, at the Douglas Starch Works plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, killed 43 workers and injured 30 others. MākuSafe CEO Gabe Glynn’s great grandfather survived—by a stroke of luck.

One man's war on disaster

May 12, 2020
Factory safety is not a theoretical issue for Gabe Glynn, CEO of the wearable tech firm MākuSafe.
Brett Brune
By Brett Brune Editor in Chief, Smart Manufacturing
MxD CEO Chandra Brown, right, and Carolyn Lee of The Manufacturing Institute speak  at a February event hosted  at MxD.

MxD succeeds in encouraging firms of all sizes, schools to mix well

May 26, 2020
The figurative skull and crossbones marking the tech-demo and -validation period commonly called the “valley of death” are in the rearview mirror, MxD CEO Chandra Brown asserts.
Brett Brune
By Brett Brune Editor in Chief, Smart Manufacturing


  • Smart Manufacturing

    Wearables can help with worker safety, retention

    May 15, 2020
    We have been remiss in not reporting a great deal on wearables since starting this magazine in early 2016. So, in this issue, we tackle that subject on two fronts of great import: worker safety and worker retention.
    By Brett Brune - Editor in Chief, Smart Manufacturing

AM Update

Passport to Innovation

  • COVID-19

    What supply chain players are learning from the pandemic

    March 31, 2020
    In the U.S., we are not seeing any specific localized disruption yet, although I’m watching New Jersey where it could be on the cusp. There are a lot of manufacturing facilities there in pharmaceuticals and chemicals, and therefore that’s an area I think we should be paying attention to.
    By Karen Haywood Queen - Contributing Editor, SME Media

Field Intelligence