The requirements for FDA 21 CFR Part 11 are in place for a good reason: When companies are making a part that goes inside your body, the engineering and manufacturing process must be meticulously documented, tested and controlled. People’s lives are at stake.
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The human factor is sometimes just too cumbersome in manufacturing. Take the German chipmaker Infineon: By using an autonomous robot called Scout from MetraLabs for the last several years, the automotive supplier shrank to 10 from 300 the number of minutes it takes to collect the clean-room data needed to measure the presence of rare gases in the air.
Contract manufacturers, aka job shops, are the heart and soul of US manufacturing. Their survival and success are imperative.
In the 1955 short story “Autofac,” Philip K. Dick envisioned a world dominated by self-replicating robots that work incessantly, eventually depleting the planet’s resources.
A new breed of turbochargers constructed of super tough alloys operates at higher temperatures and rotational speeds than ever before, resulting in greatly increased output in a smaller package for gas and diesel engines alike.
The average lifespan of a company on the S&P 500 has fallen to 20 years from more than 60 years in 1960. The power and influence of technology will increase as much in the next 18 months as it has in the last 30 years.