Manufacturing

An Overview of All 25 Parts NASA & Made In Space Have 3D Printed in Space

In an incredible statement for the strength and capability of the printer, every 3D print was successful. As for whether the actual quality of each 3D print is up to par, considering they were produced in space, that will be left up to researchers and scientists to decide upon the astronauts’ return, as they bring the 3D printed items back for further inspection.

‘Cobots’ enhance robotic manufacturing

Manufacturers have begun experimenting with a new generation of “cobots” (collaborative robots) designed to work side-by-side with humans. But how do you integrate them with humans in a manufacturing plant (and overcome negative Hollywood stereotypes)?

After 13 Years Of Losing Factories, U.S. Starts To Gain Them

The number of factories in the United States is starting to grow after more than a decade of decline. After reaching an all-time low in 2013 since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started counting the number of factories in 2001, the number of manufacturing facilities started to increase in the first half of 2014, reaching 338,304 factories, up 1.4 percent from the low reached in 2013 of 333,565.

The number of factories in the United States declined by 59,248 from 2001 (when there were 397,552 factories) to 2014, a 17.5 percent drop. Since reaching a nadir in 2012, there has been little growth in the number of very large factories that employ more than 1,000 workers, according to “establishment data” for the manufacturing sector gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages division.

There were only 911 large manufacturing plants in the United States in 2014, up by one from 2013 and down by two in 2012 when there were 913. The number of large factories is down by 38 percent since 2001, a drop of 568, from 1,479 to 911. Factories with between 500 and 999 employees have been growing modestly since bottoming out in 2010 at 1,800. In 2014, there were 2,025 factories of that size in the United States, up 2.8 percent from 1,967 in 2013 and 1,913 in 2012. Since 2001, the number of factories with between 500 and 999 employees has fallen from 3,198 to 2,025, a decline of 37 percent (1,173 lost factories).

Factories with between 100 and 249 employees have also been growing at a modest rate since reaching a nadir in 2010, when there were 15,696 such factories. In 2014, that number had increased by 1,149 to 16,845, an increase of 7 percent. From 2013 to 2014, the number of plants of this size increased by 220, or 1.3 percent. Since 2001, when there were 22,490 plants with between 100 and 249 workers, the total number is down by 33.5 percent.

The next category of plants — with between 50 and 99 employees — has grown from a low of 21,540 in 2010 to 22,327 in 2014, a growth of 787 factories (3.5 percent growth). Since 2001, when there were 28,633 factories of this size, the decline has been 6,306 factories, or 22 percent. Factories with between 20 and 49 employees rose to 47,380 in 2014, up from 46,946 in 2013 and from a low of 46,313 in 2011. The number is still down 19 percent from a high of 58,942 in 2001.

The number of factories with between five and nine employees continues to decline. In 2014, there were 55,380 factories of this size, the lowest level since 2001, and down from 55,617 in 2013. The number of factories of this size has fallen every year since 2001, save for in 2007 when there was no change, and is down by 12,130 or 18 percent since 2001. The number of micro-factories, with fewer than five employees, grew by 1.7 percent between 2003 and 2014 — from 135,133 in 2013 (the lowest level since 2001), to 137,475 (or a gain in the year of 2,342 plants). Since 2001, the country has lost 11,207 of plants employing less than five people, down 7.5 percent.

Source: manufacturingnews.com

Ford Accelerates Carbon Fiber Research to Drive Innovation in Manufacturing Technology

Ford and DowAksa are accelerating joint research to develop high-volume manufacturing techniques for automotive-grade carbon fiber – aiming to make vehicles lighter for greater fuel efficiency, performance and capability. Carbon fiber composites have been used in aircraft and racing cars for decades because they provide high strength with extremely low weight.

The Myth of America’s Manufacturing Renaissance: The Real State of U.S. Manufacturing

Higher foreign labor costs, cheap oil and gas here at home and automation are combining to make America the new global manufacturing hub: at least according the now dominant narrative. Indeed, the term “manufacturing renaissance” is used to describe this new state of affairs. However, as a new ITIF report shows, the data do not support such a rosy scenario.

U.S. Sources Funded More Than 80% of Worldwide Industrial R&D in 2011

U.S. companies performed over $294 billion in research and development (R&D) in 2011, according to the Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS) – a business survey conducted annually by the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Science Foundation. Companies funded an overwhelming majority of the industrial R&D conducted in the U.S. (81.2 percent, approximately $238.8 billion).

3D Printing Revolution Is Under Way

(toptechnews.com) - 3D printing will unlock massive potential with benefits already being seen in the manufacturing, health, engineering and construction industries. It will allow many industries to bring digital designs to fruition, anything from prosthetic limbs to appliance parts can be made. 3D printing can be used to prototypes, create replacement parts, and is even versatile enough to print viruses, prostheses and medical implants in color, using different materials.

U.S. Manufacturing Initiative Receives Congressional Approval

The Omnibus bill authorizes the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to establish several Centers for Manufacturing Innovation -- regional hubs operated by public-private partnerships to foster manufacturing innovation, speed product commercialization and close the gap between basic research and product development in the United States.

President Obama Launches Competitions for New Manufacturing Innovation Hubs and American Apprenticeship Grants

To help support new advancements in manufacturing, the President will announce more than $290 million in public-private investment for two new Manufacturing Innovation Hub Competitions. Today’s announcement fulfills the President’s 2014 State of the Union pledge to launch four new institutes this year, for a total of eight institutes launched so far, and puts the Administration past the halfway mark on the President’s original goal of creating 15 manufacturing innovation institutes supported through executive action.

Grassroots Manufacturing Renaissance Spurs Entrepreneurship

Mainstream tech startups have been vital to jumpstarting new firm innovation in America. Policymakers are increasingly interested in whether this will drive similar innovation in the hard-hit manufacturing sector. Among the most visible new movements of late is the maker movement, a bottom-up force representing the latest inspiration for students to pursue learning and applying science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Congress Must Act and Pass Advanced Manufacturing Bill During Lame Duck

In the last decade, the United States’ share of the global manufacturing sector has dropped as well. Countries such as South Korea, China, Japan and Germany have a larger share of the advanced manufacturing sector than the United States, and each of these countries has a positive trade balance in advanced manufacturing products. In contrast, the United States had an $81 billion trade deficit in 2010.

From earphones to jet engines, 3D printing takes off

Many manufacturers are at an early stage of discovering the benefits of 3D printing, but one of the clearest strengths is customization. After three decades in relative obscurity, 3D printing, which employs lasers to "print" objects from metals or plastics according to a digital design, has suddenly become one of the hottest areas of technology.

HP's Move into 3D Printing Will Radically Change Manufacturing

HP is claiming its 3D printing technology, called Multi Jet Fusion, will enable mass production of parts instead of just rapid prototyping. The new machine is unlikely to mass produce millions or billions of product parts; think, instead, in terms of tens, hundreds or thousands of parts.

WH launches contest for 3D printed ornaments

Officials are using the effort to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and advanced manufacturing in the United States. The administration hosted its first "maker faire" earlier this year and in years past has promoted an institute for "additive manufacturing" in Youngstown, Ohio.

Business R&D Performance in the United States Tops $300 Billion in 2012

Companies spent $302 billion on research and development performed in the United States during 2012, 2.8% more than the $294 billion spent during 2011. Funding from the companies’ own sources was $239 billion during 2011 and $247 billion during 2012, a 3.6% increase; funding from other sources was $55 billion in both years.

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