The LNS Weekly Industrial Round Up 3/24/2013

Manufacturing RoboticsThis week, I stumbled upon a variety of topics from Big Data to Shale Gas to Robotics. However, the core subject remains the same throughout. The following articles can be tied together in a number of ways; the simplest being: manufacturing. Take that a step further into discussing the technological advancements that are affecting us today, either in the eyes of a plant floor engineer or a global executive responsible for managing quality and improving operational excellence.  There’s an optimistic future out there that’s obtainable through collaboration at each organizational stage.

Advanced Technologies, Big Data, and Shale Gas are Driving U.S. Manufacturing Renaissance

This past week, Manufacturing’s Next Chapter took place with many industry experts in attendance from GE CEO Jeff Immelt and the National Association of Manufacturing to John McCain. This article provides an overview of the topics that were discussed with the emphasis being the urgent need for skilled workers, possessing both computer and artisan talent.  Currently, there are 600,000 unfilled positions, translating into $.4 trillion missing from the U.S. economy. GE has partnered with Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Alcoa, and the Manufacturing Institute to develop the Gets Skills to Work Coalition which allows 15,000 veterans to apply their military experience to skilled manufacturing jobs. More on Manufacturing’s Next Chapter.  

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U.S. Oil and Gas Production to Grow While U.S. Energy Consumption Declines

The shale boom has provided an optimistic outlook for the U.S. economy. RigZone reports on ExxonMobil’s 2013 Energy Report, it was stated that oil and gas production has grown to the highest level in over 30 years due to technological advances allowing for unconventional and deep-water resources. As this growth continues, energy consumption is forecasted to decline .2%/year through 2040 even as the population increases .7%/year simultaneously. Countries outside the U.S will experience a 35% increase in energy demand by 2040. The U.S. is reaching a time in history when we are producing more energy than we are consuming. Not only does this result in economic benefits within country lines, but America will be the net exporter of energy by 2025. Developing strength within the global energy market.

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3 Ways Different Ways to Structure Quality in Your Company

This article written by Senior Associate Mehul Shah serves as a prelude to a highly anticipated research spotlight discussing how quality is organized within organizations and accompanying case studies that dive into the quality structure of four global companies. Shah discusses centralized quality management, decentralized quality management, and the hybrid approach to quality management emphasizing that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. As this article provides a brief overview of the topic, stay tuned for the published reports. Understanding organizational quality structure.

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5 Ways to Best Leverage Your “Internet of Assets”

Gordon Benzie of Apriso elaborated on a prediction article that was recently published regarding operations technology. The prediction that Benzie dives into during his explanation is the changes that need to be made in order to become a global manufacturing in today’s economy. The main focus is on leveraging the internet to increase and stabilize communication between people, processes, and technology. This article provides a list of technology enablers that will allow companies to achieve a global manufacturing presence starting at the plant floor. From WiFi enabled machines to cloud based computing.  

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Startup Spotlight: Robotiq Makes Robot Tooling for Agile Manufacturing

The gap between what smaller manufacturers need and the offerings of robots in today’s market provides an opportunity for companies to merge into this open space and develop a different type of robot. Rethink Robotiqs, a startup company that IEEE Spectrum covered in a recent spotlight series, develops robotic arms that offer more flexibility, a less expensive price tag, and ease in programming. After witnessing many factories shut down and move production offshore, Robotiqs vows to create robots that will help improve the operations of such organizations and yield innovation and reinvention. Watch these robots arm videos.

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All entries in this Industrial Transformation blog represent the opinions of the authors based on their industry experience and their view of the information collected using the methods described in our Research Integrity. All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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