Industry News for 06/2017

Canada's CBC News reports on Allan Robichaud, who decided to go back to school at age 69—making him twice as old as his instructor—after nearly a decade of retirement. Now 70, he just completed a year-long course in welding and metal fabrication at New Brunswick Community College—the best year of his retirement, he said.
Omaha World-Herald: The grants, worth up to $175,000 each, are provided through a program proposed by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and started in 2015 to help meet Nebraska’s need for skilled workers. The initiative aims to reach middle school students and get them thinking about careers in manufacturing and technology. The companies will work with their local schools in developing the local programs.
The Interesting Engineering web site has collected what it calls the “10 Most Satisfying CNC Milling Machine Videos on the Internet.” Mazak, Datron, Ingersoll and Te-Co are among the companies represented. Cool visuals made possible by cool machines.
The CECIMO General Assembly that recently concluded in Rotterdam confirmed that, based on solid booking numbers, the European production of machine tool is set to grow by almost 4% in 2017 and surpass a volume of 25 billion euro. Members also agreed that policy-makers should refrain from designing strict regulations on access to and sharing industrial data. CECIMO is the European association representing the common interests of the Machine Tool Industries globally and at EU level.
Boeing and Georgia Tech formally opened a new advanced development research center designed to solve some of the toughest technical challenges in manufacturing. In the Boeing Manufacturing Development Center, company researchers and Georgia Tech engineering students will work together to implement automation in industrial applications. The center is located in Georgia’s Tech new 19,000-sq.-ft. Delta Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Facility.
Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute reports that manufacturers expect investments in smart factories will drive a 27 percent increase in their operation efficiency over the next five years. This would add $500 billion in annual added value to the global economy. Fifty-six percent of surveyed manufacturing executives said their companies have invested $100 million or more in smart factory initiatives over the past five years, while 20 percent claim to have invested $500 million or more.
Creditsafe USA has released the findings of an in-depth analysis of the US manufacturing industry. Despite recent overall consistent performance, the study highlights several areas of concern across the entire sector in particular the rate of bankruptcy signaling the possibility of an industry slowdown. With the manufacturing industry being the largest area of employment in the US, any decline could have a catastrophic effect on the overall US economy.
Study: automation may extend job losses beyond the factory floor
Communities with large numbers of residents who have only high school degrees or earn low salaries are at risk of losing many jobs to automation and offshoring, says a new report from Ball State University. “How Vulnerable Are American Communities to Automation, Trade and Urbanization?” also found that the rise of automation and offshoring could extend such job losses beyond the factory floor.
The Lean Journey
“I wish I knew then what I know now”. Who among us would disagree with that statement? Such is the case for so many things in life, and Lean is no different. As we all progress along our Lean journeys, we will sometimes pause and wonder why we didn’t see certain things as we do now. It’s important to remember that you can only make decisions based upon the data you have at the moment … so in other words, don’t beat yourself up because you only achieved “better” and not “best.” It is referred to as “continuous improvement” for that very reason – it’s a process, not a magic bullet, and it takes time to do right.
Next phase in industrial dust explosion protection
For a wide range of facilities that manufacture, process, blend, convey, repackage, generate or handle items that could be categorized as combustible dusts or particulate solids, new NFPA standards and even the first deadline to conduct a dust-hazard analysis are now on the books, adding to the responsibilities of owners and operators of such facilities.
The GROB Group and Open Mind are joining forces to offer a complimentary two-day technology seminar on August 1-2, 2017. Grob, a manufacturer of universal machining centers is partnering with Open Mind, a developer of CAM/CAD systems, to present innovative production solutions for aerospace and other industries at GROB’s U.S. headquarters and manufacturing facility in Bluffton, Ohio.
When was the last time you took a serious look at your supply chain? You may be surprised to learn that many of the advantages to offshoring have eroded in recent years.
Pinch grinding offers aggressive material-removal rates, excellent concentricity and low part runout when prepping cutting tool blanks.
In 2007 the KUKA Titan entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest and strongest robot in the world. A decade later a modified version of the behemoth has been given accuracy unprecedented for its size—better than 100µm (0.0039").
Service training and instruction in virtual space
Industrial part cleaning equipment manufacturer Dürr Ecoclean uses virtual reality in training its global service staff to carry out maintenance support on its complex manipulators.
Shape Corp., a tier-one automotive and industrial component supplier, is partnering with the SME Education Foundation to expand its manufacturing education program for high school students. The Foundation, Shape Corp. and Grand Haven Area Public Schools will collaborate through SME's Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education (PRIME) initiative, to develop and launch an advanced manufacturing education program at Grand Haven (Mich.) High School beginning in the 2018 academic year.
On June 15, officials from the Jenoptik board of directors, the city of Rochester Hills, Mich., Oakland County and the state of Michigan, gathered at the company’s new facility in Rochester Hills to mark the grand opening. The building covers 100,000 sq. ft. on a 16-acre campus. Half of that acreage will be devoted to the production of laser cutting systems and automated gaging solutions for the automotive industry in North America.
An article at HR (as in Human Resources) Dive revisited the ongoing skills-gap issue, noting that "today's talent lacks the skills required to complete manufacturing tasks in a computerized world." Two experts—Mitch Free, chairman and CEO of ZYCI CNC Machining and founder of, and Chris Hobbs, reliability solutions manager at Advanced Technology Services—make the case that certification programs offer "at least a partial solution" to the problem.
Contrary to public perception, U.S. manufacturing and logistics industries experienced dramatic growth over thepast generation, says a new report from Ball State University. U.S. manufacturing production grew 11 percent since the bust (2000-03) and the ensuing economic turbulence of the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions.
Coldwater Machine Co. machines a large combustor frame
Coldwater (Ohio) Machine Co., an engineered solutions company that manufactures and integrates precision equipment and tools, has announced the expansion of it complex part machining capability with the addition of a DMG Mori NTX-2000 5-axis multitask machine to enhance its build-to-print and design-and-build services. The company is recognized for precision machining of workpieces with complex geometries in a variety of materials for customers in the aviation, automotive and energy industries.