WesTec returns to Los Angeles with a focus on the future of manufacturing technology and the workforce

WesTec returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center September 12-14. 

WesTec is a manufacturing forum presenting the latest in advanced manufacturing technology including precision machining, additive manufacturing and 3D printing, software and digital technologies, advanced materials, tooling and more.

Produced by SME and the Association For Manufacturing Technology, WesTec will showcase and provide hands-on interaction with the latest cutting-edge technologies, global industry leaders addressing the hottest topics and major manufacturing companies bringing their best products, technology and services.  Continue reading WesTec returns to Los Angeles with a focus on the future of manufacturing technology and the workforce

Kuka celebrates production of 2 million Jeep Wranglers

Kuka is apparently rather pleased with itself for having helped produce 2 million Jeep Wranglers. 

A few days ago, the Kuka Toledo Production Operations celebrated the completion of its two millionth Jeep Wrangler body-in-white.

Kuka says it’s “the latest milestone in a stellar history that has seen this unique plant rank consistently among the quality and productivity leaders in the North American automotive industry”.  Continue reading Kuka celebrates production of 2 million Jeep Wranglers

Dürr and BMW win award for smart painting technique

Robotics and automation technology company Dürr and automaker BMW have won an award for developing a new robotic painting system.

The companies received the award for technique for their concept of a “smart paint shop” at the Surcar 2017 event in Cannes, France.

The jury at Surcar, which is said to be the world’s leading biennial congress on automotive body finishing, traditionally selects the winners for three awards.  Continue reading Dürr and BMW win award for smart painting technique

Top 10 additive manufacturing and 3D printing companies

Although we’ve called this a top 10, it’s not really in any particular order – it’s just a list of 10 of the most well-known and perhaps most highly regarded additive manufacturing or 3D printing companies. 

If anything, it’s an impressionistic understanding of the market, taking into consideration size of the company, number of clients and general reputation.

We have not included software-only companies or providers of marketplaces without any hardware of their own – we’ve tried to concentrate on companies which manufacture 3D printers and the materials that they require.  Continue reading Top 10 additive manufacturing and 3D printing companies

Ortovox to implement Centric’s product lifecycle management solution

Ortovox Sportartikel, a German producer of mountain safety equipment and mountainwear, has selected Centric Software to provide its product lifecycle management solution.

Centric Software is a specialist provider of PLM solutions, particularly for fashion, retail, footwear, luxury, outdoor and consumer goods companies.

Ortovox was founded in 1980 in the south of Munich and got its start making avalanche safety transceivers to help locate people in mountain rescue situations. Ortovox’s range now includes a range of apparel and climbing and ski backpacks.  Continue reading Ortovox to implement Centric’s product lifecycle management solution

Fuji Kiko selects Aras product lifecycle management platform

Automotive components manufacturer Fuji Kiko has chosen the Aras product lifecycle management platform to streamline its design and development process as well as manage its global operation.

Aras, a PLM specialist, adds that Fuji Kiko will use the system to manage prototype development, production management, sales, and procurement processes.

The automotive supplier went through a comprehensive process to evaluate and select a PLM system with the flexibility and upgradeability necessary to support the pace of innovation by their global product teams.  Continue reading Fuji Kiko selects Aras product lifecycle management platform

Foxconn to build $10 billion manufacturing plant in Wisconsin as part of massive expansion plan in US

Foxconn says the expansion is the first in a series of investments in the United States

Foxconn says it will invest $10 billion over the next four years to build a liquid crystal display panel manufacturing facility in Wisconsin.

Foxconn, a Taiwanese company also known as Hon Hai Precision, says the new facility will be a “state-of-the-art” plant and part of its “intelligent manufacturing ecosystem”.

Foxconn is one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturing services providers, and makes iPhones and other devices for Apple.

The investment, which is believed to be the largest new greenfield investment made by a foreign-based company in US history, will create 3,000 jobs with the potential to grow to 13,000 new jobs in that state.  Continue reading Foxconn to build $10 billion manufacturing plant in Wisconsin as part of massive expansion plan in US

Apple to build three ‘big, big, big’ manufacturing plants in the US, claims Trump

President Donald Trump says Apple CEO Tim Cook has committed to building “three big manufacturing plants in the US”, according to a report on the Wall Street Journal website. 

In an interview with the business and investment newspaper, Trump is reported to have said: “I spoke to [Cook], he’s promised me three big plants – big, big, big.

“I said you know, Tim, unless you start building your plants in this country, I won’t consider my administration an economic success. He called me, and he said they are going forward.”  Continue reading Apple to build three ‘big, big, big’ manufacturing plants in the US, claims Trump

Boeing and Dassault Systèmes extend design and product lifecycle management partnership

The world’s largest aerospace company, Boeing, has decided to extend its use of Dassault Systèmes applications to include more software from the 3DExperience platform for its design, manufacturing operations management, and product lifecycle management.

Boeing will expand its deployment of Dassault Systèmes’ products across its commercial aviation, space and defense programs.

This decision follows a competitive process that included the rigorous analysis of technical and functional capabilities, cost and business benefits across the value chain.  Continue reading Boeing and Dassault Systèmes extend design and product lifecycle management partnership

Higher wages and pressure to bring back manufacturing to the US could result in millions of job losses in clothes-making industry in Asia

A combination of higher wages in Asian countries and a trend for bringing back manufacturing to the US could dismantle large parts of Asian economies, many of which depend on the textiles and clothes manufacturing trades for huge portion of their national income. 

An interesting video report by the Financial Times points to this possible future, but adds that in practice, for now, “almost all of the world’s T-shirts and jeans by millions of cheap workers, mostly women, watching over sewing machines”.

And beyond T-shirts and jeans, the vast majority of jobs and tasks in the clothes manufacturing sector in general is still done by humans.  Continue reading Higher wages and pressure to bring back manufacturing to the US could result in millions of job losses in clothes-making industry in Asia

3D printing startup Desktop Metal raises another $115 million in funding

desktop metal 6 DM Studio System-2

Additive manufacturing startup Desktop Metal has raised another $115 million in funding, bringing the total amount of financing to more than $200 million.

The company’s backers include Google, General Electric, and Techtronic Industries, the holding company for vacuum cleaner brands Hoover and Dirt Devil.

Desktop Metal was founded by four MIT professors, according to TechCrunch.com, which says its metal 3D process is “probably the most efficient” on the market.  Continue reading 3D printing startup Desktop Metal raises another $115 million in funding

Hirotec on long journey towards lights-out manufacturing with robots from Otto and Yaskawa

“Lights-out manufacturing” is a term to mean the method of making things in a way that’s entirely automated and does not need humans to be involved in the process. 

Of course, humans initially set up the process, build the factory and so on, but the factory which outputs the final product only requires robotics and automation technology.

It’s an idea that has probably been explored in science fiction many times, but in reality, a fully automated factory that needs no human intervention at all is still a distant dream.  Continue reading Hirotec on long journey towards lights-out manufacturing with robots from Otto and Yaskawa

Foxconn to manufacture ‘95 per cent’ of new Apple iPhone 8

iphones

Foxconn is to produce 95 per cent of the new Apple iPhone, the eighth incarnation of the device, according to a report on PatentlyApple.com

It’s not clear from the story whether any of the production will take place in the US, although that’s unlikely given that Foxconn hasn’t even chosen where in the US to expand its manufacturing operations.

The Taiwanese manufacturer has been considering its options, and Michigan is said to be one of the locations being scouted.  Continue reading Foxconn to manufacture ‘95 per cent’ of new Apple iPhone 8

Americans positive about future of manufacturing but wouldn’t want to work in it

manufacturing usa deloitte report

Americans are optimistic about the future of manufacturing despite saying they wouldn’t want to work in the sector. 

The US manufacturing industry suffers from an important image problem that undermines its competitiveness, says a new opinion survey by Deloitte and the National Association of Manufacturers.

Only 50 per cent of Americans think manufacturing jobs are interesting and less than 30 per cent are likely to encourage their children to pursue a career.  Continue reading Americans positive about future of manufacturing but wouldn’t want to work in it

Electric cars will change the way industrial robots are used in manufacturing, says Fanuc boss

fanuc flow drilling robot

With Volvo’s decision to go all electric in its future vehicles, combined with the French government’s decision to ban sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 and similar moves in Germany, the automotive industry is preparing for a tectonic shift in the manufacturing landscape. 

The way electric cars are made already differ considerably now, and new techniques will take the production of the new vehicles further away from traditional methods.

An interesting insight into the future was offered by a senior executive at the world’s largest industrial robot manufacturer, who suggested that electric cars are highly likely to fundamentally change the way industrial robots are used.  Continue reading Electric cars will change the way industrial robots are used in manufacturing, says Fanuc boss