Today’s smaller manufacturers are creating enormous amounts of data — everything from new product designs to top-secret intellectual property, as well as a constant flow of customer and sales information that must be managed and protected every day. To say that this data is vital would be understating the value of its constant use, and any loss of information could be devastating.
Training is extremely important to the future of manufacturing in the United States, yet in many states, it has fallen by the wayside. Training for skilled manufacturing positions has been hit by a perfect storm of budget cuts and the mistaken idea that all young workers should go to college.
Connected to a laptop I can’t afford, on the far end of a tangle of cords, is an exposed circuit board peppered with objects I can name — resistors, diodes — but not explain. The computer itself is running software that I’m not capable of programming myself. But none of that matters, and, in fact, is part of an educational plan from National Instruments’ Academic Program.
It costs U.S. industry billions of dollars a year to control and remove the limescale that builds up in industrial equipment such a heat exchangers, evaporative coolers, boilers, chillers and other water fed equipment. Limescale not only increases downtime, maintenance costs and causes the early renewal of capital equipment but also increases energy usage.
Today’s manufacturing is a wonder of efficiency and cost-effectiveness. However, the same technology that makes it possible for smaller manufacturers to thrive in our global economy also presents security challenges. With every endpoint connected to the Internet, there is always a risk of a cybercriminal stealing this intellectual property or other sensitive information.
There are few more sophisticated and complex high-heat metallurgy manufacturing processes — and few with less tolerance for error — than the processes involved in manufacturing components of the hot-section of an aviation gas turbine engine. This precision minimizes the risk of catastrophic aviation disasters such as uncontrolled engine failure.
Scan through the business section of the news, and you’re likely to see stories about the resurgence of U.S. manufacturing, about how companies are moving jobs back to the United States because of the rising cost of manufacturing in (and shipping to and from) China. Certainly good news for American manufacturers, but I would argue that this trend is not what the resurgence of U.S. manufacturing should be built on.
Since the catastrophic Imperial Sugar explosion, most food processors recognized some potential for combustible dust explosions and "deflagration," which refers to the catastrophic pressure wave caused by the startled cloud of dust triggered (and ignited) by the initial explosion. However, so many factors are at play that even comparable "baking" facilities may present widely varying amounts of problems, or none at all.
Food Manufacturing spoke with Roger Kilmer of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) about the importance of maintaining a strong manufacturing presence in the United States, and what resources are available to domestic manufacturers. The purpose of the NIST MEP program is to enhance the productivity, technological performance and global competitiveness of small- and medium-sized U.S. based manufacturing firms.
The manufacturing world is constantly looking for processes that can accelerate production while lowering unit costs and improving product reliability. Each innovation must mesh with the overall production process to achieve high output levels.
With a primary focus on the ERP offerings within Microsoft’s Dynamics platform, Melissa Cook, Microsoft’s Senior Director of Dynamics holds a unique perspective not only on software, IT, and manufacturing, but how they all fit together in solving industry problems and pushing the manufacturing sector forward collectively.
Though industrial Ethernet has been evolving for many years, it is quickly becoming the foundation for many manufacturing applications. Industrial Ethernet provides the connectivity and communication that today’s applications demand for productivity and efficiency improvement.
The most commonly used standard in the electric industry for limiting the harmonics in supply systems is IEEE 519. IEEE 519 limits the demand distortion (THDD) and voltage distortion (THVD) at the point of common coupling (PCC). The VFD input current distortion (THID) does not necessarily need to be less than five percent to meet IEEE 519 at the PCC.
Since it’s almost certain that every organization will experience a cyber security incident at some time, you need to be well prepared in advance. According to the 2013 Verizon Data Breach report, 22 organizations, mainly in manufacturing and professional services, with only one to 100 employees became a victim to cyber espionage last year. And 23 firms, mainly in manufacturing with 101 to 1,000 employees, also were breached.
When it comes to managing the workforce, very few industries are under more pressure than manufacturing. With tremendous price competition from developing countries and a world where products can be replicated across the globe and transported with ease, manufactures need to look at every aspect of their operations for competitive advantage and productivity improvements.