Week 6 in Manufacturing News

January U.S. Manufacturing Activity Bounces Back While China and Europe Struggle

While U.S. manufacturing activity appears to be humming along, elsewhere in the world, it is slowing.

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IHS Markit’s monthly index showed manufacturing in Germany shrank for the first time in four years. France also reported disappointing January figures while the U.K. reported a three month low as its manufacturing index slipped to 52.8.

U.S. manufacturing bounced back in January with the ISM Index rising 2.3 percentage points from the December reading of 54.3 percent to 56.6 percent for January. New Orders Index registered 58.2 percent, an increase of 6.9 percentage points from December despite New Export Orders slipping 1.0 percent.

It is suspected that U.S. import tariffs and to a lesser degree Brexit concerns are playing a role in slowing manufacturing activity outside of the U.S. Inventory build ups ahead of additional tariff increases and Brexit have led to full warehouses.

Full article on Forbes.

A robot in every factory: The $230-million bid to help automate Ontario’s manufacturing sector

The centrepiece of Canada’s innovation strategy is the $950-million “supercluster” initiative. The goal, according to the federal government, is for companies of all sizes, academia and the non-profit sector to collaborate on new technologies, to spur economic growth and create jobs.

An overview of developments and commentary’s can be found on the Financial Post.

What Makes a Great Manufacturing Leader?

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“Times have changed,” says Stephen Gold, president and CEO of MAPI, the nonprofit Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation. “Strong leaders for the coming decades see human growth as essential to business growth.”

A great manufacturing leader:

  1. Builds trust
  2. Has high expectations for their people (and gives them the tools to meet those expectations)
  3. Inspires passion
  4. Has a strong entrepreneurial spirit
  5. Is a change agent
  6. Tells it like it is
  7. Encourages cross-functional teams
  8. ‘Gets’ millennials and creates culture around them
  9. Sees the competitive advantage in tech
  10. Is still an old-school, big-picture person

Full article on IndustryWeek.

How technology is changing the manufacturing industry

  • Manufacturing businesses are going to need to be able to mass produce smart technology, and evolve as products do. This changes the way manufacturing works, and could well see a move away from assembled-lines toward more specialized practices.
  • Integrating a robotic workforce alongside a human one is going to prove crucial in the future. We are already seeing early examples of this with things like 3D printing.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) prevents the need for a manual check of things and frees up manpower, making the business more efficient, more productive, and enhancing the quality of work.
  • Software solutions can really improve the way a manufacturing business runs things. Enterprise Resource Planning or manufacturing ERP software is an example of the software solutions that manufacturing businesses are likely to be integrating as much as possible. They can increase business efficiency, improve accuracy, streamline the business to consumer relations, boost speed, and allow for more of a range of products.

Full article on AZ Big Media.