Week 9 in Manufacturing News

The US just got the latest sign manufacturing activity is slowing down

The Commerce Department said factory orders edged up 0.1% in December, compared with economist expectations for a 0.5% increase. 

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There have been growing concerns about the outlook for the manufacturing sector, with factory orders unexpectedly declining by 0.6% in November. A month earlier they had declined 2.1% to mark the largest drop in more than a year.

“The ongoing open issues with tariffs between US.. and China are causing longer-term concerns about costs and sourcing strategies for our manufacturing operations,” said a respondent to the Institute for Supply Management’s December survey.

  • Factory orders rose less than expected in December.
  • That came after two straight months of declines. 
  • Manufacturers have warned that tariffs have disrupted supply chains.

Full article on Business Insider.

EU steps closer to generics and biosimilars manufacturing waiver

A change to European rules on drug manufacturing that could benefit makers of generics and biosimilars is edging closer, after lawmakers agreed draft legislation that tweaks rules on export and manufacture of drugs that are off-patent outside the EU.

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The draft of the so-called supplementary protection certificate (SPC) waiver legislation has been agreed at a committee earlier this month, and would allow generics and biosimilars firms to make and store the drugs in Europe for export to countries where patent protection has expired.
Full article on pharmaphorum.

China economy slows further as manufacturing sector PMI contracts for third straight month

China’s economy slowed further in February with manufacturing activity contracting for a third straight month, while services and construction activity eased further in a month cut short by the Lunar New Year holiday.

The trade war continues to have a clear negative impact on Chinese factories, with export demand contracting at a faster rate in February as the new export orders index slumped to 45.2, its lowest level in 10 years, from 46.9 in January.

The composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI), published by China’s National Bureau of Statistics on Thursday, fell to 52.4 in February from 53.2 in January.
Full article on scmp.

As the Global Market Outlook Grows Darker, Manufacturing Embraces Tech Solutions

A thoughtful article, authored by UPS’ Scott Price, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, discusses future factories and how they will change supply chains.

Digital supply chains powered by advanced technologies — including IoT, AI and machine learning — will bring greater visibility, control and reliability to the manufacturers that invest in them.

You may also like an article about Manufacturing ERP and Industry 4.0.

As manufacturers adapt to such changes, they will likely embrace 3D-printing. The adaptation of 3D-printing, we believe, can reduce manufacturers’ global supply chain footprint to one that is regionalized and much closer to their customers. This, according to industry experts, could potentially reduce such costs as transportation and inventory carrying costs, enhanced customization and time to market.
Full article on Forbes.

Exposing the Top Ten Manufacturing Tech Trends of the 2020s

  1. Industrial Wearables
  2. Robotics 
  3. Cybersecurity 
  4. Exoskeletons
  5. Augmented Reality
  6. Low-Code platforms and ERP platforms
  7. 3D Scanning
  8. Motivational Data – digital dashboards displaying real-time production metrics
  9. Mobile Robots
  10. Second Chance for Skilled Trades

Full slideshow on IndustryWeek.