Week 16 in Manufacturing News

Bringing Manufacturing Back to the U.S. Is Easier Said Than Done; American factories just had their worst month since 1946; Digital manufacturing: Four practical tips for UK SMEs; EU Industrial strategy: More ambition, faster implementation.

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Bringing Manufacturing Back to the U.S. Is Easier Said Than Done

The issue is complex and defies easy solutions. The challenge lies in a combination of how modern supply networks are structured and the operational metrics applied to manufacturers. Taken together, the United States and other advanced industrial economies have evolved a highly efficient and productive product manufacturing-and-delivery system.

  • Modern products require high degrees of specialization.
  • Scaling up production requires unique skills.
  • Manufacturers want to maximize utilization of plant and equipment.
  • The rise of lean production and its “inventory is evil” principle.
  • The relentless drive to reduce costs.

Source: Harvard Business Review.

American factories just had their worst month since 1946

US industrial production plunged 5.4% in March as work at factories that make autos, aircraft and many other goods was halted to protect workers from the outbreak of COVID-19, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday. The industrial production index measures output from the manufacturing, mining and electric and gas utilities industries.

The manufacturing part of the report showed factory output fell 6.3% in March, the largest monthly decline since February 1946.

Source: CNN.

Digital manufacturing: Four practical tips for SMEs

Many SMEs are benefitting from state-funded programmes to kick-start or accelerate their own investment in digital.

  1. Collaborate – Don’t go into a programme expecting just to receive. 
  2. Be strategic – Some programmes provide help for strategic planning, roadmapping and business case development
  3. Plan to co-invest – It’s an obvious point, but don’t go expecting a free handout.
  4. Plan for change – Carve out some time for your best people from all parts of your business to play a part in leading change and bring them along with you

Source: The Manufacturer.

EU Industrial strategy: More ambition, faster implementation

The New European Industrial Strategy package certainly represents an important step forward for the European Union.

For years, companies and industry experts have been asking for a new impetus from Brussels in order to encourage and coordinate the continent’s efforts towards the fourth industrial revolution. The challenges are those of digitisation, digitalisation and decarbonisation.

Source: The Parliament Magazine.