Week 31 in Manufacturing News

U.S. manufacturing is in a ‘technical recession.’; How Brexit uncertainty is weighing on UK manufacturing; Industry 4.0: The Ways in Which Technology is Transforming Industry.

Industrial-engineer

Global Economy – Manufacturing pain spreads through Asia, more stimulus is seen ahead

  • Manufacturing shrinks in China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan
  • U.S.-China trade conflict seen dragging on
  • Asian central banks seen delivering more stimulus

Asian factory activity contracted further in July, fuelling worries that a Sino-U.S. trade war and a slowdown in China could tilt the world towards a global recession.

Data later in the day is likely to show European manufacturing shrinking as well, while U.S. factories are expected to maintain a modest pace of expansion.

Source: Yahoo News.

U.S. manufacturing is in a ‘technical recession.’ How worried should we be?

The red flags have been rising for the manufacturing section this year. Hiring has slowed sharply. Last year, the sector was averaging 22,000 new jobs a month, according to Labor Department data. This year it’s down to 8,000. And a popular gauge of manufacturing’s health — the PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) — has tumbled in recent months and now sits at near-recession levels.

Source: The Washington Post.

How Brexit uncertainty is weighing on UK manufacturing

Threat of a no-deal exit and reversal of earlier stockpiling leave industry struggling.

UK manufacturing output witnessed its sharpest monthly slump since 2002 in April — a drop of 4.1 per cent — as carmakers implemented maintenance shutdowns to coincide with the original departure date of March 29, and so avoid any hold-ups at borders.

The drop in manufacturing activity follows a rapid build-up of raw materials. As a result of the unprecedented stockpiling in the first quarter, many smaller and medium-sized manufacturers are now struggling for cash, according to the trade body Make UK.

Source: Financial Times.

Industry 4.0: The Ways in Which Technology is Transforming Industry

Innovations in the applications of cutting-edge tech are revolutionizing manufacturing to the extent that it is now known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Industry 4.0 creates new opportunities and new environments to promote greater efficiency. It also brings with it new terms to refer to the technology involved beyond the general ones like AI.

They include the following: 

  • CPS stands for Cyber-physical systems, also sometimes known as cyber manufacturing.
  • Ecosystem refers to the potential connectedness of every aspect of the industrial operation.
  • IIoT stands for the Industrial Internet of Things.
  • M2M stands for machine-to-machine.
  • Smart factory

Source: Interesting Engineering.