The Future of Factory Robotics

Robots are getting cheaper and there are more workers qualified to handle them than there were in 1990 according to a new study by McKinsey. So where to they go from here?

As robot production has increased, costs have gone down. Over the past 30 years, the average robot price has fallen by half in real terms, and even further relative to labor costs. As demand from emerging economies encourages  

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When being Middle-Sized means Largest Growth


“Bigger is Better” the saying goes, but a recent survey suggests that for the manufacturing sector such conventional wisdom isn’t always true. Conducted by the National Center for the Middle Market and reported by IndustryWeek, the survey found that mid-market manufacturers reported revenue growth at a higher percentage than that of the biggest manufacturers.

In NCMM’s second  

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2017 Golf Outing a Huge Success

Our annual Golf Outing is always a lot of fun for everyone involved, and this year proved no exception. With more participants than ever before, and perfect weather (not to mention a new treat in the form of free ice cream) it is safe to say a good time was had by all. As always we’d like to thank all our participants and especially our sponsors for making this great day possible! Here  

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The Forklift of Tomorrow

The forklift is an essential part of every warehouse, but have you ever stopped and wondered if there’s any difference between the old models and the new? As it turns out, there is. Boss Magazine has a look at some of the new innovations being made to the classic machine, including alternative power sources, and increased maneuverability, and even going digital:

The Fourth Industrial Revolution  

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Business Best it’s Been in Years According to New York Manufacturing Survey

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has released its latest survey of the state’s manufacturing industry, this one reporting figures for August. The results showed a strong month across the board:

Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity expanded strongly in August. The general business conditions index rose fifteen points to 25.2, its highest level since  

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To Close the Skills Gap Fix the Gender Gap

In 2016, women accounted for just 29% of all U.S. manufacturing jobs. When you consider that women make up 47% of the entire U.S. workforce, that’s an alarmingly low number. What’s even more alarming is that the problem has nothing to do with job shortages. Instead, manufacturing is suffering from a significant shortage of skilled workers and ingrained misconceptions of male-dominated industry  

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The New World of Predictive Data

The use of predictive data can help manufacturers predict problems and make proactive adjustments, asserts Doug Fair, chief operating officer of InfinityQS. This trend shifts away from the use of data to “chase” problems.

Modern manufacturers collect mountains of data every day. But how much of that data is ever studied, beyond the small percentage that raises red flags?

The newest  

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4 Ways 3D Printing will change the Metals Industry

Management consulting firm McKinsey & Company has published an article on the impact of 3D Printing on the metals industry in which they highlight 4 key ways the technology will change the industry.

The main benefits of 3-D printing are a shorter value chain, cost and time reductions through elimination of assembly steps, greater customization and design freedom, and minimal waste. But the  

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Looking Beyond Efficiency

In a new OP-ED published on Forbes, Jim Lawton questions if a decades old emphasis on increasing efficiency while keeping costs down as the benchmark for measuring success in the manufacturing industry may be out of place with the new Advanced Manufacturing.

Technology has always promised to improve efficiency – the ability to do things right. And that has always been at the heart of any case  

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3D Printing is So Last Season

With 3D printing officially mainstream now, scientists have started theorizing on what 4D printing will look like.

Although it will take some time for 4D printing to be available commercially, said Chaudhary, early forms of 4D printing are anticipated to comprise flexible objects designed in such a way that they can transform themselves when immersed in water or subjected to pressure, gravity  

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Consider: Workers Who are Willing to Learn

A column in IndustryWeek argues that with technology advancing so quickly and a shortage of skilled workers it makes more sense to train employees on site rather than look for workers with appropriate degrees and training.

How does a manufacturing company leader solve that problem?

By emphasizing the only capability that truly matters: The willingness and ability to learn.

Whatever technical skills  

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The Unlikeliest Tech Comeback

File this under “Comebacks Nobody Saw Coming.” After becoming a rare failure for the internet giant, a symbol of Silicon Valley excess, and a PR flop of New Coke proportions, Google Glass, the smartphone for your head, is poised to make a comeback in the private sector.

“Workers in many fields, like manufacturing, logistics, field services, and healthcare find it useful to  

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8 Workplace Safety Tips for the New Business Owner

Keeping your workplace safe and healthy isn’t easy, there’s simply far too many possible ways an accident can happen for prevention to ever be straightforward. Industrial Safety and Hygiene News has come out with a list of 8 ways a new business can hit the ground running. Even for older businesses these suggestions can be a good starting point for ensuring your workplace has its  

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Performance Goals vs Development Goals: What’s the Difference?

A new article in IndustryWeek asks if you have given much thought to how you set your production goals, whether you’ve given equal time to so-called Development Goals along with Performance Goals, and if you think that’s just splitting hairs then read on:

Think of performance goals as “What you want to achieve,” and development goals as “How you will achieve them.” The key  

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New Rules for Industrial Dust Explosion Protection

The first step to compliance with the National Fire Protection Association’s new combustible dust standard is a dust hazard analysis, according to Geof Brazier of BS&B Pressure Safety Management. Technology can contribute to dust mitigation through protection devices, containment systems and explosion vents.

For a wide range of facilities that manufacture, process, blend, convey, repackage,  

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Robot Takeover Not Taking to Manufacturing

Coming as a surprise to few, the so-called “Robot Takeover” of the economy is taking longer to arrive than experts initially expected. Of course, ever since scientists and newspersons in the 1950s touted flying cars and moon colonies by the year 2000 most people have probably come to expect that technological progress will take longer to reach the public than initial estimates  

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Students Learn Real World Benefits (and Profits) of Manufacturing

When debating ways to get young people interested in manufacturing the discussion usually centers on ways to bring the industry to the school (through tech class and presentations, etc.) or ways to bring the students to the industry (factory tours on Manufacturing Day), but this school in Washington State had a different plan. What if the students became part of the industry? The answer, as  

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Cloud Computing and Modern Manufacturing

The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation has issued a report on how Cloud Computing (defined as the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer) enables modern manufacturing. Calling it “a key platform technology” that plays “an essential role in enabling  

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Can Industrial Computing Change Manufacturing’s Public Perception?

That’s what Daniel Waldron Head of Content at Armagard ( ) is proposing on Waldron argues that Industrial Computing will demonstrate how modern the industry has become and thus lay to rest the doubts many people (parents especially) have about the industry.

‘Manufacturing’, a dirty word for most parents. However, as hard as it may be to believe, Mom and  

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Report: NY Manufacturing Rebounds in June

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has released its latest Manufacturing Survey, and it brings with it some welcome news for manufacturers. The survey found that their business activity grew in June:

After dropping to a level just below zero last month, the general business conditions index more than made up for lost ground, rising twenty-one points to 19.8, its highest level since September  

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FBI Warning: Infrastructure Software top Cybersecurity Threat

The FBI’s Denver Cyber Task Force issued a warning last week that vulnerabilities in software that runs everything from pumps to motors to traffic lights have become the nation’s top cybersecurity threat. The software that controls these systems is especially vulnerable to attack because they aren’t always protected by sophisticated security systems. Since the devices aren’t  

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20 Manufacturing Facts NAM Thinks You Should Know

Start out with Number 1 and head over to NAM to read the rest!

  1. In the most recent data, manufacturers contributed $2.18 trillion to the U.S. economy in 2016. This figure has risen since the second quarter of 2009, when manufacturers contributed $1.70 trillion. Over that same time frame, value-added output from durable goods manufacturing grew from $0.87 trillion to $1.20 trillion, with

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Find Out this Expert’s 3 Keys to Overcoming the Skills Gap

Lately it seems everyone has some ideas for how to close manufacturing’s skills gap. This latest piece from IndustryWeek doesn’t break the mold by any means, but it does condense the unwieldy issue down to three main obstacles:

Adapting to Changes in the Industry-Innovations like wearables, machine sensors, and robotics are constantly advancing, creating a connected  

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The Latest DIY Skills Gap Hail Mary: Train Them on Site

Much has been written about the manufacturing skills gap and the steps companies are taking to solve it. One increasingly popular solution is to provide the necessary training to workers. Usually this happens offsite at local community colleges or workforce development agencies, but lately some especially ambitious manufacturers have been attempting to train potential employees in-house.


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Building IIoT Framework

Everybody in the industry seems to be talking about the Industrial Internet of Things, but what exactly it will look like when it makes the leap from speculation and becomes a larger part of industrial life is still up in the air. Writing in Baseline Magazine, Samuel Greengard lays out his own ideas about what the basic framework should be like:

As the IoT moves from the periphery to the center  

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