News Feature | June 16, 2014

Manufacturing And Warehousing IT News — June 16, 2014

By Trisha Leon, contributing writer

Manufacturing And Warehousing IT News

In the news, U.S. factories are running at 77 percent capacity, the most in six years. Also, an article points out small and medium-sized enterprises aren’t fully leveraging mobile, social, data analytics, and cloud opportunities. And hybrid manufacturing demos at the RAPID conference drew a crowd — the method combines 3D printing with high speed milling in the same chamber.

U.S. Manufacturing Output Rebounds In May

According to Industrial Distribution, U.S. manufacturing output rose in May after in shrinking in April, led by greater production of autos, computers, and furniture.  The gains show that Americans, buoyed by steady job gains, are buying more cars while businesses are ordering more machinery and other goods. Those trends are fueling factory production and driving growth. The nation's factories are running at 77 percent capacity, the most in six years.

SMEs Slow To Join The Online Revolution

A Ferret article, “Small Business Is Missing The Mobile, Social, Cloud Revolution,” by Jim Minifie discusses a recently released Grattan Institute paper, which states small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are falling behind in the online revolution. Mobile, social, data analytics, and the cloud are four opportunities SMEs should take advantage of. In order to stay relevant, firms need to explore and exploit these four online toolsets. A major benefit of more SMEs joining the online revolution, according to Minifie, is: “when a firm becomes more efficient, the owners of that firm benefit most. When many firms become more efficient, customers benefit, because firms compete.” However, many SMEs lack the Knowledge and skills to utilize these four toolsets. VARs can help them negotiate the online landscape, making them more productive and efficient. 

Hybrid Manufacturing: The Latest In Additive Manufacturing

At this year’s SME annual additive manufacturing conference, RAPID, hybrid manufacturing stole the show, this according to Travis Hessman of Industry Week.  Among the buzz were giant, unusual art objects and oddly fashioned show models. But what generated the biggest crowd was MC Machinery Systems’ LUMEX Avance-25, the first-to-market machine to combine 3D printing with high speed milling in the same build chamber. Hessman says, “Watching the machine run is mesmerizing. It switches as effortlessly between additive laser heads and machine tools as you would expect from any modern CNC, lasering up new layers of titanium from the powder bed, and then grinding them into perfection, layer by perfect layer. The end products came out shined, polished and tooled to perfect specs.”

Grant Awarded To Revolutionize Time-Keeping For Cyber-Physical Systems

According to R&D The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced a five-year, $4 million award to tackle the challenge of synchronizing time in cyber-physical systems (CPS), which are systems that integrate sensing, computation, control and networking into physical objects and infrastructure. Roseline, the project supported by the NSF, will have a broad impact across many sectors, including smart electrical grids, aerospace systems, precision manufacturing, autonomous vehicles, safety systems and infrastructure monitoring. “Roseline will drive accurate timing information deep into the software system,” says Rajesh Gupta, University of California, San Diego computer science and engineering chair and a co-principal investigator on the project. “It will enable robust distributed control of smart grids, precise localization of structural faults in bridges and ultra-low-power wireless sensors.”

Additive Manufacturing Continues To Gain Ground

Cleveland State University’s Washkewicz College of Engineering and Rapid Prototype + manufacturing (rp+m) have partnered in an effort on workforce development, and received a $293,500 grant from the Ohio Board of Regents in support of the college’s Workforce Development Equipment and Facility Program in Additive Manufacturing. reports the project provides access to the latest in 3D printer technology, which will enable faculty, students, and local businesses to develop prototypes and products, while engaging in this new and growing manufacturing base. “Northeast Ohio is a world leader in the emerging field of integrating electronics with structural parts colloquially called the ‘Internet of things’. This foundational grant effort to establish the Center for Innovative Manufacturing at Cleveland State University will provide training for students to lead the future.  It’s very exciting and I'm excited to support the CSU mission for engaged learning,” states Ed Herderick, PhD, Director of R&D at rp+m.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Manufacturing And Warehousing Tech Center.