NACFAM Annual Conference and Advanced Manufacturing Leadership Awards
Hyatt Regency Crystal City Hotel … Arlington, VA
September 7-8, 2017
“The Future of Manufacturing: Increasing Innovation, Productivity and Value”
- The Coming Revolution of American Manufacturing
- Disruption and Innovation: Two Sides of the Same Coin
- The Case for Digital Reinvention
- Radical Transformation through Technology-driven Innovations: Machines, Materials and Controls
- Industrial technologies transforming manufacturing and driving growth and sustainability
- Revolution at the Convergence—Manufacturing as a Service (MaaS)
- Promoting Growth and Sustainment in Aerospace and Defense SMEs
- Building a Talented Workforce
- Cybersecurity for Advanced Manufacturing
- Measuring Manufacturing Correctly
- Manufacturing Policy Issues – 2017 and Beyond
Draft agenda & conference registration form to be e-mailed on Tuesday.
Adv. Mfg. Leadership Award nominations due May 15th.
U.S. economy grew at sluggish 0.7 percent in first quarter of 2017
The U.S. economy posted its weakest first quarter growth in three years as consumers crimped on spending.
(Washington Post — Ana Swanson and Max Ehrenfreund: 4-28-17) The U.S. economy expanded at its slowest pace in three years in the first quarter of this year, according to government data issued Friday morning, as spending by consumers grew at a slower pace and government outlays fell.
America’s gross domestic product, a broad measure of economic growth, grew at an annualized rate of just 0.7 percent in the first three months of 2017, a significant slowdown from the previous quarter that economists say is more likely due to measurement error than to Donald Trump’s performance as president.
Most economists had been expecting lackluster growth. Yet the report still highlights the challenge this administration will face trying to meet its target rate of 3 percent economic growth.
A rapid pace of economic expansion is crucial for Trump’s broader economic agenda. He plans to aggressively reduce taxes, which could leave the federal government short trillions of dollars in revenue unless the budget is bolstered by strong economic growth.
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said he didn’t think slower first-quarter growth reflected on Donald Trump’s presidency. “It’s too early for that. I do think though it highlights how difficult it will be to raise growth on a sustained basis. It will take some really good policy to do that, and I haven’t heard that from the administration, at least not yet,” he said.
Friday’s data showed consumer spending expanding in the quarter, though it grew at just 0.3 percent, the slowest pace since 2009. Reduced spending at all levels of government, as well as a strong dollar that weighed on exports and increased imports, brought down the official estimate. Trump has said that closing the gap between imports and exports is one of his chief priorities.
Markets opened on a slide Friday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index had fallen 0.05 percent and the Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.1 percent by mid-morning.
Leslie Preston, a senior economist at TD Economics, said she didn’t see the new data as cause for alarm. “There were a lot of temporary factors that were hurting growth in the first quarter,” she said.
One was unseasonably warm weather in many parts of the country in January and February. While warmer temperatures gave a boost to the construction industry, it cut down significantly on the amount of energy people used to heat their homes and cars, weighing on consumer spending.
Auto sales were also weak in the first quarter, but Preston says that isn’t too much of a cause for concern. “Sales have just been so strong in recent quarters, we were due for a bit of a breather,” she says.
One bright spot was a rebound in business investment, driven by the construction of new oil rigs. Oil prices have gradually ticked up over the past year from the ultra-low levels seen in early 2016, making new investments economical once again.
The report contains the first official estimates of economic growth under Trump and was coincidentally released on the 99th day of his new administration. The president and his aides have tried to show demonstrable progress on his chief priorities, including economic issues, before he concludes his first 100 days in office.
The weaker growth is partly due to persistent measurement issues, which have caused the government to underestimate growth in the first quarter for many years — and reflected poorly on other presidents in their first quarter in office.
Diane Swonk, a Chicago-based economist, said that measurement errors alone probably shaved around three-quarters of a percent off the growth estimate in the first quarter. Adding that back in, growth would be similar to what the country has seen in previous quarters.
In the fourth quarter of 2016 the final full quarter of President Barack Obama’s tenure, the economy grew by 2.1 percent, federal economists reported last month.
Most economists expect the pace of growth to rebound in the second quarter. All the same, the disappointing figure suggests a potentially worrisome gap between expectations for the new administration and the reality of how the economy is performing.
Surveys show that consumer and business confidence have soared since the November election, creating one of the biggest divergences in recent memory between soft data — measurements of how people feel about the economy and their future — and the hard data that government statisticians release each month.
Hard data has painted a more mixed picture. In the first two months of the year, the number of jobs added to the U.S. economy surpassed expectations. But the number of new jobs created slumped in March, partly due to a snowstorm that prevented some Americans from working.
The Trump administration isn’t really responsible for the slow growth yet. The reason: Many of his policies haven’t become law, and none of them have had enough time to work through the economy.
“It’s too soon for the president to take credit for the good employment numbers, and too soon for him to take the blame for the shortfall in GDP,” said Swonk. “The important issue is whether the expectations and euphoria we saw following the election will come to fruition. I think there’s been a lot more skepticism on that lately.”
Igniting Industrial Growth: Jumpstarting Emerging Industrial App Economy
(IW – Rob McKeel: 4-21-17) “There’s an app for that.” Everyone knows the phrase. As consumers, we live in a world of apps. We track mileage and heartrate on our morning run, set a reminder to call the doctor’s office when it opens, reroute our commute to avoid traffic delays and stream music while we go. And that’s just before 8 a.m.
Now machines are joining the game. In fact, machine data is growing twice as fast as other data, making Big Data even bigger. As the industrial world gets online, jet engines, wind turbines, railway tracks and medical devices are producing enormous quantities of data. As it turns out, these machines have a lot to say — not just to us, but to each other.
In short, the industrial world is on the cusp of a transformation as fundamental to the daily routine as connectivity and apps are in consumers’ lives.
The Industrial App Economy
The stage is set. The Industrial Internet now has an operating system and a cloud infrastructure (we at GE think Predix and Predix Cloud are it). This provides a common platform on which nearly 2.5 million developers worldwide can improve the efficiency and reliability of machines; and it will spur innovation all around the globe by enabling a more seamless environment for people and machines to work smarter and more efficiently together.
The industrial app economy now emerging will dwarf what we’ve previously seen in the consumer sector. Industrial apps will leverage a massive base of machines across sectors that act as the engines of global economic growth: energy, healthcare, transportation. Industry today accounts for about one-third of global economic output —and investment infrastructure is expected to exceed $60 trillion over the next 15 years.
The interoperability and compatibility of apps will be crucial to the launch and growth of the industrial app economy, as this will allow them to be adapted and “ported” across different industrial sectors. For example, an app that helps manage a fleet of aircraft will be easily adapted to manage fleets of ships or locomotives. This cross-fertilization will profoundly accelerate the growth of the industrial internet as every new app opens the door to countless others.
Connected controllers are a turning point in the realization of the industrial internet, bringing together the physical and digital worlds at the farthest edge of manufacturing and enabling the surge of the industrial app economy. Like connected people, they can take and enable more intelligent action. Connected controllers are to machines what the iPhone is to a person.
In this new paradigm and industrial app economy, control systems are no longer passive devices, disconnected from outside data and business outcomes. They’re changing how machines operate and communicate, accelerating the pace at which the digital world influences physical systems. These new controllers are bringing apps to the machine’s level for the first time, augmenting the real-time deterministic control loop and creating economic efficiency without requiring a rip-and-replace of existing control systems.
This week at Hannover Messe, an annual mecca for the industrial technology market, GE will announce its Control System Health App. The app reduces machine down time by enabling preventive maintenance, providing simple descriptions of faults with recommended corrective actions. Early adopters of connected controls have seen a 40% reduction in maintenance costs as a result of anticipating and addressing problems before they occur. This health check app is the first of many Predix-based apps that collects real-time data and leverages analytics to provide better outcomes.
Tomorrow’s Industrial Internet
This is just the beginning. As the industrial app economy builds speed and machines become increasingly interconnected, these industrial assets will begin to make Big Data useful for the first time. Machines will rely on apps, as people already do, for nearly everything: improving their health, feeding themselves better and even socializing with each other.
There is already an app that maximizes the power output of a wind farm by connecting its wind turbines and allowing them to coordinate the pitch of their blades as the wind changes. Another app reduces fuel consumption of a jet engine. Another app makes hospital operating rooms run more efficiently and economically by optimizing the flow of anesthesia.
In every corner of the global economy, industrial apps are poised to disrupt and optimize. They will allow us to produce more energy from renewable sources and use it more efficiently. They will make healthcare better and more affordable. They will reduce transportation delays.
Industrial apps will operate behind the scenes, but their impact on daily life will be even more extraordinary than that of consumer apps — even if it might not be as evident.
Over the past five years, the growth of industrial productivity has lagged in comparison with the growth of consumer productivity. However, much like Apple’s app store catapulted app development and opened a new era of technology, we think we’ve created a digital storefront for developers of the industrial world that will fundamentally and permanently change industrial technology.
To the developers reading this, we think this is your chance to be a part of this movement, to build the apps that change industry — and, in turn, change the world.
And to the innovators gathered at Hannover Messe and to those watching from around the world, I have one final message: the past decade has been defined by innovation in the consumer internet, but the next decade belongs to the industrial internet and will transform industry forever.
(Rob McKeel is the president and CEO of GE Automation & Controls. During his 23 years with the company, he has also worked as VP of rotating machines for GE Energy Management and as senior executive of business operations for GE Transportation.)
NACFAM Joins NAM and other national organizations in supporting Perkins CTE reauthorization bill
(NACFAM: 4-21-7) NACFAM joined with the National Association of Manufacturers and many business-oriented organizations in working with the Perkins CTE Coalition to deliver a joint letter urging members of Congress to support legislation to successfully reauthorize the Perkins program this year.
These national business organizations believe high-quality Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, supported by the Perkins Act, are an effective tool for improving student outcomes and help prepare both secondary and postsecondary students with the necessary academic, technical and employability skills required for successful entry into the workforce. CTE also prepares students for college and helps them acquire the skills needed in the 21st century economy.
In 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives easily passed “the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.” That legislation was a bipartisan effort with very broad support that would have helped our nation’s students acquire the skills needed to be successful in today’s work environment. The legislation had overwhelming support, passing the House by a vote of 405-5, but did not receive Senate consideration.
Congress needs to know that employers across the country are reporting moderate to serious shortages of qualified applicants for skilled and highly skilled positions. Reauthorizing Perkins will help ensure a quality employee pipeline for employers and access to in-demand and high paying jobs for America’s workforce.
You can be part of this national effort by urging the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Labor/Education Committees to approve reauthorization of the Perkins Act.
Letter to Congress Supporting Perkins Reauthorization
April 24, 2017
The Honorable Virginia Foxx, Chairman
Committee on Education and the Workforce
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Bobby Scott, Ranking Member
Committee on Education and the Workforce
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Lamar Alexander, Chairman
Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Patty Murray, Ranking Member
Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Chairman Foxx and Ranking Member Scott and Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray:
We, the undersigned businesses and organizations, support reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act that will help Americans develop the skills they need to compete for high-skilled, in-demand jobs.
In 2016, the House of Representatives passed “the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.” That legislation was a bipartisan effort that would have helped our nation’s students acquire the skills needed to be successful in today’s work environment. While the legislation had overwhelming support, passing the House of Representatives by a vote of 405-5, it did not receive Senate consideration.
Employers are reporting a shortage of skilled workers to fill in-demand positions. Modernized and relevant career and technical education (CTE) programs, designed with the input of employers and responsive to the needs identified by labor market data, are central to overcoming this skills gap.
CTE is an effective tool for improving student outcomes and helps prepare both secondary and postsecondary students with the necessary academic, technical and employability skills required to be successful in the workforce. CTE prepares students both for college and careers and are critical to meeting the needs of this new 21st century economy.
New legislation should focus on areas where improvements can be made to current law such as:
- Align CTE programs to the needs of the regional, state, and local labor markets;
- Support effective and meaningful collaboration between secondary and postsecondary institutions and employers;
- Increase student participation in work-based learning opportunities; and
- Promote the use of industry recognized credentials and other recognized postsecondary credentials.
These improvements will more effectively spend federal dollars to help our nation’s students acquire the skills that they need and employers are demanding. We urge you to move forward with reauthorization of Perkins Career and Technical Education based on the broadly supported legislation from 2016 and appreciate the ongoing, bipartisan commitment to invest in our nation’s students, workers and economy through the Perkins CTE program.
Industrial Organizations Face IIoT Challenges
It is the Internet of Things, but with an enterprise angle. Take that to mean industry vertical applications, development ecosystems, product design, hardware, deployment and more.
(IoT Agenda – Jason Cline: 4-18-17) The physical world is being digitized. There has been an explosion of smart devices that are in constant communication with one another and churning out large volumes of data. This data is changing the way businesses are run today. The basis of the industrial internet of things, the real-time dynamic of data analytics, is creating both new opportunities and challenges for business leaders.
In one report, half of the executives surveyed across industrial and healthcare sectors said they lack the talent required to consolidate and interpret the massive volume of disparate data that exists across their facilities. Yet within the next year, 72% of those companies fear they will lose market share if they are unable to implement their big data strategy. So what’s holding them back?
Below are the five key challenges currently facing organizations in the age of IIoT.
Improved capacity is one of the benefits of state-of-the-art information systems. To achieve production targets, operators need to be able to monitor assets in real time and ensure those assets are performing at an optimal level. Operators also need increased visibility and better insights on the health of the machine so they can detect anomalies and fix issues before they occur. Asset performance management can provide operators with answers to critical questions, including how often equipment fails so it can be prioritized, how equipment should be maintained and how unexpected failures and downtime can be avoided.
Traditionally, management of industrial technology has been split between information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT). IT works from top down, deploying and maintaining data-driven infrastructure, whereas OT is built from ground up, starting with equipment and assets, and moving up to monitoring and industrial control systems. With smarter machines and the pervasiveness of IIoT, the worlds of IT and OT have converged. IT and OT, developed separately with independent systems architectures, need to securely integrate without data loss or the introduction of vulnerabilities.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2024 the median age of U.S. workers is expected to be 42.4 years old, so it comes as no surprise that this aging workforce will impact a number of industries. Retirement of experienced workers is expected to create a skills gap, and while younger generations will bring new skills, it is crucial that the knowledge accumulated by more senior employees is captured and made accessible to the new workforce before retirement. Organizations must prepare for this impending change, and can do so by using digital technologies to help ease the transition.
Advanced cloud computing and software technology is transforming the data management process and adapting to a younger, more digital-savvy generation. Data management and analytics technology with a simple, mobile-enable interface dramatically increases productivity across the organization and reduces the costs required for manual data organization and review. Further, the ability to better predict maintenance issues and eliminate unexpected equipment issues could save industries billions of dollars per year.
Keeping up with a flood of information is difficult for any organization. Most companies struggle with data deluge driven by lower-cost storage, sensing and communications technologies, and few have figured out how to properly leverage data. Big data that is neither structured nor contextualized is difficult to store and analyze in its entirety through traditional computing approaches in a cost-effective way — and can lead to data islands.
Data islands are either a byproduct of operational decisions being made without the context of a larger data strategy, or by layering legacy systems with newer technologies without a data governance system in place. Data then gets siloed, and this fragmentation presents complex technical and organizational challenges. When the data is scattered throughout the plant and the enterprise, for example, integrating and analyzing it manually becomes resource-intensive and time-consuming. By the time data is actually organized, its value may have already been lost.
As billions of assets get smarter and are networked to store information on the cloud, they become exposed to digital privacy risks. Cyberattacks pose a range of threats — from personal devices to corporate IT systems — making both individuals and institutions vulnerable to financial and operational damage. There is growing awareness among business leaders to mitigate these risks. Vendors are now deploying solutions to prevent cyber events, but as industrial organizations continue to invest in digital technologies, security capability must be considered in the selection criteria.
IIoT challenges facing industrial companies today may seem overwhelming. These challenges, however, offer game-changing business opportunities to improve productivity and growth for those companies willing to embrace a systematic approach of applying contemporary intelligent data management and analytics systems.
Government has a big Role to play in Innovation
(Innovation Excellence – Paul Sloane: 4-17-17) In January 2007 Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to the world. This iconic product became a sensational success and propelled Apple to become the most valuable company on Earth. It also created a new product category, the smartphone, which has become the must-have item for people in all nations.
It launched a platform for secondary markets in apps, music and videos. Steve Jobs, Sir Jonathan Ive and the design team at Apple deserve the tremendous credit they get for this seismic innovation. But as the economists, Marianna Mazzucato and Tim Harford, have shown, the iPhone could not have been a success without at least 12 technology innovations on which it is dependent. These include:
- Tiny microprocessors
- Memory chips
- Solid state hard drives
- Liquid Crystal displays
- Lithium based batteries
- Fast Fourier transform algorithms
- The Internet
- Http and Html
- Cellular networks
- Global positioning systems (GPS)
- Touch Screen
The remarkable thing which Mazzucato points out is that all these technologies were initially funded partly or wholly by government (and usually defense) agencies.
For example, the internet was based on the Arpanet developed by US military sites in the 1970s. The worldwide web owes its existence to the work of Tim Berners-Lee who developed the idea of hyperlinks while at the CERN research center which is funded by European governments. GPS was developed by the military for the military. Fast Fourier transform routines enable analogue signals such as sound and video to be quickly digitized. They were originally developed by the American mathematician John Tukey while he was working in Defense applications at the height of the cold war when Kennedy was President. Touch Screens were first researched by E. A. Johnson, a British Scientist working for the Royal Radar Establishment.
In 2000 the US Defense advanced research agency DARPA commissioned Stanford to work on a voice activated artificial intelligence agent, the predecessor to Siri, to help military personnel. Similarly, tiny microprocessors, memory chips, sold state hard drives, lithium batteries and liquid crystal displays all enjoyed a large element of government funding – often with military uses in mind.
No-one is claiming that governments or defense agencies created the iPhone. We have private enterprise to thank for that. But governments funded the essential underlying research and initial developments of just about all the key components. And governments carried the risk of that research and development.
We tend to underplay the role that government decisions and government dollars have played in the success of many of today’s technology product and companies. We should recognize that government has been an important sponsor in furthering innovation in the past and will continue to be in the future. We need continued government support for fundamental scientific research to underpin future innovations from a future Steve Jobs.
New Study on Women in Manufacturing Reveals Impact on Supply Chains
This study is an important step in understanding how we as an industry can make supply chain careers more attractive to women.
(Supply Chain Management Review (SCMR) – Patrick Burnson: 4-25-17) The Manufacturing Institute, Deloitte and APICS recently released a study, Women in Manufacturing: Stepping up to make an impact that matters.
The joint study is the result of more than 600 survey responses from women professionals in the manufacturing industry, along with nearly 20 manufacturing executive interviews. The insights point to how companies can effectively recruit, retain and advance talented women in manufacturing, and illustrates ways that women in manufacturing are making an impact in the industry through programs like STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead.
The supply chain implications are clear, say industry experts.
“This study is an important step in understanding how we as an industry can make supply chain careers more attractive to women,” said Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE, APICS chief executive officer. “At APICS, we are dedicated to workforce development initiatives that address the supply chain talent gap. Ensuring more women join the manufacturing workforce and find a path to success is a key part of the solution. We are proud that STEP Ahead honorees include 12 APICS members.”
This study confirms 1) the importance of increasing the number of women in the manufacturing workforce and 2) that many manufacturers are missing a critical talent pool which could aid in closing the skills gap. Some key highlights from the study include:
- Nearly three fourths (70 percent) of women indicate they would stay in manufacturing if they were to start their career today;
- Some of the most important employment characteristics for women in manufacturing include opportunities for challenging and interesting assignments, attractive pay, and work-life balance; and
- The most impactful programs to help retain women in manufacturing include formal and informal mentorship programs, flexible work practices, and increasing the visibility of key leaders who serve role models.
The study also examines the positive impact of STEP Ahead, reporting insights from former honorees and emerging leaders who indicate STEP Ahead has helped raise the visibility of opportunities for women in the industry, manufacturing opportunities in the community, and opportunities for women within their companies. The STEP Ahead honorees and emerging leaders have reached an estimated 300,000 individuals – from peers in the industry to school age children – as a result of their active industry engagement:
- Nearly 90 percent indicate they are engaged with individuals to raise the visibility of the industry;
- 92 percent are engaged in efforts in the development of women; and
- 70 percent are engaged with K-12 system to encourage young girls and boys to consider careers in manufacturing.
“Our research estimates that the cumulative manufacturing skills gap — or the positions that likely won’t be filled due to a lack of skilled workers — will grow to two million between 2015 and 2025,” said Craig Giffi, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and U.S. automotive practice leader.
While there has been an overall positive change in the industry’s attitude toward women employees, women still make up 29 percent of the U.S. manufacturing workforce, while they make up approximately half of the total U.S. labor force.
Researchers told SCMR in an interview that they were pleased to see that women are noticing an increased effort by universities, businesses, and the industry to promote a positive attitude toward women in manufacturing and supply chain.
The results show that there has been positive change in the industry and that there is more of a focus on ensuring more women join the manufacturing workforce and find a path to success:
- 58 percent of women surveyed noted a positive change in the manufacturing industry’s attitude towards female professionals over the last five years.
- 29 percent of women (up from 12 percent in 2015) think the school system actively or somewhat encourages female students to pursue a career in the manufacturing industry
- 42 percent (up from 24 percent in 2015) would encourage their daughter or female family member to pursue a career in their industry.
SCMR also learned in an interview that despite progress, there is still room for improvement in the manufacturing industry’s efforts to attract, retain, and develop its female workforce.
“The report identified pain points that still need to be addressed – underrepresentation of women in leadership roles, consistent performance standards for both men and women, and a work/life balance that allows women to meet family/personal commitments without impairing their career,” said researchers.
Researchers told SCMR that future reports would “dive deeper into these pain points,” what smart companies are doing to address them, and how the industry can improve retention of women in manufacturing jobs.
(Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites … and a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management.)
Senators push 'cost-effective' regulatory reform
(The Hill – Tim Devaney: 4-26-17) A bipartisan group of senators is tackling regulatory reform from a new angle.
The Regulatory Accountability Act reintroduced Wednesday in the upper chamber would require federal agencies to issue the most “cost-effective” rules necessary to accomplish their goals.
In contrast to previous versions of the Regulatory Accountability Act, which mandated agencies issues the “least costly” rules, the version supported by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) would give regulators flexibility to issue slightly more expensive regulations, if they add greater value to the economy.
This slight tweak in the wording of the bill is intended to assure Democrats the legislation will not water down regulations and other important public protections.
“We continue to prioritize workplace safety and protections for our environment,” Portman told reporters. “This is not about doing away with standards. It’s about finding a smarter way to regulate.”
The Regulatory Accountability Act would require federal agencies to conduct a cost-benefit analysis before issuing a new rule. They must then issue what is determined to be the most “cost-effective” rule.
Some of the provisions contained in the Regulatory Accountability Act codify various executive orders from both Republican and Democratic presidents, dating back to Ronald Reagan.
For major rules, these cost-benefit analyses could be challenged in court. “The courts would ensure that agencies do not rely on irrational assumptions or treat cost-benefit analysis as a mere afterthought,” according to Portman’s office.
Federal agencies would also be required to disclose the scientific data they rely on to “justify new rules,” and give the public an opportunity to dispute the facts used to support major rules during a public hearing.
The most significant rules would be subject to an automatic review process every 10 years.
Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) are co-sponsoring the Regulatory Accountability Act, but Republicans need to recruit at least six more Senate Democrats to pass the bill in the upper chamber.
That will be difficult given the partisan climate in Washington, where many Democrats have no interest in helping President Trump accomplish his regulatory agenda. But conservatives believe there is an opening with moderate Democrats from red states like Heitkamp and Manchin, who both represent states President Trump won easily and are considered among the most vulnerable in the 2018 cycle.
“Federal regulations keep our air clean and families safe, and no one wants to go back to an era without safety standards,” Heitkamp told reporters. “But sometimes regulations don’t work as intended and create red tape.”
House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) introduced his own version of the bill, which the lower chamber passed in January. On Wednesday, he praised the Senate bill, signaling it will have support from House Republicans.
“Congress and the White House have made it clear to the American people that one of the biggest keys to faster and stronger growth of our economy should be reform of our runaway regulatory state,” Goodlatte said.
The Revolution Is Underway: What IoT Will Mean for Companies, Consumers, and Industries
The route to super-connected events, virtual-reality stores, and 100% mobility across entire populations is within reach thanks to the Internet of Things.
(IoT Institute – Jeremy Coward: 4-21-17) The statistics surrounding the Internet of Things have always been impressive.
- 50 billion connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices by 2020.
- $6 trillion spend on IoT over the next five years.
- A global IoT market valued at $14.4 trillion by 2022.
However, these immense figures are only relevant with widely publicized, industry-defining IoT use cases to back them up.
Why 2017 received a particularly warm welcome from those working in IoT. After plenty of growth and great expectations in 2016, many believe this is the year for a large increase in relevant IoT deployments. And we got off to a good start, with IoT devices dominating tech-focused trade shows at the beginning of this year.
If this is to be the year that enterprises, industries, and many more consumers start getting a proper taste of IoT, we already have a good idea where they’ll be feeling it most. These IoT initiatives – past, present and future – show where IoT is proving to be most pervasive. Every company featured is a leader in the field that will be taking the stage at Internet of Things World 2017 in Santa Clara next month – de facto the world’s biggest IoT event. From seasoned conference attendees to enthusiastic free expo junkies, there’s no better place to preview the technology that is destined to change our world in the near future.
How Silicon Valley’s Finest Brought IoT to Super Bowl 50
Last year, CEO of the Bay Area Super Bowl Host Committee Keith Bruce was tasked with making Santa Clara’s Super Bowl “the most technologically advanced sporting event in history.”
Naturally, Bruce sought to collaborate with Silicon Valley’s most prominent brands to transform America’s flagship sporting event. Bruce was adamant that “The Internet of Things was ready to enter the sporting world in new, big and emerging ways.”
With just over two years to prepare, 20+ technology companies – including Uber, Google, SAP, Visa, and Intel – collaborated with Bruce’s Committee to tailor the most futuristic sport fan experience available.
Under their stewardship, Levi’s Stadium became the most connected and technologically advanced stadium in the world, boasting cutting-edge Wi-Fi capabilities, mobile connectivity, internet protocol television, digital displays, HD scoreboards, and video.
SAP assisted Bruce and his team with creating a separate multi-tasking app to coordinate the 6000+ volunteers, equipped with iPads and iPhones courtesy of Apple. They also hosted a Fan Energy Zone and Quarterback Challenge experience, integrating the latest in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology. Meanwhile, SAP, Intel, Google, and Visa joined forces to enable the innovative interfaces and live event content that got throngs of fans active on their smartphones and tablets, like never before.
Outside the stadium, official transportation partner Uber ferried fans to and from the stadium on the big day – the first time any Super Bowl has partnered with a ride-sharing company, and certainly not the last.
Super Bowl 50 ultimately rewrote the record books for use of technology in sports and events, as well as breaking records IoT technology generally, transmitting more data, generating more social media shares and seeing huge numbers of digital content impressions. It’s the Holy Grail all sporting events will now look to aspire to, which should be ubiquitous in stadiums around the world in the foreseeable future.
Mobility Transformed via the Sharing Economy
The aforementioned Uber uses a business model that’s famously upending taxi services and travel generally. But it’s the sharing economy – the new-age system of sharing assets and services primarily between individuals – that will likely have a more radical impact on transportation as we know it in the long run.
Zipcar, Lyft, and Asia’s Grab are the sharing economy’s most prolific advocates; all three gave their visions for future transport at a preview Internet of Things World panel session earlier this year.
Consider the current state of affairs: every American wastes 216 hours on average annually on commutes, while traffic costs the United States government an estimated $160 billion every year.
Zipcar strategy director Adrian Albus shared Zipcar’s plans for massive fleets of driverless cars, used by citizens across the world’s towns and cities. When autonomous vehicles become a viable transportation option, Zipcar’s aim is to make them widely accessible and affordable through their car-sharing service.
If this accelerates the uptake of driverless vehicles as expected, fewer people will own their own cars, while those “smart” cars left on the road will take up less room while driving. Swathes of city space will be freed up, as many parking spaces and stretches of road become superfluous. At 300 sq ft, a single parking space can sometimes equal the size of a New York studio apartment; in 2050, when cities will be home to 6.5 billion people, it’s reassuring to know that much of space set aside for New York’s four million parking spaces may have been put to better use.
100% mobility for entire populations is an ambitious target, but it’s also a realistic one thanks to the opportunities the sharing economy combined with autonomous vehicles can offer.
The Floodgates for Industrial IoT Use Cases Creaks Open
If we are going to see $3.7 trillion created by IoT’s industrial side, even by 2025, then it’s high time we saw some of its real-world applications. There’s certainly been sufficient investment in this area – IDC found that 24% of the $737 billion put towards IoT was spent by manufacturers.
GE, who themselves forecast that “the industrial internet could add a sizeable $10-15 trillion to global GDP” over the next 20 years, are the subject of much of this scrutiny. Fortunately, they’re also starting to delivering across the board.
The system built by GE to automatically collect and analyze data from sensors placed across Alitalia aircrafts has already saved the air carrier 1.5% in fuel cost, amounting to around $15 million saved. They’ve also been outfitting trains with sensors – often 200+ a piece – to monitor engine performance and keep check of railway and environmental conditions to bring similar cost savings, while their “Brilliant Factory” captures information at the start of a client’s supply chain journey that enables proactive maintenance, ordering new parts and catching manufacturing flaws first time around.
Industrial IoT is also moving beyond factories to new, challenging geographies, as explained by Scott Amyx, CEO of boutique IoT advisory firm Amyx+.
“We’re working with a company in Saudi Arabia where they’ve developed a robotic infrared, thermal-imaging technology used for Reinforce Thermosetting Resin (RTR) pipe inspections,” he explains.
The client is automating the inspection process, using thermal imaging to identify “cool spots” that could represent cracks, damage or thinness – a more efficient way to spot breached pipes and prevent the loss of oil.
“We’re also prompting them to consider IoT implementation at a material science level, in between the layers in the pipes, where we could potentially put in conductive materials that are able to detect punctures in real-time,” Amyx adds.
It’s essentially a smart, reactive snake skin that protects oil pipes automatically, a material potentially applicable in many industries beyond oil and gas.
Clean power movement is unstoppable
(GreenBiz – Heather Clancy: 4-27-17) The data tracking worldwide adoption of electricity generated by solar, wind and other renewable resources looks better than ever. About 11.3 percent of all power consumed in 2016 came from these resources and adoption will only continue to accelerate — in many cases faster than anticipated.
But we’re also reaching an awkward phase in the transition to a low-carbon economy. The dilemma: utility companies, local officials and national governments are grappling with how to ensure affordable clean power for everyone and that adequate resources are devoted to other big concerns where progress has been far slower. These slow-moving issues include grid reliability and stability, as well as decarbonizing existing energy resources and heavy industries such as steel production, aviation and shipping. It will be tough to bridge the chasm.
Those themes were sounded often this week during the Future of Energy Summit, hosted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance in New York. “Most of my customers want a clean energy product; all of my customers want affordable energy,” Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO of Xcel Energy, said during a panel discussion with utility executives.
He continued: “When you can combine environmental benefits with economic benefits, it’s pretty much a no-brainer. … We’re going to continue to do that, and we’re going to deeply decarbonize. We’ve already reduced carbon emissions 30 percent since 2005. It will be 45 percent by 2021, and 60 percent by 2030.”
Some of those investments were prompted, perhaps, by the prospect for tougher federal regulations on carbon dioxide emissions — some covered by the ill-fated Clean Power Plan, which President Donald Trump moved to kill via one of his many executive orders. The practical reality is that the economic motive for doing this is simply growing stronger.
“We can save our customers billion in fuel costs,” Fowke said.
It was refreshing to hear Secretary of Energy Rick Perry also speak positively about the ongoing potential for more clean power in the United States.
“We are going to ensure that renewable energy finds its way to the grid,” Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said during remarks at the conference. After all, this is the individual who helped Texas become the biggest state when it comes to wind generation resources — it actually produces more generation capacity than France, Canada or the United Kingdom.
However, Perry made no bones out of declaring that the Department of Energy’s top concerns under Trump are exploiting America’s “abundant resources” and making sure the country’s electricity baseload is reliable, in the interest of national security. “It is not reasonable to rely exclusively on fossil fuels. It is not feasible to rely exclusively on renewables,” he said.
Indeed, Perry hinted that governors who advocate policies the Trump administration sees as hostile to its “all of the above” energy strategy could be in for a fight. “States will be preempted in some cases,” he said.
Perry also confirmed how he stands on whether the United States should abandon the Paris Climate Agreement, the set of actions we must take to keep the world’s temperatures from increasing more than 2 degrees Celsius: He thinks we should keep it, just not in its current form. “I’m not going to tell the president of the United States to walk away from the Paris accord,” he said. “I will say that we need to renegotiate it.”
Collectively speaking, the ETC analysis suggests that the world must follow four connected paths to cut global annual carbon emissions to 20 gigatonnes (Gt) by 2040 from 36 Gt by 2040. (If we do nothing, or business as usual, the world probably will be producing 47 Gt by that timeframe.)
- Invest in clean electrification: Here’s ETC’s money quote: “Provided appropriate policies are put in place, it will be possible within 15 years to build power systems that rely on variable renewables for 80/90 percent of power supply and that can deliver electricity at an all-in cost (including back-up and flexibility needs) of less than $70 per megawatt-hour, which is likely to be competitive with fossil fuels based power generation.”
- Decarbonization of “hard to electrify” sectors: The report suggests that substantial investments in bioenergy, waste heat, hydrogen and carbon capture and sequestration technologies are required to achieve the sorts of cost reductions and scaleouts that renewable energy systems are beginning to realize.
- A revolution in energy productivity: The ETC says that by stepping up efficiency improvements in buildings and transportation, businesses and communities could deliver up to 30 percent of the emissions reductions required by 2040. The EP100 campaign, founded in May 2016 by the Climate Group, could be instrumental here. Participating companies have pledged to double their energy productivity. According to initiative’s website, more than 100 companies are involved.
- Optimization of remaining fossil fuels: The organization anticipates that even under best case scenarios, fossil fuels still will account for at least 50 percent of energy demand in the 2040 time-frame. That means we can’t lose sight of the need to improve these forms of generation — or methods of sequestering the emissions associated with them.
The challenge, of course, is that “strong” public policies will be essential to achieve this, according to the ETC. Among what’s needed: “meaningful” carbon pricing, phase-out of fossil fuels subsidies and research investments for low-carbon technologies.
“We are ambitious but realistic,” said Adair Turner, chairman of the ETC, in remarks prepared for the Bloomberg summit. “Despite the scale of the challenges facing us, we firmly believe the required transition is technically and economically achievable if immediate action is taken.”
GE Keeps Its Checkbook Handy After All-in Bet on 3-D Printing
GE is racing to beat out competitors such as Siemens AG and United Technologies Corp., which also are integrating advanced printers into their operations.
(Bloomberg — Richard Clough and Oliver Sachgau: 4-20-17) General Electric shook up the
3-D printer market last year by paying more than $1 billion on two acquisitions. Turns out that may be just the beginning.
The manufacturing giant is weighing additional purchases to expand the fast-growing business, said David Joyce, GE’s vice chair in charge of 3-D printing. The burgeoning technology is becoming a new product line as well as a central component of GE’s effort to modernize its manufacturing operations, boost productivity and reshape how everything from locomotives to medical scanners to jet engines are made.
In that process, GE is racing to beat out competitors such as Siemens and United Technologies, which also are integrating advanced printers into their operations. The moves come as manufacturing is thrust into the spotlight amid the rise of President Donald Trump, who has pledged to revitalize the sector and reverse decades of job losses.
While 3-D technology could help bring back factories, it’s unlikely to do the same for factory workers.
The ability to print complex parts is “one of the most disruptive innovations I’ve seen in the manufacturing space in my 37 years here,” Joyce said in an interview in his Cincinnati-area office. As chief executive officer of GE Aviation, he’s helping lead adoption of 3-D technology within the company by incorporating printed parts into jet engines. “Manufacturing is going through a renaissance,” he said.
Industrial 3-D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, uses lasers and other technology to fuse ultra-thin layers of material such as metal powder or polymers, building parts from the bottom up. In a few hours, a machine can construct complex components that otherwise would be difficult or impossible to make. While the process has been used to build quick prototypes, integration into full-scale manufacturing has been limited by material and cost issues.
GE will expand its 3-D printing business through a combination of acquisitions and organic growth, Joyce said without naming potential targets. Several additive manufacturers have gained recently on increased investor interest in the technology. Stratasys Ltd. surged 45% this year through Wednesday, while 3D Systems Corp. advanced 15%.
New applications are emerging and GE’s aggressive push into the market may lead to quicker adoption of the machines across the factory sector. The global market for industrial 3-D printers and materials increased 17% last year to $6.06 billion, according to data from Wohlers Associates Inc. The research firm projects the market to balloon to $26.2 billion by 2022.
GE is even more optimistic. The technology could take a piece of the roughly $14 trillion market for traditional manufacturing, said Mohammad Ehteshami, GE’s vice president of additive integration.
“If we do only half a percent, that’s still $70 billion,” he said.
The Boston-based company is in prime position, having spent more than $1 billion late last year to take majority stakes in European printer makers Arcam AB and Concept Laser GmbH.
A Couple of Rebuffs
GE has aggressively sought out deals. Before striking the Concept Laser pact, the company made an offer for Germany’s SLM Solutions Group AG. GE walked away after failing to receive support from SLM investors including billionaire Paul Singer. GE also approached Germany’s EOS GmbH but was rebuffed.
“I said, why should we become part of a customer when there’s a market to develop?” recalled Hans Langer, the founder and CEO of closely held EOS.
GE aims to sell 9,000 3-D printers to outside customers over the next decade in industries such as automotive, medical and aerospace. And by the middle of the next decade, the company expects to wring $3 billion to $5 billion from costs by using the machines in its own manufacturing operations, Joyce said.
GE had its “Aha!” moment in 2011.
After failing eight times to build an intricate part for a new jet turbine, engineers sent the design to a 3-D printing company, Morris Technologies. A few days later, GE had the metal-alloy piece in hand, and Ehteshami rushed to GE’s head of manufacturing.
“I said, ‘Buy ’em, trust me,’” Ehteshami recalled. GE acquired Morris in 2012, and the part — a fuel nozzle — is now used in new jet engines.
In Pursuit of Competitive Advantage
The stakes are high as major manufacturers try to reap competitive advantage from new technology. GE’s aviation division is working on a new turboprop engine for which about 35% will be 3-D printed. United Technologies’ Pratt & Whitney division uses printed brackets and other components for a jet engine that competes with one made by GE. At a February shareholder meeting, Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser showed off a 3-D-printed turbine blade that is being tested.
“It’s really a revolution in how we design, produce, buy and digitally connect parts,” said Markus Seibold, the head of additive manufacturing for Siemens Power and Gas, which competes with GE’s power-turbine business.
Printing could also upend the supply chain as equipment makers rely less on third parties for processes like casting and forging. And over time, machinery like 3-D printers and robots could further displace workers; since peaking in 1979, the number of U.S. manufacturing jobs has fallen 37% to about 12.4 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Alongside tech giants such as IBM and Amazon, GE has “the deep pockets and they’re taking a lead” in modernizing U.S. manufacturing, said Barclays Plc analyst Scott Davis.
“They could screw it up, but they could get it right,” Davis said. “And if they get it right it could be amazingly valuable.”
May 4-5, 2017 – Apprenticeship Forward – Washington Hilton Hotel, Washington, DC
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
This event sponsored by the National Skills Coalition will focus on three critical challenges facing the expansion of apprenticeships: increasing industry engagement across a range of sectors and firms … addressing equity while diversifying the apprenticeship pipeline … and implementing new public policies that can take apprenticeship to scale.
Apprenticeship Forward will feature engaging plenaries and breakout panels as well as interactive discussions between attendees about their efforts within specific industries and with specific groups of students and prospective workers.
Registrations can be made early in 2017.
May 8-10, 2017—Manufacturing and Technology Conference & Exposition – Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland in Cleveland, Ohio.
This conference & exposition will focus on the key elements of advanced manufacturing: technology integration … leadership … operational excellence … design/engineering … talent development … and supply chain.
It also will spotlight the highest best practices in operational leadership, workforce development and continuous improvement.
September 7-8, 2017 – NACFAM Annual Conference – Hyatt Regency Crystal City Hotel, Arlington, VA. MARK YOUR CALENDAR NOW. More to follow in next weeks and months.
Advanced Manufacturing Leadership Awards nomination forms for big company and small company CEOs were e-mailed on March 13th … due May 15th.