Weekly RoundUp – Avoiding Maintenance Downtime, Auto Industry Hinting Towards Normalcy, Manufacturing Technology Orders Up – Week of 11/14/22

Weekly roundup blog

Maintenance Strategies for Avoiding Unplanned Downtime

Scott Dowell |   Nov 11, 2022 | IEN

In the face of continued global supply chain instability, the last thing your plant needs is downtime. According to a widely cited industry figure from Deloitte, in their report on smart factories, even during the best of times – before COVID caused disruption – unplanned downtime costs industrial manufacturers an estimated $50 billion annually. Safeguarding operational efficiency from unintended downtime can be achieved by employing predictive maintenance techniques and technologies.

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Inflation Finally Hitting Profit Margins

Stan Choe |   Nov 17, 2022 | IEN

A display shows most indices up on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022. NEW YORK (AP) — Corporate profits have withstood raging inflation over much of the last year, but those good times may be ending. Profits stayed fat even as companies’ costs rose thanks to one simple trick: Businesses boosted the prices they charged customers by more than their own costs rose. Consider Lyondell Basell, an international chemical company. Profit margins for S&P 500 companies during the summer look like they dipped to 11.9%, according to FactSet.

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How We Can Inspire Our New Generation Into Engineering

Manufacturing Tomorrow | Nov 14, 2022 | Manufacturing Tomorrow

It’s no secret that the engineering sector is experiencing a shortage of workers. This approach could be critical to rebuilding the workforce, especially considering that 71% of engineering employers who are experiencing difficulties filling employment positions claim the issue lies with a lack of engineering or technical skills in the talent pool. Graduate schemes As well as this, your business can offer graduate programmes. On the other hand, they are a great way for businesses to employ and nurture new talent while they can. If, in this case, businesses do their part and encourage people – both school leavers and current employees – to become engineers.

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LA Auto Show Introductions Hint at a Return to Normality

Dan Carney  |     Nov 17, 2022 | Design News

Auto shows were in decline even before the pandemic, but a solid slate of introductions at the Los Angeles auto show bodes well for their

continued relevance. Today the show draws 5,000 journalists from more than 50 countries to the media preview day where carmakers still unveil upcoming models in extravagant introductions. The show expects to host tens of thousands of industry decision-makers and influencers as well as hundreds of thousands of potential car buyers who will visit during the public days. This year’s introductions include new cars from Toyota, Hyundai, Genesis, Porsche, Kia, Fiat, and Subaru. Click through our gallery for a look at these new vehicles.

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Predictive Maintenance Is On the Mind for Most Companies

Casey Flanagan |   Nov 14, 2022 | Automation World

The majority of surveyed companies are currently considering, planning, or implementing predictive maintenance systems in some form, according to PMMI Business Intelligence’s 2022 report “Challenges and Opportunities for Packaging and Processing Operations.” PMMI Business Intelligence, 2022 Challenges and Opportunities for Packaging and Processing Operations “We are considering adding this as an optional feature on equipment,” one OEM said, noting their company is curious to learn how this would benefit packagers’ daily line operation and maintenance staff and budget.

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North American Automotive Tooling Spend Forecast to Reach $8.3B in 2025

Harbour Results Inc., |    Nov 15, 2022 | SME

Harbour Results Inc. (HRI), a leading authority to the manufacturing industry, recently released the results of the Harbour IQ in-depth study on the current state of the automotive vendor tooling industry. This strong performance is funding investment in technology and new vehicles. Additionally, battery electric vehicle nameplates grow from 20% of the mix in 2023 to 46% of the mix in 2029. So, it will be important for mold and die companies to focus on improved efficiency and throughput.” And, that vehicle launch timing will adjust and new vehicles will be planned. “Although our forecast is positive there are a number of risk factors that could negatively impact tooling spend, including a prolonged recession, increased supply chain issues or a drop in vehicle demand below 13M units.

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Manufacturing Technology Orders Up in September Despite Anticipated Economic Slowdown

AMT |    Nov 14, 2022 | Industrial Distribution

New orders of manufacturing technology totaled $519.3 million in September 2022, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report published by AMT-The Association For Manufacturing Technology. September 2022 orders were up just under 13% from August 2022, but down 12.4% from September 2021, marking the first time an IMTS September had a lower order value than the year prior. “We’re seeing the typical bump in orders brought on by IMTS and ‘the IMTS effect,’ but orders throughout 2022 are expected to fall short of 2021 order levels – the largest year in the program’s history,” said Pat McGibbon, chief knowledge officer at AMT. “ Demand for additional domestic capacity and augmenting current production lines with automation has driven orders. In September 2022, that was particularly apparent in orders for forming and fabricating machinery. Supply chains for the aerospace sector are continuing to increase domestic capacity, particularly for cutting equipment, in an attempt to reduce reliance on foreign components.

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Keeping Up: Survey Hears from Engineering on Skills Competency

Rehana Begg |    Nov 16, 2022 | Machine Design

In an ever-changing field of technology, engineers expect continued learning to be part of the job. Machine Design’s 2022 Salary Survey, which polled a cross-section of readers, offers a glimpse into the challenges engineers face and the opportunities employers can seize to help right-size their staffing efforts. Low on their list of preferences were in-classroom college and employer-sponsored courses (15.73%), online discussion forums (15.12%) and podcasts (12.10%). As you get older, you tend to be a little slower to learn new skills, and you need to put more effort into learning and improving,” expressed one respondent. “ One concern was that some publications miss the mark on serving the needs of their engineering audiences, and took umbrage with “dishonest technical publications that try to steer industry toward certain trends.” They want to contribute and want to be part of something meaningful.

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Insider Tips for OEMs: Sourcing Plated Fasteners from Distributors

Del Williams |    Nov 16, 2022 | IMPO

Plated fasteners play a critical role in both the assembly and installation of manufactured products. You never know for sure if what you are purchasing entirely meets the specifications even if the plating looks nice and bright,” said Johnny Rose, President of AFT Industries, a leading fastener and industrial supply distributor headquartered in Mansfield, Texas. In-house plating and testing capabilities from a domestic distributor offer significant time and cost savings for OEMs when the order size changes or there is a question about meeting strict specifications. “Unless you specifically request RoHS compliant plating from the supplier, you probably will not get it because hexavalent chromium is still a little cheaper,” said Rose. “ Silver plating is one example, with sectors like electronics and semiconductors often turning to the coating for screws due to its superior electrical conductivity properties. Silver plated fasteners can be impractical to obtain overseas when the volumes are low or the cost too high, and are best sourced from domestic distributors.

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Advancing Manufacturing by Any Means or Name

Kelly Dodds |    Nov 16, 2022 | SME

An electro-optic turret, which attaches to the belly of an aircraft, being built in Raytheon Intelligence & Space’s new factory in north Texas, a facility with numerous Industry 4.0 capabilities such as smart workstations, test automation, and digital data collection. This resulted from performing a lot of engagements over several years (“learn by doing”) and refining that process over time. While manufacturing is, by nature, a domain requiring cross-discipline engineering teams, Industry 4.0 provides an exponent to the cross-discipline endeavors by increasing the integration of software and robotics (where physics meets controls) and requires an even tighter integration of design for automation, as well as consideration of digital data and complex architectures that underly those principles. This is true both for the product and the manufacturing systems. With complex IT/OT technology crossing many technical domains, it’s more akin to developing a user-friendly iPhone GUI than just trying to apply the most sophisticated IIoT technology. I have never felt more certain that the future is here.

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