March 4, 2021
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Trends & Technology
General Motors and LG Energy Solution, the battery division of South Korean firm LG Chem, are considering a second battery factory in the US and are reportedly in talks with officials in Tennessee, where GM has an assembly plant. GM is also building a battery factory in Ohio.
Full Story: Detroit Free Press (3/4),  The Associated Press (3/4) 
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New orders at US factories rose 2.6% in January, up from 1.6% in December and 1.3% a year earlier, the Commerce Department reported. Nondefense capital goods orders minus aircraft increased by a revised 0.4% in January, down from the 0.5% initially reported.
Full Story: Reuters (3/4) 
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Chiplet technology is confined to a select few semiconductor companies, and there needs to be a strong ecosystem and industry standards for chiplets to gain wider adoption, Brian Bailey writes. Marc Swinnen of Ansys says, "It's a sound technical idea, and there are organizations trying to make it happen."
Full Story: Semiconductor Engineering (3/3) 
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Chipmakers with Texas facilities including Samsung Electronics, NXP Semiconductors and Infineon Technologies are facing a prolonged restart process after winter storms forced shutdowns, with near- and long-term effects on supplies. "We are now looking at about one month of lost production," says Risto Puhakka, president of VLSIresearch.
Full Story: Reuters (3/2) 
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Provisioning security credentials on chips can now be done outside the wafer fabrication facility thanks to technology advances. "More [internet of things] chipmakers are securely provisioning device keys and certificates in the supply chain and establishing strong bindings between device data and the keys used to authenticate the devices," says Joe Gow of Rambus.
Full Story: Semiconductor Engineering (3/4) 
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Supply Chain
Walmart to focus on American-made with $350B investment
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Walmart is planning to spend $350 billion in the next decade buying plastics, electrical appliances, medical supplies and other products that are made in the US. The company projects the investment will create 750,000 new jobs, and Walmart US CEO John Furner said "[m]ore businesses are choosing to establish their manufacturing operations in the United States, and the result is more jobs for Americans -- a lot more jobs."
Full Story: CNBC (3/3),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (3/3) 
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Miners and researchers are using artificial intelligence to find sustainable solutions, including metal alternatives and ore deposits in safer locations. Mining exploration startup Kobold Metals is developing an AI tool and data platform with Stanford University's Center for Earth Resource Forecasting that helps companies analyze multiple possible sites simultaneously.
Full Story: IEEE Spectrum online (3/4) 
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John Deere Power Systems' Nick Block said the manufacturer is looking at alternative fuels for its heavy equipment. "We support the use of biodiesel and renewable diesel because we recognize the importance of biofuels to our customers and to the environment," Block said, adding, "At the same time, we believe diesel power has a long life ahead due to the power density requirements of heavy-duty machinery."
Full Story: SAE International (3/3) 
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NAM News
Cloud is a fundamental component of Manufacturing 4.0, but many manufacturers are still in the midst of transformation to M4.0 and embracing a cloud-first strategy. This panel discussion webinar, part of a M4.0 series with the Manufacturing Leadership Council, will take a deep dive on the latest cloud technology and business model developments and how they are enabling both the streamlining and improvement of business operations from the shop floor through the supply chain. This interactive panel discussion with provide you actionable insights on:
  • Re-engineering cloud as an enterprise business platform versus simply a hosting technology
  • Integrating digital technologies more easily using a cloud-first approach
  • Enabling insights and powering better business decisions with data
Join us on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, at 2 p.m. ET. Register here.
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