Boeing will temporarily suspend production of twin-aisle jetliners in the Seattle area starting Wednesday because of the coronavirus pandemic. The company will deep-clean its buildings and equipment and will pay factory workers during the two-week closure.
Ford will collaborate with GE Healthcare and 3M to make respirators, ventilators and other equipment and gear needed by health care personnel during the coronavirus pandemic. The automaker and the United Auto Workers have also come together to make protective face shields.
Physical media manufacturer Disc Makers is shifting gears to make clear face shields for medical personnel treating patients during the coronavirus pandemic. CEO Tony van Veen says that at this time, leaders should be honest with employees, trust their teams and show courage.
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Cybercriminals will one day use artificial intelligence to carry out attacks on manufacturing environments, with a particular focus on the internet of things, writes Peter Fretty. Manufacturers should prioritize cybersecurity now and enact AI-enabled defenses, according to Max Heinemeyer of Darktrace.
Cleaning and health care distributors and manufacturers are prioritizing getting their products to hospitals and similar facilities ahead of other customers. Custom manufacturer and 3D printer Proto Labs is also focusing on "projects which are needed to equip our medical system to treat patients with COVID-19," a company spokeswoman says.
Manufacturers need to start preparing now for the reopening of factories currently closed during the coronavirus pandemic, writes Matthew Littlefield. Plans should include using connected technology to track worker health and automation and cobots to promote social distancing, he writes.
Manufacturers in the Austin, Texas, area are keeping workers safe from the coronavirus by taking people's temperatures, staggering work, lunch and break schedules, limiting visitors, and regularly disinfecting surfaces, among other measures. "Everyone is putting employees first, customers right behind and financial gain third," says VirTex Enterprises CEO Brad Heath.
An Iowa high school has a partnership with three state manufacturers to support the school's welding program. The students visit the manufacturers as part of the program, which offers hands-on learning.