General Motors announced plans to spend $27 billion to develop electric and autonomous vehicles over the next five years, a 35% increase over original projections. The plan includes launching 30 new EVs through 2025 and speeding up production timelines to compete for a bigger share of the marketplace.
Manufacturers will need to focus on productivity, customer experience and societal and environmental factors as the world emerges from the pandemic, write Felipe Bezamat and Memia Fendri of the World Economic Forum and Stephan Bloempott of Boston Consulting Group. Manufacturers and other organizations "need a common data ecosystem that provides a single source of truth for promoting mutual understanding and collaboration," they write.
Athena Manufacturing started out as a machine shop in Austin, Texas, but has added capabilities over the years to include design for original equipment manufacturing, sheet metal and tube fabrication, and sales related to the Eurostorage product line. "When you have design control, your engineering department has expanded responsibilities and a much higher work load," says company President Bill Johnson.
Digital controls are transforming hydraulics, a critical field in an evolving ecosystem of fluid power technology. Alan Hitchcox explores developments such as digital displacement pumps that make for more precise and responsive hydraulic output, variable-speed electric drives and energy-saving controls, as well as advances in pneumatics.
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Cyberattacks come in many forms, from many bad actors, Lars Reger of NXP Semiconductors writes. "Employees should learn how to identify and avoid scams and phishing attempts, use application security, and apply general advice to secure their everyday work environment," he notes.
La-Z-Boy's backlogs are several times what they were at midyear 2019, and the company is adding shifts and manufacturing cells as it attempts to deal with the backlog, says CEO and President Kurt Darrow. Difficulty securing foam supply is hampering production, he notes.
Keurig Dr Pepper's first step to meeting Amazon's Ships in Own Container certification required for large packages to avoid a chargeback fee involves deploying drop sequence and vibration tests to gauge packaging performance. "We had to rethink what that package needed to look like," said Luke Magnant, packaging engineering manager of secondary packaging.
Students who recently graduated from a Texas district's advanced manufacturing program have been hired by Texoma Industrial. The firm's president, Cruz Acosta, said the students are younger than the company's traditional hires, but their training through the advanced manufacturing program qualified them.
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