3D-printed locking lug nuts for car wheels can deter would-be thieves due to their customization, says Raphael Koch of Ford of Europe. The lug nuts are made in the unique pattern of a car owner's voice and have other features that make them nearly impossible to copy.
The Toyota Production System only works when used with the pull method of production, writes former Toyota production leader Phil Ledbetter. He lists several steps to implement this method, including knowing the required production rate and pulling subassemblies, component parts and batch-built parts.
Prefabricated homes manufacturer Dvele has announced all of its future homes will be self-powered and require 84% less energy per square foot than conventional homes. The homes will generate their own electricity using solar panels and store it in built-in battery storage systems, allowing homeowners to choose not to connect to electrical grids.
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Uncertainty created by the coronavirus is disrupting internal logistics in China, weakening domestic demand and interrupting global trade flows as companies cancel or re-route shipments going in and out of the country, writes Morgan Condon. "Around 1.5m tonnes of [polyethylene] demand may be lost from the coronavirus outbreak if it can be controlled and downstream industries resume operations at a 70-80% rate by the second half of March," said Amy Yu of ICIS Asia Petrochemical Analytics.
Once 5G becomes widespread, manufacturers will use 5G internet of things units for autonomous vehicles, augmented reality and other purposes, this McKinsey analysis predicts. Manufacturers should also be watching how 5G IoT is being used by their B2B customers.
Additive manufacturing and advanced manufacturing technologies can help the industry improve its sustainability performance through flexibility and automation, writes Ric Fulop, CEO of Desktop Metal. He lists four ways this can happen, including assembly consolidation and circular manufacturing.
Robotics and artificial intelligence will fundamentally change the nature of manufacturing work and require the learning of new skills, writes Adrienne Selko. She notes that manufacturers are ahead of the curve with employee training, educational partnerships and apprenticeships, but smaller manufacturers may struggle to adopt these efforts.
Manufacturers should offer part-time work to meet the desires of retirees and workers ages 56 and older, according to a survey by the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance. Three in four older workers at least 20 hours a week, while an equal percentage of manufacturer respondents said they can't locate enough talent.