Manufacturers last month added 3,000 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis compared with July, with all of the net gain from nondurable goods, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Manufacturing employment is up by 44,000 jobs year to date.
When manufacturers adopt digital technologies, they should also be aware of the accompanying cyberthreats, writes David Smith of the Smart Card Institute. Encryption technologies, firewalls and audit trails can all help keep systems secure.
Hundreds of hackers recently probed 40 medical devices made by 10 of the nation's largest manufacturers in a replica hospital that included patient rooms, a blood lab, and intensive and neonatal care units at the Def Con cybersecurity conference. Physicians and patients helped create realistic scenarios.
Blockchain would appear to be a good option for manufacturers because of the data security it provides, but most supply chain efforts based on blockchain haven't worked, writes Chris Adkins of Identify3D, citing a Gartner study. Blockchain works best when a manufacturer's top need is data integrity, but it hasn't fared as well for data authenticity or confidentiality.
Corning Inc. has gone beyond its traditional procurement strategies to "the next threshold" of supply chain collaboration and procurement consortia, says supply chain executive Tom Kruse. The company is also testing connected technologies to see which ones provide the most benefit.
Leading brands such as H&M, Nestle, Mars and VF Corp. -- which owns Timberland, Vans and The North Face -- that have relied on suppliers in the Amazon are trying to source goods elsewhere as deforestation becomes a more pressing global issue. While some of these companies source a small percentage of their goods from the area, experts agree it's a positive move that will help protect the area and its natural resources.
Mack Molding, an injection molder and contract manufacturer in Vermont, employs between 16 and 20 interns each year who are part of a comprehensive job training program. The manufacturer retains as many as 25% of interns and now employs 19 former interns.