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Brian Raymond

FCC Takes Another Step Toward Restoring Internet Freedom

By | Regulations, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

The members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted today to continue their efforts to free the internet from regulation by moving forward on their “Restoring Internet Freedom” order (proceeding 17-108). The agency is now officially accepting public feedback on the decision. The NAM intends to file comments in support of ending the regulation of the internet. All of you who agree that over-regulation stifles private sector investment and innovation are encouraged to join us in sending that message. The deadline to make your voice heard is July 17.

When the FCC announced the decision a few weeks ago to consider this issue at their meeting today, we made the point then that internet-driven technology is now ubiquitous across all manufacturing sectors. We argued that our industry needs to see continued investment in our telecommunications infrastructure so we can maintain our global innovation leadership position that connectivity to the internet enables. The best way to ensure investment continues to flow is for Congress to act and create clear rules of the road. But today, the decision today by the FCC to begin the process to roll back a 1930’s era regulation will help facilitate that investment and support innovation in our sector.

It’s a timely coincidence that this FCC decision occurred during Infrastructure Week. Industries and individuals from across the country and political spectrum have rallied together and are calling on Washington to work together to address our infrastructure challenges. Broadband is part of manufacturing’s critical infrastructure and the biggest challenge it faces is government policies and regulations slowing its deployment. We encourage you to join the NAM and tell the FCC the time is now to free the internet from regulation and ensure our broadband infrastructure remains the best in the world.

 

Broadband Infrastructure Green Light Will Help Grow Manufacturing

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Augmented reality. Drones. The Internet of Things. Cloud computing. Robotics. 3D-Printing. What does this sound like? If you said these are the disruptive technology tools being leveraged by today’s modern manufacturer in their products and on shopfloors, you are correct.

Manufacturing has gone digital. The industry is investing in and leveraging new technologies in order to deliver better products faster. They know this is what it takes to compete.

We highlighted the benefits of disruptive technology when we shared the results of a NAM member survey last November. NAM members told us then that these new technologies are increasing shop floor efficiencies, enabling new revenue streams and allowing manufacturers to move into completely different product lines. That sentiment has not changed. Read More

FCC Moves to Increase Broadband Infrastructure Investment

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Ajit Pai, announced today that the agency intends to repeal the 1930s-era regulations known as “Title II” that have been imposed on the internet since 2014. This move will benefit all manufacturers that increasingly depend on connected technology and the robust broadband infrastructure needed for it to succeed.  Read More

Senate Moves to Rein in Regulatory Overreach on Innovators

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Late last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), under the guise of protecting privacy, rolled out a rule creating a new and unnecessary regulatory regime that would impact the ability of manufacturers to innovate. Today, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act that would rescind the regulation. This is good news for manufacturers.  Read More

Bipartisan Bill Focused on Growing IoT Introduced Today

By | Innovation, Shopfloor Policy, Technology | No Comments

Sens. Deb Fischer (R-NE), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced the NAM-supported Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act today. This legislation creates a strategic partnership between manufacturers and the public sector focused on fostering the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). The National Association of Manufacturers looks forward to working with both the House and Senate to move this bipartisan bill. Read More

Telecom Infrastructure Investment Boosts Manufacturing Innovation

By | Infrastructure, Shopfloor Policy, Technology | No Comments

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) recently released “Building to Win,” a blueprint for the next Congress and president on how to repair and revolutionize the infrastructure that makes the American Dream possible. There are many pieces of infrastructure mentioned in the reporttraditional transportation infrastructure as well as energy, water and communications systems. Broadband is one segment of infrastructure that is often overlooked but cannot be forgotten as the next president and Congress look ahead to a renewed focus on infrastructure.

There is little or no argument about the benefits of widespread adoption of broadband. It creates economic opportunity and equality. In the manufacturing sector, it is helping to power the disruptive technologythe Internet of Things, the cloud, Big Data, 3D printing, drones, etc.that is transforming traditional businesses.

NAM members told us in a recent survey that these new technologies are increasing shop floor efficiencies, enabling new revenue streams and allowing manufacturers to move into completely different product lines. And a common link throughout all these technologies? They all run on top of our nation’s telecommunications infrastructure.

Our products and processes have become increasingly dependent on the latest telecommunications tools and networks. Many manufacturers leverage commercially available networks, and many others manage their own networks for their facilities. No matter what type of network, they are all almost entirely funded with private investment.

Unfortunately, if private investment in this piece of the infrastructure lags, our manufacturing innovation leadership will be further challenged.

The Progressive Policy Institute recently published its “Investment Heroes” report in which it ranks corporations by levels of capital spending. PPI’s primary conclusion was that these private investments raise productivity and wages across the country. It also cited a “vitally important” policy challenge to maintain investment and that was to get regulation “out of the way.”

Those of us in the manufacturing sector agree: a regulatory environment that fosters investment rather than restricts it is needed, especially when it comes to broadband. When companies are faced with a complex, mandatory regulatory regime, it severely reduces investment in infrastructure. This lack of investment will significantly lower the multiplier effect technology has on our industry, the people we employ and the products we create.

Appetite for Disruption

By | Innovation, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy, Technology | No Comments

Manufacturers are disruptors. We disrupt products and processes. We disrupt markets. We disrupt our own enterprises based on the needs of our customers. We disrupt because thats what it takes to compete. We disrupt because it drives growth in our businesses and our ability to create jobs.

Disruption is not a new concept for manufacturers or any other industry that strives to outperform its competition. Disruption is a concept we embrace. We don’t do it to have onlookers say you’re crazy. We do it because our industry knows that if we are not driving the disruption, it will drive us out of business.

Technology is the latest disruptor inside the manufacturing sector. This is no secret. Technology has been driving change in our industry for decades. However, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) wanted to better understand just how much technology was disrupting our members. We wanted to know what it means for their business and, if it changes, how they think about you, their customers. So, we asked them and wanted to share with you what we found.

The results from our recent survey of NAM members says that manufacturers are investing in disruptive technologies for many reasons. It is improving shop floor efficiency, speeding up time to market, creating new revenue streams and driving future business.

We also found out a few barriers to investing in disruptive technologiestwo of which include a mismatch of skills and the overreach of government regulation.

Additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, the cloud, big data, drones, robotics and the Internet of Things are just some of the disruptive technologies being leveraged by the manufacturing sector. The NAM is focused on educating lawmakers in Washington so they understand how it’s so easy to create an environment that fosters the growth of disruptive technologies in manufacturing rather than creating an anything goes policy environment.

Cybersecurity—Manufacturers Are More Than Aware

By | Innovation, Shopfloor Policy, Technology | No Comments

October is recognized as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The Department of Homeland Security describes it as “an annual campaign to raise awareness about cybersecurity.” The National Association of Manufacturers and manufacturers across the country are pleased to participate in this campaign.

The manufacturing sector is extremely diverse in its size, scope and outputs. The one common thread is that all traditional manufacturing companies are pushing the limits of innovation. Technology is infused throughout everything our industry does, therefore making all manufacturers high-tech enterprises.

One of the biggest trends happening in our sector is the proliferation of connected devices, or the Internet of Things (IoT). What was unimaginable just a decade ago is now a reality. Manufacturers are the creators, users, servicers and installers of the IoT.

Manufacturers have become the first line of defense in securing our nation’s most critical online assets. As a result, our industry places the cybersecurity of its products and processes at the highest priority level.

As we kick off this month that recognizes the importance of cybersecurity to everyoneboth personally and professionallythe NAM will continue its focus on building a stronger publicprivate partnership. We will keep calling for economic tools to encourage investment beyond ordinary levels of commercial cybersecurity spending. We will encourage NIST to complete its cyber-framework efforts to determine the most cost-effective elements of cyber-defense. We will continue to call for a coordinated strategy across the government that helps secure and foster the growth of the IoT. We will work with our government partners and provide guidance on how to improve their resources available to manufacturers. Most importantly, we will continue to be America’s leading innovators.