Tag: technology

The Internet of Things is Transforming Manufacturing

A technological revolution is sweeping across every manufacturing sector transforming the way our industry does, well…everything.

Powering this revolution is a connected network known as the Internet of Things (IoT). (continue reading…)

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House Lawmakers Invest in Manufacturers’ Innovation. Will the Senate Do the Same?

Last evening, the House passed the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act (RAMI), a bill championed by Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) and Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) that has the potential to strengthen the technology leadership position that manufacturers have worked years to establish.

Manufacturers in the United States have always been the world’s leading innovators, as demonstrated by their investments and research and development and prolific patent portfolios. RAMI marks another important investment in a public-private innovation partnership that will help drive manufacturing and facilitate the longevity of our industry’s comeback. The legislation creates a network of innovation centers that brings together business, schools and the government in a joint effort to accelerate the transfer of advanced manufacturing technology and techniques into the commercial sector.

RAMI has been a top legislative priority for the NAM. Our policy teams have tirelessly advocated for the legislation in congressional meetings with key lawmakers. The NAM also designated legislative action on RAMI as a Key Vote. Now that the House has done its part and passed the bill, it is time for the Senate to follow suit.

There is reason to be optimistic. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), the bipartisan sponsors of a Senate version of RAMI, sat down with the NAM’s Member Focus magazine to discuss how their bill would contribute to the manufacturing comeback. “This legislation will particularly help small and medium-sized manufacturers by helping companies gain access to cutting-edge capabilities and equipment and by educating and training students and workers in advanced manufacturing skills,” Blunt told Member Focus.

As NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons wrote to lawmakers in July, “This legislation will accelerate the development of advanced manufacturing technologies and solidify the United States as the best place in the world to innovate.” The NAM will continue its push to advance RAMI until it becomes law.

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Why Technology Is the Talk of the Bali APEC Summit

The complex and far-reaching impact of technology in boosting economic growth is a topic that permeates both the official and unofficial discussions at the APEC CEO summit.

One of the headline events at the CEO Summit on Saturday featured John Rice, Vice Chairman of General Electric Company, and Eric Rudder, Executive Vice President for Advanced Strategy and Research at Microsoft, talking about “The Business of Innovation: Why Does It Matter?”

In the formal U.S. business delegation meetings and in the corridors, the conversation continued.

A new report – Ahead of the Curve: Lessons on Technology and Growth From Small Business Leaders, by the Boston Consulting Group – documents the powerful impact that technology has on the growth and success of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) from the United States and Germany to China, India and Brazil.  The report, commissioned by Microsoft Corporation, found that SMEs that were technology leaders created 2x more jobs and increased revenue 15% in the past three years than those SMEs that lagged behind in the adoption of new technologies. This report shows that SMEs across these five economies could create $770 billion in new revenue and add about 6.2 million new jobs with the increased adoption of new technologies.

“SMEs are a critical growth engine for jobs and economies today, and we wanted to better understand the impact of technology on these small businesses,” said Orlando Ayala, corporate vice president and Microsoft chairman of Emerging Markets. “Since the economic crisis, many economies have struggled to return to strong economic growth and to create new jobs, and this research suggests strongly that greater use of advanced IT by SMEs can potentially boost both growth and employment.”

The issue of the policies required to advance technology was also at the forefront of discussions on the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.  All manufacturers with cross-border investment and sales need to see policies put into place that ensure that their data can move across borders, that electronic commerce is accepted and that prohibit requirements to localize technology (such as servers) in any one country. The TPP economies could do much to increase their attractiveness for foreign investment by pursuing strong outcomes that advance these important 21st century issues.

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NAM Talks Innovation: “We’ve Got a Long Way to Go and A Short Time To Get There”

The NAM’s Brian Raymond, director of technology policy, managed to work in a quote from the theme song of “Smokey and the Bandit” today on SAP Radio, broadcast worldwide on Voice America, as he spoke about manufacturing innovation leadership in the United States – and how plenty of other nations are seeking the leadership mantle.

Raymond discussed how manufacturers in the U.S. are leading the economic resurgence.  They know they must adapt or die.  Their shop floors are automated; they already deploy machine-to-machine technology; and they are leveraging big data.  He says government needs to catch up to the real innovators.

Tune in here.

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Technology Is Driving Manufacturing Innovation

As the manufacturing army descended upon Washington this week for the 2013 NAM Manufacturing Summit, one of the key issues discussed with policymakers is the need to improve America’s infrastructure. Additional investment in our nation’s infrastructure, in particular our communications and broadband infrastructure is necessary.

A modern and advanced infrastructure will help drive our nation’s innovation and economy forward, especially when it comes to manufacturing.

“Manufacturing is driving technology, and technology and innovation drive manufacturing,” said NAM Technology Policy Subcommittee Chair and Verizon Vice President of Entertainment and Tech Policy Eric Fitzgerald Reed. “Machine-to-machine (M2M) technology and the Internet of Things are increasingly relevant and important components of manufacturers’ operations, including global supply chains. The manufacturing community is bringing all aspects of the Internet ecosystem together from different sectors of the economy to ensure robust broadband infrastructure is in place so businesses can thrive and grow.”

Verizon has launched two innovation centers located in San Francisco, CA and Waltham, MA to help spur innovation, build collaborative partnerships with other NAM member companies and create cutting-edge technology solutions.

It’s important that members of Congress understand that everyone from manufacturers to policymakers, need to work together if we are going to build the infrastructure systems that allow manufacturers to compete and create jobs.


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The NAM at CES

For at least one week this year the loudest bells and whistles in Las Vegas were not in the casinos; they were found in convention center at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Manufacturers took center stage and the NAM was there to see it live and in person. We walked the show floor and talked to our member companies about their latest technology. We also had an opportunity to hear first-hand from Members of Congress what to expect on Capitol Hill in 2012.

Most conventioneers were exposed to something those of us at the NAM and our members already know: manufacturers are driving innovation in technology. They saw Ford’s latest cars stocked full of computing power. They learned how Microsoft’s Kinect is driving new breakthroughs in how manufacturers can interact with their customers. They explored how Texas Instruments is helping manufacturers reduce waste, increase energy efficiency, and improve safety.

In addition to new innovations, Washington’s tech policy leaders were in town. We talked with staffers from the Hill who are championing legislation to shut down websites that sell counterfeit goods. We heard lawmakers announce intentions to push legislation to protect data of consumers. We heard the FCC chairman talk about the spectrum “crunch” and what that means to companies in the US.

It was clear that all those in attendance now understand even more that manufacturers are the bedrock of our innovation economy – from the technology that fits in the palm of your hand and the kind that you park in your driveway.

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FCC’s Connect America Fund and the Importance of Broadband to Manufacturers

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski made a much-anticipated speech today announcing the FCC’s plan to reform the Universal Service Fund (USF) and the Intercarrier Compensation (ICC) system. Both of these programs are outdated and need to be modernized to keep pace with 21st century demands of today’s manufacturers and their customers in all corners of the United States.

Those consumers and businesses without access to wired and wireless broadband technology are unable to reap the benefits and leverage the products and services of manufacturers. The proposed Connect America Fund will support the buildout of the broadband infrastructure to those underserved Americans.

Modernizing the USF and how it is collected and distributed will help ensure a smooth transition to the Connect America Fund. Chairman Genachowski also proposed expanding dedicated support to extending mobile broadband as well. This plan will be considered at the next open meeting of the FCC at which all commissioners are expected to vote on it.

The NAM is strongly supportive of increased deployment of high-speed Internet services and an Internet that is free from regulation. At this critical time in our nation’s economy, high-speed voice, video and data services provide limitless opportunities for manufacturers to innovate and create jobs. The NAM will send this message to the FCC in advance of the open meeting and we encourage you to do the same. 

Brian Raymond is director of technology and domestic economic policy, National Association of Manufacturers.

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Technology Working Group in Congress Provides Another Endorsement of the Manufacturing Agenda

Today, the House Republican Technology Working Group outlined its policy priorities for the 112th Congress. The announcement, initiated by the Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-OH) and Technology Working Group Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), was delivered to a packed room of high-tech company representatives, including many NAM member companies.

These proposed policies serve as a starting point for congressional debate, and echo the positions manufacturers have been advocating to help grow their businesses and create jobs.

Technology can be found in all aspects of manufacturing and it is vital that Congress stays abreast on the latest developments to ensure manufacturers have the ability to compete and win in today’s global economy. U.S. manufacturers have a long standing tradition of an entrepreneurial spirit and being at the forefront of innovation. Manufacturers will continue to work with Congress to continue this legacy that has proven to be a job-creating engine for our economy.

Manufacturers are pleased that Congress has acknowledged the vital role technology plays in manufacturing and our economic health. Congress must adopt a strategy that will reduce the aggressive regulatory burden of the federal government and reform our tax code, while providing the infrastructure and common-sense policies needed to allow our technological advances to flourish.

The NAM’s Director of Technology Policy Brian Raymond discussed some of the proposals this afternoon:


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Administration Moving in Right Direction on Export Controls

Today, the Administration announced some important steps in our effort to modernize America’s outdated export control system. These steps will help increase exports, create jobs and make manufacturers more competitive while strengthening America’s national security. The President will make a formal announcement tomorrow.

The steps outlined today focus on the criteria for determining what products need to be controlled, the development of a common set of policies for determining when an export license is needed and the creation of an Export Enforcement Coordination Center to coordinate the federal government’s enforcement efforts. The NAM has been a leading proponent of export control reforms that enhance the government’s ability to protect U.S. national security interests while removing the burdens and disadvantages placed on U.S. high-technology manufacturers.

Manufacturers welcome these steps and have repeatedly stressed the importance of export control modernization.

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