NAM Member ABB Highlights Role of Internet of Things in Manufacturing

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

Digital technology is changing the landscape of how the world makes things. More and more often, terms like “advanced manufacturing” and “smart” work are being used to describe the latest era in our sector. But what does “advanced manufacturing” mean? What affect is it having on the supply chain? On jobs? On our laws? Greg Scheu, executive committee member of ABB Group and president of ABB Americas Region, joined lawmakers, administration officials and technology experts in Washington, D.C., this week to discuss those questions.

The goal of advanced manufacturing, according to Scheu, is using technology to provide a competitive advantage—helping grow their business, service their customers and compete globally. Connected products and processes—or the Internet of Things—are helping manufacturers become more efficient in their processes and develop a broader, more customizable array of products to offer.  Read More

Sherrill Visits Detroit, Calls for Policies That Help Drive Manufacturing Innovation

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

Technology is revolutionizing manufacturing—the Internet of Things, Big Data and the cloud. All of these innovative tools are changing what we make and how we make it. That was a topic of discussion at “Manufacturing in America,” an event hosted by Siemens and Electro-Matic Products this week at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich. In his remarks Wednesday morning, Tenneco Inc. Chairman and CEO and NAM Board Chair Gregg Sherrill delved into the many ways technology is not only empowering manufacturers, transforming our products and changing lives but also creating new policy challenges. Lawmakers must approach these challenges with care or risk stunting this growth opportunity for manufacturers in the United States.

Products and processes connected online, also known as the Internet of Things, facilitate the seamless integration of supply chains, drive increased global collaboration and connect design with production. The data generated allow manufacturers to get real-time feedback to better serve their customers and deliver higher quality and safer products. The cloud is securely moving information at light speed across borders. Read More

Guest Blog: Engineering a Better Tomorrow with Manufacturing Technology

By | Shopfloor Main | No Comments


The following is a guest blog post from Don Kinard, Lockheed Martin Fellow, posted after NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons attended a systems demonstration, led by Kinard, at Lockheed Martin’s Dallas facility during the 2016 State of Manufacturing Tour:  

Continuing our mission of solving complex challenges, advancing scientific discoveries and delivering innovative solutions to help our customers provide global security, Lockheed Martin is using advanced manufacturing technology to build the newest fifth generation fighter: the Joint Strike Fighter, or F-35 Lightning II. Read More

CES: A Crossroad Between Policy and Innovation

By | Innovation, Shopfloor Policy, Technology | No Comments

The 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is not just the largest technology convention in the United States; it’s the largest convention in the United States period. According to International CES, which is owned and produced by NAM member Consumer Technology Association (CTA), more than 3,600 companies will exhibit and launch in the ballpark of 20,000 products this week from the show.  Read More

Connecting NAM Members to Global Consumers at Hannover Messe

By | Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy, Trade | No Comments

NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons (middle) at Hannover Messe 2015. Hannover Messe is billed as the world’s leading trade show for industrial technology.

For many years, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has enjoyed a collaborative relationship with the U.S. Department of Commerce with the shared goal of boosting exports, improving the business climate for American businesses and creating and sustaining good-paying American jobs. The NAM is excited to expand its work with the Department of Commerce to further these goals as a result of the recent decision by the United States to advance its international position.
Read More

Building Partnerships in Innovation

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

picThe Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming manufacturing—from connecting machines on the shop floor to the end-use products. This concept of interconnectedness has enabled owners and operators in our sector to gather critical data that allows them to improve product design, troubleshoot in real-time and make manufacturing an even more integral partners with their customers throughout the lifecycle of their product. Today’s manufacturers continue to find ways to embed the latest technologies into their products and processes. With an eye toward the future, NAM member Caterpillar—a 90-year-old company—has begun to seek partnerships with technology startups to help better understand and take advantage of ideas coming out of the gate.
Read More

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

By | Innovation | No Comments

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.

Why Technology Is the Talk of the Bali APEC Summit

By | Trade | No Comments

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.