They said the radio would kill live performance, but instead it helped popularize artists like never before. They said television and VHS would kill the movies, but they just provided new places to watch films. So why is China, factory to the world, scared of a little 3-D printing?Forbes.com, at home 3-D printing could take away China's greatest manufacturing advantage: cheap labor. A machine on a desktop that can do the job of 30 factory workers swings the momentum away from China an it's endless supply of labor, and puts the value of a product in the hands of the designers. trillion-dollar industry? The miracles attributed to 3-D printing seem to grow by the day. @News_Innovation, or on Facebook. This story was provided by InnovationNewsDaily, sister site to BusinessNewsDaily. … [Read more...] about Will 3-D Printing Challenge Traditional Manufacturing?
Instead of looking for a job after graduation, Rachel Weeks created one. For Weeks, founding School House, a socially responsible clothing company specializing in collegiate apparel, was a passion of hers since her time as an undergraduate at Duke University, but her journey was anything but simple. "I had a nonexistent business background when I started School House," said Weeks, CEO of School House. "I went to Duke University and graduated in 2007 with a degree in women's studies. After graduating, I moved to Sri Lanka on a Fulbright grant to research the apparel industry and try to get my feet wet learning about apparel manufacturing." Despite being in a new country halfway around the world, Weeks remembered an experience from her time in Durham, N.C., that prompted her to think about starting her own business. "Having been a college student who shopped at the Duke bookstore, I wanted to show my school spirit (by wearing Duke apparel) while also being a fashion-conscious college … [Read more...] about Entrepreneur Brings Manufacturing Back Home to N.C.
American manufacturing companies may be struggling, but the fact is that manufacturing still accounts for 11.5 million U.S. jobs. As the economy continues to sputter, these manufacturers are being forced to adapt to a new era of American manufacturing. It will require change and flexibility, but the changing manufacturing landscape may also give them a competitive edge, according to a new report. The report, which was released by the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, along with its trade association, the American Small Manufacturers Coalition, finds that this is a critical point in time for U.S. manufacturing, and manufacturers must assess whether they have the work force, business systems, equipment and strategies in place to successfully compete in the future. While external factors, such as the economic downturn, present challenges, manufacturers can remain competitive by focusing on the following key areas, the report found. Leadership: Nearly six out of 10 U.S. … [Read more...] about US Manufacturers Face New Challenges to Stay Competitive
Michigan's David Schowalter scoured the country, and eventually the globe, for more than two years on his quest to find an American manufacturing partner. It turns out the answer was in his own backyard. The owner of Collegiate Bead Co., Schowalter was determined to produce his company's college beads, sorority bracelets and charms in the United States, but initially was unable to find someone willing to take on the job. After the Royal Oak, Mich., jewelry company found success two years ago, Schowalter said it became apparent they would need a larger manufacturing partner to keep up with demand. "As sales began to grow, we quickly outstripped out capacity," Schowalter told BusinessNewsDaily of his company, which offers beads designed to fit the Pandora- and Chamilia-style charm bracelets. "We couldn't ramp up our production quick enough." Schowalter began searching the country looking for a manufacturing partner , only to come up empty. "People just didn't understand what we wanted to … [Read more...] about Bead Company Determined to Keep Manufacturing in America
While firms in China have long been a favored manufacturing partner for many U.S.-based companies, a new poll shows that sentiment is changing. More than a third of manufacturing executives, at American companies with sales greater than $1 billion, are planning to, or considering, bringing their production back to the United States from China, a survey by The Boston Consulting Group found. The study revealed labor costs, product quality, ease of doing business and proximity to customers are driving the return back to the States. In addition, more than 90 percent of the executives surveyed believe labor costs in China will continue to escalate, while 70 percent agreed that their sourcing is more costly than it looks on paper. "Companies are realizing that the economics of manufacturing are swinging in favor of the U.S., for goods to be sold both at home and to major export markets," said Harold L. Sirkin, a senior partner with Boston Consulting Group. "This trend is likely to accelerate … [Read more...] about American Manufacturers Rethink China Outsourcing, Report Says
Contrary to the doomsayers, manufacturing in the U.S. isn't on the endangered list, at least for small and midsized business manufacturers (SMB). SMB manufacturers have added jobs and are more optimistic about their growth prospects, according to a snapshot survey on the general health of their businesses. Hiring in the SMB sector has ticked up in the last six months, with 73 percent of SMB manufacturers reporting the addition of staff, according to a snapshot survey of 134 executives of SMB manufacturers with fewer than 100 employees. The survey was sponsored by SAGE, a supplier of business management software. In a possible indication of future growth in this segment, a third of respondents also said they plan to add staff within the next six months while 53 percent intend to maintain the same level of employment over the next six months. Looking at the next six months, 49 percent of SMB manufacturers said they believed new orders would increase, 47 percent felt that production … [Read more...] about Among Small and Medium Sized Businesses, Manufacturing Hiring Up
Getting a product from an idea to production is a complex process. It involves significant research, time, planning and patience. But with the right information, the right resources and the right product, it's possible.One of the biggest challenges of product manufacturing is finding a factory to create it. You'll need to find one that fits your needs and budgets, and still turns out a quality product. This article will guide you through the process of finding and working with a factory as a small business.Before you hire a factory and start producing your product, you need to take care of a few beginning steps. Market research. The first step for any budding entrepreneur should be market research, said Dave Savage, an Atlanta-based mentor to investors. Whether you do that research yourself or hire someone else to do it, you should be sure to find out two things: if the product already exists, and if people will pay for it. Read our article on market intelligence to learn more about … [Read more...] about How to Find a Factory to Manufacture Your Product
Our Small Business Snapshot series features photos that represent, in just one image, what the small businesses we feature are all about. Max Friefeld, co-founder and CEO of Voodoo Manufacturing, explains how this image represents his business. Voodoo Manufacturing is a software-enabled, high-volume 3D-printing factory. We use a 160 printer cluster of regular desktop 3D printers and control them with software that we write in-house to produce parts. This is the largest cluster of printers in US, possibly the world, and they are all co-located so that we can ensure the best prices with top quality and consistency for our customers.The idea for Voodoo started while our team was at MakerBot. They had internal "Bot farms" where they made sample parts and ran select projects for customers. At one point, we realized this could be turned into a larger business and convinced them to let us take it out on our own. We left MakerBot in May 2015, publicly launched in October 2015, and have been … [Read more...] about Small Business Snapshot: Voodoo Manufacturing
Industry 4.0 might sound like the newest iteration of a SimCity-style tycoon game, but it's really the biggest shift to hit global manufacturing since automation. Centered around advanced robotics and automation, new ways of human-machine interaction (such as augmented reality) and vast troves of data and boosted connectivity, Industry 4.0 is poised to modernize manufacturing and boost western industrial competitiveness.Coupled with the emerging Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0 offers manufacturers the ability to collect, analyze and act on immense stockpiles of data like never before, and then set those actions in motion with highly efficient, automated robotics. The result? A higher quality product at a lower operating expense.Industry 4.0 – shorthand for the maturation of digital technology within the manufacturing industry – is the marriage of IT and manufacturing operations. Mark Holleran, CEO of Xplore Technologies, says it represents a "holistic shift from … [Read more...] about Industry 4.0: How the Internet of Things is Revolutionizing Manufacturing
In this video, Jonathan Ive (who is best known for designing the iPod and the iPhone) discusses the design of the Apple Macbook notebooks that are carved from a single piece of aluminum (unibody). The video also gives a sneak preview of the Macbook manufacturing process which is again very interesting.You can download the video in HD format from Apple.com. Hat tip Mike Downey. … [Read more...] about The Design & Manufacturing Process of Apple Macbook