By Mark Egan – As the approaching winter solstice shrouded Oslo in gloom and darkness last month, the workers at a GE factory located in the Norwegian capital found their cheer in a bright green robot known affectionately, if not officially, as “Hulk.”
The facility, which belongs to GE Healthcare, makes contrast media — the fluids doctors inject into patients to highlight organs during X-ray and CT scans. But last year a swell in orders set off by an increased demand from global customers was starting to tax the muscles of some workers. “We experienced an increase in injuries and sick leave,” says Fadi Fetyan, lean manufacturing leader at the Oslo factory.
Fetyan says that as each 6.5-pound box of contrast media came off the production line, a worker would lift it, turn sideways, lean over and place it on a pallet for shipping. A worker had to perform that physical operation seven times per minute, or as many as 3,150 times during an 8-hour shift. The repeated twisting and leaning motions caused back, shoulder and neck aches as well as hand and wrist problems.
That’s when Fetyan started thinking about help. As lean leader, he is a key player in making the factory smarter while lowering costs. So he proposed bringing in a collaborative robot — or cobot.
He reached out to FANUC, a Japanese company that specializes in building robots that automate factories, which had just the machine he needed. The robot’s first trip was to GE Healthcare’s Advanced Manufacturing Engineering (AME) lab in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The lab typically tests new automation technologies designed to make machines and factories work more efficiently. more> https://goo.gl/jDdEZC
Posted in Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, Healthcare, Product, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, cobot, collaborative robot, GE, Health, Jobs, Manufacturing, Productivity
By Stephen Chadwick – When the medical industry uses big data, new kinds of clinical care can be delivered and treatments that exactly match an individual’s genetics, environment and lifestyle will be devised, administered and monitored. This is the dream of Precision Medicine that delivers the right treatment, to the right person, at the right time.
It’s a revolution in healthcare that’s been predicted ever since the first human genome sequence was announced at the start of this century. Each person’s genetics inform their personal medical care through their lifetime and more effective treatments are then developed around that information. Giving the same treatments to everyone is a medical model the days of which are numbered. more> https://goo.gl/kk5LNh
Posted in Economic development, Economy, Education, Healthcare, Nature, Science, Technology
Tagged 3D technologies, Business improvement, Genetics, Health, Precision Medicine, Technology
No Laughing Matter: The World Is Running Out Of Helium, But It Won’t Hold These MRI Engineers Down
By Tomas Kellner and Dorothy Pomerantz – MRI machines explore the body by using powerful magnets and pulsing radio frequency signals. For the magnets to work, MRI manufacturers such as GE use liquid helium to cool them to minus 452 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 269 Celsius), just above absolute zero. At that temperature, they lose all electrical resistance and become superconducting.
“When you power up a super-cooled magnet, it can produce the same magnetic field for a thousand years with no more power required,” MR engineer and inventor Trifon Laskaris told GE Reports. The problem is that some machines need as much as 8,000 liters of the helium, and the world is running out of it, to the chagrin of radiologists and party-store owners alike.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Helium Privatization Act of 1996 got the government out of the business of producing the gas. But sales from the huge U.S. helium reserve stored in porous rock deep underneath Amarillo, Texas, kept down prices and gave private producers few incentives to enter the market. The shortage followed. more> https://goo.gl/emDpN3
Posted in Business, Economy, Energy, Healthcare, Product, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, GE, Government, Health, Helium, MRI, Physics, Technology, United States
By Albert R. Hunt – Most new Republican administrations are filled with experienced hands from a previous government — a few governors and members of Congress, a prominent corporate chief executive or two. That’s not likely with Donald Trump; look instead for fellow deal-makers, political pals and fervent early supporters.
More than any modern president, Trump doesn’t come from the party establishment and owes it nothing.
Trump is likely to continue to rely on instinct. That’s what led to his upset victory and is likely to be the model for assembling an administration.
It’s not unusual to bring campaign operatives into top staff jobs. But there were no policy or political heavyweights in the Trump entourage.
Donald Trump got to the White House by running his own show. That’s the way he’s likely to govern. more> https://goo.gl/fJQ10q
Posted in Economic development, Economy, Energy & emissions, Healthcare, History, Leadership, Media
Tagged Donald Trump, Government, Health, Leadership, Teams, United States