Automotive manufacturing and autonomous vehicles
By Dave Lauzun – Automotive manufacturing has been happening for a long time, but when most people think of automotive manufacturing, they imagine a moving assembly line. The moving assembly line revolutionized how vehicle manufacturers produce cars, but it wasn’t always the go-to process.
As vehicles were first beginning to be built at the turn of twentieth century, vehicle manufacturers typically built the whole car at once. It was a time-consuming, costly process that kept cars out of most consumers’ hands.
In 1913, over at Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford wanted to cut down on the time and cost associated with building the Model T. He needed to find an efficient way to build this car, and he came up with idea of being able to “productionize” the Model T through a moving assembly line. In this assembly line, the Model T production was broken down into 84 steps, and employees were trained to do just one step.
The results of this change were enormous for Ford Motor Company. The automaker drastically reduced the time it took to build the Model T from 12 hours to 90 minutes. The cost savings in manpower and time to produce the vehicle on the assembly line also meant the company could drop the price of the Model T from $850 to $300.
How will automakers turn their focus away from research and development and toward the mass production of autonomous vehicles? And, how can that mass production be economically viable for their business and for their customers? more>
Posted in Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, History, Leadership, Product, Science, Technology, Transportation
Tagged Business improvement, Industrial economy, Jobs, Leadership, Manufacturing, Organization, Productivity, Siemens, Technology
Build your design on the strongest platform Modeling Technology Platform
Siemens – Convergent modeling technology in NX gives anyone the ability to perform faceted-based modeling without the need for data conversion. By combining facet, surface and solid modeling in a single integrated environment, NX eliminates the need for reverse engineering. You can simply model with the topology optimization results directly. Convergent Modeling, compared with traditional modeling techniques, is 10 times faster.
Modeling is amazingly fast and intuitive with NX – you have the freedom to modify 3D geometry without understanding how models were constructed, using simple push-and-pull methods. For greater versatility, you can use synchronous modeling interchangeably with all other CAD modeling tools – on NX models or geometry from any other source. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, How to, Product, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Industrial economy, Internet, Jobs, Siemens, Super regions, Technology
Program Lifecycle Management for Consumer Products & Retail
Siemens – The pace of innovation in the consumer products industry is constantly rising and driving a need for more flexible and collaborative tools based on best practices for project, program and lifecycle management. Companies expect solutions to connect processes, automate tasks and be intuitive for the broad audience of roles involved in their processes.
Taking an integrated approach is mandatory in today’s complicated and competitive market. Only by combining product lifecycle information with program and project management methodologies can the true operational potential of a company be unlocked.
Program lifecycle management is a methodology that provides a solution based on a collaboration platform. It addresses essential needs of the consumer product and retail industry, both in terms of offered functionality and flexibility. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, Economy, Healthcare, Net, Product, Science, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Industrial economy, Internet, Productivity, Program Lifecycle Management, Siemens PLM, Technology
How American Democracy Fails Its Way to Success
By Walter Russell Mead – As Americans struggle to make sense of a series of uncomfortable economic changes and disturbing political developments, a worrying picture emerges: of ineffective politicians, frequent scandals, racial backsliding, polarized and irresponsible news media, populists spouting quack economic remedies, growing suspicion of elites and experts, frightening outbreaks of violence, major job losses, high-profile terrorist attacks, anti-immigrant agitation, declining social mobility, giant corporations dominating the economy, rising inequality, and the appearance of a new class of super-empowered billionaires in finance and technology-heavy industries.
That, of course, is a description of American life in the 35 years after the Civil War.
The United States is passing through something similar today. The information revolution is disrupting the country’s social and economic order as profoundly as the Industrial Revolution did.
The ideologies and policies that fit American society a generation ago are becoming steadily less applicable to the problems it faces today.
It is, in many ways, a stressful and anxious time to be alive.
And that anxiety has prompted a pervasive sense of despair about American democracy—a fear that it has reached a point of dysfunction and decay from which it will never recover. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, Economic development, Economy, Education, History, Leadership, Net, Science, Technology, Telecom industry
Tagged American Civil War, Broadband, Business improvement, Congress Watch, Government, Industrial economy, Internet, Jobs, United States
By Jonathan Wilkins – At the turn of the 20th century, the third industrial revolution was driven by three major tipping points: improvements in agriculture, greater transport possibilities, and an economic boom.
Now we’re on the fourth industrial revolution—Industry 4.0. Many businesses are welcoming economic globalization as an opportunity to spread their divisions worldwide and generate a virtual global factory.
Among the factors underpinning Industry 4.0’s tipping points are the following: connectivity, the smart factory, data, and the customer.
The term “smart factory” describes the manufacturing sector’s vision for the future. It incorporates exceptional machine intelligence, resulting in the ability to self-optimize and make decisions. Machines will be able to interact and communicate with each other to automate entire manufacturing processes.
In the battle to remain competitive, every manufacturing company is taking steps to bring the smart-factory vision into existence. This is helping to fuel the progress of Industry 4.0. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, Net, Science, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Industrial economy, Industry 4.0, Manufacturing, Organization, Productivity
Why hasn’t technology sped up productivity?
By Chad Syverson – You can think of all productivity measures as ratios of output to input. The most common one you hear about is labor productivity, or output per worker hour.
This is the one that economists have been following the longest, and we have good confidence that we measure it as well as we can. It’s also where technological progress ought to show up: these new technologies ought to let us make great new things without having to put new resources into the production of those things.
Making better things using the same amount of resources, or making the same things using fewer resources, is, in the end, where economic growth comes from. If this phenomenon is taking place, you should see it in the data reflected as productivity growth. The problem is, if you go look for it in the United States, you don’t find it. Productivity growth hasn’t stopped altogether, but since the mid-2000s, the rate of growth has fallen considerably.
These studies typically produce figures in the neighborhood of $100 billion–$200 billion in the US. That’s not pocket change, but it’s nothing compared to the $3 trillion of output that is missing because productivity growth has slowed.
So how worried should you be? If productivity growth stays where it is, you should be worried. We are going to be considerably poorer than we would be otherwise. We already are. Ten years into the slowdown, we’re each already $9,000 poorer per year. more>
Posted in Broadband, Business, Economy, Education, History, Net, Technology
Tagged Business improvement, Capital, Chicago Booth, Industrial economy, Jobs, Productivity, Technology
Robot Monitors Chicken Houses and Retrieves Eggs
By John Toon – “Today’s challenge is to teach a robot how to move in environments that have dynamic, unpredictable obstacles, such as chickens,” said Colin Usher, a research scientist in GTRI’s Food Processing Technology Division.
“When busy farmers must spend time in chicken houses, they are losing money and opportunities elsewhere on the farm. In addition, there is a labor shortage when it comes to finding workers to carry out manual tasks such as picking up floor eggs and simply monitoring the flocks. If a robot could successfully operate autonomously in a chicken house 24 hours a day and seven days a week, it could then pick up floor eggs, monitor machinery, and check on birds, among other things. By assigning one robot to each chicken house, we could also greatly reduce the potential for introductions of disease or cross-contamination from one house to other houses.”
The autonomous robot is outfitted with an ultrasonic localization system similar to GPS but more suited to an indoor environment where GPS might not be available. This system uses low-cost, ultrasonic beacons indicating the robot’s orientation and its location in a chicken house. The robot also carries a commercially available time-of-flight camera, which provides three-dimensional (3D) depth data by emitting light signals and then measuring how long they take to return. The localization and 3D data together allow the robot’s software to devise navigation plans around chickens to perform tasks. more>
- Real-Time Captcha Technique Improves Biometric Authentication, John Toon
- Data Detectives Shift Suspicions in Alzheimer’s from Usual Suspect to Inside Villain, Ben Brumfield
- Why Bees Soared and Slime Flopped as Inspirations for Systems Engineering, Ben Brumfield
- Asteroid “Time Capsules” May Help Explain How Life Started on Earth, John Toon
- Georgia Tech Trio Selected to National Academy of Engineering, Jason Maderer/Kay Kinard
- Successful SpaceX Launch Clears Way for Historic Georgia Tech Spacecraft, Jason Maderer
- Hatchet Enzyme, Enabler of Sickness and of Health, Exposed by Neutron Beams, Ben Brumfield
- Neurons Get the Beat and Keep It Going in Drumrolls, Ben Brumfield
- Yeast Assay Helps Reveal Genesis of Amyloids and Prions, A. Maureen Rouhi
- Self-assembled “Hairy” Nanoparticles Could Give a Double Punch to Cancer, John Toon
- Manufacturing Disaster Assistance Program to help Georgia companies prepare for natural disasters, Ben Cheeks
- Disclosing Weaknesses Can Undermine Some Workplace Relationships, Josh Brown
- Maelstroms in the Heart Confirmed
- The Next Frontier in Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Parmelee
- Air Force Grant Enables Quantum Simulation Using Cold Atoms, A. Maureen Rouhi
Posted in EARTH WATCH, Education, Energy & emissions, Healthcare, Nature, Net, Science, SPACE WATCH, Technology
Tagged Broadband, Business improvement, Climate change, Earth, Health, Industrial economy, Physics, Productivity, Technology
Next Stop, Kyiv: Ukrainian Railways’ $1 Billion Deal With
GE Is Set To Dispatch Its Trains Into the Future
By Dorothy Pomerantz – Today (Feb 23, 2018), the Ukrainian government announced it will buy 30 new GE locomotives, which will be built in the U.S. and will arrive in Ukraine for final assembly by the end of the year. The framework agreement, which is valued at over $1 billion, also includes the modernization of existing locomotives in Ukrainian Railways’ fleet, plus additional new GE units over the next decade and a long-term service contract to help maintain them.
The deal is part of a rail-system upgrade the country is undertaking to make sure its $2 billion agricultural sector, which the U.S. Department of Commerce calls “the most promising sector” of the country’s economy, can continue to sell and export the food it produces.
Crucial to this plan: locomotives that work better and don’t break down.
Modernizing a locomotive is like gut-renovating a house, stripping it down to the bare studs and putting in all new walls, stairways and appliances. For Ukrainian Railways, the modernization process will start with the old Soviet-built locomotives that the national rail company has been using for decades.
Workers from GE and local companies will take out the locomotive’s insides, the control system, radiator and engine, until only the bare metal skeleton is left. Then each locomotive will be rebuilt with a shipment of GE equipment, known as a kit. more>