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A Look Inside the Industrial Internet Consortium
Blog 
2/24/2015  Post a comment
Delivering an Industrial-strength Internet will require new technology, reference architectures, and security frameworks -- but, most of all, unparalleled collaboration.
Controlled Landing and Ascent
Guest Blogs 
2/24/2015  Post a comment
Electromechanical actuators and propulsion system enable the first controlled landing and ascent from a solar system body other than the moon.
The Impact of the Maker Movement
Blog 
2/24/2015  Post a comment
The Maker movement is bringing engineering into the mainstream. Makers around the world are inspiring each other to create (or “make”) smart gadgets, robotic gizmos, autonomous drones, and wearable devices. These innovations are no longer monopolized by multimillion dollar companies.
Top 15 Cities for High-Paying STEM Jobs
STEM Connection 
2/23/2015  16 comments
Looking for a high-paying STEM job? The San Francisco Bay Area remains a good place to go to have a successful career in these fields, according to a recent study by financial analyst and data firm, SmartAsset, but it's still not the highest paying area of the country.
Welcome to National Engineers Week
Blog 
2/23/2015  1 comment
Through this week, DiscoverE will present National Engineers Week, a series of programs around the country that are designed to raise awareness of the importance of engineering.
3 Secrets to Becoming 'Awesomely, Amazingly, World-Class Excellent'
Blog 
2/23/2015  4 comments
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that average Americans between the ages of 25 and 55 spend 30% of their lifetimes working weekends on top of already heavily loaded work weeks. In total, Americans spend almost three times the amount of waking hours at work than at home. But what do we get as a result of all this overachievement?
Fanuc to Invest $1B in Plants & Research
Blog 
2/20/2015  Post a comment
Fanuc Corp. is cutting loose a chunk of its $8.4 billion stockpile of cash into order to build a new manufacturing plant and a research and development facility.
5 Ways to Tell if You are a Manager or a Leader
Blog 
2/20/2015  1 comment
It’s a professional reality that all bosses are not great bosses. Anyone can become a manager, but to become a leader, other behaviors become distinguishing factors.
Manufacturing Up Modestly as Industrial Production Rebounds in January
News 
2/19/2015  2 comments
US manufacturing output increased slightly in January, contributing to a 0.2% uptick in the nation’s overall industrial production for the month. The preliminary January industrial production figure represented a modest rebound from a negative December that the Federal Reserve downwardly revised to a 0.3% contraction from an earlier 0.1% estimate.
Fluid Power Challenge Exposes Teens to STEM
STEM Connection 
2/19/2015  1 comment
Junior high STEM students from around Minnesota had the opportunity to experiment with fluid power recently in a statewide competition to invent machines with real-world applicability.
Manufacturing Growth Threatened by Lack of Interest from Millennial-Age Workers
News 
2/18/2015  18 comments
Manufacturing is in the midst of an upswing that could be hampered by lack of skilled workers to fill job openings, a problem stemming from a continued disinterest by those in the Millennial generation to join the industry, according to a recent survey.
H-1B Visas: What’s Your Take?
Blog 
2/18/2015  30 comments
H-1B visas are one of the most controversial issues in the engineering community. According to many companies, these visas (which allow for temporary employment of high-skilled foreign workers) are needed to address the so-called “skills gap.”
Feds Auction Off Coastal Waters for Offshore Wind Farm Development
Blog 
2/17/2015  13 comments
Two companies won leases to develop more than 350,000 acres of area in the waters off Massachusetts for wind energy in a federal auction of coastal waters, paving the way for the largest offshore wind farm to date in the United States.
Managing Product Costs in the Face of Complexity and Globalization
Features 
2/17/2015  Post a comment
Manufacturing organizations have faced a growing challenge of delivering products on time and to cost over the past decade, as product lifecycles and value chains have become increasingly complex. Even in the face of constant pressure to drive down costs, globalization and competition have led the design and manufacture of any given product or assembly to become distributed geographically as well as across organizational boundaries in the extended supply chain.
Manufacturing Tech Tools You Need Now
Blog 
2/16/2015  Post a comment
Manufacturing vendors showed off their newest tech tools at the Pacific Design & Manufacturing show in Anaheim, Calif. last week. This is what they had to say about them.
Suppliers Make Manufacturing Smarter With Industry 4.0
Electronics News 
2/13/2015  1 comment
The “Fourth Industrial Revolution” gained momentum this week, as a handful of automation suppliers rolled out products aimed at creating smarter, more flexible factories.
3D Printing, Fastening Methods, & That Big Red Robot
Engineering Materials 
2/13/2015  Post a comment
As we saw on the show floor this week at the Pacific Design & Manufacturing and co-located events in Anaheim, Calif., 3D printing is contributing to distributed manufacturing and being reinvented by engineers for their own needs. Meanwhile, new fasteners are appearing for wearable consumer and medical devices and Baxter Robot has another software upgrade.
Hot Technology from Pacific Design & Manufacturing
Blog 
2/13/2015  Post a comment
Here's a collection of new products that were featured at the Pacific Design & Manufacturing show in Anaheim this week.
IIoT Top of Mind at Manufacturing Show
Blog 
2/12/2015  1 comment
Manufacturing professionals at the Pacific Design and Manufacturing show in Anaheim this week discussed the opportunities and dangers of the Industrial Internet of Things.
2015 Golden Mousetrap Awards: The Winners!
News 
2/11/2015  2 comments
The winners of the 2015 Golden Mousetrap Awards were crowned earlier this evening during a live ceremony in Anaheim, Calif.
IIoT Blooms with Applications and Possibilities
Blog 
2/11/2015  3 comments
Mass customization has already arrived. Buildings only light rooms when people are present. The farm soil will tell you when it needs water -- in fact, it will water itself. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is exploding with possibilities, and the deployment is now, not is some highly developed future.
Gadget Freak Workshop Demonstrates the Power of Wireless
Electronics News 
2/11/2015  1 comment
Gadget freaks from around the country this week learned the power of a simple 8-bit microcontroller and a small wireless card.
BMW i3: The 'Most Significant Vehicle Since the Model T'
Automotive News 
2/10/2015  22 comments
A well-known automotive consultant who did an extensive teardown of BMW’s i3 all-electric car said its design is groundbreaking in multiple ways. “We’ve torn down about 450 cars, and we’ve never analyzed anything like this before.”
China Leads the Market for Robots
Blog 
2/10/2015  3 comments
By 2017, China will lead the world in deployed industrial robots. A thriving auto industry is driving China's robotics.
2015 James Dyson Award Invites Innovation From Student Engineers
STEM Connection 
2/9/2015  1 comment
The annual international student engineering competition is now open for entries.
8 Things You Can't Miss at The Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show
Blog 
2/5/2015  3 comments
The Pacific Design & Manufacturing event and trade show starts next week. With so many exhibitors conference talks, and activities to choose from, Design News is sharing our editor's picks of some of the can't-miss events during your time at the show.
Apple Invests $2B in Solar-Powered Command Center
Blog 
2/5/2015  19 comments
Apple is turning a facility that was planned for sapphire-screen production into a solar-powered data center near Phoenix, Ariz. The company is investing $2 billion to turn the facility in Mesa into a command center for its data-center operations that relies 100% on renewable energy. The move is part of Apple’s larger plan to have all of its data centers run purely on clean energy in the next few years.
User Interface Designers: Start Seeing Colorblind People
Blog 
2/3/2015  17 comments
User interface designers ignore the fact that some form of colorblindness affects as much as 10% of the male population at their own risk. Relying on users to distinguish between colors that are fairly close together in the spectrum is a good way to ensure that at least some of them will have difficulties.
See the Latest in Robotics & Automation at the ATX West Robotics Innovation Tour
Blog 
2/3/2015  1 comment
A fun and free tour you can attend at next week's ATX West, Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show, and other events in Anaheim, Calif., is the Robotics Innovation Tour. It will be held twice during the show, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.
ISM Manufacturing Index Screeches to Slowest Pace in a Year
News 
2/3/2015  Post a comment
The US manufacturing sector lost steam in January and is growing at its more sluggish rate since January 2014, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s latest purchasing managers index (PMI) released on Feb 2.
Bill Gates Discusses the Future of Tech, AI, and 'Poop Water'
Blog 
1/29/2015  7 comments
Bill Gates took to Reddit for an AMA (Ask Me Anything) and fielded fielded questions on everything from his outlook on the future of technology to who he's rooting for in the Super Bowl.
How to Handle Design Disagreements
Blog 
1/28/2015  11 comments
Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
Factory Orders, Machinery Bookings Slumped Deeper in December
News 
1/27/2015  Post a comment
US factory orders for durable goods tumbled 3.4% in December on a big drop in new bookings for commercial aircraft, according to data the Commerce Department released Tuesday.
2014: A Monumental Year for Cyber Attacks
Blog 
1/26/2015  6 comments
2014 was big dark year for cyber attacks. Here's the month-by-month blow-by-blow breakdown.
China’s Manufacturing Slump Softens While US Growth Erodes Again in January
Blog 
1/26/2015  Post a comment
China’s manufacturing sector continues to contract this month but at a less severe pace, as the nation’s central government in Beijing fights to reverse a 24-year low in economic growth.
Goodbye SkyMall -- Thanks For All the Ish!
Blog 
1/23/2015  6 comments
In-flight shopping magazine, SkyMall, has stalled, nosedived, and crashed into bankruptcy.
The Conundrum of Published Specs Versus Real-World Performance
Guest Blogs 
1/23/2015  5 comments
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Babak Parviz Goes Through the Glass
Chris Wiltz 
1/22/2015  3 comments
Golden Mousetrap Lifetime Achievement Award winner Babak Parviz on his new gig at Amazon, the origins of Google Glass and the Smart Contact Lens, and why humanities, not tech, is the future.
Decoding Procurement: How It Can Work as Design Engineering’s Ally
Guest Blogs 
1/22/2015  Post a comment
Procurement actually means well. There is no question that procurement can do a better job of phrasing their questions or making connections between engineering’s goals and the processes underway. And if you are using the right deciphering code, the result can live up to -- or surpass -- your expectations.
Gadget of the Year Won’t Spill Your Drinks
Gadget Freak 
1/21/2015  8 comments
The 2015 Gadget Freak of the Year goes to the DDV-IP -- or, a Drink Deliver Vehicle – Inverted Pendulum. The gadget is a two-wheeled self-balancing robot that can deliver cold beverages to thirsty folks on a hot summer day. A wireless RF remote enables manual control of the device beyond the act of self-balancing. All of the features of the DDV-IP result in an effective delivery vehicle while providing entertainment to the users.
CES Panel on Drones Adds to Regulation Debate
Blog 
1/21/2015  13 comments
A panel at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas discussing upcoming FAA regulations for non-military drones brought out many of the issues that concern both industry and federal regulators.
Video: Reconfigurable Robot Walks on Snake Legs
News 
1/19/2015  4 comments
Carnegie Mellon University's modular snake robot can be reconfigured to meet users' needs. Not only will this modular system enable completely new robot designs, say its inventors, it will also help speed up the pace of development and enable more flexible traditional industrial robots.
Manufacturing Expansion Slows Down, Industrial Production Dips in December, Says Fed
News 
1/16/2015  2 comments
US manufacturing output rose 0.3% in December, but warm weather that blanketed the entire country reduced heating demand, significantly dragging down utilities output and the nation’s overall industrial production for the month. The 0.1% decline in December was the first contraction in the nation’s total industrial output since August, the Federal Reserve announced Friday.
10 Places to Visit to Interest Your Kids in STEM
STEM Connection 
1/16/2015  16 comments
Scientific and engineering history is evident everywhere you look in our modern world, and there are a plethora of institutions, museums, facilities and other places that celebrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) ideas and innovations.
Will Obama’s Tuition-Free Community College Plan Work?
STEM Connection 
1/15/2015  30 comments
If done properly, the president’s plan could benefit nearly everyone. Of course, given the realities of Washington politics, it’s hard to tell whether anything -- or, at least, anything good -- will ever come of this proposal.
Tiny Bots Teach Your Kid to Code
STEM Connection 
1/14/2015  3 comments
While many would balk at the idea of robots looking after children not many could argue against robots educating the younger generation to code. After all, the world they are growing up in depends on it, and it’s still not -- for the most part -- being taught or mandated in schools. There’s even an argument to be made that computer literacy is becoming as important in today’s world as traditional literacy.
Sony Hack Should Sound Off Alarm Bells for Industrial Sector
William Ng 
1/7/2015  2 comments
The real silver lining to come out of the Sony hack scandal was the sobering affirmation for both the US government and private sector that we have long-term and persistent cyber enemies from anywhere in the world.
Does a Messy Desk Mean a Creative Mind?
Blog 
1/6/2015  26 comments
Many of the greatest minds in past and current history sat behind very unkempt desks. What does your desk say about you?
When Good Companies Make Bad Decisions
Blog 
1/6/2015  19 comments
Nearly every engineer has a story or two about mind-bogglingly stupid management decisions. The universality of this experience is one reason why Scott Adams’ Dilbert cartoons have enjoyed more than 25 years of popularity.
Who Will Be Gadget Freak of the Year?
Gadget Freak 
1/5/2015  6 comments
Voting in the final round of our annual Gadget Freak of the Year contest is now open. Cast your vote and come back next week to see if your favorite project garnered the $6,000 first prize!
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Latest Analysis
Some cars are more reliable than others, but even the vehicles at the bottom of this year’s Consumer Reports reliability survey are vastly better than those of 20 years ago in the key areas of powertrain and hardware, experts said this week.
While risk management sounds like one activity, in order to be conducted effectively, it must be broken down into three sub-components: risk assessment, risk monitoring, and response planning.
Many of the materials in this slideshow are resins or elastomers, plus reinforced materials, styrenics, and PLA masterbatches. Applications range from automotive and aerospace to industrial, consumer electronics and wearables, consumer goods, medical and healthcare, as well as sporting goods, and materials for protecting food and beverages.
In a speech at China's National People’s Congress in Beijing this month, Premier Li Keqiang laid out plans to revamp the country's manufacturing infrastructure with advanced technology.
While many larger companies are still reluctant to rely on wireless networks to transmit important information in industrial settings, there is an increasing acceptance rate of the newer, more robust wireless options that are now available.
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