Even without high fuel costs, companies in today's global environment are spending more on transportation. Federal Express notes that most companies now spend in the range of 10 percent of their revenues on shipping, up substantially from 2 to 4 percent a decade ago.
That's partly because far more companies are importing and exporting these days. A FedEx survey shows that about half the companies polled expect significant increases in their imports and exports over the next three years, while only 5% expect them to decline. A dominant 80 percent of respondents say cost savings from imports have at least somewhat met their expectations. http://www.fedex.com/
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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