U.S. manufacturers remain the greatest competitive threat, according to a recent survey. While respondents watch U.S. competitors, they are expanding international sales, which are already significant.
The fourth annual poll by Chromalox, Inc., a Pittsburgh manufacturer of industrial heat and control systems, highlights the globalization of manufacturing. Half the respondents say buying and selling products that meet global approvals is very important to them, with another 20 percent saying it was somewhat important. The survey polled 85 manufacturing engineers and engineering managers, a third of them from outside the U.S.Despite this world view, more than 60 percent say the U.S. is their biggest competitive threat. Latin America and Western Europe basically tied for second, with about 10 percent each. "That is the biggest surprise of the survey," says Barbara Lee, communications manager. The U.S. also remains the largest customer. "On average, only 34 percent of their revenues were currently derived from outside of the U.S.," says Lee.The survey shows a number of upbeat economic signs. Two thirds expect plant production volumes to continue to increase this year. Half expect to increase their budgets for 2007, with an equal percentage planning to increase staff this year. Only 6 percent expect a decreased budget this year, compared to 20 percent in 2005.One in five respondents plan to install improved production technology and implement lean manufacturing techniques. Fifteen percent plan to implement supply chain management improvements as part of their efforts to become more competitive. The study also points up the growth of custom designs. More than 80 percent say that purchasing customized products for their applications is important, and just over one third say up to 20 percent of the products they buy are customized. Another survey question points up the increasing functionality of components. A quarter of temperature control systems currently have diagnostic or predictive maintenance functions. That figure is expected to rise to 34 percent in two years.
We looked at a number of sources to determine this year's greenest cars, from KBB to automotive trade magazines to environmental organizations. These 14 cars emerged as being great at either stretching fuel or reducing carbon footprint.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is