I listened to the President SOTU and was heartened by the focus on calls for revitalizing the manufacturing industry and supply chain, including possible tax reform that would encourage corporate investment in reshoring American jobs. That bubble gets burst rather quickly when you consider the very real and difficult challenges that lie ahead before any of that transition can happen and your piece does a stellar job of spotlighting those challenges.
The question is what kind of infrastructure can Americans possibly create that could rival the economic advantages that a FoxConn city or government subsidiaries bring to the table making it such a fiscal no-brainer for companies like Apple to outsource overseas? There are no easy answers. With all the political jockeying, two of the most effective tools--corporate tax reform and our own government programs--don't stand a chance when up against an increasingly devisive Washington.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.