I believe that 'effective' military spending is a good thing. I agree that inadequate military spending is bad for both our national security and for the manufacturing sector. However, wasteful military spending is also harmful for the country as a whole.
I see where American companies and manufacturers now use lean, efficient techniques to reduce waste and compete. Can the military also adopt some of these effective new techniques to be more competitive? I'm not suggesting that we lose any 'muscle', I'm suggesting that wasteful spending be reduced to further improve the military's value to our national security and our economy.
Interesting thoughts, Rich. I agree that manufacturing is an economic stimulant. History shows it was heavy military spending on WWII that finally lifted us out of the Depression. Recent cutbacks in military and other federal spending -- while intended to cut the deficit -- seem to have created a drag on what would otherwise be a more robust recovery.
The good news is that offshore manufacturing is coming back. Plus, there seems to be evidence that manufacturing that would otherwise be aimed for Asia is staying home. There are a ton of reasons, many of which are outlined in the Design News article on medical manufacturing: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=264831
According to A.T. Kearney's 2013 Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index (FDICI) released last week, the U.S. has passed China to become the world's largest manufacturer again. So manufacturing is on the rise in the U.S. in spite of military cutbacks.
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.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.