Manufacturing

How Can Leaders Confront the Skills Gap in Manufacturing After COVID-19?

In a 2018 Deloitte/Manufacturing Institute report, 89% of manufacturing CEOs cited a critical shortage of talent as their top concern. The study estimated that 4.6 million manufacturing jobs would need to be filled in the next decade—and 2.4 million jobs might go unfilled due to a lack of trained workers.

US manufacturing has taken a beating during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 486,000 job openings were available in manufacturing in June 2019. That number dropped to 306,000 by May 2020 but had recovered to 336,000 (a 10% rebound) by June. So overall demand is down, but assuming the pandemic’s impact on the US economy is not permanent, the skills gap in manufacturing will persist.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://redshift.autodesk.com/skills-gap-in-manufacturing/.

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Can Generative Design Propel Sustainability in the Manufacturing Industry?

As hurricanes, wildfires, and other climate-related disasters make headlines around the planet following the hottest decade on record, public concern about global warming is rising. With the UN warning that we have until only 2030 to avert a climate catastrophe, consumers increasingly vote with their wallets when it comes to environmental concerns, providing a strong incentive for manufacturers to go green.

Technology can help. Generative design particularly holds the potential to accelerate sustainability gains in the manufacturing industry in the coming years.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://redshift.autodesk.com/sustainability-in-manufacturing-industry/.

Photo Credit: Generative design has proven useful for lightweighting. What other sustainability benefits can it bring?

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Fix Those Pipes! Water Infrastructure Is Key to a Fast-Flowing Industrial Economy

The hubs of American manufacturing—from shop floors and assembly lines to high-tech labs and chemical facilities—are connected by webs of rail, roads, and electrical power. In the popular imagination, the creation of physical goods requires strength and heft, a bit of blue-collar can-do attitude, and innovative technological solutions.

What’s rarely discussed, but equally important, is this sector’s need for water and how the nation’s aging network of pipes, treatment facilities, and wastewater plants provides a crucial component of the industrial economy.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://redshift.autodesk.com/water-infrastructure/.

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These Custom Harley Parts Are Born to Ride With Generative Design

Aftermarket motorcycle parts are big business. Aftermarket Harley-Davidson parts comprise a smaller, yet still vibrant affair. Aftermarket parts for dedicated Harley owners who want to restyle their rides to look and act more like European racing bikes? That’s about as niche as you can get. But as Canada’s MJK Performance knows, it’s a narrow-but-deep pool of passionate customers who demand the best.

The Calgary-based manufacturer has provided custom Harley parts since 2007—always at the bleeding edge of new technologies. With a five-person staff, two 5-axis mills, one 3-axis mill, and a lathe, MJK Performance sells from its website and through a worldwide network of dealers. Designer and co-owner Phil Butterworth says his clientele is prepared to pay for the best results.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/custom-harley-parts/.

Photo Credit: This rendering of the MJK Performance triple clamp showcases the generative-design capabilities of Autodesk Fusion 360. Courtesy of MJK Performance.

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Prefab Construction’s Benefits Grow With Design for Manufacture and Assembly

A growing movement in the construction industry—called design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA)—takes traditional design and grafts two important goals onto it: that the products will be easy to manufacture and that those manufactured products will be easy to assemble into a larger construction.

Not coincidentally, the construction industry stands to benefit greatly from an uptick in DfMA, whose principles contribute to making construction projects faster to complete, safer for workers, and environmentally friendlier.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/design-for-manufacture-and-assembly/.

Photo Credit: H.T. Lyons manufactured this 23-by-72-foot, more than 55-ton utility “super skid” at its Allentown, PA., prefab shop. Courtesy of H.T. Lyons.

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What’s Good Failure? 5 Things Research Scientists Reveal About Business Resilience

In research, goals are often amorphous. Work doesn’t follow the traditional business sequence of setting time-based objectives. Instead, innovative products require open-ended exploration and experimentation. How do you reconcile the two?

I’ve found that rather than trying to tame researchers and school them on the lessons of business, you should flip the script. Provide the research department with a direct connection to the customers for whom they’re dreaming up solutions. Then, help product teams appreciate the value of failure and iteration. Finally, make sure the two are well connected throughout the journey. This mindset and organization shift will lead to better product innovation.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/business-resilience/.

Photo Credit: Illustration by Micke Tong

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Generative Design Accelerates the BAC Mono Street-Legal Race Car Into the Future

What’s one of the most effective ways to make a car go faster? Slash its weight in half.

The BAC Mono is a stripped-down street-legal supercar that weighs a slight 570 kilograms, less than half of a Toyota Corolla. The interior is pared down to a single seat and has an ultralight carbon-fiber chassis. The car’s newest iteration—which was unveiled at the BAC Innovation Centre in Liverpool, England—sheds an additional 4.8 kilograms by using generatively designed wheels made with software that maximizes strength-to-weight ratios. Dropping that extra weight could spark a revolution in automotive design and manufacturing, dramatically altering the performance and appearance of cars.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/mono-car/.

Photo Credit: The new version of the Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) Mono was just unveiled in Liverpool, England. Courtesy of PaulHPhoto.

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Distributed Manufacturing Gives Small Businesses a Shot at the Big Time

Automated manufacturing: It’s a term that conjures gigantic factories churning out thousands of identical products, often owned by multinational conglomerates for whom agility is a major (and expensive) undertaking.

But what about small businesses? They can pivot quickly in response to markets, but how can they access the economic efficiency that automation offers? Enter distributed manufacturing, in which the materials and fabrication are decentralized, making the processes more accessible, customizable, and affordable.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/distributed-manufacturing/.

Photo Credit: Betsy and Mike Jasper of Tarkka have the mission to democratize digital fabrication for everyone, from small-manufacturing professionals to students and hobbyists. Courtesy of Gabriel Joffe.

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Massive Hybrid Manufacturing Machine in Europe Pushes Boundaries of 3D Printing

When toy-scale 3D printers began popping up at Maker Faires about a decade ago, the idea of printing an entire house seemed a long way off. But by late 2019, builders were already producing entire neighborhoods of small printed-concrete dwellings. Clearly, 3D printing can work on a grown-up scale. But can it generate large, complex, engineered components for urban architecture or manufacturing? A consortium of corporations, universities, and nonprofits is determined to prove that it can.

Industry has focused commercial-scale additive manufacturing on products with complex geometries for which traditional milling, casting, or grinding methods—especially objects needed in small numbers, on short notice—are impractical or expensive. Generally, they’ve been fairly small objects. But Foster + Partners, a global studio for architecture, urbanism, and design, has pushed the boundaries of scale for additive manufacturing by designing and planning a 5-meter-long (16.4-foot-long) additive-steel building truss, which it produced in sections.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/hybrid-manufacturing/.

Photo Credit: The Large-scale Additive Subtractive Integrated Modular Machine (LASIMM) is a massive hybrid-manufacturing machine with metal additive and subtractive capabilities. Courtesy of LASIMM.

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This Firm Ditched Shrink-Wrap to Aid Sustainable Agriculture Practices in Myanmar

Supporting the world’s farmers in meaningful ways would make a big difference to the income and lives of people in developing economies. It would lead to less dependence on imports and stronger local-food production at a time when food provenance is a growing concern.

But how can this vision be realized? There are many problems to mitigate—for example, the chemicals used in pesticides and fertilizers and their impact on soil and ecosystems, including erosion and biodiversity loss. To support agriculture industries across the world, creating sustainable agriculture practices needs to be a central concern.

This article originally appeared on Autodesk’s Redshift, a site dedicated to inspiring designers, engineers, builders, and makers. Continue reading the article: https://www.autodesk.com/redshift/sustainable-agriculture-practices/.

Photo Credit: Proximity Designs’ founders believe deeply in living among those whom they serve, so they moved to Myanmar in 2004 to address the neglected needs of rural farmers. Photo by Rita Khin, courtesy of Proximity Designs....

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