Industry leaders urge technology push to boost manufacturing

Innovation, sustainable energy the key, Rockwell CEO tells National Press Club meeting

09/09/2009


A federal strategy and support is critical if American manufacturers are to thrive in the post-recession global economy, leading U.S. manufacturing experts said Wednesday.
"U.S. manufacturers absolutely must have innovative energy-efficient and productivity-enhancing technology to be competitive," Keith Nosbusch, Rockwell Automation, Inc. chairman and CEO, told a press briefing at the National Press Club.
This transformation to smarter, safer and more sustainable manufacturing provides an opportunity for the federal government to help develop and make innovations in American plants to keep them competitive and to promote a sustainable U.S. manufacturing employment base, the speakers said.
"We all are pleased that President Obama has named a manufacturing czar to coordinate federal policy and programs to help U.S. manufacturers," Nosbusch said. "Up until 1990, federal support for applied research - which is most critical for manufacturing - was equal to federal funding for basic science. But today it is about 30% lower with nearly a $10 billion gap that needs to be remedied."
"Congress also needs to expand federal tax credits to apply to investments in smart, safe and more sustainable manufacturing technologies."
U.S. industry is in a battle not just with countries with lower costs, but also with developed countries that are investing in new technology, said Emily DeRocco, president of the Manufacturing Institute and vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers.
"With high quality, inexpensive products flooding the market from every corner of the globe, competing on cost alone is a losing battle for most U.S.-based manufacturers," DeRocco said.
The cost of manufacturing in the United States is nearly 18% higher than in America's nine largest trading partners, she said. That puts the 13.8 million manufacturing jobs in the United States at risk.
The European Union already has allocated about $2 billion to encourage its manufacturers to invest in the next generation of technology for energy efficiency and productivity.
"To stay in the game, American companies must differentiate themselves through innovation," DeRocco said. "Only those countries that invest in innovation and a highly skilled workforce will stay competitive."
Most energy efficiency has come from implementation of new technology, said R. Neal Elliott, associate director of Research at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
"We estimate that two-thirds of energy efficiency gained in the past 20 years has come from the application sensors and controls," Elliott said. "We can reduce manufacturing energy intensity by more than half in the next 20 years as we begin to integrate smart technology not just into equipment, but into entire manufacturing systems, plants and ultimately into the entire supply chains."
These innovations have a number of advantages, said Evan R. Gaddis, president and CEO of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.
"Not only do these technologies provide great efficiency gains, but they also reduce carbon emissions, move our country one step closer to energy independence, and also make other sectors using these energy-efficient technologies more productive," Gaddis said.
Federal policy needs to support three things: research, a level playing field for trade, and a tax and regulatory environment that spurs innovation, said Thomas J. Duesterberg, president and CEO of the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI.
"It is high time for Washington to recognize that the policy environment matters to the ability of manufacturers to compete successfully in our globalized economy," Duesterberg said. "‘Smart, Safe and Sustainable Manufacturing' is not a slogan. It's a blueprint for success in the world economy and improving our standards of living."
While billions of federal dollars are going toward retooling the auto industry, little has been earmarked to provide a "greenprint" to stimulate the same kind of transformation toward smart, safe and sustainable manufacturing, speakers said.
They recommended these federal actions:
• Ensure legislative priorities are in line with those of manufacturers and the general public.
• Double federal funding for manufacturing innovation.
• Establish a $2 billion public-private partnership program to research and develop a manufacturing "greenprint" for smart, safe and sustainable manufacturing.
• Provide federal assistance for public-private partnerships to create demonstration projects that foster manufacturing innovation.
• Expand federal tax credits to apply to investments in advanced technologies that automate and modernize factories.

 





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Improving flowmeter calibration; Selecting flowmeters for natural gas; Case study: Streamlining assembly systems using PC-based control; CLPM: Improving process efficiency, throughput
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me