Wednesday, November 20, 2013

See 3-D Printing in Action

This is really a news report on a Minnesota-based plan to put 3-D printers in every school, allowing students to engage this cutting-edge technology while building more interest in the new trends in manufacturing.

3-D printing is really “3-D Building,” as these printers 'build' objects from scanned blueprints.

Click the image above to see it in action (courtesy WCCO in Minneapolis).

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Innovation Wins at Manufacturing Awards

Innovation is alive and well in small-town manufacturers. Last week, the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce held its 15th annual Manufacturing Awards of Distinction, and the spotlight was on smaller town companies with big success stories.

Companies honored included Ariens in Brillion, Precision Machine Co. in Algoma, N.E.W. Plastics of Luxemburg, Lindquist Machine in Ashwaubenon and The Solberg Co. in Howard. Keynote speaker, Jim Feeney (president and CEO of Wisconsin Film & Bag, Shawano), praised their ability to innovate with new products and processes.

“Innovation is not about what we know, it’s about what we don’t know,” Feeney said. “Small and medium-sized businesses must take those risks.”

Gov. Scott Walker also spoke, pointing out that Wisconsin is the second-largest manufacturing state in the country and is in the top five states creating new manufacturing jobs.

Read the complete Manufacturing Awards of Distinction summary here.

New Mfg Tax Credits

Everybody wants tax credits…something harder to come by these days. In Wisconsin, however, the Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit is being called “one of the most robust credits of its kind,” and begins with tax year 2013.

Recently, Wisconsin Department of Revenue Secretary Richard Chandler said there are a number of other incentives, too, including property and sales tax exemptions for machinery and equipment.

Find more details in this article from Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Wal-Mart: Engineers Needed for Manufacturing Resurgence

We all know about the shortage of skilled workers for key positions on the manufacturing floor. But here’s another that is quickly rising up the list.

At a recent manufacturing summit, Wal-Mart President and CEO, Mike Duke, addressed the dramatic drop in students with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills and the effect its having on the industry. He told an Orlando audience “we need more science and more engineers to help us build the foundation for a manufacturing resurgence.”

While Wal-Mart is known for their offshore buying, Duke has been outspoken on issues like this, which he considers to be of "national significance" for all business.

Read more about his comments here