manufacturing
38 articles

3D Printing – Evolution Rather than Revolution – Part Two

Here are four different ways to evaluate the future of 3D printing.
Ralf Steck | Engineering Spot

In the first part of this blog series, I explained three concepts that crystallized what 3D printing can and cannot offer. Ultimately, this also dictates the industries and scenarios where 3D printing and rapid prototyping are used in a complementary role. To distinguish between realistic and over-hyped applications for the years ahead, we want to investigate and evaluate […]

3D Printing: Evolution Rather than Revolution – Part One

An assessment of the current state of 3D printing.
Ralf Steck | Engineering Spot

There’s been plenty of speculation in recent years on whether 3D printing spells the end of the global supply chain. Given all that talk, it’s time for a clear-eyed evaluation of the effects of this technology on our world. In this two-part series, I’ll focus first on defining the current state of 3D printing. Part two (coming Friday) […]

3 Time-Savers for Small Businesses

In honor of National Small Business Week, here are some tips for smart growth.
Justin Wetherill | uBreakiFix

For small business owners and their customers, time is money. Entrepreneurs spend too much time managing people, processes and paperwork to grow their profits. And customers increasingly expect to spend less time waiting for products, services and problem resolution. Marrying the two can be a daunting task. According to a survey from New York Enterprise Report, small […]

High Fashion Meets Maker Manufacturing

The line between fashion and technology is blurring. What does this mean for future innovations?
Lyn Jeffery | Institute for the Future

Fashion has always been a form of communication and self-expression, a quick visual signal of one’s tastes, allegiances and socioeconomic position. During the next decade, personal fashion and personal computing will begin to blur, offering us a new way to think about what today we call “devices.” Whereas today’s personal devices help us communicate primarily through […]

3D Printing Gets Fashionable

How Danit Peleg revolutionized the fashion industry with 3D-printing technology.
Danit Peleg | Fashion Designer

This Q&A is derived from Part 2 of a five-part white paper series called Routes to the Future, in which we explore the innovations, challenges and opportunities in a new era of possibilities. Today’s shopper expects seamlessness and efficiency — and new technologies are helping retailers deliver on these expectations in new ways. From virtual fitting […]

How 3D Printing Could Bend the Cost Curve in Healthcare

Additive manufacturing could provide a real breakthrough in treating patients around the world.
John Menna | UPS

Even as people around the globe enjoy longer, healthier and more productive lives, the rising cost of healthcare threatens to impede such progress. This is particularly troubling in the United States as Baby Boomers approaching retirement place a greater strain on an overburdened healthcare system. Policymakers and medical leaders are scrambling for innovative ways to […]

Making the World of the Future

Additive manufacturing, hyper-customization and 4D printing are putting the future at your fingertips.
Juan Perez | UPS

This is Part 2 of a five-part white paper series called Routes to the Future, in which we explore the innovations, challenges and opportunities in a new era of possibilities. The way we make the world around us – how we design, produce, deliver and reclaim the objects of everyday life – will follow new […]

How to Unleash Your Creativity

The world of Formula 1 is a laboratory for exploring human creativity through drivers and their teams.
James Hewitt | Hintsa Performance

The Formula 1 season will begin later this month, pitting the most talented drivers in the most finely honed machines against one another. The image of a car designer sitting at a computer, working on a complex 3D visualization, is consistent with our perception of a creative person, but you may not immediately think about […]

Closing the MRO Gaps

Companies that sell spare parts, chemicals and other maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies are scrambling to adapt to evolving customer expectations.

Manufacturing long-lasting equipment — think industrial machinery — can be a profitable business, especially for those who understand their markets and customers best. But the real profit opportunity comes after the machinery is sold. That’s because equipment owners typically spend many times the original purchase price on spare parts, chemicals and other materials required to […]

Navigating the New World of Industrial Buying

Caught in a digital tsunami? Here are five ways industrial manufacturers and distributors can ride the wave.

The landscape of industrial manufacturing retail is changing. New market forces are at play, nudging buyers to move away from traditional, channel-centered sales and venture into a world where multiple complementary sales channels operate in tandem – the omni-channel arena. So what’s going on? The rise of online sales has fostered an ever more exacting […]

The IIoT is Where it’s Really At

While consumers may take time to embrace Internet of Things, industry isn't waiting.
Jon Pittman | Autodesk

Billionaire publisher Malcolm Forbes coined the saying, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” And upon his death, Forbes certainly had a lot of toys. But in 2016, not all consumers agree with that sentiment when it comes to Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Product manufacturers may be banking on consumers trampling over each […]

Manufacturing Customer Satisfaction

Can after-sales product support set manufacturers apart?
Harld Peters | UPS

For industrial manufacturers, it’s a classic “gap-in-the-market” opportunity. And it couldn’t come at a better time for the sector. Nearly four out of five buyers of capital goods — 78 percent to be exact — say they expect their industrial suppliers to provide speedy, on-site support and service for their products during the equipment’s long lifespan. Yet roughly one in nine […]

This Tiger Still Has Teeth

Chinese exporting has slowed, but leading manufacturers are implementing innovative logistics practices to regain their momentum.
Richard Loi | UPS

Chinese exporters dominated the global manufacturing game for so long that it was easy to believe their domination would continue indefinitely. But the evidence is increasingly clear: The world’s second-largest economy — an economy that boomed in recent decades thanks, in large measure, to exports — needs to change the way it does business as headwinds threaten future growth. The […]

Move Over Lean Six Sigma, Here Come Smart Operations

The digital transformation of manufacturing is forcing industrial companies to get smart. What’s your company’s IQ?

It sounds like an industrial-strength bad joke. But for manufacturers, it’s no laughing matter. After shelling out hundreds of billions of dollars collectively over the last few decades and completely reorganizing their factories to improve product quality, reduce waste and stay ahead in an increasingly competitive global industry, the world’s manufacturers have been put on […]

A Manufacturing Metamorphosis

It’s Manufacturing Week on Longitudes. Here’s why we’re so excited about innovations already at work and on the horizon.

Of all the ways the world is changing, how we make things is perhaps changing most of all. The traditional manufacturing model, defined by cheaper labor, rigid supply chains and larger inventories, is evolving before our eyes. A nimbler, dare I say, smarter, strategy is emerging. Manufacturers need speed, efficiency and the ability to ramp […]

BMW on Letting Go of the Wheel

BMW’s user-experience gurus want to make hands-off driving feel safe, comfortable and fun. But are we prepared to let our cars take over?
Holger Hampf | BMW

Check out Routes to the Future: How We’ll Get Around, in which we explore the innovations – and obstacles – of a new era of possibility. Are you ready to loosen your grip on the steering wheel? BMW is betting on it. As cars start taking over operations and decision-making, “their humans” will need to adjust. So […]

The Future of Alternative Fuels

With pollution growing and natural resources dwindling, now is the time to expedite the development of alternative fuels.

As concerns grow over climate change, pollution and how much oil we actually have left, there’s clearly a need to develop alternative fuels. The good news is that researchers have proven that vehicles can run on natural gas, electricity, hydrogen, nitrogen, biofuels like elephant grass – and even biodiesels based on restaurant grease or chicken […]

A Fresh Take on Supply Chain Innovation

How big ideas can redesign your supply chain.
James B. Rice Jr. | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tim Rowell | PepsiCo

Companies are presented with many opportunities when they decide to enter a new market. Venturing into unfamiliar territory offers a unique chance to innovate and make changes that benefit the business as a whole. One of PepsiCo’s growth strategies is to proactively adapt to emerging market trends for natural, healthy and nutritious beverages. The strategy […]

4 Steps Toward Faster, Smarter Factories

Smart manufacturing begins when factories go online.
Sudhi Bangalore | Wipro

Customers are becoming more involved in the manufacturing process.  Tesla, the electric car maker, serves as one of the more extreme examples. Buyers can customize their entire car online, on their own. They can choose the number of batteries and seats, add air filtration, smart air suspension, sound systems, towing gear – all in the […]

Yargh! Piracy and Intellectual Property in the 3D-Printing Era

Counterfeit handbags and toys were just the beginning. Now hackers want to forge 3D-printed products. Can they be stopped?
Michael Petch | Redshift

Counterfeiting is the world’s second-oldest profession. An estimated $220 million of U.S. currency is counterfeit. By comparison, according to the OECD, about 2.5 percent of goods, or $461 billion, are fake. When it comes to counterfeiting, the usual items come to mind: handbags, clothing, toys, and money. Indeed, the ease of counterfeiting currency with 2D […]

Bionic Design Revolutionizes Flights of the Future

Using bionic design and 3D printing, Airbus is creating a lighter, more sustainable airplane.
Ken Micallef | Redshift

Imagine you’re flying to a vacation destination. To avoid sudden turbulence, the plane’s wings change shape. Or the plane is struck mid-flight, and the impact hole seals before your eyes. Or the plane’s body becomes transparent, allowing you to see out in every direction. That’s the vision of Airbus’ Concept Cabin, introduced in 2011. It […]

This 3D-Printing Technology Is All Science, No Fiction

What's the future of 3D printing? That's an easy answer for Continuous Composites. It's epoxy fiber.
Drew Turney | Redshift

Imagine 3D printing a car, the wall of a building, an aircraft wing or some similarly complicated structure all in one step — not just the metal, concrete or carbon-fiber shell, either, but with everything like power conduits, plumbing, fuel lines, rubber seals and moving parts intact. Sound like science fiction? Thanks to a revolution […]

Narrow Streets, Unlimited Innovation

Could an experiment in one European city become the template for urban delivery?
Frank Horch | City of Hamburg

Home to the second largest port in Europe, Hamburg, Germany has been a transportation center for centuries, serving as a vital link to trade between the continent and the world beyond. Since early times, people have settled by great rivers to engage in trade. Ports are vibrant population centers in every continent. They are often […]

Back to the Future with DeLorean

The gull-wing doors and unusual construction of this iconic car made it a perfect Hollywood time machine. Can it make a comeback?
Brian Sweat | Alterity, Inc.

The DeLorean story is fascinating — it’s a story of innovation and hope. For some, DeLorean is an aspirational brand. Many fans and enthusiasts don’t own a DeLorean, but they participate in online forums, buy collectibles and attend fan events. Of course, the influence of the “Back to the Future” trilogy cannot be discounted in the role […]

3D-Printed Food: Curious Cuisine or Fleeting Fad?

Technology's latest target: the human palate.
Michael Petch | Redshift

Food and technology have a long and sometimes strained relationship. On one hand, harnessing fire led to human evolution. But other technologies, from frivolous “unitasker” gadgets to overprocessed and nutritionally bereft convenience foods, have offered much less in the way of benefits. Now, a new technology is targeting the palate: 3D-printed food. If the plethora […]

Solving the Productivity Puzzle

In an era of breakthrough innovations, we lack productivity growth. Why can't we find the missing piece?
Nouriel Roubini | Roubini Global Economics

Since the global financial crisis erupted in 2008, productivity growth in the advanced economies – the United States, Europe, and Japan – has been very slow both in absolute terms and relative to previous decades. But this is at odds with the view, prevailing in Silicon Valley and other global technology hubs, that we are […]

Industrial Distributors Reach a Fork in the Road

Buyers of industrial products increasingly expect rich e-commerce experiences
Simon Bhadra | UPS

Industrial distributors are facing a significant challenge from their B2B customers: Provide a rich online experience that’s similar to a consumer’s online retail experience, or risk losing them to a manufacturer or competing distributor. E-commerce has permeated every facet of the industry, fostering faster response times and tighter margins while increasing expectations for customer service […]

Aero Experts Agree: Emerging Markets Offer Enormous Potential (And Enormous Challenges)

How aerospace companies navigate obstacles as they pursue opportunities in emerging markets.
Simon Bhadra | UPS

Sprawling global supply chains are fast becoming the norm in the aerospace industry, where aircraft manufacturers and the companies that provide their parts and services are under increasing pressure to enter new and emerging markets. Some regions – like Southeast Asia and the Middle East – offer astounding growth opportunities. Aerospace companies that ignore those […]

Case Study: GloboBot

Imagine your favorite skyscraper. Now picture it having arms and legs.
Mitch Free | Fast Radius

Ogilvy Advertising was planning a campaign called Ogilvy Play to celebrate creative innovation happening in the international agency’s offices around the world. The first studio to get the spotlight was Ogilvy’s headquarters in New York City, where art director Joel Kuntz’s GloboBot project was chosen to kick off the campaign. Kuntz is an accomplished photographer […]

China in Transition

Logistics will play a critical role as Asia’s most powerful nation moves to a consumer economy.
Mark Wallace | UPS

The following is based on a speech given by Mark Wallace, UPS Senior Vice President-Global Engineering and Sustainability, at the Harvard Asia Business Conference in Cambridge, Mass. In the first of a two-part series, Wallace focuses on China in transition.  There are two powerful streams of change emerging to create the new Asia: Its most […]