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Editor Bill Wong talks with NIO’s Qiyan Wang about how new ECUs are impacting digital automotive design.   What you’ll learn: Traditional versus digital automotive design. The role of software in automobiles. The automotive industry has been one of the traditional manufacturing models for decades, but more computer control, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), and even self-driving cars has turned the industry on its head. I talked with Qiyan Wang, VP of Engineering, Digital Systems at NIO, to get his take on how the industry is changing.  What has been the traditional manufacturing model for the automobile industry? The traditional ...
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Historically paperbound processes are advancing from automation to intelligence. But first, procurement departments must address data and culture change. Up to half of the purchase orders from the purchasing department at Chicago-based manufacturer JBT required a change before the product was received. Buyers had to comb through thousands of lines on a spreadsheet to update quantities or other parameters and send the supplier new information by phone, fax, or email. To tame the beast, Terri Decker, Supply Chain Performance Manager, turned to a tool that communicates order changes in real-time with suppliers and confirms that the supplier knows about the ...
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Ransomware attack leads to the world's largest office furniture manufacturer shuttering its operations.   In late October, another manufacturer fell victim to a serious ransomware attack. Specifically, Grand Rapids, MI-based Steelcase suffered a Ryuk ransomware attack, forcing it to halt global operations for roughly two weeks. As the world's largest office furniture manufacturer, Steelcase has nearly 13,000 employees, a network of 800 dealers, and $3.7 billion in revenue in 2020. According to its October 26 SEC filing, Steelcase "promptly implemented a series of containment measures to address this situation including temporarily shutting down the affected ...
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A potential vaccine from drug company Pfizer has showed greater-than-expected early success, according to  CNBC . In a statement, Pfizer and partner BioNTech said early results showed their vaccine candidate is more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 among those who did not have a prior infection—a figure that is well above the 75% success rate that scientists have generally called for, and far beyond the 50% effectiveness rate that the Food and Drug Administration has said would merit consideration for approval. They also reported no serious safety concerns. What it ...
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Monday Economic Report

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MONDAY ECONOMIC REPORT Essential Takes on Leading Economic Indicators By  Chad Moutray, Ph.D., CBE  – November 9, 2020 Manufacturing Expands at Fastest Rate in 25 Months on New Orders Growth The Weekly Toplines The Institute for Supply Management®  reported  that the manufacturing sector expanded in October at the fastest pace since September 2018, with the sector continuing to rebound from COVID-19-related weaknesses in the spring. The data were buoyed by robust growth in new orders, which rose at rates not ...
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The Board of Trustees of the Metal Treating Institute is excited to announce that MTI will host an Annual Membership Update Virtual Meeting on Wednesday, December 2nd at 3:30 pm EST.     COVID-19 has done its best to slow down momentum in many organizations. Not at MTI! The Leadership of MTI has muscled through 2020 to help members at every level turn the challenges of 2020 into opportunities for the future.   During this meeting, MTI leadership will share a variety of exciting developments on MTI initiatives, including:   New benefits that will help minimize uncertainty in the future for your key decisions New industry support team partners ...
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With the right trade-offs and strategic partnerships, original equipment manufacturers still have a chance to keep up in the race for electric and autonomous mobility. At a Glance Bain forecasts the electric vehicle market will start rapidly scaling around 2024, escalating original equipment manufacturers’ race to keep up with tech competitors. At the same time, the pandemic is chipping away at automakers’ financial cushion and threatening to hamper progress in autonomous vehicle development—a market that we expect to reach a turning point around 2028. Automakers can seize opportunities and manage threats for the impending EV- and AV-driven future ...
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Monday Economic Report

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Essential Takes on Leading Economic Indicators -  Real GDP Jumped 33.1% at Annual Rate in Q3, Still Down 3.5% Year to Date The U.S. economy  bounced back strongly , jumping 33.1% at the annual rate in the third quarter, the largest increase in the history of the series, which dates to 1947. This follows the steepest decline in history in the second quarter, contracting 31.4% at the annual rate. Despite soaring in the third quarter, real GDP remained down 3.5% year to date. Moving forward, real GDP is expected to rise an annualized 3.0% in the fourth quarter, but uncertainties continue to exist in the marketplace, which could challenge ...
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Boeing continues working toward development of a new commercial aircraft, though Chief Executive David Calhoun has disclosed few details. Calhoun mentioned the project during the company’s third-quarter earnings call on October 28th. “We have some incredible underlying technologies that are going to support the point-design for that next airplane,” Calhoun says. “We are going to assess this market, based on everything that has happened in the last year, and probably the next year.” That review will enable Boeing to “call out that point design and pull these underlying technologies that we think will create a winning airplane”. In recent years, Boeing ...
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Executive survey shows realignment, adapting to new customer preferences, and increased remote work. 2020 will soon be behind us. As many executives heave a sigh of relief, they are also preparing for a dramatically different environment in 2021. Recent economic challenges have forced manufacturers to change their business models, seemingly overnight, to stay competitive and prepare for not just recovery, but unprecedented growth. However, it may be difficult for manufacturers to keep up with both a snap-back in demand, and a huge appetite from customers for innovative products and solutions. Recently, over 60 executives were interviewed as part of a larger ...
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The MTI Board of Trustees met this past week in Nashville, Tennessee for their annual Fall Board Meeting. The Trustees had a full slate of big topics on their agenda. One of the big steps that the Board took was to approve funding to enhance MTI’s quarterly heat treat sales forecasting report provided by ITR Economics.   ITR Economics is one of the leading forecasting firms in the country and MTI has been working with them since 2015 to provide quarterly forecasting of heat treat sales, as well as two leading economic indicators that track heat treating sales.   This week, the Board approved funding for ITR to include in MTI’s quarterly report a 1, 2, ...
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IHS Markit's  gauge of US business activity  rose to 55.5 in October from 54.3, signaling the fastest pace of growth since February 2019.   Service-industry activity gained to 56 from 54.6, while manufacturing activity improved slightly to 53.3 from 53.2.   Readings above 50 indicate industry growth, while those below the threshold point to contraction.   The Friday report suggests the US economy "started the fourth quarter on a strong footing," Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit, said.   Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories .   A popular gauge of economic ...
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Billions of devices -- including security cameras, smart TVs, and manufacturing equipment -- are largely unmanaged and increase an organization's risk.    When FedEx subsidiary TNT Express was hit by ransomware in 2017, its delivery units were crippled and much of its shipping operations ground to a halt. In addition to delaying services to customers, the attack cost FedEx approximately $300 million, according to public filings.   It's a story that is unfortunately becoming more commonplace today. Ransomware is ravaging businesses around the world, bringing manufacturing plants to a standstill, preventing hospitals from treating patients, and even keeping ...
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Learn about the four key factors of brilliant innovation – and the balancing act to combine them. Here are some hands-on tips and tricks.   Brilliant innovation that hits all the right notes is every company’s Holy Grail. We like to call it the innovation sweet spot: get it right with your innovation concept and you hit it out of the park. But what exactly   is   this innovation sweet spot? And what happens if certain conditions aren’t met? What is the innovation sweet spot?   In a nutshell, here’s what the innovation sweet spot is all about. When innovating, you’ll need to satisfy four different criteria if you want to make it a success: ...
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On September 30, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released new   Frequently Asked Questions   (FAQs) regarding an employer’s obligation to report to OSHA cases of work-related COVID-19. The FAQs build upon previous OSHA guidance governing when and how to record and report confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the workplace. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers have had a number of questions regarding the recordability and reportability of COVID-19 cases. OSHA has stated that employers must record and report work-related cases of COVID-19 if the cases otherwise meet the recording and reporting ...
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A mishmash of tools, methods, and approaches doesn’t help matters. There’s been a problem simmering in the Lean world for years. The problem is the overwhelmingly high failure rate. What failure means is subject to interpretation, but the available surveys and studies done reflect a large problem. In my view, it’s time for deeper reflection. The results of Lean implementations are discouraging. An  Industry Week  study in 2007, for instance, found that nearly 70% of all US plants used Lean, but only 2% achieved their objectives. I could go on and on with literature reviews and case studies on the high failure rate of Lean. Many have experienced disappointment ...
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Why It Matters and How APPI Energy Can Shed Valuable Light on Your Current (and Future) Contract   Last month, we launched the first in a 2-part series on  Understanding Your Energy Contract , taking a closer look at the nuts and bolts of your energy contract, but also diving into the common questions and drilldowns that companies can expect in an assessment of their contract terms. We continue down that path this month, highlighting a few of the key areas to take note of when evaluating your contract. First Things First, Why You Should Assess Your Current Contract One of the first steps you’ll take with your dedicated consultant is taking an educated,  ...
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Bad actors use machine learning to break passwords more quickly and build malware that knows how to hide, experts warn.   Three cybersecurity experts explained how artificial intelligence and machine learning can be used to evade cybersecurity defenses and make breaches faster and more efficient during a NCSA and Nasdaq cybersecurity summit. Kelvin Coleman, the Executive Director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, hosted the conversation as part of Usable Security: Effecting and Measuring Change in Human Behavior on Tuesday, Oct. 6. Elham Tabassi, Chief of Staff Information Technology Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, ...
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Furnaces North America 2020 is excited to announce that it drew over 1,000 attendees from 22 countries from September 30 – October 2 at the first ever virtual trade show and conference in the heat treating industry. FNA 2020 Virtual provided 4 live sessions, 38 technical sessions in 5 informative tracks, and 96 top suppliers with digital booths to provide technical documents and product demonstrations.   Over 3 days, attendees engaged in 42 sessions on:   The 7 Questions You Should be Asking Your Equipment Supplier What’s Next in Heat Treating in Aerospace, Agriculture, and Automotive How COVID-19 and Demographic Shifts will Change the Future of ...
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The titanium scrap market could remain at a deficit until late 2021 as the aerospace industry struggles to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, potentially continuing to support prices for ferro-titanium, CP grade ingot and slab, and Tg-Tv grade sponge. European prices for western grade ferro-titanium rose to $3.95-4.30/kg yesterday, up from $3.40-3.55/kg at the start of September, as producers and traders held back material amid concerns about a lack of scrap feedstock. One UK ferro-titanium producer warned that "a generation of scrap" has been lost to collapsing aerospace production, echoing similar worries voiced by other market participants. ...
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