One hundred years ago, a vertically integrated manufacturing complex in Schenectady, NY, defined the company behind the famous blue monogram. Today, the future of General Electric is in San Ramon, CA. That’s the home of GE Digital.
DETROIT—Robotic glove technology developed out of a partnership between General Motors and NASA for use on the International Space Station is finding new life on Earth in health care, manufacturing and other industrial applications through a licensing agreement between GM and Bioservo Technologies AB, a Swedish medical technology company.
NEW YORK—Approximately 3.7 million workers are injured at work each year, costing businesses $170 billion annually. Injuries caused during material handling represent the majority of incidents, accounting for 32 percent of insurance claims.
Employees at Fiat Chrysler’s Indiana Transmission Plant I (ITPI) in Kokomo, IN, have achieved something few in manufacturing can claim—they have logged 10 million hours, or a span of more than three years, without a lost-time injury.
Manufacturers today are producing a wider range of products than ever. Life cycles are shrinking and demand for customization is increasing. As a result, assembly lines must be as flexible as possible without compromising efficiency. That’s why companies producing everything from pumps to pistols and caskets to chainsaws depend on mixed-model assembly.
This November marks 10 years that Thermo Fisher Scientific has been manufacturing, storing and delivering essential consumables to life-science researchers worldwide. Workers at Thermo Fisher’s global manufacturing and distribution center in Frederick, MD, fill orders by picking from thousands of unique stock keeping units (SKUs), including many products that must be preserved in a cooler or freezer.
Times were tough for the Timken Co. at the start of the 21st century. In March 2000, the Canton, OH-based manufacturer of antifriction roller bearings and related components announced plans to cut 600 jobs worldwide—after having trimmed 1,700 jobs in the previous two years. It also closed plants in Australia and England, and was relying more heavily on sources of steel outside the United States.
While designing the A350 XWB (extra wide body) airplane in early 2010, Airbus’ engineers proposed a revolutionary way to build the plane’s wings at the company’s plant in Broughton, UK. Specifically, they wanted the wings built horizontally rather than the traditional vertical method.