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This report describes Klingelnberg's vision of Industry 4.0 gear production.
It's Monday morning, December 15, 2036. An autonomous vehicle drops off two engineers in front of a gear manufacturing facility in Metro Detroit. They punch in for work on their wristwatches and pay Uber for the ride on a smartphone. One of the engineers begins walking the shop floor, monitoring a series of collaborative robots using a tablet the size of a paperback novel. These robots interact right on the floor with the minimal staff scheduled to oversee manufacturing operations. Another engineer wears an interactive headset and begins training a group of new engineers (in real time) from China using some form of augmented reality.
Suppliers are working hard to make sure their heat treating equipment is controllable, repeatable and efficient, and manufacturers continue to incorporate technology that gives heat treaters and their customers more information about what's going on inside the magic box.
More than any other field, IIoT overlaps directly with metrology's mission to analyze and measure as much of the manufacturing process as possible, and it's no surprise that the latter is utilizing the former.
From a technological perspective, there typically aren't many EUREKA! breakthroughs in the "state of the gear industry" to report, and 2014 was really no different.
Most companies spend this time of year crystal ball gazing. Managers want to know the future so they can make projections, plan schedules, determine budgets and make major decisions that will ensure their success.
Latest News from the Industry
Gear Technologyâ€™s annual State-of- the-Gear-Industry survey polls gear manufacturers about the latest trends and opinions relating to the overall health of the gear industry. As in years past, the survey was conducted anonymously, with invitations sent by e-mail to gear manufacturing companies around the world.
Gear Technology's annual State-of-the-Gear-Industry survey polls gear manufacturers about the latest trends and opinions relating to the overall health of the gear industry.
Trying to figure out whatâ€™s going on in this crazy economy of ours seems a bit like reading tea leavesâ€”one part pseudoscience and three parts wild conjecture. Of course some pundits are telling us that this bull market has legs, while others insist that weâ€™re due for a major correction. Some pump us up with positive news, while others remind us about scary stuff like the budget deficit, the European financial crisis and unemployment.
In March 1989, the U.S. Trade Representative requested the U.S. International Trade Commission to conduct an investigation and prepare a report on the competitive position of the U.S. gear industry in U.S. and global markets.
From the Economics to 4.0 â€” Industry Leaders Have Their Say
Gear manufacturers are generally an optimistic bunch, as revealed by our 2013 State-of-the-Gear-Industry Survey, which appears in this issue.
If you are like most navigators of the printed page, the first thing you read in this final 2013 issue of Gear Technology was our State of the Gear Industry Survey. And who would blame you? Itâ€™s not Sabermetrics, but once youâ€™ve read it youâ€™ll have a pretty clear snapshot of last year and a peek into the next. But if you also like to get a little closer to the bone about things, what follows are the collected opinions of five well-regarded people in the gear industry speaking to a number of issues with relevance.
The oil industry is (pardon the pun) tanking. That may conjure up horrific images of other industries following suit in a domino effect of collective collapse into the overabundant oil slick the industry is currently drowning in, but not everyone is getting knocked down alongside the oil sector.
At the mid-year point of 2017, it appears that the U.S. economy, and the manufacturing sector in particular, are gradually accelerating, with most markets seeing an upside breakout from the flat or down conditions of 2015 and 2016.
It's probably no surprise to anyone that the majority of the gear industry had a pretty good year in 2017, and that most gear manufacturers are expecting a pretty good 2018 as well. After all, most major economic indicators - including the ones that focus on the manufacturing sector - have been positive for some time.
As the founder, president and co-host of Manufacturing Talk Radio, as well as publisher of Metals & Manufacturing Outlook eZine, I am excited to report that the economic outlook for 2018 is just too good not to tout. Whatever "final GDP number" the government divines for 2017, the year will finish above 3% for the first time in a decade.
Results from our annual survey of gear manufacturers reveal that business is good, but the skilled labor situation is not.
The results of our Annual State of the Gear Industry Survey (See page 26) provided insight on 2016 as well as forecasts for 2017. Here is additional insight from some of the industry's leaders.
Gear Technology's annual State of the Gear Industry survey polls gear manufacturers about the latest trends and opinions relating to the overall health of the gear industry.
Latest news from around the industry
Gear Technologyâ€™s annual state-of-the-gear-industry survey polls gear manufacturers about the latest trends and opinions relating to the overall health of the gear industry. As in years past, the survey was conducted anonymously, with invitations sent by e-mail to gear manufacturing companies around the world.
News about the latest products in the industry.
For many of us, 2016 was a rough year - and the results of our annual State of the Gear Industry Survey show it. 40% of respondents indicated their companies had cut staff, while only 27% indicated an increase in employment. Clearly, there have been widespread cutbacks.
Gear Technology's annual State-of-the-Gear-Industry survey polls gear manufacturers about the latest trends and opinions relating to the overall health of the gear industry. As in years past, the survey was conducted anonymously, with invitations sent by e-mail to gear manufacturing companies around the world.
Economic times are good right now in America and in the gear industry. We're in the seventh year of an up cycle. The tough shake-outs of the 1980s and early 90s are over. Orders are up. Backlogs are at comfortable levels. We're looking at what promises to be the biggest, most successful trade show in the industry's history coming up in Detroit in October. The most pressing question on the immediate horizon seems to be "How long can the good times go on?"
The struggles of the manufacturing economy in 2009 are well documented. Even among those of us with long careers, most of us have never seen activity come to a screeching halt the way it did last year. 2009 was tough on all of us. So, what should we expect in 2010?
Results of Gear Technology research on trends in employment, outsourcing, machine tool investment and other gear industry business practices.
Publisher Michael Goldstein discusses why some gear manufacturing companies are enjoying record years.
In November, Gear Technology conducted an anonymous survey of gear manufacturers. Invitations were sent by e-mail to thousands of individuals around the world. More than 300 individuals responded to the online survey, answering questions about their manufacturing operations and current challenges facing their businesses.
Results of research on trends in employment, outsourcing, machine tool investment and other gear industry business practices.
In October, Gear Technology conducted an anonymous survey of gear manufacturers. Invitations were sent by e-mail to thousands of individuals around the world. More than 300 individuals responded to the online survey, answering questions about their manufacturing operations and current challenges facing their businesses.
Results of research on trends in employment, outsourcing, machine tool investment and other gear industry business practices.
Never have so few served so many. That, in essence, describes gear makers and the role they play in our world. Think of itâ€”although the gear cutting industry represents much less than one percent of the global workforceâ€”the gears it produces are what make things run in practically every industry and profession imaginable. From bulldozers to Rolexes, gears are an integral part of the mix.
The good news and the bad news about the gear industry and its role in the overall economy.
Over the past several months, many gear manufacturers and industry suppliers have been telling me how busy they are. Their backlogs are the largest in history, their sales the highest theyâ€™ve been in many years. Theyâ€™ve invested in new capabilities, new machinery and people.
In May of this year the U.S. International Trade Commission made public its Report to the President on the condition of the U.S. gear industry. This 200+ page document is the result of a two-year study by the commission, with the help of the AGMA staff and members. It is the most comprehensive and current analytical coverage of the industry conditions and tends presently available. Because of the importance of this report to the industry, GEAR TECHNOLOGY is devoting a good portion of this issue to reprinting the Executive Summary for our readers.
It always strikes me as something of an irony that the brightest holidays of the year fall in the deepest part of the darkest season. They come when the days are the shortest, the clouds the thickest, the weather (at least in Chicago), the worst. And yet it is at precisely this time when we celebrate the happier human emotions of family, love, and charity and somewhat arbitrarily declare a "new" year.
Another year has passed and, because of the short term ups and downs of the economy, it's still hard to judge whether we are in an appreciably different place than we were a year ago. The economy doesn't seem to be worse than it was, but it also doesn't seem to be a whole lot better.
Sometimes in the pressure to meet deadlines and handle the Crisis of the Day, we lose sight of the forest for the trees. As a partial cure for this syndrome, I recently reviewed the six interviews with gear industry leaders that have appeared in our pages during the last year, trying to get a grasp of a larger picture. It struck me with renewed force how six men, each with a lifetime of experience in this business, see the gear industry forest the same way.
More Gears in Cyberspace Dial in to the web site of Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry for an online version of the museum's Gears from the Century of Progress exhibit.
Before we get into projections and prognostications about the future, letâ€™s take a minute to review 2012. For many in the gear industry, the year was better than expected. Some manufacturers had a very successful year leading up to an even more successful manufacturing trade show (IMTS 2012). Others were searching for more business, hoping that the general state of the economy wouldnâ€™t make things worse. In some cases, it did.
Next year will be the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' famous "discovery" of America. Poor Columbus has fallen on hard times of late, what with revisionist historians smacking their lips over his more notable failures and reminding us that American natives have a vastly different point of view on this Great American Success Story. But before we relegate the Great Navigator to the scrap heap of trashed-over heros, let's take one last look at some of the positive lessons to be learned from the Columbus experience - ones that could be instructive to our current situation in the American gear industry.
Nashville - One of the highlights of this year's SME Advanced Gear Processing and Manufacturing Clinic was a tour of the new GM Saturn automobile manufacturing plant outside the city. There in the Tennessee hills is a hopeful vision of the future of the American automobile industry. It may well be the future of American large-scale manufacturing in general.
Dear Editor: Re: Your editorial and "Viewpoint" by Joe Arvin. Both you and Mr. Arvin make some valid points. Your editorial appears to be a response to Mr. Arvin's "Viewpoint." This is a response to both
Five years of effort by AGMA came to fruition in January with the publishing of a report from the Department of Commerce. This "National Security Assessment of the U.S. Gear Industry" indicates that if serious measures are not taken, the gear industry's future is in jeopardy. It also sets the tone for confronting major challenges now looming large in our industry.
This past fall, I had the opportunity to travel to Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore to witness first-hand the status of the power transmission and machine tool industries in these areas. Points of interest included equipment, material handling, computerization, wage and tax structures, inventory controls, and workforce attitude.
In comparison to the visionary Industry 4.0 - or the Fourth Industrial Revolution - the machine tool industry can appear rather down-to-earth.
News Items About industry 4.0
1 AMB 2014 Preps for Industry 4.0 (June 25, 2014)
The machine tool industry is confronted with a large number of developments which are influencing investment decisions by its customers. ... Read News
2 Heller Industry 4.0 Products Focus on Transparency, Ease of Operation (December 14, 2016)
Heller Machine Tools' Industry 4.0 approach is to enhance transparency of the current machine status and evaluate the information gai... Read News