“If you keep the small rules, you can break the big ones.”
– Julia, “1984”
1. Not Yo Mama’s Manufacturing
There is a need for a new generation of skilled workers in the U.S. manufacturing industry. This outlines the shortage of workers, the lack of a supply chain and infrastructure, and the educational challenges of preparing workers to use today's technology. The article also discusses initiatives such as America's Cutting Edge, a national program for machine tool technology development and advancement, which provides online and in-person training. These initiatives emphasize the importance of recruiting efforts from grade school to college – and if the United States does not take action, the national defense and economy will be compromised!
2. Nothing Runs Like a Deere
John Deere has signed an agreement with the American Farm Bureau Federation to give farmers the ability to repair their own tractors and other agricultural equipment without having to use the manufacturer's own parts and facilities. This agreement is a major victory for farmers and consumer advocacy groups who have complained for years about the restrictions Deere has put on their products and technology. The agreement allows farmers to access the same documentation, data, and diagnostic tools used by Deere's authorized repair shops and gives them the freedom to choose where their equipment is repaired. The voluntary deal safeguards Deere's intellectual property while giving farmers more control over their own business. This resolution comes without the need for regulation or legislation and is a step toward the wider right-to-repair movement.
3. Clemson To Close the Skills Gap
Clemson University officials are brainstorming ways to expand their successful interdisciplinary manufacturing program THINKER. This program is designed to help close the skills gap and increase the number of workers in the manufacturing industry, which is projected to have a shortage of more than 2 million workers by 2030. The program has been funded by the National Science Foundation and offers students from Clemson and Greenville Technical College the chance to work on projects in a realistic environment using advanced technologies such as collaborative robotics and artificial intelligence. Clemson officials are now looking for ways to expand the program and offer it to larger numbers of students, potentially by partnering with other universities or institutes to attract more funding.
Read more here.
4. Indiana 4.0
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has proposed his 2023 Next Level Agenda. Its five key categories are: health and well-being; education and workforce; economic development; community development; and good government. The economic development changes proposed include doubling funding for manufacturing modernization grants to $40 million over the next two years and creating a $300 million-a-year deal-closing fund. He also wants to invest $500 million into a READI 2.0 program and establish a $25 million innovation grant with federal funds. Other proposed changes include increasing K-12 tuition support, eliminating textbook fees, significantly increasing higher education funding, expanding evidence-based treatment to jail inmates, and increasing Indiana State Police starting pay. The legislative session starts Jan. 9, and Gov. Holcomb hopes to pass these changes to benefit Hoosiers.
Workers in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa are willing to trust robots to do some tasks, such as cleaning and logistics, but they are not willing to trust them with life-critical functions. This is due to concerns about cyberattacks and the lack of responsibility if the robots malfunction. It is also suggested that the number of cyberattacks on robots in different industries may increase due to continuing digitization.
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