Building a Smart Factory is Possible Using Machine Learning

MACHINE-LEARNING-MIN
Machine learning in manufacturing is becoming more widespread, with businesses like GE, Siemens, Intel, Bosch, NVIDIA, and Microsoft all investing heavily in machine learning-based ways to enhance manufacturing.

Machine learning is predicted to expand from $1 billion in 2016 to USD 9 billion by 2022at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 44% throughout the forecast period, according to Markets & Markets.

The technology is being utilized to cut labor costs, achieve better transition times, and increase manufacturing speed.

“I advocate business leaders get to know more about what AI can do and then leverage AI in proofs of concept.”

– Michael Walton, Director and Industry Executive, Microsoft speaking with Media 7

Machine learning can help enhance manufacturing processes at the industrial level. This can be achieved by assessing current manufacturing models and identifying flaws and pain factors. Businesses can rapidly address any difficulties to keep the manufacturing pipeline running smoothly.


Let us explore how machine learning is transforming manufacturing operations.

How Machine Learning Is Transforming Manufacturing Operations

“The greatest benefit of machine learning may ultimately be not what the machines learn but what we learn by teaching them.”

- Pedro Domingos

Machine learning in manufacturing is revolutionizing manufacturing operations and making them more advanced and result-oriented, so let's have a look at how this is unfolding.


Allows for Predictive Maintenance

Machine learning provides predictive maintenance by forecasting equipment breakdowns and eliminating wasteful downtime. Manufacturers spend far too much time correcting problems instead of planning upkeep. In addition to enhancing asset dependability and product quality, machine learning systems can forecast equipment breakdown with 92% accuracy. Machine learning and predictive analytics increased overall equipment efficiency from 65% to 85%.


Increases Product Inspection and Quality Control

Machine learning is also utilized for product inspection. Automated inspection and supervision using ML-based computer vision algorithms can discriminate between excellent and bad products. These algorithms simply need excellent samples to train; therefore a fault library is not required. However, an algorithm that compares samples to the most common errors can be built. Machine learning reduces visual quality control costs in manufacturing. Forbe's says AI-powered quality testing can boost detection rates by up to 80%.


Logistics-related Tasks Are Automated

To run a production line, industrial companies need considerable logistics skills. The use of machine learning-based solutions can improve logistics efficiency and save expenses. Manual, time-consuming operations like logistics and production-related documentation cost the average US business $171,340 annually. It saves thousands of manual working hours every year to automate these everyday procedures. Using Deep Mind AI, Google was able to lower its data center cooling bill by 40%.


Creates More Business Opportunities

Machine learning is frequently used in the production process. Substantial data analysis is required to create new items or improve existing products. Collection and analysis of huge amounts of product data can help find hidden defects and new business opportunities. This can help improve existing product designs and provide new revenue streams for the company. With machine learning, companies can reduce product development risks by making smarter decisions with better insights.


Protects Company’s Digital Assets

On-premise and cloud-based machine learning systems require networks, data, and technological platforms to function. Machine learning can help secure these systems and data by restricting access to vital digital platforms and information. Humans’ access sensitive data, choose applications, and connect to it using machine learning. This can help secure digital assets by immediately recognizing irregularities and taking appropriate action.


Harley Davidson's Sales Climbed by 40% Using Albert – The ML & AI-Powered Robot

Today, traditional marketing is harder to break through. It's easy to see why Albert (an AI-powered robot) would be a good fit for Harley Davidson NYC. Thanks to machine learning and artificial intelligence, robots are producing news stories, working in hotels, controlling traffic, and even running McDonald's.

Albert works well with social media and email marketing. It analyzed which customers are more likely to convert and modifies the personal creative copies on its own for the next process.

Harley-Davidson is the only company to employ Albert in its business. The company evaluated customer data to find prior consumers who made purchases and spent more time browsing the website than normal. Albert used this data to categorize customers and scale up test campaigns.

Using Albert, Harley-Davidson's sales climbed by 40% and leads increased 2,930%, with half coming from high-converting ‘lookalikes' detected by AI and machine learning.


Final Words

The groundbreaking benefits of machine learning are the pillars of machine learning applications in manufacturing. Machine learning in manufacturing helps enhance productivity without compromising quality. According to Forbes, Amazon has automated warehouse logistics picking and packing using a machine learning system. With Kiva's help, Amazon's typical ‘click to ship' time dropped from 60-75 minutes to 15 minutes. So, industry leaders are seeing fantastic outcomes, and machine learning in manufacturing is the future.


FAQ


How is machine learning used in manufacturing?

Machine learning is used in manufacturing to improve product quality and uncover new efficiencies. It unquestionably aids in the identification and removal of bottlenecks in the manufacturing process.


Which two forms of machine learning are there?

Machine learning is divided into two forms: supervised and unsupervised. In supervised machine learning, a machine learning algorithm is trained using data that has been labeled. Unsupervised ML has the advantage of working with unlabeled data.


What is a machine learning model?

A machine learning model is a file that can recognize patterns. In order to learn from a set of data, you must first train a model using an algorithm.

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OTHER ARTICLES
Industrial 4.0

Best Practices for Successful Digital Transformation in Industry 4.0

Article | September 21, 2023

Navigating the path to success by unveiling the best practices for thriving in Industry 4.0 through successful digital transformation. Embrace the data-driven decision-making and customer-centricity. The pursuit of successful digital transformation has evolved from a business strategy to a business necessity. It is a vital imperative for organizations striving to survive and thrive in an ever-competitive market. Within this paradigm shift, a journey unfolds that transcends the commonplace and ventures into the realms of strategic innovation. This best practices article is not just a standard guide but a roadmap to excellence. Explore the best practices that propel businesses into the forefront of Industry 4.0. Beyond the surface of technology adoption lies a deeper narrative, one of cultural transformation, stakeholder collaboration, and visionary leadership. Delve into the intricacies of data-driven decision-making, the agility that fuels progress, the relentless pursuit of knowledge, and the unwavering commitment to the customer experience. Each of these elements forms a crucial thread in the tapestry of successful digital transformation. Through compelling case studies and real-world examples, draw inspiration from industry leaders who have not merely embraced change but have harnessed it to redefine their future. 1. Make confident decisions with Digital Twin Combining the physical and digital realms enables seamless integration of the entire value chain, from design to production, while optimizing with continuous data flow. A digital enterprise can harness the limitless power of data by obtaining valuable insights to make quick and confident decisions and to produce best-in-class products through efficient production. The Digital Twin approach integrates the entire product lifecycle with the factory and plant lifecycles and performance data. The end result is a continuous, open cycle of product and production optimization. The digital twin is a comprehensive digital representation of a product or process throughout its entire lifecycle. By creating a digital twin, companies can achieve significant value, such as faster time-to-market for new products, improved operational efficiency, reduced defects, and exploring new business models to drive revenue growth. With the digital twin, companies solve physical issues more efficiently by detecting them early on and accurately predicting outcomes. It empowers them to design and build superior products and ultimately enhance customer satisfaction by better serving their needs. By adopting smart architecture design, companies can continuously realize iterative value and benefits at an accelerated pace. Manufacturing, automotive, aviation, and other industries have adopted digital twins to boost productivity and efficiency. By 2025, the manufacturing industry is predicted to reach a market size worth over six billion U.S. dollars. 2. Vertically Network Various Units in Enterprise Vertical integration in a Digital Enterprise involves the convergence of IT and OT (Information Technology and Operational Technology) to enable seamless data flow from the shop floor to the top floor. The vast amount of data generated by field devices and control units on the shop floor is vital in the context of Industry 4.0, where intelligent data utilization and communication are paramount. Vertical integration generates a comprehensive solution by integrating IT systems at various hierarchical manufacturing and production levels. These hierarchical levels include the field level (interface with the production process via sensors), the control level (machine and system regulation), the production process level (to be monitored and controlled), the operations level (production planning and quality management), and the enterprise planning level. Vertical integration allows for improved communication and collaboration across different departments within the organization. This leads to better coordination, streamlined operations, and increased efficiency across the entire manufacturing ecosystem. A study by the Boston Consulting Group found that companies with a high level of vertical integration were 16% more productive than those with a low level of vertical integration. 3. Horizontally Integrate the Processes in Lifecycle The concept of horizontal integration in a Digital Enterprise ensures smooth data flow throughout the entire value chain. This integrated approach enables the digitalization of the complete value chain, spanning from design and production to service and recycling. By establishing seamless horizontal integration, it eliminates information silos and creates connections that encompass all aspects, from product innovation and manufacturing to product usage and beyond. Horizontally integrated companies focus on their core strengths and partner to support the value chain. Horizontal integration helps information flow between plant-level Manufacturing Execution Systems (MESs) when a company's manufacturing sites are spread out. This allows production sites to quickly share manufacturing data, such as unexpected delays, breakdowns, and inventory levels. Automated cooperation is crucial to supply chain integration in both the upstream (production processes and downstream (the process of bringing the finished products to market) supply and logistics chains. The integration lets a corporation automatically switch production duties between locations. A study byMcKinseyfound that companies that engaged in horizontal integration in the digital age saw their market share increase by an average of 10%. 4. Upgrade Digitalization using Automation Automation catalyzes growth by streamlining operations, breaking down silos, and promoting cross-functional collaboration. With reduced errors and increased efficiency, businesses can scale their operations with fewer resources, fostering a climate of innovation. This increased productivity allows employees to focus on more creative and challenging tasks, leading to higher motivation and engagement. Furthermore, automation provides a better customer experience, essential in today's digital-savvy market. By automating processes, businesses ensure quick access to customer information, leading to increased satisfaction. Lowering costs and expenditures is another significance enabling businesses to eliminate waste, save time, and conserve resources by automating data entry, approval workflows, and financial procedures. Additionally, automation enables efficient management of decentralized global teams from a central hub, further contributing to cost savings. Automation aids in enhancing security measures and simplifying compliance procedures. Businesses proactively identify vulnerabilities and ensure compliance with ever-changing regulations by automating data-intensive tasks. 97% of IT managers feel process automation is necessary for digital transformation. 5. Implement Additive Manufacturing The adoption of Additive Manufacturing (AM)technologies has prompted the evolution of innovative business models that emphasize environmental perspectives. AM has emerged as a transformative solution within the smart manufacturing industry, offering numerous advantages, such as improved labor, energy, and material optimization, enabling companies to respond to changing market demands effectively. AM is particularly time-saving and cost-effective for small-batch complex geometries products, allowing for non-traditional mass customization and shortening the product development cycle. It encourages changes in sustainable business models, including integrating recycled materials, increasing component attributes, and enhancing product lifecycle. AM’s sustainable benefits have garnered significant attention, focusing on reducing waste, optimizing material consumption, and shortening supply chains. Using layer-by-layer production, AM is considered less wasteful than traditional subtractive methods. It also facilitates the creation of products with extended lifecycles through repair, refurbishment, and remanufacturing, promoting sustainability and environmental responsibility. Study data estimates that the cost savings that can be achieved with Industry 4.0 transformations is 50%. 6. Choose the Appropriate Technology The success of digital transformation endeavors hinges on the careful selection of technologies to invest in. Avoid investing in the latest technology just for the sake of digitization, and refrain from rushing into numerous significant changes simultaneously, which may overwhelm employees. Instead, opt to gradually replace legacy systems and synchronize technology with business objectives through the implementation of new procedures. Here’s what Airbus did. Case Study: Airbus Airbus is the market leader in aeronautics and aerospace products and services worldwide. The organization needed a user-centric digital transformation solution to optimize its data analytics, technology, and machine learning tools, but this proved difficult. Later, it embraced open-source technology and consolidated its 15 tools onto a user-friendly platform. In ten months, this helped produce 290,000 visits and 2,200,000 page views. Additionally, the company's service center is now managing 30% fewer incidents. 7. Adapt Company for a Change Digital transformation does not demand extensive technical expertise from management and employees; rather, it necessitates a shift in mindset. By embracing this new mindset and leveraging technology solutions to automate processes for both customers and employees, rapid growth can be achieved within the organization as well as in the external market. To facilitate this transformation, it is essential to identify areas that require change, enhance transparency, and foster a culture of collaboration within the organization. By taking these steps, an organization can effectively prepare for the changes brought about by digital transformation. Case Study: Honeywell The Fortune 100 manufacturer operates in industries such as aerospace and building technology. To improve product quality and make it easier to apply digital strategies, it cut its operations from eight markets to six. Early in its transformation journey, it established a digital transformation group in the company that led digital innovations like data-driven product offerings, IoT-connected devices, and advanced industrial process control. Honeywell Intelligent Wearables eliminated the need for expert site visits, empowered workers to continue learning, improved their performance, and effectively shared their knowledge with peers by connecting field workers with remote advice. In 2018, Honeywell's share price grew from $95 to $174, and revenue went from $40 billion to $43 billion. 8. Integrate Digital Transformation into Business Goals Establish a strong connection between the digital transformation journey and the company's goals. Define the specific achievements to accomplish through digitization efforts. By aligning digital transformation initiatives with business objectives, a company can enhance its effectiveness in completing tasks, retaining existing employees, attracting new talent, and successfully overhauling company culture. Case Study: Cummins Cummins, a manufacturer of diesel and alternative fuel engines and generators is an example of a company that has capitalized on the increased demand for environmentally friendly products. Microsoft cloud compliance opportunities boost data security and IP protection. Microsoft has been one of the world's foremost technology companies for decades. Satya Nadella shifted the company's revenue model away from desktops and accelerated the transition to cloud computing. Cummins now uses Microsoft 365 for information management and collaboration to create a new workplace culture. Cummins' 58000 employees work cross-functionally and globally to stay ahead. Cummins relies on Microsoft 365 for strict security, data management and delivery, and compliance. Final Thoughts Successful digital transformation in Industry 4.0 requires a strategic and holistic approach beyond technology adoption. It demands a cultural shift, stakeholder collaboration, and a clear vision of the desired outcomes. To achieve successful digital transformation in Industry 4.0, organizations must adopt best practices that encompass technological, cultural, and strategic dimensions. Data-driven decision-making, agility, continuous learning, and a customer-centric approach are key elements in this transformative journey. By prioritizing these practices, businesses can navigate the complexities of digital transformation, drive innovation, and stay competitive in the dynamic landscape of Industry 4.0.

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Nexa3D Plans to Acquire Essentium for Broadened Capabilities

Nexa3D | November 07, 2023

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Manufacturing Technology

Toyota Supercharges North Carolina Battery Plant with New $8 Billion Investment

PR Newswire | November 01, 2023

Toyota announced a new investment of nearly $8 billion that will add approximately 3,000 jobs at Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina (TBMNC). This brings total investment to approximately $13.9 billion and job creation to more than 5,000 – further supporting Toyota's multi-pathway approach to global vehicle electrification. This investment adds capacity to support battery electric vehicles (BEV's) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV's). An additional eight BEV/PHEV battery production lines will be added to the two previously announced, for a total of ten battery lines. Production will be increased in a phased approach, with line launches planned through 2030 to reach a total production of more than 30GWh annually. said Sean Suggs, president of Toyota North Carolina. "Today's announcement reinforces Toyota's commitment to electrification and carbon reduction, bringing jobs and future economic growth to the region. We are excited to see the continued energy and support of this innovative manufacturing facility." [Source:PR Newswire] In 2021, Toyota, in partnership with Toyota Tsusho, announced the new Liberty location with an initial investment of $1.29 billion for battery production and the creation of 1,750 new jobs. With today's announcement, Toyota North Carolina solidifies its position as the company's epicenter of lithium-ion battery production in North America. Overall, the campus will boast seven million square feet, equating to 121 football fields of battery production. "Through the last few years of building relationships, including my most recent trip to Tokyo and meeting with President Sato, our partnership with Toyota has become stronger than ever, culminating in this historic announcement," said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. "North Carolina's transition to a clean energy economy is bringing better paying jobs that will support our families and communities for decades to come." A pioneer in electrified vehicles, Toyota has put more than 24.6 million hybrid, plug-in hybrid, fuel cell and battery electric vehicles on the road globally. By 2025, the company plans to have an electrified option available for every Toyota and Lexus model globally. The company is steadfast in its promise of being best-in-town by supporting local nonprofits and education initiatives. This year, Toyota announced donations totaling $200,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Asheboro and Greensboro, Junior Achievement of the Triad, Shift_ed and Volunteer Center of the Triad. Last year, the company announced a $1 million investment in North Carolina students enrolled with Communities in Schools Randolph County and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Additional Quotes from North Carolina Officials "Toyota's latest expansion in North Carolina is monumental," said Senator Phil Berger. "The additional jobs and increased capital investment are proof that the Triad and our rural communities are prepared to support high-tech manufacturing. I'm thankful for Toyota's dedication to our state and I look forward to seeing it continue to grow and employ hard-working North Carolinians." House Speaker Tim Moore said, "Today's announcement that Toyota will make an additional investment of nearly $8 billion at its newest North American facility right here in North Carolina is a tribute to the hard work the General Assembly has done to ensure North Carolina is the best state for business and innovation." He continued, "Toyota's success is a prime example of how a balanced budget, a strong workforce, and a AAA credit rating pave the way for business growth. Toyota's additional investment in North Carolina is a sign that we are on the right track."

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Additive Manufacturing

Nexa3D Plans to Acquire Essentium for Broadened Capabilities

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Nexa3D, an ultrafast 3D printing leader, has taken a substantial step in staking its leader position in the industrial additive manufacturing space by signing a LOI to acquire Essentium, a manufacturer of HSE 3D printers and materials, adopted for high requirement, precision applications in aerospace, defense, and military. With this acquisition, Nexa3D will add high-speed extrusion (HSE) to its current product portfolio. The acquisition would broaden capabilities, diversify revenues, and expand addressable markets for the fast-growing 3D printing company. Avi Reichental, Co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of Nexa3D, stated that they are looking forward to welcoming the Essentium team to Nexa3D’s family. The acquisition will be a testament to their unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of 3D printing technology. He continued that by joining forces with Essentium, they aim to create synergies to deliver unmatched value to their customers. Together, they will drive ultrafast additive manufacturing innovation and provide even more powerful solutions for manufacturers seeking to achieve their production goals. Essentium, known for its variety of materials portfolio, true independent dual extruders (IDEX) and award-winning high-speed extrusion 3D printers, has provided solutions for complex polymer production applications 5 to 15 times quicker than other competing extrusion technologies. Essentium’s commitment to reliability and innovation has made it a go-to choice for manufacturers worldwide. Nexa3D has rapidly emerged as a leader in the 3D printing space, delivering excellent production solutions for businesses across various sectors. Best known for its ultrafast 3D printers, from desktops to the factory floor, its technology has redefined the possibilities of 3D printing production, enabling unparalleled productivity, material flexibility, and accuracy. Adopted by around 1200 customers all over the world, its printers have become the go-to solution for high-throughput production applications. This acquisition is expected to close by the end of this year or as soon as practicable afterward. Both Essentium and Nexa3D are committed to ensure a smooth transition and for maintaining uninterrupted services to existing and prospective customers. About Nexa3D Nexa3D is committed to the sustainable digitization of supply chains, driven by its relentless pursuit of advancing additive manufacturing. The company engineers ultrafast polymer 3D printers, capable of delivering remarkable productivity gains, up to 20 times greater, to professionals and businesses of varying sizes. Innovative partnerships with renowned material suppliers, combined with an open materials platform, serve as the catalyst for unlocking the full potential of additively manufactured polymers, particularly in volume production. Nexa3D leverages automated software tools, employing process interplay algorithms that optimize the production cycle.

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3D Printing

BizLink counts on Rapid Prototyping with the help of 3D printing technology

PR Newswire | November 03, 2023

BizLink, a leading provider of connectivity solutions worldwide, uses a method for creating physical prototypes with computer-aided design (CAD) data. This so called 'Rapid Prototyping' enables development times to be shortened, costs to be lowered and innovative ideas to be realised more quickly. BizLink's Automation & Drives business unit will showcase one of these solutions at the sps trade fair in Nuremberg, Southern Germany, which takes place from 14 to 16 November. In the development and production of individual injection moulded parts, a large part of the cost and time is spent on providing the appropriate tools. That is why BizLink uses Rapid Prototyping for sample parts in the development phase of overmoulded connection components. The principal objective of this technology involves testing and validating design concepts, functionality and features before there is any investment in series production. Through Rapid Prototyping, BizLink thus reduces development costs and time-to-market for overmoulded components and its reinforced innovative cable systems for factory automation. Rapid Prototyping involves applying layer upon layer of materials or bonding them to one another with 3D printing to make the desired object. This makes it possible to quickly adapt the design as changes can easily be made in the CAD data and the prototype can then be reprinted. It also allows, for example, the spatial conditions during fitting and operation under real-life conditions to be assessed, letting the findings thereby acquired be incorporated in product improvement before a tool-maker has even started his or her job. 3D printing technology can furthermore make valuable contributions to quality assurance while development is ongoing. If, for instance, parts being tested must be scrutinised to limit failure mechanisms along functional boundaries, it helps to be able to quickly create a matching testing device for such investigations. In some cases, such devices also facilitate good reproducibility, meaning that dependable component qualifications can also be carried out in this way. Other applications involve trialling numerous production resources and tools as well as handling aids that are, with respect to their function and ergonomics, initially tested as a 3D-printed specimen and improved repeatedly so that they can later be reproduced in a more robust version made of metal, for example. Rapid prototyping is versatile and has long been a proven tool for BizLink in the innovation process to bring new products to market faster and more effectively. Visitors to sps can convince themselves of these advantages through application examples in the Nuremberg exhibition halls from November 14 to 16, 2023 in Hall 2, Stand 431.

Read More

Manufacturing Technology

Toyota Supercharges North Carolina Battery Plant with New $8 Billion Investment

PR Newswire | November 01, 2023

Toyota announced a new investment of nearly $8 billion that will add approximately 3,000 jobs at Toyota Battery Manufacturing North Carolina (TBMNC). This brings total investment to approximately $13.9 billion and job creation to more than 5,000 – further supporting Toyota's multi-pathway approach to global vehicle electrification. This investment adds capacity to support battery electric vehicles (BEV's) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV's). An additional eight BEV/PHEV battery production lines will be added to the two previously announced, for a total of ten battery lines. Production will be increased in a phased approach, with line launches planned through 2030 to reach a total production of more than 30GWh annually. said Sean Suggs, president of Toyota North Carolina. "Today's announcement reinforces Toyota's commitment to electrification and carbon reduction, bringing jobs and future economic growth to the region. We are excited to see the continued energy and support of this innovative manufacturing facility." [Source:PR Newswire] In 2021, Toyota, in partnership with Toyota Tsusho, announced the new Liberty location with an initial investment of $1.29 billion for battery production and the creation of 1,750 new jobs. With today's announcement, Toyota North Carolina solidifies its position as the company's epicenter of lithium-ion battery production in North America. Overall, the campus will boast seven million square feet, equating to 121 football fields of battery production. "Through the last few years of building relationships, including my most recent trip to Tokyo and meeting with President Sato, our partnership with Toyota has become stronger than ever, culminating in this historic announcement," said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. "North Carolina's transition to a clean energy economy is bringing better paying jobs that will support our families and communities for decades to come." A pioneer in electrified vehicles, Toyota has put more than 24.6 million hybrid, plug-in hybrid, fuel cell and battery electric vehicles on the road globally. By 2025, the company plans to have an electrified option available for every Toyota and Lexus model globally. The company is steadfast in its promise of being best-in-town by supporting local nonprofits and education initiatives. This year, Toyota announced donations totaling $200,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Asheboro and Greensboro, Junior Achievement of the Triad, Shift_ed and Volunteer Center of the Triad. Last year, the company announced a $1 million investment in North Carolina students enrolled with Communities in Schools Randolph County and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Additional Quotes from North Carolina Officials "Toyota's latest expansion in North Carolina is monumental," said Senator Phil Berger. "The additional jobs and increased capital investment are proof that the Triad and our rural communities are prepared to support high-tech manufacturing. I'm thankful for Toyota's dedication to our state and I look forward to seeing it continue to grow and employ hard-working North Carolinians." House Speaker Tim Moore said, "Today's announcement that Toyota will make an additional investment of nearly $8 billion at its newest North American facility right here in North Carolina is a tribute to the hard work the General Assembly has done to ensure North Carolina is the best state for business and innovation." He continued, "Toyota's success is a prime example of how a balanced budget, a strong workforce, and a AAA credit rating pave the way for business growth. Toyota's additional investment in North Carolina is a sign that we are on the right track."

Read More

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