Calling Africa: Why the Forgotten Continent Can Be the Next Global Factory

IndustryWeek | February 28, 2020

Calling Africa: Why the Forgotten Continent Can Be the Next Global Factory
Over the past two decades, low-cost manufacturing has transformed China and a group of other developing countries including Thailand and Vietnam. Manufacturing now makes up around 40% of China’s GDP, 26% of Thailand’s and 16% of Vietnam’s, playing a vital role in reducing poverty, expanding the middle class and fueling consumption. Now, it’s Africa’s turn. That will sound unlikely to the many people who see Africa as synonymous with extreme poverty, conflict and instability. But anyone who understands the nuances of the vast continent knows that African countries are well placed to grab a bigger share of global manufacturing in the coming years. It’s a crucial strategy if they are to move up the value chain from the grueling and poorly paid jobs in resource industries and agriculture that have traditionally dominated African economies.

Spotlight

Artificial intelligence is on the rise in automotive production. Since 2018, the BMW Group has been using various AI applications in series production. One focus is automated image recognition: In these processes, artificial intelligence evaluates component images in ongoing production and compares them in milliseconds to hundreds of other images of the same sequence.

Related News

VW to Overtake Tesla in Both Electric Vehicle Production Figures and Software Development

Volkswagen Group, Tesla | September 07, 2020

Volkswagen Group is in a position to overtake Tesla in both electric vehicle production figures and software development, the automaker’s labor chief, Bernd Osterloh, said in an interview with a German news outlet. “If Tesla sets up three factories where 300,000 to 500,000 cars can be produced, then we are talking about a number of units between 900,000 and 1.5 million. We want to achieve the same in 2023, probably even earlier,” Osterloh, who is head of the automaker’s works council, told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday. VW’s modular electric-drive matrix platform, or MEB, gives the carmaker a “huge” advantage,” as it can build any vehicle of any brand on it, Osterloh said. Osterloh also said he expected an engineering task force called Artemis, set up under under Audi CEO Markus Duesmann, to help the group catch up with Tesla’s technological edge. The new Car Software Organization, where all of VW’s software operations are bundled, is a step in this direction, Osterloh told the newspaper.

Read More

MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

Siskin Enterprises Extends Warranty Offerings and Introduces PermaPlate Furniture

Siskin Enterprises | December 30, 2021

On December 29th, Siskin Enterprises and PermaPlate announced the launch of PermaPlate Furniture. PermaPlate Furniture will provide novel administrative and protection plan solutions for the furniture sector. Since 2016, the number of furniture stores has been stable. Nevertheless, merchants have lately faced increased COVID-related expenditures, prompting them to explore alternative income streams to offset operational expenses. PermaPlate Furniture will provide these retailers with best-in-class sales assistance by providing free warranty knowledge, sales associate training, in-store and online marketing creatives, and account management assistance that small-to large-scale furniture stores and e-commerce merchants desperately need. "We are excited about this addition to the PermaPlate line, as we know that innovation in service and retaining customers is financially critical for all retailers,We wanted to design a different experience for furniture retailers and their valued customers, and we had a unique opportunity to design a solution that redefined how customers perceived furniture service contract plans, and more importantly, how their plans could be priced and how claims could be adjudicated." -Tom Scott, Managing Director, PermaPlate Furniture PermaPlate undertook considerable internal research into the furniture warranty market to provide a fresh retail experience for its customers over the last year. They conducted in-depth interviews with various merchants, consumers, furniture makers, component suppliers, and service professionals. Not only did the team compare key indicators to score current furniture warranty providers, but they also looked at published warranty retail rates (in-store and online), how customers were purchasing protection plans, the level of service, the provider's terms and conditions, and customer reviews, to name a few key categories. "PermaPlate Furniture will complement our core services as an appearance protection warranty administrator and will offer a feasible solution for furniture retailers and, most importantly, to their valued customers." This is an opportunity to provide much-needed innovations for an important economic industry. The furniture industry generates more than $55 billion in annual revenue, employs more than 225,000 people in the United States, and services millions of customers each year. -PermaPlate President John Nisson

Read More

The Rise of Digital Twins in Manufacturing

Design News | July 16, 2020

Digital Twins are gaining momentum in all areas of manufacturing from aerospace and medical devices to heavy equipment and automotive. The digital twin is usually combined with other smart manufacturing technologies such as cloud computing, additive manufacturing, simulations, IoT, edge computing, big data, analytics, and augmented reality. The digital twin is transforming the industrial world and the way we design and build products and systems. Through sensors embedded in the manufacturing process and the products themselves, the digital twin gathers data about the behavior of its physical twin. The digital twin is deployed to design the production line. It is also used to monitor the production lines to prevent accidents, predict asset downtime, or optimizing next-generation products. The Digital Twin is born at the product design and engineering phase. It gets developed through technologies such as CAD, CAE, simulation, and even generative design. As this 3D digital model progresses through its product life-cycle journey, it show the way to produce the physical Twin. The 3D digital model becomes a product on the manufacturing floor, and later it gets deployed in the field.

Read More

Spotlight

Artificial intelligence is on the rise in automotive production. Since 2018, the BMW Group has been using various AI applications in series production. One focus is automated image recognition: In these processes, artificial intelligence evaluates component images in ongoing production and compares them in milliseconds to hundreds of other images of the same sequence.