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Monday, 28 March 2011

ASME Articles of Interest - The Era of Insufficient Plenty, Manufacturing at the Crossroads, Custom Model, Credit to the Bicycle

The Era of Insufficient Plenty
"For more than 100 years, the United States has been the world’s largest industrial power, consuming a plurality of the world’s resources. Outstanding science and engineering have made it possible to extract and process natural resources to make almost any type of product at a reasonable cost and the United States has never confronted a situation in which another country matched our consumption. Today, we face that situation from China and India, nations with enormous populations, very large workforces of educated professionals, fast-growing economies, and voracious appetites for resources."
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Manufacturing at the Crossroads
"U.S. manufacturers have taken a beating this past decade. As the economy pulls itself out of the recession, they are approaching a crossroads. What happens as the United States climbs out of the recession? Does production move overseas or return home? Does American manufacturing muscle bulk up or atrophy? Job losses in manufacturing have been staggering. From 17-18 million manufacturing workers for 20 years prior to the 2001 recession, employment has plummeted, down to 12 million workers in 2009."

Custom Model
"Dell is offered up again and again as the prime example of customized manufacturing done right and done successfully. Shortly after its founding in 1984, Dell began a configure-to-order approach to manufacturing. Customers choose from multiple options for their own computers on the Dell Web site and then the computer is manufactured."

Credit to the Bicycle
"Today an estimated one billion bicycles are used throughout the world, but they often don’t get the credit they deserve.  The first 90 years of the bicycle made world-changing engineering achievements possible that extended to modern motorized forms of transportation. What’s ahead for the next?"


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