If Trump has His Way, Singapore Will Lose Out if TPP Not Ratified

In the article, How Donald Trump’s views on the TPP could sink Singapore, the author examines a Trump presidency could would affect the TTP as well how the TPP, or lack thereof, will affect other countries in the Pacific, mainly China.  The TPP involves 12 countries that account for approximately 25% of global exports and 40% of world GDP, so the deal is very significant.  Furthermore, the World Bank predicts each participating countries’ GDP will climb by 1.1% by 2030 should the deal come into being.  With the ratification or dissolution of the TPP, Singapore stands to gain much or experience significant losses.

Donald Trump’s recent comments on the TPP and China may have some truth to them.  He believes China will attempt to take advantage of its position as not being part of the TPP and initiate back door trading with the countries involved, including Singapore.  China stands to lose out on $46 billion worth of investments and trade each year if the TPP is ratified.  Interestingly, China already has a free trade deal with Singapore.  That being said, Singapore stands to lose much given the fact that total trade as a percentage of GDP is over 300%.  For comparison, the number is just 28% for the US.  So the TPP not being ratified could seriously hurt Singapore’s economy.

In 2015, Singapore was China’s second favorite investment destination.  China actually has free trade deals with two-thirds of the countries in the TPP agreement.  These previously existing deals insulate China a bit should the TPP be ratified.  Unfortunately, a country like Singapore does not have these deals in place.  It’s not surprising Singapore has very publicly supported the TPP, and no matter which US presidential candidate is elected, Singapore will continue to push for ratification.  If Trump is elected, it will be interesting to see if he completely scraps the TPP as he says he will even in the face of serious objections from countries with high vested interest like Singapore.


Do you believe Trump is telling the truth about how he feels about the TPP?

With China not being a part of the TPP, does Trump actually have a valid point?

What will Singapore do if the TPP is not ratified?


Specifically Defining Big Data in Manufacturing

In the article What Is Big Data Analytics in Manufacturing?, the author defines Big Data in a manufacturing sense and also examines how big data has evolved in a manufacturing environment.  Interestingly, some of us think of Big Data as exactly as it sounds, a very large amount of data, say a petabyte of data as collected from sensors on an engine.  Big Data Analytics, in this mind frame, would then be the analyzation of this data using mathematical and statistical techniques.  But the author makes a key point – running reports on large data sets does not qualify as Big Data analytics in manufacturing.  If what I’ve just explained does not qualify as Big Data Analytics, then what does?

The article defines Big Data as follows, and I quote,

“Big Data Analytics in manufacturing is about using a common data model to combine structured business system data like inventory transactions and financial transactions with structured operational system data like alarms, process parameters, and quality events, with unstructured internal and external data like customer, supplier, Web, and machine data to uncover new insights through advanced analytical tools.”  This definition is certainly covers all the bases one could think of when it comes to understanding Big Data Analytics in manufacturing.

The transition of older technologies to a Big Data platform is happening right now.  One previous technology for collecting manufacturing data that is currently transforming to Big Data is enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI).  The author notes that two of the three ways this transition can happen for EMI is the ability to use structured and unstructured data as well as new analytical tools such as image, video, and geospatial data.

As big data usage in manufacturing continues to mature, it will become part of the IIoT Platform for delivering both legacy applications and Next-Gen systems.  Data will eventually be able to be taken from anywhere and delivered to anywhere while is usability will be simplified so that floor personal can use it.  In a connected, smart manufacturing environment, there is the possibility that any data collected can become useful to the process, personal, and ultimately, the bottom line.


Are most readers familiar with older technologies like EMI?

What do you think of the definition of Big Data as presented by the author?

Has anyone seen the industrial IoTs at work and if so, does this article portray a realistic picture of how manufacturing is changing?


Future Uncertain for TTP in Canada

In the article, Ratifying the TPP could be bad for Canada, but not ratifying it would be even worse: memo, the author examines the multiple options around the TTP as well the future of trade in Canada.  As most know, the TTP has been signed by all the countries involved, but it has yet to be ratified.  With growing sentiment against the TTP in the US, Canada, and other countries, it’s not surprising that some experts believe the agreement may never be ratified.

The previous finance minister of Canada, Joe Oliver, warned Canada in an October memo that not participating in the TTP could be disastrous.  In part, Canada needs to be part of the agreement if only for defensive measures.  If Canada were to opt out of the TTP, it would lose its ideal trade positions to the US and Mexico.  The memo noted specifically that these North American supply chains “underpin the [Canadian] economy.  On the positive side, the TTP would open the doors to trade with Asian countries, a position Canada does not hold strongly right now.

On the flip side, the TTP would dilute Canada’s great position within the NAFTA.  There would be significant competition from Asian countries.  Furthermore, the TTP could eliminate Canadian jobs and damage some sectors of the economy.  Interestingly, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has urged Canada to abandon what he described as a “badly flawed” deal.  Suffice to say, the future of the TTP is in doubt.


Would the dissolution of the TTP be the best outcome for Canada?

Why hasn’t there been more sentiment in Canada about the TTP’s other provisions aside from trade?

Will Canada’s relations with Asian countries actually become worse if the TTP is not signed?



Using robots to enhance Lean manufacturing

Processonline.com staff recently explored the numerous benefits of robots to the lean manufacturing efforts. Robotics capabilities have only increased with time, while costs have continued to fall. Major robot manufacturers are constantly upgrading their robots with increased payload capacity, greater accuracy, increased reach and range of motion, improved speed and acceleration, faster communication with external equipment, better safety features and lower operational costs. With a lower cost, more capabilities and a large number of successful manufacturing implementations, robots can increase return, improve quality, reduce costs and help eliminate waste.


In this post, Nikita Johnson discusses the future of robots in the smart home with an executive at iRobot, exploring the link between our physical and digital lives that robots help to provide. Robots that help with chores for instance, will work to maintain a home both inside and out. They will continue to clean floors, they will maintain the yard, and they will help with other daily tasks. With the development of new technologies, they will also possess new features as well. Also, by leveraging an array of connected devices and sensors, robots will learn usage patterns and preferences to progressively automate the control of devices.    https://www.re-work.co/blog/connected-home-chris-jones-vp-technology-irobot-robotics-smart-home


Robots for small business

Bennett Brumson, in an article “Robots For Small Business: A Growing Trend” (http://www.robotics.org/content-detail.cfm/Industrial-Robotics-Industry-Insights/Robots-For-Small-Business-A-Growing-Trend/content_id/1118), talks about the growing market for and usefulness of robots to small businesses and how robots contribute to lean manufacturing practices. He explores key things for small businesses to consider with some robotics industry experts. Which sectors are robotic applications most commonly used in? What are the benefits to small businesses? What are some problems small businesses are confronted with when deciding to use robotic systems? Are there ways to deal with them? What’s the future for growth in robotics? Which sectors might see the most growth?

TPP to provide moderate gains to U. S economy

William Mauldin of The Wall Street Journal recently wrote an article where he delved into the likely impact of the TPP Agreement on the U. S. economy. The article was based on a study by the U.S. International Trade Commission and offers an attempt to do a cost benefit analysis of signing the agreement. There would be benefits to some industries, but not so much for others. So, do the combined benefits outweigh the overall costs? That’s the big question. http://www.wsj.com/articles/study-projects-tpp-will-provide-modest-gains-for-u-s-economy-1463614427