The Global Manufacturing Industry is Changing Due to Big Data

In the article Exploring the new face of manufacturing – Industry 4.0, the author explores how the manufacturing industry is quickly approaching a significant change, coined Industry 4.0.  Industry 4.0 involves big data, improved data analytics, machine-to-machine communication, advanced robotics and 3-D printing.  These changes are happening across the world from Europe to Asia, and there is no sign of letting up.  But with these changes comes a serious amount of data, 4.4 zettabytes by 2020, and the only way to analyze this vast amount of data is big data analytics through cloud computing.

This unique IT infrastructure required to keep and analyze this data have made cloud computing an invaluable tool.  Manufactures need a system that is rapidly scalable to make use of the data pouring in from various channels: sensors in their factories, inventories, raw materials and other segments along the supply chain.  Cloud computing allows manufactures to analyze real-time data to understand product status and quality thus providing a product with less defects.  Cloud computing has taken away the hassle of having to buy physical storage devices while also allowing manufacturers to use the cloud’s different availabilities, capacities, and functionalities.  The data analytics is becoming simpler and more useful quickly which is allowing manufacturers to learn more from the data then ever thought possible.

An interesting separation of cloud computing is the public and private cloud.  The public cloud allows remote manufacturing facilities to leverage modern IT and communications systems without having a large team onsite.  Public clouds also allow customers and partners along the supply chain to access information easily.  The private cloud is best for sensitive data and intellectual property.  In fact, the article speculates that hybrid clouds will emerge that allows manufacturers to have the best of both worlds.

 

Do you believe the cloud is secure?

Are cloud based companies doing enough to keep the cloud secure?

Will a hybrid cloud really offer enough security for sensitive information with regard to the outside world as well as employees?

http://www.businessinsider.in/Exploring-the-new-face-of-manufacturing-Industry-4-0/articleshow/55455654.cms

 

TPP Ratification Unlikely Under Trump, Singapore Unhappy

In the article Singapore disappointed TPP is unlikely to be passed under Donald Trump: PM Lee, the author seeks to examine Singapore’s stance on the TPP given that Donald Trump is now the president elect in the United States.  As I’ve written before, the US is the pivotal player in the TPP deal.  If the US does not ratify the TPP, it is highly unlikely the deal will be ratified in other countries, including Singapore.  Singapore has been a stark supporter of the TPP, and it’s not surprising that with the prospect of the TPP fading, Singapore has voiced public disappointment.

As another indication that the world was watching the US election, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee indicated he was well aware of Donald Trump’s stance on the TPP.  Lee’s exact word were that Trump “had no sympathy for the TPP at all.”  Singapore’s main reason for its pro-TPP stance is that it would to enjoy lower tariff and non-tariff barriers for both goods and services, but Singapore is also a very small player in the grand TPP scheme.  The TPP accounts for 40% of global trade amongst its participating countries.  PM Lee has also noted previously that not ratifying the TPP would make the US lose credibility with countries around the world.

Moving forward, it looks like Singapore’s stance on the TPP is all or nothing.  When PM Lee was asked if the deal could be amended to add new countries like Russia or China, he responded that the deal would be a completely new animal.  He called such a deal a “new exercise,” a strong indication that the deal as it is right now is the only way Singapore would like to see the deal ratified.  As President elect Trump begins to enact his policy, the world will be watching with interest to see how deals such as the TPP created under the Obama administration will be handled.  If Trump does keep any of his campaign promises, it will not be surprising if the TPP is completely scrapped.

 

What countries will be involved if a new TPP style deal is crafted?

Will there be significant global fallout if the TPP is not ratified in the US?

How much consideration should Trump give to smaller countries like Singapore as compared to the larger countries not in the agreement such as Russia and China?

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/singapore-disappointed-tpp-is-unlikely-to-be-passed-under-donald-trump-pm-lee

 

3D Printing Our Way to Space

The article “The Possibilities of Weight Reduction with Additive Manufacturing” (http://3dprinting.com/metal/possibilities-weight-reduction-additive-manufacturing/) reviews a partnership that Atos, a Spanish digital solutions company, and Materialise, a 3D printing services company in Belgium, have formed. These two companies how to partner up to improve current technologies within the aerospace industry. The first initiative they took was to improve a mounting piece that is generally used to attach heavy and large structures to satellites. They were able to reduce the weight by utilizing lattice structures to form a strong, yet hollow per component which weighed 70% less! Amazingly enough, the material they 3D printed was titanium, which is known as the “best performing metal for AM technology”.

Schoolyard Brawl

In a recent article on the website, yahoo.com, they discuss the hostile environment in the Japanese Diet over the ratification of the TPP. Japanese lawmakers recently voted to ratify the TPP, but the sensitive top quickly dissolved into and Jerry Springer episode as fights broke out on the committee floor. Many lawmakers disagreed with many of the provisions. While the deal will lower many of the tariffs for Japanese exports, the open markets will create more competition for Japanese farmers and businesses. Will more fights break out as they try to reconcile their differences? Will the deal get ratified? Will other countries show the same hostility toward each other as they attempt to ratify the deal?

 

A New Hope

In a recent article on the website, sfchronicle.com, the development of a new type of commercial drone aimed at upgrading the construction industry is discussed. As of late, 3D Robotics has seen huge losses in its consumer drone products and hopes that its shift to the commercial sector will aid in its turnaround. Their new drone, Site Scan, is marketed as a technology that will move the construction industry out of the paper era and into the digital era. Will 3D robotics be able to make the transition? What challenges may they face? What must they do differently from their last drone to be successful?

Tuft’s Study Predicts Negative Effects of TPP For Canada

 

In the article TPP’s Economic Impact Will Be Fewer Jobs, More Inequality, New Study Says, the author seeks to examine a study released at the beginning of this year regarding the TPP.  Interestingly, the study actually predicts a shrinking of the US and Japanese economies ten years after the TPP would come into being and a very modest growth in the Canadian economy.  Overall, the study claims that job losses will occur due to the TPP due to shifting production to goods for exportation as well increased competition.

The TTP would encompass 40% of the world’s economy so it’s not surprising that competition could get very fierce given new areas of trade for many of the countries involved.  The study conducted by Tufts’ Global Development and Environment Institute predicts that Canada’s economy would grow 0.28% as opposed to not being part of the TPP.  This 0.28% equivocates to only $5 billion dollars.  Interestingly, the Tuft’s research contradicts some early research that states there would be bigger benefits to employment and economic growth.  One contradictory study from the Fraser institute has the net benefits being at $9.9 billion for Canada, basically double what the Tuft’s research shows.

One finding the Tufts research that many have argued as a downside to the TPP is the loss of jobs and income inequality created by the TPP.  The amount of income flowing to business owners and shareholders would increase, relatively, while the amount of income flowing to wage earners would shrink, the Tufts study predicts.  A negative impact to income distribution scares many in Canada.  The exact numbers used are a reduction of the labor’s share of the GDP of 0.86%.  It’s important to note that Canada already more unequal than the US when it comes to the labor’s share of the GDP.  It will be interesting to see how Canada interprets conflicting studies about how the TPP will affect it’s economy in the future.

 

The Tuft’s study appears to confirm the fears of everyday citizens in countries that are included in the TPP, do you believe this study is valid?

If Canada does not ratify the TPP, could the results be worse than ratifying it?

If the TPP is scrapped, do you believe a new trade agreement will have to be crafted in its place?

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/01/20/tpp-economic-impact-canada-us_n_9029892.html

Trump, Mexico, and the TPP

The article “Mexico ready to discuss NAFTA with Trump, eyes non-US TPP” discusses Mexico and their actions with respect to the TPP post the Donald Trump vote. (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-mexico-idUSKBN1352N0?il=0) Per the article “Mexico is willing to discuss NAFTA with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump but may seek to circumvent the United States on a broader trans-Pacific deal if necessary…”. The main mission of the discussions are to “persuade Trump how beneficial NAFTA… had been for North America”, and how “… the world is not competing by country, it’s competing by region…”. While currently no date has been established, both parties are anticipating one soon. “Mexico and the United States do about half a trillion dollars in trade every year, with the balance of commerce favoring the smaller country by tens of billions of dollars”. Despite this, Mexico is the US’s second-biggest foreign goods market after Canada. How will these negotiations play out? Only time will tell.