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The China Exodus: Survey Shows Sourcing, Manufacturing Moving Out

The China Exodus: Survey Shows Sourcing, Manufacturing Moving Out

A Gartner Inc. survey of 260 global supply chain leaders in February and March 2020 found that 33 percent had moved sourcing and manufacturing activities out of China or plan to do so in the next two to three years. Survey results show that the COVID-19 pandemic is only one of several disruptions that have put global supply chains under pressure.

“Global supply chains were being disrupted long before COVID-19 emerged,” said Kamala Raman, senior director analyst with the Gartner Supply Chain Practice. “Already in 2018 and 2019, the U.S.-China trade war made supply chain leaders aware of the weaknesses of their globalized supply chains and question the logic of heavily outsourced, concentrated and interdependent networks. As a result, a new focus on network resilience and the idea of more regional manufacturing emerged. But this kind of change comes with a price tag.”

READ: Impact of COVID-19 On The Automotive Manufacturing Supply Chain

READ: Coronavirus Outbreak Reveals the Weakest Links In The Supply Chain

Tariff Costs are the Primary Reason to Move Supply Chains

For decades, China has been the go-to destination for high-quality, low-cost manufacturing, and it has established itself as a key source of supply for almost all major industries including retail and pharmaceutical. However, Gartner research showed that the margin between those companies planning to add jobs in China versus taking them away narrowed sharply in 2019. The primary reason is the increase in tariff costs.

“We have found that tariffs imposed by the U.S. and Chinese governments during the past years have increased supply chain costs by up to 10 percent for more than 40 percent of organizations. For just over one-quarter of respondents, the impact has been even higher,” Raman said. “Popular alternative locations are Vietnam, India, and Mexico.

The second main reason for moving sourcing and manufacturing out of China is that supply chain leaders want to make their networks more resilient.”

READ: Trade War Pushes Apple’s Manufacturing From China To Vietnam

READ: Taiwanese Companies Shift Production To Taoyuan As Trade War Heats Up

Balancing Efficiency and Resilience

Only 21 percent of survey respondents believe that they have a highly resilient network today—meaning that they have good visibility and the agility to shift sourcing, manufacturing and distribution activities around quickly. However, 55 percent expect to have a highly resilient network in the next two to three years—a reaction to disruptions such as Brexit, the trade war and COVID-19.

However, resilience has a price. Fifty-eight percent of respondents agree that more resilience also results in additional structural costs to the network.

“We are at a crossroads in the evaluation of global supply chains that pits just-in-time systems designed to improve operational efficiency against just-in-case plans that emphasize planning and preparing for a range of plausible scenarios,” Raman added. “To find balance, supply chain leaders must engage in risk management to assess their organization’s willingness to take risk onboard and decide how to quantify that risk against other network objectives such as cost effectiveness.”

Moving Closer to the Customer

One-quarter of survey respondents stated that they have already regionalised or localised manufacturing to be closer to demand. Despite the cost of adding more players to the ecosystem and increasing the overall network complexity, regional supply chains can ease delays and shortages in times of disruption—if the model is economically viable.

“Many Western organizations will have to explore new forms of automation on the factory floor to decrease the costs of near- or onshore production. Some also favour a partial option, such as manufacturing in Asia and moving only the final assembly closer to the customer,” Raman concluded.

 

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Global Robotics Technology Market To Top $170B By 2027

Global Robotics Technology Market to Top $170B by 2027

The global robotics technology industry was estimated at $62.75 billion in 2019, and is expected to hit $170.08 billion by 2027, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.5 percent from 2020 to 2027, according to a new report by Allied Market Research.

The rise in need for automation and safety in organizations, availability of affordable and energy efficient robots, increase in deployment of robots in several industries, and surge in labour and energy costs are driving the growth of the global robotics technology market. On the other hand, high implementation costs and lack of awareness about automation among the SMEs impede the growth to certain extent. However, growth in adoption of robotics technology across the world is projected to create multiple opportunities in the industry.

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COVID-19 Scenario

Due to the global lockdown, there has been a lack of demand for automated machines from the construction, automotive, and many more other industries which, in turn, has impacted the robotics technology market badly. Also, disruptions in the supply chain have curtailed down the growth to some extent.

However, with several relaxations coming up over the restrictions, the market is expected to make up the blocks soon.

Hardware Segment to Lead the Trail

Based on component, the hardware segment contributed to nearly three-fourths of the global robotics technology market share in 2019, and is expected to retain its dominance by the end of 2027, owing to the fact that hardware components are cheaper than software modules and are also faster to deploy.

The service segment, on the other hand, would grow at the fastest CAGR of 16.7 percent throughout the forecast period. Rise in need of different services such as managed services and professional services propel the growth of the segment.

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Manufacturing Segment to Dominate End-application

Based on application, the manufacturing segment accounted for more than three-fourths of the global robotics technology market revenue in 2019, and is anticipated to rule the roost by 2027. This is attributed to high labour costs, new safety regulations, and stringent emission norms issued by several government bodies.

Simultaneously, the aerospace & defence segment would portray the fastest CAGR of 16.7 percent during the study period. Increased rate of unmanned systems, high-end technological advancement, and surge in government expenditure fuel the segment growth.

Asia-Pacific to Maintain Top Status Until 2027

Based on geography, Asia-Pacific held the major share in 2019, generating more than two-thirds of the global robotics technology market. The same region would also manifest the fastest CAGR of 14.4 percent till 2027.

The rise in growth in automation and intensive R&D in a number of countries including Japan, China, India, Australia, and Taiwan is driving the market growth. Meanwhile, North America is anticipated to portray the CAGR of 13.3 percent from 2020 to 2027.

 

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Copy Milling Cutter Brings Benefits Of Single-sided Round Inserts To Double-sided Models

Copy Milling Cutter Brings Benefits of Single-sided Round Inserts to Double-sided Models

When machining components made of materials with difficult cutting properties, such as turbine blades, drive parts or engine parts for the energy or aircraft and aerospace industries, round insert milling cutters are often the first choice. Until now, single-sided indexable inserts have primarily been used for this purpose. With the indexable insert size RNMX1005M0 for small depths of cut, Walter AG is bringing an extension for the M2471 copy milling cutter to the market – the first to feature a double-sided round insert with eight useable cutting edges.

The system for milling cutters with diameters of 25 mm or more with ScrewFit, parallel shank or bore adaption is suitable for machining steel, stainless steels and materials with difficult cutting properties. Indexing using the flank face of the indexable insert ensures simple, safe handling.

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The M2471 copy milling cutter brings all the benefits of single-sided round inserts to double-sided round inserts, particularly in terms of their positive cutting behaviour. To ensure that this does not negatively affect process reliability, the insert and body are designed so that their overall stability is guaranteed during use of all eight cutting edges.

The technical features, as well as the eight useable cutting edges, reduce cutting material costs by up to 20 percent. Walter offers the new indexable insert in geometries ‘G57 – The universal one’ and ‘K67 – The easy-cutting one’ for medium and good application conditions, respectively. The copy milling cutter is also available in Tiger·tec Silver PVD grades WSM35S and WSP45S.

 

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Siemens Revolutionizes CAD Sketching With AI Technology

Siemens Revolutionizes CAD Sketching With AI Technology

Siemens Digital Industries Software has launched a new solution for capturing concepts in 2D. The new NX Sketch software tool revolutionizes sketching in CAD, which is an essential part of the design process. By changing the underlying technology, users are now able to sketch without pre-defining parameters, design intent and relationships.

Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to infer relationships on the fly, users can move away from a paper hand sketch and truly create concept designs within NX software. This technology offers significant flexibility in concept design sketching, and makes it easy to work with imported data, allowing rapid design iteration on legacy data, and to work with tens of thousands of curves within a single sketch. With these latest enhancements to NX, Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio continues to bring together advanced technology, even within the core of modelling techniques, helping remove the traditional barriers users have experienced to dramatically improve productivity.

“The ability to make intelligent changes to 2D entities that one imports into the new sketcher is astounding,” said Steve Samuels, CEO of Design Visionaries Inc.

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With these latest enhancements to NX, Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio continues to bring together advanced technology, even within the core of modelling techniques.

With these latest enhancements to NX, Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio continues to bring together advanced technology, even within the core of modelling techniques.

Analysis has shown that in an average day or workflow, around 10% of a typical user’s day is spent sketching. In addition, within current design environments most concept sketching is happening outside of the CAD software due to the level of rules and relationships that must be decided on and built into the sketch by the user up front. Often designers in concept design stage do not necessarily know what the final product may be, which requires a sketching environment that is flexible and can evolve with the design. NX offers the flexibility of 2D paper concept design within the 3D CAD environment, as the first in the industry to eliminate upfront constraints on the design. Instead of defining and being limited by constraints such as size or relationships, NX can recognize tangents and other design relationships to adjust on the fly.

“Sketching is at the heart of CAD and is critical to capturing the intent of the digital twin,” said Bob Haubrock, Senior Vice President, Product Engineering Software at Siemens Digital Industries Software. “Even though this is an essential part of the process, sketching hasn’t changed much in the last 40 years. Using technology and innovations from multiple past acquisitions, Siemens is able to take a fresh look at this crucial design step and modernize it in a way that will help our customers achieve significant gains in productivity and innovation.”

 

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Smart Manufacturing Market To Reach US$573B By 2027

Smart Manufacturing Market to Reach US$573B By 2027

The global smart manufacturing market is expected to reach $573 billion by 2027, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 13 percent during the 2020–2027 forecast period, according to Acumen Research and Consulting.

Smart manufacturing is a method to automate manufacture of products and transaction processes. Intelligent manufacturing requires the use of automation devices and the purpose of this phase is to use information technology (IT) to support the global economy. This output reduces the workload and makes the process more efficient.

The smart manufacturing network enables the usage of integrated equipment for automated processing of the manufacturing company. These development markets are growing due to various sectors, like automobile or process manufacturers, such as chemicals and oil and gas. Smart manufacturing reduces depletion and increases manufacturing performance significantly—thus increasing productivity and resulting in long-term cost advantages.

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Market dynamics

The key driving factor in the growth of the smart manufacturing market is the advances in technology and the development of more innovative technologies and products, including cloud computing, sensors, robots, 3D printing, and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), among others.

Another major factor that is having a significant effect on market growth is the significant developments undertaken by technology suppliers as well as businesses to introduce innovative technologies to maximize productivity minimize manufacturing errors and automate processes.

Some of the most important factors for smart manufacturing development are the positive influence of policy programs and investments in supporting smart manufacturing. It is anticipated it will continue to boost growth in both developed and developing economies. For instance, the China 2025 Made in China Plan will spend more than $3 trillion in advanced manufacturing.

Another significant factor that is projected to fuel the demand growth of smart manufacturing is the increasing emphasis among manufacturers on real-time data analysis. This is to increase visibility in terms of predictive system maintenance, in order to prevent repairs during operations.

 

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TMR: CNC Market To Reach $115B By 2027

TMR: CNC Market to Reach $115B by 2027

The increasing focus on production efficiency is aiding the uptake of computer numerical controls (CNC) technologies as these machines streamline various operational processes by reducing production time and minimizing human error.

The highly competitive environment has compelled players to focus on efficient manufacturing techniques. They are also trying to gain competitive advantage by redesigning their manufacturing facilities to include CNC machines. The integration of 3D printing with CNC machines is one such addition to some of the new production units, which is expected to offer better product design with little to no resource wastage.

Fuelled by these factors, the global market for computer numerical controls is projected to grow from a value of $64 billion in 2018 to $115.1 billion by 2027, according to a study by Transparency Market Research (TMR). If these values hold true, the CNC market is expected to register a CAGR of 6.7 percent during the forecast period.

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Automated Manufacturing Driving Demand for CNC in Industrial and Automotive Sectors

Based on type, the global CNC market is led by lathe machines, and the segment is poised to dominate the market throughout the forecast period. The demand for lathe machines can be attributed to a wide application area.

On the other hand, milling machines are anticipated to register a strong growth rate during the forecast period. Milling machines are compatible with a wide range of materials and surfaces and help improve overall efficiency. Furthermore, technological innovation has led to the development of advanced milling machines that can provide a more consistent finish to the products.

In terms of application, the industrial segment held the dominant share and is likely to retain its lead through 2027. The growing demand for automated manufacturing in the industrial sector resulted in the increasing uptake of CNC machines. The establishment of manufacturing facilities in developing regions such as Asia Pacific has also spurred the usage of CNC technologies in this sector. The automotive sector, on the other hand, is set to be the most rapidly developing segment in the coming years thanks to the soaring rate of automated automobile manufacturing.

North America Continues to Present Immense Scope Despite Market Saturation

From a geographical viewpoint, the global market for computer numerical controls is led by Asia Pacific, with the region accounting for a share of approximately 35 percent in 2018. Developing economies such as China and India have been witnessing robust growth in terms of industrialization, thereby propelling the regional market. The automotive sector has been estimated to register rapid growth in the Asia Pacific CNC market during the forecast period owing to the rising demand for automobiles in the region. In addition, the easy availability of labour and the declining prices of components have resulted in manufacturers shifting their production units in this region. This is further propelling the APAC CNC market.

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Meanwhile, considering that the United States is the one of the earliest adapters of new technologies, the North America market for CNC machines is relatively saturated. Be that as it may, rising concerns over global warming and depleting energy reserves have led to the production of alternative sources of power such as solar, water, and wind, and this has significantly upped the demand for CNC machines in the region. CNC machines are actively used in power generation as the process requires wide-scale automation.

Key Driving Factors, Promising Avenues, and Challenges

Some of the key growth dynamics in the CNC market are:

  • The drive for automated manufacturing in various industries is a key trend driving the expansion of the CNC market.
  • Industries, notably automotive, have increasingly adopted automated machine control technologies to improve operational efficiencies and reduce overall costs.
  • In numerous developing and developed countries around the world, growing emphasis on reducing the carbon footprint of manufacturing has spurred growth in the CNC market.
  • Over the past few years, deployment of 3D manufacturing technologies have been at the forefront for industries, bolstering demand for CNC.

Despite the attractive potential of CNC in industrial automation, such technologies require substantial investment. The maintenance and servicing is also cost-intensive, resulting in small-scale enterprises to avoid the adoption. All these are proving to significantly constrain the growth of the CNC market.

On the other hand, the incredible drive for efficiency gains is a key business proposition for the rise in demand in the CNC market.

 

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Global Spending On Defence Declines As Governments Allocate Funds To Reactivate The Economy

Global Spending on Defence Declines as Governments Allocate Funds to Reactivate the Economy

Frost & Sullivan has released a report that presents the impact of global spending on defence under three scenarios—gradual containment, severe pandemic, and global emergency. As governments around the world allocate funds to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and reactivate the economy, under the severe pandemic scenario, defence spending will stagnate at current levels for the short term (2020-2021). In the global emergency scenario, defence spending will reduce, though this will mainly depend on global and regional political conditions. But, in the long term, it will be cut by at least 10%, as witnessed in the past.

“The decline in GDP and the increase of budget deficits would have an impact on defence spending, but the effect would be lower than other industries,” said Alexander Clark, Aerospace & Defence Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “Additionally, governments across the world will promote investments for national security and as potential investments for export revenue.”

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Clark added, “With increasing geopolitical tensions, the regional defence spending ratio will remain unaffected as the underlying political factors continue to remain constant. Further, the United States, Asia and Europe, respectively, will remain the biggest consumers of defence products.”

Despite this, defence market participants are likely to increase revenue realisation from a services portfolio by redesigning their strategies and customer engagement models, including:

  • Mergers and acquisitions: Identify businesses/SMEs whose acquisition/partnership would diversify and strengthen the existing portfolio.
  • Vertical integration: Focus on offering aftermarket services such as simulator training, PBL contracts, spare parts or maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO).
  • Robotics and artificial intelligence: Develop and upgrade products that serve military-medical, commercial-security, containment, and logistics purposes.
  • Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence (CBRN): Strategic acquisitions or diversification of product portfolio should include CBRN protective clothing and equipment.

 

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Metals, Electronic Systems, External Manufacturing Slows Down Due To COVID-19

Metals, Electronic Systems, External Manufacturing Slows Down Due To COVID-19

COVID-19 has affected nearly 210 countries worldwide, impacting the manufacturing sector in a major way, including the markets for metals, electronic systems, external manufacturing, and precision plastics.

Across the globe, the medical sector is in top priority where raw materials relevant to ventilators and other essential medical equipment are available more easily, compared to other segments, according to Beroe Inc., a procurement intelligence firm.

Manufacturing activities are slowly resuming in segments such as electrical equipment, electronics, fertilizers, construction, etc., with 10-15 percent capacity initially.

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Dominant supply bases for mechanical and electrical components have been impacted by COVID-19 in China, the United States, India, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Italy.

For electronics, supply bases have been affected in Italy, Philippines, France, India, Spain, U.S., Mexico, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Passive component manufacturing bases like Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia have witnessed significant impact with temporary plant closures and logistic shutdowns which is partially compensated by reopened plants in China, South Korea and minimal closedowns in Japan.

Medical grade chemicals and medical component/equipment related manufacturing processes such as plastic injection moulding, die casting, metal fabrication, etc., are currently supporting the demand from the healthcare Industry.

There has been a significant inflow of demand from the medical sector for medical ventilators and demand from data centres and enterprise solutions resulting in extended lead times. However, due to supply disruptions and plant shutdowns, the electronics market has witnessed a significant slump in the market value, up to 5-6 percent.

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Globally, lead times are expected to witness a 40 percent increase due to logistics restrictions and slowdown in production operations. Pending approvals from the respective government authorities to resume operations is also expected to contribute to lead time delays.

Considering the current situation and extended lead time, many organisations have rerouted their supply chain to domestic suppliers. Partial resumption of manufacturing activities and anticipated relaxation in logistics in few countries like India is expected to ease lead time concerns.

Impact

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic limiting the movement of goods, the dependence on domestic/regional suppliers has increased relatively in order to meet short term/ad-hoc material demand.

Meanwhile, due to the large pandemic spread, there has been a significant reduction in the labour return rates, however, for component manufacturing, the labour requirement is comparatively minimal due to automation.

Small scale industries, special economic zones, construction, manufacturing of essentials and medical components, and food processing, have been allowed to function in most countries who have relaxed the lockdown restrictions. Certain industries such as telecom, cement, fertilizer, paper and pulp, electronics, electrical equipment such as transformers, switchgears, and motors, among others, have resumed operations with a capacity of 20-25 percent per shift.

According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, car sales in China have reportedly dropped by approximately 42 percent year-on-year in Q1 2020. COVID-19 shutdowns have led to relative production loss of 60,000 units each for Chevrolet, Honda, Toyota, and Nissan.

 

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Wider Range For Heavy-duty Cutting Needs

Wider Range for Heavy-duty Cutting Needs

Walter is providing new insert widths up to 19 mm to its standard product range. With the G2016-P groove turning holder and the UX grooving insert with GD2 geometry, Walter is launching a grooving system developed specifically for heavy-duty cutting. It is transferring the insert widths of 12 and 19 mm from the special to the standard product offering.

Special features of the system include tangentially mounted UX insert, while the toolholder and insert are additionally connected via a stable positioning groove. These design features make the system incredibly stable and prevent the insert being ‘twisted out’ of the seat during machining.

The GD2 geometry, which is also new, features a protective chamfer for a strong cutting edge, which transitions directly into a positive chip formation. As a result, it enables a very soft cutting action at the same time as good chip breaking—even with large cutting depths and feeds (f) from 0.2 to 0.6 mm.

With this system, Walter is expanding its insert widths in the standard range from the previous maximum of 10 to 19 mm now. As a result, in-stock inserts are now available from a quantity of one unit. The primary application is steel; but it is also possible to achieve good results in cast iron. The high degree of stability and process reliability of the grooving system is beneficial for the heavy-duty cutting needs in the energy and wind power sector in particular, for example, for machining generator and turbine shafts. The same applies to large shaft manufacturers, shipbuilding and mechanical engineering.

The combination with wear-resistant Walter Tiger·tec Silver MT-CVD grades additionally increases the tool life—and therefore, the cost-efficiency of the system.

 

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Tungaloy Makes Tool Centre Height Setting Easy

Tungaloy Makes Tool Centre Height Setting Easy

Tungaloy is expanding its BoreMeister series, a vibration-free deep boring tool system, to include a setting device for easy and systematic setup of the centre height.

BoreMeister is designed to ensure vibration-free boring operations in a long overhang setup of up to 10xD through a dampener inside the tool body. The majority of BoreMeister customers’ use these tools to eliminate chatter and other unstable elements during long overhang machining to gain productivity and surface integrity.

Setting the tool to the correct centre height is one of the important factors to achieve the right dimension tolerances and surface integrity of the component. The new setting device enables easy, systematic, and accurate settings of tool centre height. Its serrated interface with a magnetic locator in the centre makes attachment and detachment to the tool body easy and accurate.

The setting device comes in two sizes: AVC-SET16-25 covers BoreMeister diameters 16, 20, and 25 mm and AVC-SET32-60 diameters 32, 40, 50, and 60 mm.

 

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