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Nanomanufacturing has Many Benefits that Enable New Manufacturing Processes

nanotechnology

Faster, stronger, lighter, cheaper and more durable are necessary attributes for the manufacturing industry. But what if one could also have: water-repellent, anti-reflective, self-cleaning, ultraviolet- or infrared resistant, anti-fog, antimicrobial, scratch-resistant and electrically conductive in the mix?

Small, but Mighty

Nanomanufacturing and nanotechnology using nanoscale materials promises just that, and its applications continue to grow. Using elements measured in nanometers or micros of 10-100 nanometers or less, nanomanufacturing is enhancing performance in the manufacturing industry by boosting the properties in high-performance, innovative, next-generation products.

Nanomanufacturing, defined as the production of nanoscale materials like powders or fluids, enables high-precision production through a “bottom up” or “top down” process.

Top-down fabrication – like whittling a large block down into another object, top down systematically reduces to a final nanoscale product

Bottom-up fabrication – builds up nanoscaled products from atomic- and molecular-scale components

Enabling New Manufacturing Processes

Attention for nanotechnology processes gained prominence in 2000 when the government established its National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). Created with a goal to make the U.S. a global leader in nanotechnology, the NNI and its related departments and independent agencies have provided research and instruction to multiple industries, sharing advances in nanotechnology that can reduce costs and improve capabilities along the way. NNI’s website Nano.gov offers resources and information about nanotechnology for the public and private sectors.

Successful innovations through NNI’s initiative include examples from higher-education institutions such as Purdue University, Northwestern University, Rice University and the University of Pennsylvania where researchers apply nanomanufacturing technologies.

Tools and Techniques

Laser shock imprinting – forms nanoscale metallic shapes for gears (Purdue)

Desktop nanofabrication tool – uses beam-pen lithography arrays to build nanoscale structures (Northwestern)

Nanoscale diamond tips – creation of longer-lasting AFM tips for etching or depositing material in nanomanufacturing processing (University of Pennsylvania)

These educational institutions are also joined by companies such as MesoCoat, ArcelorMital, IMEC and Nantero that are using nanotechnology to prevent oxidation, create lighter steel, reduce waste and produce lower-cost solar cells. Well-known names like Hewlett Packard and Intel are applying nanotechnology to create improved memory devices with more computing power and storage capacity.

New Processes Enabling Nanomanufacturing

Chemical vapor deposition – reacting chemicals produce pure, high-performance films

Molecular beam epitaxy – deposits highly controlled thin films

Atomic layer epitaxy – deposits one-atom-thick layers

Dip pen lithography – dipping the tip of an atomic-force microscope into a chemical fluid to “write” on a surface

Nanoimprint lithography – “stamping” or “printing” nanoscale features onto a surface

Roll-to-roll processing – producing nanoscale devices on ultrathin plastic or metal

Self-assembly – bringing a group of components together into an ordered structure without outside direction

Funding Initiatives

The future of nanomanufacturing is bright, but progress doesn’t come cheap. Resourceful R&D will need to rely on funding to further the potential of nanomanufacturing. Currently, there are more than 90 NNI-funded centers throughout the U.S. and $36.5 million of President Trump’s YF 2019 budget of close to $1.4 billion is earmarked for nanomanufacturing.

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Let’s All Come Together to Celebrate Manufacturing Day 2018

MFG Day

Those who work in manufacturing understand continuing education is critical to demonstrate the career opportunities available as traditional manufacturing processes merge with technology. Yet, misconceptions about working in the industry persist. To combat these false ideas, those in manufacturing are offering individuals outside of the industry a personal look at what manufacturing means today.

 

National Manufacturing Day

Although National Manufacturing Day officially falls on October 5th this year, those who make their living in manufacturing understand it to be something worth celebrating each day. The first Manufacturing Day was started as an opportunity to highlight the positive elements of the industry to others and to dispel misconceptions. In October of 2014, President Obama signed a proclamation making National Manufacturing Day an official day recognizing the benefits and achievements of the manufacturing industry.

Inside View

Because of annual Manufacturing Day events, students and job seekers in the United States, have an opportunity to see the inner workings of the industry through factory tours, hands-on demonstrations and career-exploration panels. These efforts offer the next generation of workers and students an introduction to the current manufacturing environment.

In fact, 64 percent of students surveyed after attending a 2016 Manufacturing Day event came away feeling motivated to consider a career in manufacturing. Deloitte’s survey results show a potential 171,000 new members could join the workforce because of improved perceptions regarding the modernization of the manufacturing industry. This is an important step in filling the estimated 3.5 million manufacturing jobs between now and 2025, according to Deloitte.

Manufacturing Day also unites manufacturers in the U.S. in efforts to improve the public image of manufacturing, mend the skills gap and boost ongoing prosperity for the industry at large. During the month of October, manufacturers come together to address the industry’s collective challenges and to define the framework for the manufacturing industry moving forward.

Looking Forward

Officially celebrated the first Friday in October, this year’s occasion falls on Oct. 5 with additional events occurring throughout the month. During this time, manufacturers across the nation will showcase new industry technologies as they open the doors for factory tours, welcoming those outside of the industry to view manufacturing first-hand. To date, there are 387 Manufacturing Day events scheduled in the U.S. with 43 public and invitation-only events planned in Ohio.

Growth of the annual celebration is the result of ongoing efforts from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the Manufacturing Institute (MI) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). NAM produces the annual event with support from the MI and MEP.

This article is brought to you by The Cleveland Deburring Machine Company. CDMC can provide a deburring solution for gears, sprockets, aerospace and defense, automotive deburring, power transmission, powdered metals, fluid power and custom deburring applications. Our no-charge application evaluation includes a detailed report and process description in as little as 3 to 5 business days. Contact CDMC today and speak with one of our experts!

 

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Manufacturing Industry Records Eighth Month of Job Growth

U.S. Manufacturing Industry

The first half of 2018 is off to a positive start with continued growth in the manufacturing sector. Recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor reported an additional 18,000 jobs added within the industry. During the month of May, this equated into 12.673 million jobs, just slightly higher than the 12.655 million jobs reported in April. Many of these new jobs come from durable goods manufacturing.

Compared to a year ago when May 2017 numbers were at 12.414, this demonstrates a positive lift. Other economic areas such as the non-farm sector continue to show increases with 223,000 new jobs reported during the month of May, better than the 188,000 jobs economists predicted during this time frame. Retail trade (31,000 jobs), health care (29,000 jobs), and construction (25,000 jobs) also saw increased growth, and the unemployment rate moved to 3.8 percent, according to the June 1 economic news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Areas of New Job Creation

Machinery manufacturers – 5,800 new jobs

Fabricated metal products – 2,400 new jobs

Wood products – 1,300 new jobs

Industry Downturn

One area of the industry not experiencing the same level of growth is within the motorized vehicle and parts industry. 4,400 manufacturing jobs were lost during the month of May in this sector. Traditionally, this area, which includes trucks, cars and other vehicles, has been one of the more robust in the industry. The once-top job creator continues to experience a dip as more automotive buyers switch their preference from cars to larger-size SUVs and trucks.

Despite this slump, the sector still experienced an overall gain of 1,400 jobs, and automotive dealers point out the benefits of better-quality automobiles produced by leaner plants. Another bright side is SUVs and trucks have a larger price tag than most cars. Automotive industry insiders anticipate that larger profits from the production of SUVs and trucks will make it easier for automotive plants to make production changes, hopefully decreasing the need for large layoffs. Another positive is that automotive producers now react to changes in consumer desires quicker than they did in the past.

Slow Yet Steady

Nimbleness in manufacturing methods and changes in U.S. trade policy offer two examples of how the manufacturing industry continues to rebound from the 2008 financial crisis and recession. As economic conditions continue to improve, the industry shows steady, yet slow, growth with hiring continuing throughout much of the industry. A desire for products made in the U.S. also helps justify new jobs and an increasing workforce to meet growing demand. But the continuation of such trends remains to be seen with the possibility of an upcoming trade war, according to a news report from Manufacturing Talk Radio.

This article brought to you by the Cleveland Deburring Machine Company.

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