Friday, December 21, 2012

Top Five Twitter Posts: Force of Manufacturing, Solar Panel Stickers and an Engineering Hero

Smack-dab in the middle of the holidays and we're still busy as ever in cyberspace and on the manufacturing floor, making conversation online and guided motion solutions at our Bay Area headquarters. It's an exciting time of year. Let us fill you in on some of the chatter that defined our Twitter conversations this week, from the funny to the fascinating. Make sure to follow our future tweets at @BWCnews!

Credit: Motion System Design
1. The Force of U.S. Manufacturing in Motion System Design magazine: The glossy publication put together a nice piece on the "new normal" of global manufacturing and the role domestic industry plays in the field's worldwide growth. On the panel cited in this article is BWC's very own Pamela Kan, CEO member of various public advisory panels. In it, Kan talks about, among other things, the importance of manufacturing products in the U.S., the meaning of productivity and how we can improve domestic manufacturing.

2. Peel-and-Stick Solar Panels via Product Design & Development Magazine: For the first time, scientists have found a way to create flexible solar cells, bendable enough to fashion into peel-and-stick patches. The developing vastly widens the application of solar technology, the magazine says. We've achieve "the ideal: flexible, decal-like solar panels that can be peeled off like Band-Aids and stuck to virtually any surface, from papers to window panes."

3. Boeing, BMW Join Forces on Manufacturing Executive Blog: Recent advances of new composite materials, namely carbon fiber, to build super lightweight cars and aircraft has led BMW and airline giant Boeing. We look forward to seeing the innovation the partnership will breed!

Credit: Big Beacon
4. The Jackhammer Elegies: A Novel with an Engineering Hero via Big Beacon: A few blogs posts ago, we suggested some pretty cool gift ideas for engineers. But here's another we'd like to retroactively add to the list. It's a book whose protagonist, Scott Carter, is a civil/structural engineer. Click through to read more about the novel in an interview with its author, Stefan Jaeger.

5. Skills Gap to Drive Manufacturing Power Shift via Manufacturing Engineering Media: While we talk about reshoring manufacturing and repatriating domestic profits, here's a piece that reminds us how a shortage of skilled laborers will keep pushing manufacturing overseas unless the U.S. comes up with a policy to counteract that. Do you think we'll see a formal U.S. manufacturing policy in 2013?