IIoT has crossed the chasm, and savvy manufacturers are investing aggressively in technologies that will create a smarter, more connected plant floor to achieve greater operational visibility and enhance quality.
The Washington Examiner (7/17, Weaver) reports that “Reps. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Ron Kind (D-WA), with Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) have introduced the Invent and Manufacture in America Act, a bill that would give a tax credit to companies that not only conduct research and development, but also manufacture products resulting from that R&D as well.” The article quotes Rep. Kelly saying, “I’m from the private sector. What we’ve found that works best: If you want to do something, you usually incentivize any good behavior.” Rep. Kelly emphasized the importance of tax reform to manufacturing, saying, “So, we’re looking at the loss of jobs we’ve had – manufacturing jobs, the number of manufacturing plants have closed, and when you ask them why is it that you’ve closed ... why did you choose to actually assemble it someplace else, it’s usually because of a more favorable tax situation.”
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that “growth surged for Midwest manufacturers in June as domestic and overseas product orders surged during the month, according to a widely watched economic report issued Monday by Creighton University.”
The Star Tribune added that “the nine state Mid-America Business Conditions Index, which includes Minnesota, jumped to an impressive 62.3 in June from 55.5 in May.” Noting that any number above 50 signals growth for the manufacturing sector, the article also stated that “June marked the seventh consecutive month factory results grew across the region encompassing Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, South and North Dakota, Arkansas and Oklahoma.”
The Omaha (NE) World-Herald reports that the survey “hit its highest level in more than six years in June, signaling growth for the seventh straight month.” The article quotes Creighton University economist Ernie Gross pointing out that “recent interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve ‘failed to restrain business confidence,’ since rates remain relatively low and average profits are strong.” In addition, “Goss said the regional survey results point to ‘healthy growth’ in manufacturing and non-manufacturing into the fourth quarter of this year,” the World-Herald reports.
The AP reported that the survey results show “the economy will likely continue growing at a healthy pace over the next few months in nine Midwest and Plains states.” The AP also quoted Goss saying, “the job picture for regional manufacturing continues to improve.”
The Boeing Co. is investing an undisclosed amount in SparkCognition, helping the Austin, Tex.-based company close a $32.5 million funding round. Boeing’s stake was placed through HorizonX, a venture it set up recently to direct investment capital for technology commercialization and new market access.
SparkCognition develops “machine learning technology” — i.e., artificial intelligence — particularly for applications in information technology, energy, oil-and-gas, manufacturing, finance, aerospace, defense, telecommunications and security.
Boeing was joined in the investment by Verizon Ventures, a private equity group.
Today, Governor Eric Greitens announced the launch of the Governor’s Innovation Task Force. The Governor has charged the Task Force with assessing the current state of innovation in Missouri, analyzing best practices from other states, and developing specific recommendations for what the State can do to promote innovation and new technology start-ups.
A new state law could give the St. Louis Port Authority access to a new revenue stream for redevelopment and infrastructure along the Mississippi River.
The city’s Port Authority Board passed a resolution Tuesday authorizing the creation of an Advanced Industrial Manufacturing Zone, a designation recently established by Missouri lawmakers.
American Outdoor Brands Corp., parent of Springfield-based gunmaker Smith & Wesson, announced this week that it has created a new Logistics & Customer Service Division that will be based in Missouri.