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5 for Friday: Sustainable Design on Demand; Deadline for Salary & Career Survey; Celebrating MFG Day!

Oct. 6, 2023
Machine Design takes a look at the past week, and a look ahead to the issues facing the design and manufacturing sector.

1. Design on Demand

While Machine Design has written extensively about sustainable design, we’ve viewed that through the prism of sustainability being a business imperative for manufacturers looking to be both environmentally and fiscally responsible. A new study from global electronic distributors Avnet, which we reported on this week, finds the movement toward more sustainable design has another channel to consider.

According to the new Avnet study, 78% of those who do are taking steps to implement sustainable are being driven by customer demand.

Stacy Mendez, Avnet’s director of global strategic planning and ESG, said in the article that not everyone in the electronics industry sees the potential in designing products in a more sustainable way. But if customers are a driving force for sustainable design, it also means they will make their purchase decisions with that factor at the top of mind. And that is what will drive profitability and change.

2. Finding Opportunities in Sustainable Design

Editor-in-Chief Rehana Begg writes about a similar topic this month in the September-October issue of Machine Design. She notes manufacturing makes up 16% of global domestic product (GDP) but uses 54% of total delivered energy, making the sector essential in achieving a sustainable future.

“With this awareness, manufacturers are embedding sustainability and resilience principles into their operations to increase competitiveness,” Begg writes this month. “It forces them to re-evaluate not only the way they think about and design products, technologies, processes and business models, but also how they optimize value created by those resources.

“Consider the decarbonization agenda, where manufacturers are realizing that they need to go beyond the confines of their own carbon-neutral operations. In order to progress, each manufacturer would need to calculate their cradle-to-gate product carbon footprint (PCF),” she adds. “It’s a tricky undertaking that starts with an understanding of the manufacturer’s level of data maturity and further requires the manufacturer to reach beyond its own carbon-neutral operations.”

3. Today’s the Deadline for the 2023 Salary & Career Survey

Sustainability is just one of the topics we look to address in our annual Salary & Career Survey. We’ll also be asking about AI, robotics—and we’ll even ask about salary benchmarks. The deadline to share your views with other engineers is today, so please participate if you haven’t up to this point. It’s a great chance to connect with your fellow engineers, and with Machine Design editors.

4. MFG Day 2023: Embrace Innovation, Inspire the Future  

Today is MFG Day, an annual initiative of the Manufacturing Institute that both brings attention to the current value of manufacturing in the world and points to the potential and challenges of the industry. That’s reflected in the event’s slogan: Embrace Innovation, Inspire the Future. By connecting industry professionals, students, academic leaders and governmental officials at all levels, it celebrates the manufacturing industry and aims to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.

This year, MFG Day brings together manufacturers, educational institutions and community leaders to highlight the opportunities and advancements in the manufacturing sector. And those opportunities abound—according to the Manufacturing Institute, more than 4 million manufacturing jobs need to be created in the U.S. in the next 10 years. We shouldn’t be subtle about touting manufacturing’s long-term value and its solid opportunities. MFG Day is a chance to do that, of course, but there are another 364 days each year—and 365 more next year—to continue to raise manufacturing profile and enhance its value.

5. A Q&A About 3D Materials  

A new Q&A interview between technical editor Sharon Spielman and nano3Dprint CEO Ramsey Stevens discusses the evolution of what is called multi-material additive manufacturing. The Q&A looks at how these materials can be incorporated not just into the printing itself, but actually woven into other materials for wearable devices and solar cells. “3D printing is no longer limited to creating static or passive objects; it can also result in electronics with dynamic or active properties, including conductivity and magnetism,” the article notes. “This opens possibilities for manufacturing applications in smart textiles, biomedical devices and automotive, among others.

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