Monday, May 3, 2010

Manufacturing Grows At Fastest Pace In 6 Years

Manufacturing grows at fastest pace in 6 years.....

MSNBC is quoting the Associated Press below:

NEW YORK - May 3rd, 2010

The U.S. manufacturing sector expanded at the fastest pace in nearly six years in April, as factories continue to lead the economy's rebound.

The Institute for Supply Management, a private trade group of purchasing executives, said Monday its manufacturing index rose to 60.4 last month from 59.6 in March. It's the ninth straight month of growth. A level above 50 indicates expansion.

It is the fastest pace of growth since June 2004 when the index was at 60.5. 

Automated Energy Monitoring of Machine Tools Article

Dr. David Dornfeld and Dr. Athulan Vijayaraghavan have written a great article titled, Automated Energy Monitoring of Machine Tools

Dr.  Vijayaraghavan is the CTO for System Insights.  Dr. Vijayaraghavan obtained his Ph.D from UC Berkeley in Mechanical Engineering in Manufacturing with a minor in Computer Science.  Dr. Dornfeld is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and the Director of the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability at University of California.

Below is the abstract for the article:

Reducing the energy consumption of machine tools can significantly improve the environmental performance of manufacturing systems. To achieve this, monitoring of energy consumption patterns in the systems is required. It is vital in these studies to correlate energy usage with the operations being performed in the manufacturing system. However, this can be challenging due to complexity of manufacturing systems and the vast number of data sources. Event stream processing techniques are applied to automate the monitoring and analysis of energy consumption in manufacturing systems. Methods to reduce usage based on the specific patterns discerned are discussed.
I have highlighted above what I believe are the key aspects of this article.   It is this actual (not theoretical or approximated) correlation that becomes extremely valuable information for everyone in the manufacturing food chain.   This article provides a case study with specifics on the importance of an architecture that incorporates rules engines and complex event processing (CEP) when analyzing how much actual energy a given machine tool is using for a specific operation.    The authors discuss the importance of MTConnect as an open and royalty free mechanism for gathering of the data.

It is papers, such as this one by these two distinguished thought leaders, Dr. Vijayaraghavan and Dr. Dornfeld, that are the key building blocks for manufacturing in the 21st Century.