Business News | Coming Events | People News | Mergers Caterpillar Expands Operations In United States PEORIA, IL—Caterpillar Inc. has selected land near Athens, GA, as the location for a new facility that will build small track-type tractors and mini hydraulic excavators. The state-ofthe- art, one-million-square-foot-facility is expected to directly employ 1,400 people once it is fully operational.The total investment for opening the new facility will be about $200 million. In addition to the 1,400 people working in the new facility near Athens, Caterpillar estimates another 2,800 full-time jobs will be created in the United States among suppliers and at other non- Caterpillar companies that will support the new facility. Company leaders and officials from the state of Georgia and the Athens area announced the decision today at a news conference held at the Georgia state capitol in Atlanta. “We are making a series of significant investments around the world to position Caterpillar to maintain its leadership position, and I am thrilled to be in Georgia today to announce that Athens will be the newest city to be home to a Caterpillar production facility. We are even more excited that this project will create more than 4,200 jobs in the United States,”says Caterpillar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman. “Georgia is proud to have built a business climate that provides the logistics, workforce, speed and efficiency that global industry leaders like Caterpillar are looking for,”says Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.“We appreciate Caterpillar’s continued investment in our state, and this new operation will resonate in our workforce and our economy for generations to come.” In late 2011, as part of a strategic decision to move production closer to the majority of customers who use small track-type tractors and mini hydraulic excavators, Caterpillar announced plans to open a new manufacturing facility in North America. The new facility will be part of Caterpillar’s Building Construction Products (BCP) Division, which is based in Cary, N. C. “The decision to shift production from Japan to the United States is driven by the proximity to a large base of customers in North America and Europe. Our objective is to better serve those customers from this new factory,” says BCP Vice President Mary Bell. “The Athens site was selected from among dozens of locations considered due to its proximity to the major ports of Savannah and Charleston, a strong regional base of potential suppliers, a positive and pro-active business climate and a good pool of potential employees with manufacturing experience.” “We are thrilled to welcome Caterpillar as our newest corporate citizen and look forward to the opportunity to partner with them in their success,” says Athens- Clarke Mayor Nancy Denson. “Our two counties joined forces to support this project because of its vast potential to create job opportunities and revitalize our local manufacturing industry.” “Caterpillar’s location in our county will be a major force in establishing an industrial base that balances our residential development and diversifies our tax base,” says Oconee County Chairman Melvin Davis. “With this location, the company will become the largest private employer in Oconee County and an integral part of our community.” The North American facility will become Caterpillar’s global source for Small track-type tractors. For mini hydraulic excavators, the new facility will provide completed machines for customers in North and South America. In addition, the company plans to export partially assembled mini excavator base units to a facility in Europe, where final assembly will take place, improving delivery times for European customers. “Investments in high output manufacturing operations like the new Caterpillar facility to be built in Athens can be a huge benefit to the local and regional economy,” says Dr. Sharon Younger, president of Younger Associates research firm and faculty member of the Economic Development Institute. “Based on the production capacity of the new plant, I estimate the total economic impact to reach $2.4 billion per year as key suppliers locate in the region and the regional supply chain matures.” Work at the new plant will include major fabrications, paint and final assembly for both product lines.The company also plans to have an on-site product distribution center for small track-type tractors and mini hydraulic excavators produced at the new facility.These machines are currently made at Caterpillar’s Sagami, Japan, facility. Once the transition to the new facility in Athens is completed, the Sagami plant will continue to serve a key strategic role in Caterpillar’s global growth strategy as a high-tech component facility. Caterpillar plans to break ground on the new facility in Athens in the first quarter of 2012. Initial production at the facility is expected to begin in late 2013, ramping up to full production over a five-year period. The company will use the website www.jointeamcaterpillar. com to fill the majority of open positions at the facility. Ford Upgrades Virtual Reality Simulator For Future Safety Technologies DEARBORN, MI—Ford recently upgraded its Virtual Test Track Experiment (VIRTTEX) simulator with improved image rendering technologies and capabilities to study driver performance, helping in the development of safety and driver aid technologies. VIRTTEX has helped in the development of heads-up displays, drowsy driver alerts and lane departure warning technology, soon to be available on the Ford Fusion. Ford is the only North American automaker with a “high-fidelity”, motion-based simulator featuring a spherical dome on top of a hydraulic system to mimic vehicle movement. The simulator was developed in 2001. Upgraded image rendering technologies now provide a high-resolution, digitally projected 360-degree horizontal field-of-view to test and measure driver acceleration, braking and steering performance as well as overall driver reactions in varying conditions. Upgrades to Ford’s full-motion virtual test track will help the automaker continue to develop and test active safety and driver aid technologies that warn drivers of imminent collision, drowsiness and other potentially dangerous scenarios behind the wheel. “VIRTTEX plays an integral role in helping us develop future safety and driver assist technology, making it essential to keep the simulator current with the latest technology,” says Mike Blommer,technical lead for the lab. “Coupled with improvements in the resolution and brightness of the projection technologies, as well as improved imagery capabilities, we will be able to boost our capabilities to conduct active safety studies.” The 360-view helps the engineers evaluate driving performance with a complete view of every angle around the driver. Improved imagery creates the most realistic scenarios including other traffic, pedestrians and landmarks alongside the roadway. Technical advances tested in part in VIRTTEX have included Lane Keeping System and collision warning, which is set to appear in the Ford Fusion available later this year. Ford used VIRTTEX to examine driver responses and reaction times with advanced early-warning systems such as forward collision warning, a radar-based system designed to help avoid or mitigate the effect of rear-end collisions. The study concluded that certain warning systems may elicit a faster and more appropriate response for distracted drivers. Ford continues to research numerous types of warnings—including audible, visual and tactile or vibrating warnings—and whether they are most effective alone or in combinations. This work has already helped determine how soon incident warnings should be used, how intense they need to be, and specific patterns of the warnings in technologies such as the Lane Keeping System. Research to date has shown drivers respond more quickly to certain audible alerts that are more intense, thus more authoritative. Early research also shows some benefit from a combination of warnings— audio alerts backed up by visual warning reinforcement. VIRTTEX studies are longer-timeframe studies, Blommer noted. The lab focuses on collecting quantitative and objective data, to determine what works best to keep drivers alert and safe behind the wheel. For example, studies show that for similarly per-forming warnings, drivers prefer subtle warnings such as steering wheel vibrations rather than loud chimes to alert them to a lane departure. The studies focus on how drivers react in certain scenarios and how technologies can help deter potential accidents. The upgraded projectors are made by Ohio-based Barco and the imagery software is provided by Blue Newt Software of Michigan. In 2003, Ford conducted one of its first driver distraction studies in VIRTTEX that measured a driver’s failure to detect safety-relevant events while doing visual or manual tasks such as retrieving voicemail on a handheld cell phone. The study revealed much higher levels of distraction—glances off the road—among drivers doing such manual and/or visual tasks rather than if they were using some type of hands-free, voice interface. The VIRTTEX simulator features a spherical dome mounted on a hydraulic system to duplicate vehicle movement. Projectors display a 360-degree horizontal and 45-degree vertical field of vision mounted to the base. The projectors surround the driver to replicate driving scenery, conditions and traffic scenarios synched with the test vehicle’s acceleration, braking and steering functions. PRESIDENT’S FY 2013 BUDGET REQUEST FOR NIST TARGETS ADVANCED MANUFACTURING, CRITICAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS WASHINGTON, D.C.—The President’s fiscal year(FY)2013 budget for the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology(NIST) submitted to Congress proposes an appropriations funding level of $857 million,an increase of $106.2 million from FY 2012. More than half of the proposed increased funding would be focused on advanced manufacturing research both at NIST laboratories and through a new industry-led consortia program. “We want to work with the private sector to ensure U.S. manufacturers have the research support they need to make the best products in the world,” says Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Patrick Gallagher.“Through our laboratory programs and our standards development efforts, we can help American industry be agile, innovative and competitive.” The total request of $857 million for NIST is divided into three appropriations: Scientific And Technical Research And Services (STRS), $648 Million The FY 2013 STRS request funds NIST’s laboratory programs as well as a number of other important initiatives. NIST research laboratories, facilities and services programs work at the cutting edge of science to ensure that U.S. industry, as well as the broader science and engineering communities,have the measurements, data and technologies to further innovation and industrial competitiveness. Initiative funding requests include: 1. Measurement Science for Advanced Manufacturing (+$45 million) 2. NIST Centers of Excellence (+$20 million) 3. Measurement Science and Standards in Support of Forensic Science (+$5 million) 4. Measurement and Standards for Disaster Resilience and Natural Hazards Risk Reduction (+$5 million) 5. Measurement Science to Support Advanced Communications Networks (+$10 million) 6. National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (+$8 million) Industrial Technology Services (Its), $149 Million • Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)—$128 million. This proposed budget represents a decrease of $443,000 from the FY 2012 enacted appropriations. The MEP is a federal-state-industry partnership that provides U.S. manufacturers with access to technologies, resources and industry experts. MEP’s 1,300 field staff work with small and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers to help them create and retain jobs, increase profits, and save time and money. The funding decrease will not affect available MEP Center renewals in FY 2013. • Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech)—$21 million. This new program will establish industry-led consortia to identify and prioritize research projects supporting long-term industrial research needs. AMTech creates the incentive for manufacturers To share financial and scientific resources with universities, state and local governments and non-profits. The proposed program is a critical component of the Administration’s emphasis on advanced manufacturing as a way to accelerate innovation and create high-quality U.S. jobs. Construction of Research Facilities (CRF), $60 million: The CRF request includes funding for NIST’s routine maintenance and repair budget ($48.2 million) as well as the following: • Boulder Laboratories Building 1 Renovation—$11.8 million. Critically needed renovation of the 60-yearold Building 1 began in FY 2010. The building houses the majority of research and measurement laboratories on the NIST-Boulder campus, supporting discovery and development in areas such as homeland security, telecommunications, nanotechnology, precise timing, hydrogen energy sources, precision electrical standards, biotechnology, applications of lasers, electromagnetic interference testing, quantum computing, quantum communications and other national needs. • As part of the Administration’s efforts to revitalize manufacturing, the President’s budget proposes $1 billion in mandatory funding to establish a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). Through a collaboration between NIST, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, the NNMI aims to promote the development of manufacturing technologies with broad applications. • The Administration has also submitted a National Wireless Initiative as part of the American Jobs Act that would provide NIST with up to $300 million for a Wireless Innovation Fund. The fund will help develop cutting-edge wireless technologies for public safety users. NIST would partner with industry and public safety organizations on research, development and demonstration activities aimed at new standards, technologies and applications that will advance public safety communications. The goal is to build a truly seamless and interoperable broadband system that allows first responders and other public-safety personnel anywhere in the nation to reliably send and receive data, voice and other communications to save lives, prevent casualties and avert acts of terror. National Instruments Releases 2012 Automated Test Outlook AUSTIN, TX— National Instruments released its 2012 Automated Test Outlook , which shares findings of the company’s research into the latest test and Measurement technologies and methodologies. The report details trends affecting numerous industries including consumer electronics, automotive, semiconductor, aerospace and defense, medical devices and communications. With insight from the report, engineers and managers can take advantage of the latest strategies and best practices for optimizing any test organization. The 2012 report is organized into five categories: business strategy; architectures; computing; software and I/O. It discusses the following major trends: • Optimizing Test Organizations: Organizations are elevating test engineering to a strategic asset to gain a competitive edge over the competition. • Measurements and Simulation in the Design Flow: Combining sophisticated models with real-world measurements improves product quality and reduces development time. • PCI Express External Interfaces: The high-speed, low-latency bus internal to the PC is empowering new system topologies with external interface enhancements. • Proliferation of Mobile Devices: The fact of a “smartphone in every pocket and a tablet in every bag” is changing how test systems are being controlled and monitored. • Portable Measurement Algorithms: New tools are making it possible for measurement IP to be developed once and then deployed to a wide array of disparate processing elements. The 2012 Automated Test Outlook is based on input from academic and industry research, user forums and surveys, business intelligence and customer advisory board reviews. With this data as its foundation, the report delivers a broad representation of the next generation of trends for meeting the business and technical challenges in test and measurement. The Automated Test Outlook is part of the NI Test Leadership Council, which National Instruments created to share the best practices collected from working with thousands of global customers across multiple industries. The NI Test Leadership Council facilitates peer discussions among the leaders in test to provide both business and technical insight.Test Leadership Council activities include leadership summits, facilitated peer networking and technology exchanges. Manufacturing Technology Orders Up 66.4% In 2011 MCLEAN, VA—December U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $519.98 million according to The Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT) and the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association (AMTDA).This total,as reported by companies participating in the USMTO program, was up 12.2% from November and up 12.7% when compared with the total of $461.48 million reported for December 2010. With a year-to-date total of $5,508.81 million, 2011 was up 66. 4% compared with 2010. These numbers and all data in this report are based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USMTO program. “USMTO finished its strongest year in more than a decade as manufacturing led the U.S. recovery into 2012,” says AMT President Douglas K. Woods. “The 67% increase is nearly 20 points higher than forecasters predicted, which is great news in terms of reducing the foreign trade deficit. Manufactured goods represent more than 65% of trade, so the rise of U.S. manufactured products will help reduce our reliance on imports and support growth in exports.” The United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report, jointly compiled by the two trade associations representing the production and distribution of manufacturing technology,provides regional and national U.S. orders data of domestic and imported machine tools and related equipment. Analysis of manufacturing technology orders provides a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing industries invest in capital metalworking equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity. Coming Events APRIL 29-5.2 THE MANUFACTURING LEADERSHIP SUMMIT (212) 629-2164 www.mlsummit.com MAY 5-9 MANUFACTURING INNOVATION 2012 The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Orlando, FL (301) 975-4919 www.nist.gov/mep/mi2012.cfm 8-10 THE VISION SHOW Automated Imaging Association Boston, MA (734) 994-6088 www.machinevisiononline.org/events/ event.cfm?id=52 8-10 MFG4 2012 The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Hartford, CT (800) 773-3976 www.mfg4event.com/2012/public/ mainhall.aspx?ID=265 JULY 16-20 CMSC 2012 The Coordinate Metrology Society New Orleans, LA (425) 802-5720 www.cmsc.org SEPTEMBER 10-15 IMTS 2012 The Association for Manufacturing Technology Chicago, IL (800) 524-0475 www.imts.com PEOPLE NEWS Acumentrics RUPS (Westwood, MA), has appointed MARK BERTOLAMI to the company’s Board of Directors. Bertolami is a global senior operating executive with more than 25 years of experience in the portable power industry with Duracell’s battery business. Most recently, Bertolami served as president of Procter & Gamble’s Duracell global business unit, a position in which he held full responsibility for the $2.5-billion global Duracell franchise. He has also served as chairman of the board of China Battery Holdings, a majority-owned joint venture. D’Ardenne Associates (Roanoke, VA), an ISO management standard services and training company, announces that SUSAN SNYDER has been certified as an aerospace auditor. Snyder, a vice president with the company, earned her certification as an International Aerospace Quality Group-sanctioned aerospace auditor, a designation making her an expert in aerospace standards. Association News THE COORDINATE METROLOGY SOCIETY (CMS), will hold its 28th annual Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference (CMSC) in New Orleans, LA from July 16-20, 2012 at The Roosevelt Hotel. The five-day event offers educational sessions, networking events, and the latest in measurement and inspection technology and services. With more than 20 white paper presentations each year, the conference explores trends and solutions related to the metrology field. This special event caters to users of portable 3-D coordinate measurement solutions utilized on manufacturing factory floors or by science laboratories. As the March event approaches, WESTEC, the West Coast’s definitive manufacturing event, is gearing up to be a showcase for innovation and industry growth. The show—which is being redefined in 2012—is adding several new features and opportunities for exhibitors and attendees to better share their collective vision and ideas for the evolving industry. WESTEC takes place at the Los Angeles Convention Center, March 27-29. Unique to this year’s event are a series of personal tour packages of leading West Coast manufacturers, including SpaceX,Edelbrock, National Oilwell Varco and Robinson Helicopter Company.Tours will include a technical session led by industry experts, company tour, complimentary lunch and an exclusive show floor experience. Business News FLUKE CALIBRATION (Everett, WA), a precision calibration instrumentation and software company, introduces the new online Calibration Community, an information sharing platform that connects calibration and metrology professionals and experts. Initial discussion groups in the community are focused on Met/Cal Calibration Management Software; MET/CAL procedures; and Met/Track Asset Management Software. Other discussion groups will be added as the community grows. HEXAGON AB (Stockholm, Sweden) announced that it has completed a first issue under its recently established Swedish Commercial Paper Program. The program enables Hexagon to issue commercial papers up to a total amount of SEK 5 billion ($0.75 billion). Commercial papers can be issued up to 12 months under the program. The commercial paper program forms a complement to Hexagon’s core funding, diversifies the debt structure and creates increased flexibility concerning the management of debt and liquidity. TEKTRONIX (Beaverton, OR), a multi-vendor service (MVS) provider of instrument calibration, repair and related services, has reached its two-millionth calibration. The company achieved this milestone within 16 months of launching its MVS capabilities. The 2 millionth calibration was performed at Portland, OR-based Columbia Helicopters Inc. THE BOEING CO. (Chicago) has recognized Pratt & Whitney as a 2011 Boeing Performance Excellence Award winner. Boeing issues the award annually to recognize suppliers who have achieved superior performance. Pratt & Whitney maintained a Silver composite performance rating for each month of the 12-month performance period, from Oct. 1, 2010 to Sept. 30, 2011. This is the second consecutive year that Pratt & Whitney has received the honor. Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. company. PARAMOUNT INDUSTRIES INC. (Langhorne, PA), a rapid product development, rapid manufacturing and rapid deployment company, has successfully completed an AS9100 REV C audit resulting in its Langhorne, PA facility achieving AS9100C certification. Paramount had been AS9100B certified since February, 2009. 2012 is a key and festive year for CREAFORM (Lévis, Quebec), a 3-D portable optical measurement technologies and 3-D engineering services company, in its 10th year.Throughout the 10 past years, Creaform has grown from a five-employee metrology services start-up to a 300-employee international company and major developer and manufacturer of 3-D portable optical measurement technology and provider of 3-D engineering services.
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