On the Wire | News and Analysis from the Web for the Week of October 12

Supply chain pros embrace AI for forecasting, inventory despite limitations during pandemic.  Supply Chain Dive 10/13

“Supply chain professionals are optimistic about the potential for artificial intelligence within their operations, but they have also struggled with the technology during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey from Secondmind, which develops machine-learning applications for businesses. . . .”

U.S. Moves to Protect Technologies Considered Critical to National Security.  WSJ (subscription) 10/15

“Artificial intelligence, quantum information science and semiconductors are on a new list of advanced technologies that the U.S. is aiming to protect under guidelines being released Thursday. . . .”

Educators Say Computer Science Lifts Students’ Job Options.  Gallup 10/15
“With computing driving innovation in almost every field — art, business, communications, healthcare, STEM, etc. — it is important for students to be exposed to computer science education early to help ensure they can thrive in their careers and as informed citizens. . . .”

Demand Grows For Reducing PCB Defects.  Semiconductor Engineering 10/13

“Board manufacturers are boosting their investment in inspection, test and analytics to meet the increasingly stringent demands for reliability in safety-critical sectors like automotive. . . .”

5 ways to empower the manufacturing workforce to survive the pandemic and thrive beyond it.  World Economic Forum 10/13

“Ten months ago, the first cases of COVID-19 were detected. In the time since, companies, supply chains and entire economies have been disrupted and forced to adapt to a “new normal” where change is constant, and agility is critical. More than 48% of respondents in a recent Forum survey of the world’s top risk experts said they were most worried about a disruption of global supply chains. Another Forum report states that the COVID-19 crisis has impacted more than 75% of the world’s manufacturing outputs. . . .”

COVID-19 and Remote Work: An Update.  Gallup 10/13

“The coronavirus pandemic has affected U.S. workplaces like nothing else in modern history, including high unemployment, the shuttering of businesses, and the shift of many workers to off-site, remote work. . . .”

Manufacturing operations face key disadvantages when returning employees to work.  Insurance Business America 10/12

“Returning to work for manufacturing operations in the United States after COVID-19 related shutdowns hasn’t been smooth sailing. According to the California Workers’ Compensation Institute, manufacturing has been the fourth most impacted industry when it comes to COVID-19 workers’ comp claims, with the sector making up 7.6% of total COVID-19 workers’ comp claims – the same percentage as the retail industry. . . .”

Manufacturers: Our Front-Line Defense Against COVID-19.  IndustryWeek 10/12

“As the rate of COVID-19 cases ebbs and flows throughout the country, manufacturers have risen to the challenge in much the same way they did during WWII and other times of national crisis. Working day and night and over the weekends, they have helped us emerge from the early days of the pandemic by keeping shop floors open and making vital products, including the medical supplies and protective equipment people need to fight the coronavirus. Now manufacturing workers are spearheading our recovery, ensuring that the American economy reopens and generates prosperity. And we’ll need many, many more of them. . . .”