On the Wire | News and Analysis from the Web

Speeding the Adoption of Additive Manufacturing.  Manufacturing 1/7
“Additive manufacturing (AM), or 3D printing offers a number of potential innovations in product design, while its flexible manufacturing capabilities can support a distributed manufacturing model – helping to unlock new business potential. However, when companies begin to consider all that is needed to make additive a reality— such as generative design, part consolidation, and topology optimization—it becomes clear that the traditional ways of designing and manufacturing parts are falling away. . . .”

Supply chain resiliency starts with supplier mapping.  Supply Chain Quarterly 1/5
“Last year, the procurement and supply chain management profession was challenged like never before. Despite facing numerous upheavals inflicted by supply chain disruptions in the last decade, most companies still found themselves unprepared for COVID-19. When the outbreak began in China, the disruptions were significant and far reaching, but 70% of organizations did not have a clear sense of what parts of their supplier network were affected. Instead, they were still in a “data collection and assessment” mode, manually trying to identify which of their suppliers had a site in the specific locked-down regions of China. The effort was exponentially complicated as countries around the world went into various stages of lockdowns and restrictions and supply chain experts spent several months reacting and responding. . . .”

U.S. factory activity approaches 2-1/2-year high; COVID-19 hitting supply chains.  Reuters 1/5
“U.S. factory activity accelerated to its highest level in nearly 2-1/2 years in December as the coronavirus pandemic continues to pull demand away from services towards goods, though spiraling new infections are causing bottlenecks in supply chains. . . .”

Procurement panel talks concerns, new focuses for 2021.  BIC Magazine 1/1
“In starting the new year, many owner companies are renewing their focus on safety, making it a priority to keep both workers and the surrounding community safe from the potential threats of COVID- 19 to operations. Jay Brown, procurement director at Flint Hills Resources, said his company has had to change all work and maintenance practices, team structures and engineer controls to mitigate spread of the virus and be a ‘good neighbor.’ . . .”

Capacity challenges will continue in 2021.  Supply Chain Quarterly 12/31
“This year’s hyper-accelerated holiday shipping volume will have lingering effects in 2021 and force shippers to focus on strategic planning and relationship-building as a way to manage the crunch for transportation and warehouse space, according to some year-end predictions from logistics-industry leaders. . . .”