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Manufacturing

Ancient Roman Valves

LorenzThe story of water supply in the ancient Roman Empire is grand. The transport and hydraulic control of large quantities of fresh water was one of the factors in the immense, unprecedented success of the Roman Empire. The major Roman cities were located, in part, in the proximity of good water supplies. Plentiful water improved public health and allowed the urban life to provide labor and support businesses to build the Roman economy.


Hydraulic Fracturing, Natural Gas, and the U.S. Manufacturing Renaissance

anvilThe Great Recession has been hard on America’s domestic manufacturing industries. Even before the 2008 economic spiral, domestic industries suffered under the pressures of foreign competitors with lower labor, raw material, and energy costs, as well as more permissive regulations. In the face of this downturn, America’s oil and gas industry, an industry which itself was facing declining domestic production, embraced game-changing technology with the capability of unlocking unprecedented reserves of oil and gas.

Intellectual Property Theft: Part Two

counterfeit valvesIn Part One of our two part series on Intellectual Property Theft, we summarized some recent developments in protection of intellectual property rights. Unfortunately, with every new measure taken to stop counterfeiting and patent and trademark infringements comes a new breed of pirates intent on capitalizing on the efforts of others.

In fact, according to recent information released by the ARC Advisory Group, as much as 10% of all goods and services sold worldwide are counterfeit. The cost to holders of intellectual property rights is almost incalculable. Thus, governments are adding regulations and signing agreements at a frantic pace, attempting to stem the tide of theft.

A New China?

mitch_freeMitch Free is the CEO of MFG.com, an online marketplace for the manufacturing industry. Because of his extensive travel and business with suppliers, manufacturers and importers, Free is in a unique position to monitor manufacturing companies all over the world.

One of the biggest economic concerns in the last few months has been the notion that China is losing steam as an economic powerhouse, toppling a fragile world economy. “Not likely,” said Free during a recent interview. “China is going to be the powerhouse for a long time. While there will always be another lower cost country that can do the labor for less, there is not another China on the horizon.”

U.S. Drives Global Growth as Manufacturers Ready for Upswing

steelfactorywebManufacturers worldwide remain optimistic about the near-term outlook for their businesses. They are using the low-growth environment to become leaner and more efficient. Since 2011, manufacturers have become slightly more bullish that an upswing in the global economy is imminent. They are ramping up their innovation activity, finding ways to increase efficiency (for example, by improving the ways they manage costs and optimize their supply chains), and add value to their offerings simultaneously. This is stated in "Global Manufacturing Outlook 2012: Fostering Growth Through Innovation," an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report sponsored by KPMG.

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