Here’s a summary of some of our favorite manufacturing news stories from Q3 2021 that you might have missed.

Global Medical Device Contract Manufacturing Market Analysis & Trends – Industry Forecast to 2028

Increased growth in the medical device market, high growth potential in Asia Pacific, and an increasing worldwide geriatric population, which will soon include retiring baby boomers as the next geriatric generation, are driving growth in the global medical device contract manufacturing market.

According to the “Global Medical Device Contract Manufacturing Market Analysis & Trends – Industry Forecast to 2028,” is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.5% from 2020 to 2028.

Read the full story here.

U.S. Manufacturing Production Accelerated in July

According to Federal Reserve, U.S. manufacturing output increased in July to 1.4% after falling 0.3% in June. The increase was supported by an acceleration of motor vehicle output as automakers either reduced or canceled their annual retooling shutdowns to work around a global semiconductor shortage.

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Most U.S. Consumers Have Felt Supply Chain Problems

A recent Gallup survey found that most Americans have felt the global supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with most reporting difficulty in receiving goods this summer.

According to the survey, 60% of U.S. adults say they have been unable to get a product they wanted in the past two months because of shortages, and 57% have experienced significant delays in receiving a product they ordered. Seven in 10 Americans overall have had at least one of these issues, while 46% have had both.

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FDA Seeks More Power for Medical Device Cybersecurity Mandates

With the number and frequency of ransomware and other cyberattacks on healthcare organizations increasing, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is seeking “additional legislative authorities” meant to improve medical device cybersecurity.

The agency wants to require medical device companies, as part of their premarket submissions, to have a Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) and the ability to update and patch device security into a product’s design. The FDA also wants new authority to require manufacturers to adopt policies and procedures for coordinated disclosure of cybersecurity vulnerabilities as they are identified.

Read the full story here.

America’s Top Upskilling Company Offers Veterans Free Manufacturing Training and Job Placement

The manufacturing industry continues to face challenges finding and retaining workers. One strategy they’re using to fill the void is upskilling, which teaches existing workers additional skills. Now ManpowerGroup is teaming with Military Hire and Operation: Job Ready Veterans to train American veterans, free of charge, with a manufacturing job waiting for them at the end of the training program.

The company recruits veterans interested in joining manufacturing and creates an upskilling program for that skill. If the veteran needs to train on equipment in person, ManpowerGroup covers the cost of relocation and housing. If the program is technology-based, veterans train remotely through the Academy of Advanced Manufacturing (AAM).

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Japan Worries It Could Be Left Behind as U.S. Pours Billions into Chip Industry to Fend Off China

As China and the U.S. ramp up support for microchip manufacturing, Japanese officials worry that their country will be squeezed out. According to Japan’s industry ministry, the country’s share of global chip manufacturing has fallen from a half to a tenth as it lost customers to cheaper rivals and lost their lead in cutting edge production.

Japan is particularly concerned about the future of companies that supply chipmakers with silicon wafers, chemical films, and production machinery.

Read the full story here.

Q&A: What is the Outlook for Smart Factories?

We’ve all heard about smart factories. With the rise of sensor technology, manufacturers have begun transforming their existing facilities into smart factories or building them the ground up. recently spoke to Stephen Laaper, principal and Smart Factory Leader at Deloitte Consulting LL about the future of smart factories.

According Laaper, “Smart factory technologies are helping reduce manual tasks and improve the way humans and machines work together to drive down costs, increase supply chain efficiencies and better position their organization for success.”

Laaper says that one important aspect of building a smart factory is to reimagine the workforce. A smart factory uses an “augmented workforce that integrates collaborative robotics, computer vision, intelligent automation, RPA and IoT devices to drive better outcomes and increase safety.”

Read the complete interview here.

Lockheed Unveils Flexible Factory at Skunk Works

In August, Lockheed Martin announced that it completed construction of an advanced manufacturing facility at its Palmdale, California, campus, and headquarters.

The new 215,000 square foot building incorporates an intelligent factory framework, a technology-enabled advanced manufacturing environment, and a flexible factory to support customer priorities with speed and agility while increasing manufacturing capability.

According to, the advanced facility will merge the power of human and machine, giving manufacturing workers the digital tools they need to execute operations with maximum efficiency. The incorporation of robotics, AI and augmented reality reduces the need for hard tooling, elevating the human experience to drive rapid innovation.

Read the full story here.

Robots Grab New Capabilities

Manufacturers continue to focus on automation as a means of increasing production efficiency and ultimately, ROI. Answering the call are robot vendors who continue to introduce impressive new capabilities. According to an article in, the most exciting development right now in robotics is collaborative robots, or cobots.

Unlike industrial robots, cobots are designed to work alongside human employees, while industrial robots typically replace those employees. Cobots are also more easily programmable than industrial robots because they are capable of “learning” on the job. Cobots also give manufacturers a solid return on investment, with some companies reporting having paid for cobots in less than three months.

Read the complete article here.

The Carbon Footprint of Delivery with Robots, Automated Vehicles

We’ve all seen a dramatic increase in automated deliveries of products in the past few years, especially with COVID-19. We have robots and drones “rolling, walking, or flying” up to people’s doorsteps to deliver packages. Up to now, nobody has really analyzed the environmental impact of these new delivery technologies.

Researchers recently reported in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology that automating residential package transport does not influence the greenhouse gas footprint as much as a delivery van’s size and type.

An important take-away from the article is whether we might see an increase in automated deliveries to make up for supply chain disruptions caused by a lack of drivers. Can increased automated deliveries improve supply chain problems?

Read more here.