Skip directly to content

Industrial manufacturing

Reebok pioneers 3D-printed shoes with Liquid Speed

Reebok introduced a new way to produce shoes that involves 3D printing the outsoles, creating rubber shoes that perform better and respond more flexibly to movement than traditional shoes. The 3D printing process allows the shoes to be produced without creating separate molds, an expensive and time-consuming process that is an industry trademark for 30 years. The novel method is the highlight of Reebok's plans to open a Liquid Factory in Rhode Island early next year. The factory will showcase a lab that will experiment with new manufacturing techniques. The company is selling 300 of the initial Liquid Speed designs at its website. The news is a confirming trend of footwear manufacturers bringing production back to the US.

Key Takeaway: 

Reebok is innovating how it manufactures its shoes by employing 3D printing techniques; it just introduced a new footwear that has 3D printed outsoles and is planning to build a Liquid Factory dedicated to new manufacturing methods by next year.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 24, 2016

Intel’s venture capital firm to invest $38 million in startups

Intel Capital is investing $38 million in a dozen startups focused on autonomous machines, data and connectivity, sports and health, and virtual reality. One of the robotics firms, Chronocam, is creating computer vision sensors and systems that are like the biological human eye. Embodied is making socially assistive robots while Perrone Robotics is developing a software platform for autonomous vehicles and robots. Among the four startups focused on data and connectivity, two are China-based: Eazytec which provides IoT technologies for monitoring the water and air in China and Grand Chip Microelectronics which offers connectivity solutions for WLAN, Wi-Fi, cellular and IoT. The two others are Paxata, which is working on a business information platform that turns raw data into meaningful information for enterprise and IT users and StealthMine, which is securing data encryption for enterprise applications. Sports and health firms Cubeworks, Kinduct and L4Connect are developing tiny millimeter-sized wireless sensors, a data and analytics platform, and dashboards respectively. Virtual reality startup Dysonics is working on solutions that will enable people to capture 360-degree sounds for live VR experiences. Lastly, InContext Solutions is helping manufacturers and retailers simulate their products and services in virtual reality.

Key Takeaway: 

Intel Capital, Intel’s venture capital firm, is investing $38 million in 12 startups focused on robotics, IoT connectivity and data analytics, sports, health and wellness, as well as virtual reality, with technologies that are ground-breaking and could be useful for various customer markets such as the enterprise, health and wellness organizations.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 24, 2016

SAP to channel more than $2 billion to its Internet of Things business

Software company SAP will invest €2 billion ($2.24 billion) in its Internet of Things business to capitalize on the growing market which is estimated to expand to €250 billion by 2020. It will be used in developing solutions for the enterprise over the next five years, intensifying marketing and sales efforts, and building IoT labs around the globe. SAP already has two solutions commercialized. The first connects business equipments to monitor efficiency, while the second includes features of the first service plus automated executions and advanced controls. A third, which SAP plans to develop could provide machine learning and predictive analysis. The investment will also be used to establish IoT labs possibly in Berlin, Johannesburg, Munich, Palo Alto, São Leopoldo and Shanghai, which will be open to customers, partners and startups interested in Industry 4.0 and IoT technologies.

Key Takeaway: 

SAP, realizing the huge market opportunity for Internet of Things, will invest more than $2 billion in its IoT business to accelerate the development of IoT solutions for companies and increase collaboration between customers, partners and startups.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
September 28, 2016

SpaceX to send humans to Mars in 2024

SpaceX has plans to send humans to Mars in the next few years. The plan entails building a spacecraft, refueling it mid-orbit through a reusable rocket, activating its built-in solar array, and finally another refueling on Mars with methane gas. A trip to Mars could take three to four months after which the spacecraft will be sent back to Earth. SpaceX's CEO Elon Musk foresees a million people sent to Mars via a fleet of more than a thousand such spacecrafts carrying 100-200 passengers each within a century after the first Mars mission. Musk also said the cost of a trip could be reduced to $200,000 a person from the current estimate of $10 billion per individual. The executive believes a Martian city will serve as an insurance for any potential doomsday event.

Key Takeaway: 

SpaceX announced its plans for a manned mission to Mars by 2024, which will make use of an interplanetary transport system to be built by the company, decreasing a trip's cost to the red planet to $200,000 a person.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
September 27, 2016

Global connected grid could supply clean electricity by 2050

Japan, South Korea, China and Russia as well as power and utility companies, universities and equipment manufacturers from 14 countries formed a non-profit organization called the Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO) that aims to connect electric grids of different countries to create a global grid powered by renewables. The backbone infrastructure will send electricity across grids from various regions, countries and continents with a capacity of more than 10 gigawatts at more than 1,000 kilovolts AC and 800 kilovolts DC. Challenges for the organization include connecting the supply of renewable energy, which are in North Africa, central Asia, east Russia and north Asia, to areas that have great demand for power like Europe, southern Africa, and East and Southeast Asia, as well as political constraints. According to GEIDCO lead Liu Zhenya, the global grid network may be achieved by 2050 and will aid in the world's transition to sustainable and low carbon energy.

Key Takeaway: 

The Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO) plans to connect the world's electric grids to clean energy sources by 2050, which can help transition the global economy from fossil fuels to renewables.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
September 13, 2016

Pages