Big manufacturing investments

May 5, 2023

Big manufacturing investments
Hi all!
Has it stopped raining yet? I am digressing, here is some good US news!

Companies have made pledges to invest more than $200 billion in US manufacturing projects since the government passed two pieces of legislation — the Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPS Act — that offer subsidies for certain manufacturing investments.

The amount committed to Cleantech and Semiconductor Projects is nearly double the commitments made to those sectors in 2021!
This Operations Update is provided with support from:
Here are some of the latest Electronic Component Industry Updates from our newsletter contributor EPE Components, Gerry Shapiro:

"Reduced demand, more normalizing pricing, and recovering lead times are generally seen across the industry. However, outliers On Semi, Infineon, TI, Realtek, and various lines of Vishay remain on allocation with long lead times and pricing pressures.

Automotive component demand remains high, particularly overseas, as reported by ST Micro, NXP, and others."

The State of Manufacturing

The Manufacturing PMI Index for April recovered slightly to 47.1% from 46.3% in March. However, the overall trend remains downwards.

The Order indexes and Imports continue to contract while Inventories keep growing.

The only growth index in April was Employment which helps reduce some of the labor shortages.
The World Economic Forum says that so-called “Scope 3 emissions,” — or CO2 in supply chains — can make up as much as 90% of a company’s carbon footprint and half of all emissions can be traced back to only a handful of supply chains.
This Startup Update is provided with support from:
Startup Guidance from Steve Pappalardo at IMS.

How did you sleep last night?
When doing business with a Contract Manufacturer (CM), you expect a reasonable price, excellent quality, timely delivery, and good communication. Most suppliers providing repeatable production deliver exactly that.

But if you ask them to do something outside their standard process, like a proof of concept, prototype, or low-volume build, their process completely fails. Make some last-minute changes, provide them with a strip of components, and everything stops. Communication breaks down, delivery slides, potential quality issues arise, and you lose sleep.

Before you engage with a CM for proof of concept, prototype, or low-volume build, ask them how many of these types of builds they did last month. I’m not talking about a revision update to a current design; I’m talking about a first-time build with no machine program, no oven profile, no AOI program, right from scratch. You’ll know by their answer how you’ll be sleeping during the project.

My philosophy is to choose the right CM (who has a robust start-up process and builds multiple first-time builds a month) and let them stay awake managing your new project. This way, you get to sleep well knowing they have it under control, and if an issue arises, they will communicate it immediately to keep moving forward to the delivery date.
Funding, Accelerators, and other good Advice
Are you launching Hardware Production?
Here is a funny video about Why good Operating Instructions are essential:
Boston startups raised around $368.4 million in April, a noticeable decrease from March. Cleantech companies raised around $50 million, while robotics raised $14 million.

Massachusetts-based 6K Energy to invest $200M-plus in a new plant in Tennessee. The full-scale manufacturing of battery materials — 13,000 metric tons per year — is expected in 2025.

MassMutual announced the launch of a new impact investing MM Catalyst Fund of $100 million. The money will be used to continue investing in Massachusetts-based diverse-led companies.
NPA's 2023 Boston Hardware Startup Spotlight!
The best Startups in New England.
For 2023, we decided to switch up our process and provide Startup Spotlights each month on the best Startups with Hardware content in Boston.

If you know an exciting Startup that should get a Spotlight, please send a brief message to, and we will consider them.
Tatum Robotics developed a technology that completely transformed communication for the DeafBlind Community. 

Made up of a team of passionate hardware engineers, mechanical designers, software engineers, and linguists, their accomplishments include the development of a highly advanced robotic arm that will be used as an independent communication tool for people with deafblindness who can’t hear or see.
Tatum employs and consults DeafBlind individuals, as their robot arm was designed to sign tactile sign languages for people with deafblindness.

They won the Pitchfire robotics startup competition at RoboBusiness 2022 and were announced as winners in the 2023 RBR50 Robotics Innovation Awards from Robotics Business Review.

For more info, you can contact Tatum Robotics here.
Our monthly survey
In our April survey, we asked about your company's plan to use ChatGPT. The majority answered that they are already using or are planning to use for Excel/Google Sheets or to create summaries of meetings or reports.
According to Cleo’s 2023 Global Supply Chain Executive Report, half (49%) of senior executives surveyed say that making proactive investments in the supply chain increased their company’s agility.
Which areas of your supply chain are you planning to invest in this year?
Inventory management.
Supplier management.
Warehousing and distribution.
Technology (systems, automation tools, and other technologies).
Demand planning and forecasting.
Data analytics (to help identify trends, patterns and optimize performance).

Wondering who else is watching? Here’s how to see who else is using your streaming accounts (and log them off). PasswordSharingFeesComingSoon
(Source: The Verge)

Meet the Space Elevator and take a ride up to space and explore Earth’s atmosphere, wildlife and planes along the way. TimeForAnotherLongScroll (Source: Neal.Fun)

Artificial intelligence is becoming a coworker of sorts for all kinds of employees: Most higher-income workers report interacting with AI in their jobs, survey says - AIInTheWorkforce (Source: Morning Brew)
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