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Sarah A. Webster
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Sarah A. Webster is the Editor-in-Chief of Manufacturing Engineering Media, a division of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). Manufacturing Engineering magazine circulates to more than 100,000 high-level manufacturing and engineering insiders. Webster is the former business and automotive editor for the Detroit Free Press, where she led the newspaper’s award-winning coverage of the Great Recession and the Detroit Three automotive crash and comeback. Previously, she was an award-winning reporter with the Detroit Free Press, Detroit News and Lexington Herald-Leader.

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Entries by Sarah A. Webster

Automotive Production Roars Ahead

(0) Comments | Posted October 13, 2014 | 12:53 PM

If the U.S. automotive industry hits popular forecasts of 16.4 million car and truck sales this year, it is likely that the number of vehicles built in North America will surpass 13 million in 2014 - for the first time in nearly a decade.

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Manufacturing's New Virtuous Cycle

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2014 | 10:09 AM

The bellboy at my hotel said it all last week. He told me there wasn't a hotel room to be found in the city of Chicago, and many suburban hotels were sold out, too. He seemed a bit surprised: All of this for a manufacturing show?!

Yes, with attendance at...

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Obama's Emerging Network of Little Silicon Valleys -- For Manufacturing

(1) Comments | Posted February 5, 2014 | 11:19 AM

One of the biggest moments of the 2014 State of the Union was President Barack Obama's announcement of six new manufacturing hubs, or innovation institutes. Two are already in the works, including "America Makes," the additive manufacturing hub, in Youngstown, OH, and the recently announced

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How Manufacturing Got Its Groove Back

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2014 | 12:58 PM

If you have any doubt about whether manufacturing has become cool again, just take a look at the Detroit auto show.

Ford Motor Co. has installed a section of an actual moving assembly line, controlled by Siemens software and featuring Comau robots, on the show floor.

...
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Engineering Is 'Pure Michigan'

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2013 | 10:19 AM

Did you know that Michigan has more engineers per capita than any other state in the nation?

That's a fact that could soon be trumpeted nationwide in the style of the state's "Pure Michigan" tourism campaign, if Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) gets their way. The group has...

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Where Have All the 3D Dreamers Gone?

(2) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 4:42 PM

I'm not sure if you saw the headline in the New York Times the other day: "Car Mechanic Dreams Up a Tool to Ease Births".

It was a pretty cool story about how a mechanic, after seeing a video of someone retrieving a cork from a...

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60 Minutes Misses Point: Detroit Is Cautionary Tale for America

(20) Comments | Posted October 16, 2013 | 1:55 PM

So, CBS' 60 Minutes parachuted into Detroit to tell the story of the city's bankruptcy, and sadly, it missed the biggest point.

I recognize it's a challenge to slip into a town and try to tell the story of what it's like when you don't actually live there. And even...

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U.S. Shutdown: An International Problem

(1) Comments | Posted October 4, 2013 | 5:13 PM

I had the pleasure of attending the Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show outside of Toronto this week. More than 150 new products were introduced at CMTS this year and more than 10,000 people attended the biennial event. And while new technologies were a hot topic of discussion, an even hotter topic...

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It's MFG Day: A Celebration of Manufacturing

(2) Comments | Posted October 4, 2013 | 2:00 PM

Last October, a group of manufacturing organizations and related government organizations teamed up to launch Manufacturing Day. Known as #mfgday online, the event was a simple but novel concept: Expose as many people as possible to the real world of manufacturing through open houses, public tours, career workshops and other...

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A Life-Changing Technology Revolution

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2013 | 6:22 PM

PITTSBURGH -- Beam me up, Scotty. This revolution is real.

You've probably heard about 3D printing, where an item is built, layer by layer, by a printer based on a digital model.

Conceptually, these so-called printers work in a similar way to the sci-fi transporter in the Star Trek series,...

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Getting Serious About U.S. Manufacturing - Again

(14) Comments | Posted February 15, 2013 | 1:48 PM

As bad as the Great Recession might have been for manufacturing, it's had a fascinating silver lining for the image of manufacturing, which not too long ago felt like a lost cause.

Politicians at the federal, state and local levels are now aggressively investing in and courting activity in the...

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Don't Ground Innovation Along With Dreamliner

(1) Comments | Posted February 7, 2013 | 3:05 PM

Innovation has been a popular business buzzword in recent years, and for good reason: It's critical to remaining competitive.

The US has been losing its innovative and competitive edge in some critical areas, according to a 2012 report from the US Department of Commerce and the National Economic...

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Within Grasp: Exciting New Energy Future

(17) Comments | Posted January 23, 2013 | 11:33 AM

The world is witnessing the dawn of a new era in energy production. And manufacturers -- who innovate, engineer and supply the tools needed to extract, capture, generate, store and transport that energy -- are at the forefront.

Thanks to their innovation and engineering, a surge in shale oil and...

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Manufacturers Must Provide Stable Jobs To Attract Needed Workers

(5) Comments | Posted December 21, 2012 | 10:36 AM

Manufacturing education is, indeed, in crisis.

When manufacturers have hundreds of thousands available jobs and nobody to fill them, during a period of high unemployment, the crisis is obvious. There's just not enough people to get the job done.

At the International Manufacturing Technology Show in...

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Skills Gap Crisis: From Students to the Unemployed to Current Workers

(47) Comments | Posted December 17, 2012 | 9:16 AM

It's difficult to determine what facts are the most disturbing about our nation's skills gap: The fact that U.S. students recently finished 25th in math and 17th in science in the ranking of 31 countries by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The fact that

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No. 1 Lesson in Competitiveness: Get Back to Basics

(19) Comments | Posted December 14, 2012 | 10:59 AM

On one hand, the forces driving the global economy, especially on the manufacturing front, are so fast-moving and complex, with different regulations, tax systems and laws, that they may seem difficult to grasp and quickly respond to at times.

On the other hand, I am struck by how much the...

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No U.S. Skills Gap? Really?

(88) Comments | Posted December 4, 2012 | 5:09 PM

It happened again the other day. I was at an event hosted by Sandvik when one of their customers, Gary Hossler from National Machinery in Tiffin, Ohio, told me a story that I hear all too often: His company struggles to keep up with demand. Not because they don't have...

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