Airbus Joins Forces with Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing
The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) has announced that aeronautics leader Airbus has joined CCAM’s industry, academic and government consortium dedicated to manufacturing breakthroughs and advancements in applied research.
The announcement of the new membership was made by CCAM, Airbus and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe during a celebratory signing event at the Farnborough International Airshow in 2014.
Charles Champion, Executive Vice President of Engineering for Airbus commented on the union by saying, “Airbus was founded on innovation – we operate daily knowing that using and developing leading edge technology is a requirement in our business, and CCAM is founded on that mindset. This union is a natural one. Tapping the intellects of the greatest researchers in the industry benefits everyone involved from the developers to the end users.”
Governor McAuliffe also commented on the announcement, saying, “The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing is a world-class asset that brings together Virginia's leading manufacturing companies and top educational institutions to expedite research and turn ideas into real-world technologies and solutions. The addition of a major player like Airbus is a great testament to the pivotal role CCAM plays as a centerpiece of Virginia's efforts to promote R&D and technology commercialization, and contribute to a growing Virginia economy. We are thrilled that, as an Organizing Industry Member of CCAM, Airbus will partner with its fellow industry, government and university members and share best practices, experience and expertise to further strengthen advanced manufacturing in Virginia.”
Airbus has manufactured single-aisle and widebody commercial aircraft, military airlifters, cargo transports and business aircraft that increasingly offer greater fuel efficiency, performance and reliability for over forty years.
CCAM President and Executive Director Joseph F. Moody said, “Airbus is a global leader in advanced manufacturing and a pioneer in applying forward-thinking innovation. As a CCAM Organizing Industry Member, Airbus will bring decades of expertise in engineering technologies and manufacturing systems to the research conducted at CCAM.”
CCAM—the only collaboration of its kind in North America—is based at a state-of-the-art facility in Prince George County, Virginia. CCAM provides production ready advanced manufacturing solutions to member companies throughout the world. CCAM member companies and academic and government partners collaborate on research to further develop manufacturing practices, resulting in innovative new techniques and processes applied in the aerospace, defense, transportation and consumer electronics industries as well as others.
The research is guided by members, leveraging talent and resources within CCAM and Virginia's top universities through a collaborative model, which enables them to pool research and development efforts in order to increase efficiencies.
Collaboration between diverse industry sectors, academia and government increases the output of breakthrough developments and accelerates commercialization into industry applications.
Current CCAM industry and government members include Chromalloy, Newport News Shipbuilding, Canon Virginia Inc., Rolls-Royce, Sandvik Coromant, Siemens, Oerlikon Metco, Hermle Machine Co., Mitutoyo, Paradigm Precision, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Blaser Swisslube, Buehler, Cool Clean Technologies, GF AgieCharmilles, Mechdyne, National Instruments, Spatial Integrated Systems, Airbus and NASA Langley Research Center. CCAM’s academic partners are the University of Virginia, Virginia State University, Virginia Tech and Old Dominion University.
IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery
After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022.
Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery.
Lingering Concerns Over COVID
Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high.
Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery?
IMF: Current Boom Could Falter
Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”.
Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”.
Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.