#2COVER STORY

GLOBAL SHIFTWhy manufacturing is anybody’s game ... again

The equation for deciding where to locate manufacturing on either side of the Pacific Ocean is shifting. With the opening of China decades ago, the labor cost differential was so big, and communications had improved so dramatically, that you could make a lot of money. The cost differential was anywhere from 30-to-1 to 100-to-1 in terms of labor costs. I could shift production to China, and even if it took three times as many people, or ten times as many, I was still ahead. We saw dramatic decreases in costs for sneakers, electronics and many other products. Massive numbers of jobs were offshored.

#2COVER STORY

3D PRINTINGDisruptive technology poised to transform manufacturing

3D printing – a technology that builds products layer by layer rather than milling or forming them from metal or plastic – is beginning to earn its place in everyday use at some of the world’s largest manufacturers. As the technology becomes more powerful and less expensive, the potential to locate small factories everywhere for everything from automobiles to fashion, even for a market of one, becomes a distinct possibility.

#2RESEARCH

DECIPHERING THE CODEGenomics makes progress, but raises privacy concerns

The cost of determining an individual’s genetic code with DNA sequencing has fallen sharply. As a result, testing individual patients for diseases caused by single-gene mutations has become common place, but genetic “cures” for complex and chronic diseases remain out of reach. To bridge the gap, projects around the globe are sequencing large groups of individuals in search of patterns – and raising significant ethical questions in the process.

Have You Heard