Asked recently if his company's marketing executives would care to speculate on the auto markets of the future, a spokesman for one of the Big Three automakers replied, "No, thanks. Our people have sworn off forecasting.
"Why? Well, mainly because we've been burned too often. Certain journalists, particularly in the general news media, have taken our forecasts--they're really only educated guesses--and turned them into declarations of fact. Later those so-called facts come back to haunt us.
"Cars of the future? Third world markets? Very interesting to speculate about, but we'll pass, thank you," he added. "Besides, if you want to know the truth, our people are a lot more concerned about what the prime rate will be next year."
So what's the answer? How do you make reasonable, useful forecasts on the marketplace of the future?
Facts are what you need. Hard, tedious facts. Lots of digging and reading in the right places, and then some cautious extrapolation (mathematics, algorithm) extrapolation - A mathematical procedure which estimates values of a function for certain desired inputs given values for known inputs.
If the desired input is outside the range of the known values this is called extrapolation, if it is inside then , with the solid lines prudently fracturing into dotted lines.
In the sections that follow, we're attempting to report facts--along with a few opinions from qualified sources--that will help you to plan for the future. You won't find all the facts you need, but perhaps you'll at least become inspired to dig, ask questions, think, and start constructing concrete plans. Trends to watch in the US marketplace
As you casually observe the people, trees, houses, cars, and other phenomena on the street come and og as usual, a neighbor gets a new car, another moves away, and season blends into season.
Deep down, though, the magma flows, and the plates shift. Important changes are taking place; you may not see or feel them, but they will have profound effects on the American marketplace of tomorrow. We're getting older and...
Back in October, 1982, the US Dept of Commerce's Bureau of the Census Noun 1. Bureau of the Census - the bureau of the Commerce Department responsible for taking the census; provides demographic information and analyses about the population of the United States
Census Bureau issued an interesting and important document called "Projections of the Population of the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. : 1982 to 2050 (Advance Report)." The projections are based on the July 1, 1981, population estimates and race definitions.
Among the Bureau's forecasts that would have a bearing on your company's marketing and manufacturing plans are the following:
Life expectancy Life Expectancy
1. The age until which a person is expected to live.
2. The remaining number of years an individual is expected to live, based on IRS issued life expectancy tables. for US males is assumed to rise from 70.7 years in 1981 to 73.3 in 2005 and 75.1 in 2050. Life expectancy for females will likely rise from 78.3 years in 1981 to 81.3 in 2005 and 83.6 in 2050.
Fertility rates are expected to remain fairly steady, increasing slightly from 1.83 births per women in 1980 to 1.96 in 2000, and then decreasing to 1.90 births per woman in 2050.
Net immigration immigration, entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important. is expected to be a constant 450,000 a year.
The annual rate of population growth will slow from 0.9 percent in 1981 to 0.6 percent in 2000, and will reach virtually zero population growth (ZPG ZPG
zero population growth ) by 2050.
The total US population will increase from 230 million in 1981 to 268 million in 2000. Population will reach an alltime high of 309 million in 2050 before beginning to decline.
While the rate of births is projected to be negative after 2035, net immigration results in a growing population until 2050, after which the population will start to decline.
The Bureau notes that these changing components of population will likely lead to marked changes in the age and race distribution of the population during the next 70 years:
The percentage of the population 65 and over will rise from 11.4 percent in 1981 to 13.1 percent in 2000, and then to 21.7 percent in 2050. At the same time, the percentage of the population aged 85 and over will rise from 1.0 percent in 1981 to 1.9 percent in 2000, and to 5.2 percent in 2050.
In the school-age population--those aged 5 to 13 years--the total will decrease from 30.7 million in 1981 to 29.6 million in 1985. This group will then gradually increase to 34.4 million by 1995.
Secondary schoolers--those aged 14 to 17--will decline from 14.9 million in 1981 to 12.9 million in 1990, then increase to 15.4 million in 2000. People aged 18 and 19 will decline from 8.5 million in 1981 to 6.5 million in 1995, before rising slowly to 7.5 million by 2000.
The population of young adults aged 25 to 34 is likely to increase from 39 million in 1981 to 44 million in 1990. This group will then decline to 36 million by 2000.
Overall, said the Bureau, the US population will grow substantially older. The median age will increase from 30.3 years in 1981 to 36.3 years in 2000, and then to 41.6 years by 2050.
Racially, the percentage of the population that is black is projected to increase from 11.9 percent in 1981 to 13.4 percent in 2000, and 16.8 percent by 2050. The middle class is shrinking
According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the Bureau of Labor Statistics Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
A research agency of the U.S. Department of Labor; it compiles statistics on hours of work, average hourly earnings, employment and unemployment, consumer prices and many other variables. (BLS See Bureau of Labor Statistics. ), US Dept of Labor, the percentage of American households that are usually described as "well to do"--those having total annual incomes of $50,000 or more--is growing. So, too, is the percentage of "poor" families, those earning $15,000 or less (see graph). Between those two groups, the middle class--families earning $15,000 to $35,000 a year--is shrinking.
According to recent figures from the BLS, the percentage of all US families comprising the middle class shrank (in constant 1982 dollars) from 53 percent of the total in 1970 to 44 percent last year. Those earning less than $15,000 a year grew from 26 percent in 1970 to 29 percent in 1982. During the same period, those families earning $50,000 or more grew from 22 percent to 27 percent.
Notably, the richest one fifth of families received nearly 43 percent of the country's total money income last year, the largest share in 30 years. That comes to more than 9 times what the poorest fifth earned. A decade ago, the richest fifth took in 7-1/2 times more than the poorest.
Bureau projections indicate that most gains in employment will continue to occur in the extremes of the income spectrum. This means that there likely will be more rich, more poor, and fewer in the middle. We're moving south and west
Bureau of the Census figures show that the shift of population to the Sunbelt continues. The fastest-growing state is Nevada, followed closely by Arizona and Wyoming. At the same time, though, the largest increases in gross numbers of people have been occurring in Texas and California.
"Their tastes (those of the people in Texas and California) are likely to be indicators or forerunners of the larger market," said Dr Roger D Blackwell, professor of consumer research at The Ohio State University Ohio State University, main campus at Columbus; land-grant and state supported; coeducational; chartered 1870, opened 1873 as Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, renamed 1878. There are also campuses at Lima, Mansfield, Marion, and Newark. , Columbus, OH. Co-author of the book called "Consumer Behavior" (CBS (Cell Broadcast Service) See cell broadcast. Publishing, 1982), Dr Blackwell gave a talk called "Changing life-styles: implications for auto manufacturing" at the Autofact 4 conference in Philadelphia.
"If you live in the northeast quadrant of the US, ZPG has already arrived," he added. "The State of New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of declined in population by about 640,000 people, and other states declined also. Many auto dealers have gone out of business, of course, but some survive and prosper.
"Those firms that have learned to prosper in ZPG should become the models for future prosperity in the industry," he stressed. "If you were to study the auto models they are selling, the market targest they rifle toward, and their methods of management, you would probably have many clues to the future of the American auto industry."
The shift to the Sunbelt will likely result in some obvious differences in demands for products such as housing, air conditioning air conditioning, mechanical process for controlling the humidity, temperature, cleanliness, and circulation of air in buildings and rooms. Indoor air is conditioned and regulated to maintain the temperature-humidity ratio that is most comfortable and healthful. , and recreational and leisure products. More subtle, but highly significant, will be the impact on manufacturing.
"The process of abandoning older plants in the Frostbelt and building new ones in the Sunbelt is accelerating the renewal of US industries," said Stephen Moss Stephen Moss is a British natural historian, birder, author and television producer. He is married, with five children (including a pair of twins), and lives in Somerset, having recently moved there from West London. , director of Operations Management Operations management is an area of business that is concerned with the production of goods and services, and involves the responsibility of ensuring that business operations are efficient and effective. Practice at Arthur D Little Inc, Cambridge, MA. "The newer plants tend to be equipped with current and more automated equipment. In addition, because much of the work force in the Sunbelt is more mobile and less well trained than that in the Frostbelt, industry is driven to do more training. This is beneficial for the overall competitiveness of US industry."
The shift to the south and west has begun to meet opposing forces Those forces used in an enemy role during NATO exercises. See also force(s). , however, and may be slowing. "Companies that have been seeking the lower wages and better economies of production in the Sunbelt have also been fleeing the environmental restrictions found in the north and east," observed Richard S Lindstrom, senior member of Arthur D Little's Product Technology Group.
"Some southern states Southern States
government of 11 Southern states that left the Union in 1860. [Am. Hist.: EB, III: 73]
popular name for Southern states in U.S. and for song. [Am. Hist. have been more lax than most Frostbelt states in environmental matters," he said. "As the population grows in the Sunbelt, though, state regulations there are becoming more stringent. For example, Texas is enacting some of the country's most stringent laws concerning pollution of air and water.
"Then, too, a number of Sunbelt cities have begun to experience problems such as availability of water and cost of housing. In California's Silicon Valley, for instance, many companies have given up trying to hire people from the east and midwest. Housing in the San Jose San Jose, city, United States
San Jose (sănəzā`, săn hōzā`), city (1990 pop. 782,248), seat of Santa Clara co., W central Calif.; founded 1777, inc. 1850. area has grown so expensive that people from other areas don't want to move there." Consumer attitudes are changing
Changes in population age groups, family incomes, and the relative cost of energy are among the main factors that have been altering the buying habits of Americans. Another is a shift in attitude toward what Ohio State's Dr Roger Blackwell Roger Blackwell is an American recognized marketing expert and public speaker. He has a reputation throughout that country.
He has written several books on marketing including Consumer Behavior (ISBN 0-03-021108-5), called Frontier Consumerism.
"This is the frontier of intelligent consumption," he said. "Examples abound everywhere today. For instance, generic brands are capturing large market shares in some product categories, and couponing cou·pon·ing
The sending out or turning in of coupons, especially the regular redemption of a manufacturer's coupon for cash. is growing. Off-price merchandising is very important, even in automobiles.
"The search is not for cheap products; the search is for value."
This shift to more intelligent consumption will have an impact not only on manufacturers that make consumer products, but also on industrial manufacturers that sell to the makers of consumer products.
"For industrial manufacturers, the purpose of studying changing life-styles is to anticipate the markets and problems of their potential customers," Blackwell said. "Companies that only react to the problems of their manufacturing customers are almost always commodity marketers, and that is a price game. The largest firm wins, and the rest accept low profitability and eventually ruin.
"To escape the commodity pricing problem, industrial marketers must anticipate the problems before their competitors, and recognize the problems--perhaps even before their competitors do," he continues. "Understanding consumer life-styles is an important tool for industrial manufacturers that seek the high margins and rapid growth that comes from anticipating the marketing environment."
As an example of successful anticipation, Blackwell pointed to a steel company, Allegheny Ludlum. In the late 1960s, Allegheny was like many other basic steel manufacturers. While other steelmakers were trying to maintain their old ways of selling old, established products to old, established customers, however, Allegheny began studying the future markets of consumer-product companies that would be growing and prospering. Then the steel company changes its internal organization to what would be needed in the future.
"That led them into the development of specialty products and manufacturing inputs for health care, food processing Food processing is the set of methods and techniques used to transform raw ingredients into food for consumption by humans or animals. The food processing industry utilises these processes. , leisure products, and other industries that would be prospering," Blackwell said. "They even changed their name to Allegheny International."
It seems a safe bet that successful old-line manufacturers of established products -- whether machine tools, autos, bicycles, or whatever -- will be emulating Allegheny in adapting to change, and in studying demographics and future consumer demands. Labor-intensive manufacturing continues to move elsewhere
The manufacture of products with high labor content -- for example, autos and electronic products -- has been moving offsore, and many observers think the trend will continue. A recent event that highlights the trend is Ford Motor Company's announced decision to build a new, small-car assembly plant in Hermosillo, Mexico. Estimated to cost $500 million, the plant will employ Mexican labor to assemble what Ford calls a "fairly sporty sport·y
adj. sport·i·er, sport·i·est
1. Appropriate for sport or participation in sports.
2. Exhibiting sportsmanship; sporting.
3. Flashy; jazzy. " subcompact car Noun 1. subcompact car - a car smaller than a compact car
auto, automobile, car, motorcar, machine - a motor vehicle with four wheels; usually propelled by an internal combustion engine; "he needs a car to get to work" for sale primarily in North America North America, third largest continent (1990 est. pop. 365,000,000), c.9,400,000 sq mi (24,346,000 sq km), the northern of the two continents of the Western Hemisphere. .
According to a report in Business Week (January 23, 1984), another Mexican plant -- this one owned by the Japanese company Mazda Motor Co (formerly Toyo Kogyo Co), in which Ford has 25 percent ownership -- will supply major components for the new car. Industry observers speculate that the car may be a sporty derivative of mazda's successful 626.
"I expect that the share of the US auto market served by US plants will continue to decline," said Arthur D Little's Stephen Moss. "There will also be a decline in domestic content -- that is, the percentage of parts made in the US. Our automakers will earn their value-added dollars through their engineering and marketing expertise.
"In short, fewer and fewer cars will be built from scratch here," he continued, "Most cars are high priced already, and people are keeping them longer. If more domestic content were mandated, costs would continue to increase, the auto marketers would sell even fewer cars, and suppliers seeking protection would become even less competitive. Domestic content laws are not desirable in the long run."
In electronics manufacturing This article presents a typical manufacturing process of an electronic assembly. Component manufacturing
Components such as resistors, capacitors and integrated circuits are generally made by specialized contractors. , much assembly of US-brand products continues to be done overseas. At the same time, though, our electronics manufacturers are making significant strides in gearing their domestic plants for automated assembly, notably the assembly of printed circuit boards.
This trend will likely accelerate, and in the years ahead, the industry will devote even more R&D to the design of the products themselves for automated fabrication fabrication (fab´rikā´shn),
n the construction or making of a restoration. , assembly, burn-in, and test. The critical role of energy
For now, we Americans are complacent about energy. The Administration thinks that natural market forces solve everything, so the Dept of Energy has been reduced to a token. Believing that there's plenty of oil available, and that gasoline prices will remain stable for the foreseeable future, many of us have returned to driving larger, less fuel-efficient cars.
US industry still expresses a concern about energy consumption and costs, but the conservation fervor whipped up by the oil crisis has cooled considerably. The big concern today is capital, not energy.
During the late 1970s, some US manufacturing companies achieved notable successes in reducing energy consumption. For instance, the Gillette Co of Boston, MA, now burns 40 percent less energy per each new razor blade ra·zor·blade also ra·zor blade
A thin sharp-edged piece of steel that can be fitted into a razor.
razor blade n → hoja de afeitar
razor blade produced than in 1972. And, under the aegis of Charles Feledy, corporate energy director, the United Technologies Corp of Hartford, CT, reduced the amount of energy consumed per unit of production by an amazing a·maze
v. a·mazed, a·maz·ing, a·maz·es
1. To affect with great wonder; astonish. See Synonyms at surprise.
2. Obsolete To bewilder; perplex.
v.intr. 55 percent. The OPEC OPEC: see Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
in full Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
Multinational organization established in 1960 to coordinate the petroleum production and export policies of its problem
The scramble in this and other oil-consuming nations soon put the brakes on demand. With the price per barrel of crude dropping precipitously pre·cip·i·tous
1. Resembling a precipice; extremely steep. See Synonyms at steep1.
2. Having several precipices: a precipitous bluff.
3. , the OPEC member nations fell into disarray. Now they present us with another, possibly more serious problem: they're becoming debtor nations, placing a further strain on the already taut credit market.
In 1983, Nigeria--OPEC's neediest member--borrowed $2 billion from the banks to reschedule re·sched·ule
tr.v. re·sched·uled, re·sched·ul·ing, re·sched·ules
To schedule again or anew: rescheduled the meeting for the following week; rescheduled the debts of many developing nations. its debt. Algeria borrowed $700 million last year, and will probably borrow a like amounts this year. Mexico, Brazil, and other member nations continue to borrow and refinance their debts.
According to a story in Business Week (December 26, 1983), Salomon Bros BROS Brothers
BROS Benefits and Retirement Operations Section (King County, Washington)
BROS Barnes and Richmond Operatic Society (London, UK) estimates that OPEC's current-account deficits totaled $33 billion for 1983, compared with $7 billion in 1982. Their debt will likely grow to $35 billion in 1984.
"Belt tightening by some of the countries will not change the prospect of big deficits throughout the decade," said the report. "That means the world's banks can expect a massive outfolow of funds."
Meanwhile many of our companies have reduced staffing and expenditures for energy conservation. UT's Feledy is out of a job, and the trend throughout industry is to reduce energy conservation from a corporate-level concern to a lower staff job, or even to plant- or division-level jobs.
Apparently we've done about as much as we're going to do. We've turned down the thermostat thermostat, automatic device that regulates temperature in an enclosed area by controlling heating or refrigerating systems. It is commonly connected to one of these systems, turning it on or off in order to maintain a predetermined temperature. and installed a few electricity-saving systems. We even tolerate the federal government's continuing demand for gradual improvement of fuel-economy ratings in new autos.
Like the creeping vanguard glacier of an impending im·pend
intr.v. im·pend·ed, im·pend·ing, im·pends
1. To be about to occur: Her retirement is impending.
2. Ice Age, however, the problem is still there. It hasn't gone away; it has only pause for a few years in its relentless advance. We've grown accustomed to high-energy costs, but the prospect of much higher costs still looms, closer now, beginning to cast a shadow. Exploration more costly
If US industry isn't concerned about energy, it should be. There's only so much fossil fuel fossil fuel: see energy, sources of; fuel.
Any of a class of materials of biologic origin occurring within the Earth's crust that can be used as a source of energy. Fossil fuels include coal, petroleum, and natural gas. left in the ground, and it won't last forever. In the Middle East, where some 76 percent of the world's known oil reserves Oil reserves refer to portions of oil in place that are claimed to be recoverable under economic constraints.
Oil in the ground is not a "reserve" unless it is claimed to be economically recoverable, since as the oil is extracted, the cost of recovery increases incrementally like, the wells will beging sucking air by 2010 to 2020. Already the 2 million barrels a day we've been pumping out of Alaska's North Slope North Slope, Alaska: see Alaska North Slope. have dropped off.
True, exploration continues in many areas, including Alaska, Indonesia, the coasts of China and Vietnam, and others. But, thus far this activity has been mostly speculation, and it grows more expensive every year.
Exploratory drilling in the North Sea and on the North Slope, for instance, have climbed to over $1000 a meter. This means that finding the capital just to look for oil has already become a problem. Add to that the increased costs for storage, pipelines, shipping, terminals, refineries, and so on, and you see the magnitude.
Even during our current complacency, energy watchers continue to sound the warning bell. Experts in the oil industry still anticipate that the cost per barrel could multiply several times by 2000. The American Gas Association predicts that by 1995, the cost of natural gas will have increased by 5 to 6 times. And analysts warn that the price per kilowatt hour Kil´o`watt` hour
1. (Elec.) A unit of work or energy equal to that done by one kilowatt acting for one hour; - approximately equal to 1.34 horse-power hour.
Noun 1. of electricity will triple by 1990.
During the 1990s, they predict, the price will triple again, reaching 30^/kWH to 45^/kWH. That's 10 times the 1982 rate.
Of course, research in alterntive sources hasn't stopped altogether. Gasohol gasohol, a gasoline extender made from a mixture of gasoline (90%) and ethanol (10%; often obtained by fermenting agricultural crops or crop wastes) or gasoline (97%) and methanol, or wood alcohol (3%). is a live possibility, but currently it doesn't seem economical. At NASA's Langley Research Center Langley Research Center (LaRC) Oldest of NASA's field centers, LaRC is located in Hampton, Virginia and directly borders Poquoson, Virginia and Langley Air Force Base. LaRC focuses primarily on aeronautical research, though the Lunar Lander was flight-tested at this facility and a , experiments continue in the production and use of supercooled hydrogen as a jet-engine fuel. And at Sandia National Laboratories Sandia National Laboratories, which is managed and operated by the Sandia Corporation (a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation), is a major United States Department of Energy research and development national laboratory with two locations, one in Albuquerque, New in Albuquerque, NM, researchers are working on a way to use molten salt Molten salt may refer to:
Despite the warnings, most of us continue to regard fossil fuels as though they'll never run out. We mine and ship our coal as fast as the Europeans will buy it. Even with our conservation measures, we Americans--6 percent of the world's population--use one third of the earth's energy.
We'll have to face up to the rising costs of energy, and to the disappearance of fossil fuels. US manufacturers will also have to face the fact that energy is becoming an increasingly important cost factor in each unit produced. Here's why.
As companies automate their shops and plants, the cost of the labor in each unit produced rapidly decreases. At the same time, though, as the energy input is shifted from human labor to electrical power, the energy content in each unit produced increases. More and more electricity is used to run the machining centers, conveyors, computers, and so on, and this usage shows up in the production costs.
Trouble is, we Americans have not paid nearly as much attention to energy productivity as have some of our global competitors. As shown in the graph, France, Japan, West Germany West Germany: see Germany. , Italy--these and other industrialized in·dus·tri·al·ize
v. in·dus·tri·al·ized, in·dus·tri·al·iz·ing, in·dus·tri·al·iz·es
1. To develop industry in (a country or society, for example).
2. nations have done far more to improve their energy productivity. Even the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, often regarded as inefficient managers, have done better than we.
In the years ahead, our energy productivity will play an increasingly important role in determining our competitiveness. With the energy content rising in most manufactured goods manufactured goods npl → manufacturas fpl; bienes mpl manufacturados
manufactured goods npl → produits manufacturés , we'll need to devote much more effort to planning and designing energy out, just as we've been doing with the labor content.
"This nation's return to 'normalcy' cannot be taken as a signal that our energy crisis is over," concluded a report (Benchmarks 7, March 1982) from the American Productivity Center, Houston, TX. "Significant improvement in energy productivity remains central to greater energy independence as well as to overall productivity growth." The outlook for US industries
Each year, the Bureau of Industrial Economics of the US Dept of Commerce publishes a thick report called the US Industrial Outlook. The 1983 edition contained not only the current outlook for 250 industries, but also forecasts for each surveyed industry out to 1987.
Following are selected forecasts for metal-products industries. Machine tools and accessories
Production of metalcutting and metalforming machine tools in the US rose rapidly from $1.27 billion in 1972 to $5.13 billion 1983. At the same time, the percentage of imports as a share of US sales rose steadily from 10.2 percent in 1972 to 33.9 percent in 1983.
"Foreign producers offer low prices, quick delivery, low-cost financing, and excellent service," wrote Thomas J Gallogly, Office of Producer Goods producer goods
or capital goods or intermediate goods
Goods manufactured and used in further manufacturing, processing, or resale. Intermediate goods either become part of the final product or lose their distinct identity in the manufacturing stream, , Bureau of Industrial Economics. "The long-term prospects of the US machine-tool industry are thus directly related to its ability to meet the challenge of foreign competition.
"Traditionally, the machine-tool industry has been among the last to adopt the technology it develops and produces for others," he continues. "The technology exists today to quickly restore competitiveness to the US machine-tool industry. a long-term commitment by builders to utilize the productivity-improving tools and accessories they produce would make the difference in the years to come."
Gallogly sees the ongoing concentration of producers in the industry continuing beyond this year. Market forces will persuade marginal producers to consider merger or acquisition in order to survive. The net effect will be a strengthening of the industry, which could strengthen itself even more by acknowledging long-term trends and taking action to accelerate the concentration process.
Shipments of machine tools are expected to increase at a 5.3 percent compound annual rate through 1987. Robotics
The potential for the industrial robot An industrial robot is officially defined by ISO as an automatically controlled, reprogrammable, multipurpose manipulator programmable in three or more axes. is immense, both in terms of technological advancement and market development. As the economy continues to improve, the demand for robots should increase markedly.
According to a recent survey and forecast by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers The Society of Manufacturing Engineers  (SME) is dedicated to bringing people and information together to advance manufacturing knowledge. SME is internationally recognized by manufacturing practitioners, companies and other organizations as a source for information, , the US market for robots could reach 10,000 units annually by 1985, with purchases totaling about $350 million. By 1990, the US robotics US Robotics - U.S. Robotics, Inc. market could top $2 billion.
"Foreign competition, already strong, will become more intense," wrote Gallogly. "To date, Japanese robot manufacturers have focused their attention on internal demand. When their attention focuses on the US market, however, the structure of this market will probably change dramatically.
"In all probability," he continued, "the Japanese will have a significant price advantage, which will translate into a rapidly growing share of a rapidly growing market. US robotics companies will have difficulty competing with Japanese firms, and the result will be a shakeout in the industry." Flexible manufacturing systems Flexible manufacturing system
A factory or part of a factory made up of programmable machines and devices that can communicate with one another.
The approximately 35 FMSs installed and operating in the US have demonstrated their ability to produce significant improvements in cost savings and quality. "Given an economic environment more conductive conductive
having the quality of readily conducting electric current.
flooring or floor covering made specially conductive to electrical current, usually by the inclusion of copper wiring that is earthed to capital investment," wrote Gallogly, "FMS FMS - Flexible Manufacturing System (factory automation). will flourish. The prospects for increased use over the next five years appears good." Foundry equipment
The need for foundries to remain competitive, both within their own industry and with other metalworking producers, requires the accelerated purchase of equipment that incorporates advanced technology.
"Many foundries cannot long delay the purchase of such equipment as their improved business volume begins to require modernization and expansion," wrote Robert A ricciuti of the Bureau's Office of Basic Industries. As a result, demand for foundry equipment should continue upward during the mid 1980s, he concluded. Welding apparatus
According to Paul Sacharov, Office of Basic Industries, advanced American welding technology has created an unprecedented worldwide acceptance for welding as a better way for joining metal. He thinks the gasic popular welding techniques--electric arc, gas, and resistance--will continue to be favored.
"However, more and more emphasis will be placed on robotics--automated and computerized systems--to apply welding techniques to mass-production industries where productivity manufacturers look to improve efficiency," he wrote. "Demand for welding equipment is expected to grow at an average annual rate of about 6 percent in real terms from 1983 to 1987." Material-handling equipment
According to John A Lien, Office of Producer Goods, the value of shipments by the elevator and moving-stairway industry, measured in 1972 dollars, is projected to increase at a compound annual rate of 2.7 between 1982 and 1987. Producers of conveyors and conveying equipment are expected to increase shipments at 3.3 percent a year during the same period.
Lien thinks shipments of industrial trucks will increase at an inflation-adjusted rate of 4.4 percent during the period. "The expected rate of growth is higher than for other segments of the material-handling industry," he wrote, "because of the extremely low level of shipments in 1972. Competition in the world market for industrial trucks will continue to increase, with the strongest challenge coming from Japan."
As Lien observed, the material-handling equipment industry serves so many manufacturing and service sectors that its health goes up and down with the general economy. "The overall growth rate...is estimated at 3.5 percent for the 1982-87 period," he wrote. "Imports will probably increase slightly from 6.3 percent of apparent domestic consumption achieved in 1982." Electrical equipment A piece of electrical equipment is a machine, powered by electricity and usually consists of an enclosure, a variety of electrical components and often a power switch. Examples of Electrical Equipment
According to Richard A Whitley, Office of Producer Goods, transformer-industry shipments are not expected to register any substantial gains during the next several years. Power circuit-breaker switching additions are expected to decline at an annual rate of 2.5 percent for the period of 1982 to 1990.
Shipments of motors and generators will grow at about 3 percent a year in the 1983-87 period, during which the use of energy-efficient motors will increase.
In the field of industrial controls, "An estimated growth in real GNP Noun 1. real GNP - a version of the GNP that has been adjusted for the effects of inflation
real gross national product
GNP, gross national product - former measure of the United States economy; the total market value of goods and services produced by all of about 3 to 3.5 percent during the 1983-87 period should kindle A portable e-book device from Amazon.com that provides wireless connectivity to Amazon for e-book downloads as well as Wikipedia and search engines. Using Sprint's EV-DO cellphone network, dubbed WhisperNet, wireless access is free. It also includes a built-in dictionary. modest demand for equipment," Whitley wrote. "Shipments by the industry, in 1972 dollars, are expected to grow at a compound annual rate of about 4 percent." Computing equipment
According to John McPhee
John Angus McPhee and Tim Miles Tim Miles is is an American college basketball coach and the former head Men's Basketball coach for NDSU. On March 22 it was announced that Miles would take over as the Men's Basketball coach for Colorado State University. Miles is a graduate of the University of Mary. of the Bureau's Science & Electronics Div, the US computer industry grew at an inflation-adjusted compound annual rate of about 20 percent from 1958 through 1981. Many influences that were minor in the past could act in the future to moderate real annual growth to an average level of 18 percent a year.
"Although below the historical average," they wrote, "the 18-percent rate will require healthy demand from several major markets. Business and industry have traditionally provided the principal demand for computers. This will continue through 1987, as the automation of offices and factories proceeds.
"The largely untapped home-information market may begin to expand during this period," they continue, "but it will not become a major factor unless breakthroughs in inexpensive, easy-to-use computers occur. In addition, computer firms will ultimately compete for this market with products and services from a variety of other industries, including telephone and telegraph equipment and services, broadcasting, and consumer electronics." Office equipment
McPhee and Miles believe that the trend toward increased office automation should stimulate demand for a broad range of office typewriters. Also, "the convergence of the previously distinct word-processing and data-processing functions will continue," they wrote, "not only in word processors but also in equipment such as desk-top computers. US manufacturers can expect substantial competition from the Japanese in all typewriter sectors in the future."
The two analysts believe that, on balance, the value of product shipments for office automation will increase 6 percent annually through 1987, somewhat below the historic growth rate. Motor-vehicle parts and stampings
Within the US automotive industry The automotive industry is the industry involved in the design, development, manufacture, marketing, and sale of motor vehicles. In 2006, more than 69 million motor vehicles, including cars and commercial vehicles were produced worldwide. , vehicle manufacturers may become less vertically integrated and source more of the parts requirements to independent suppliers, according to Robert V Coleman, Office of Producer Goods.
Both limited availability When customers of the PSTN make telephone calls, they commonly make use of a telecommunications network called a switched-circuit network. In a switched-circuit network, devices known as switches are used to connect the caller to the callee. of capital and the need to reduce manufacturing costs underlie this trend. In addition, greater reliance on suppliers would take advantage of their technological capabilities.
"Any movement toward greater dependence on suppliers would probably be accompanied by a trend toward longer-term contracts and greater participation by suppliers in the vehicle-manufacturers' product-development programs," Coleman wrote.
He stated that, on the assumption that US vehicle manufacturers will source a greater share of their parts requirements to independent suppliers, the domestic OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) The rebranding of equipment and selling it. The term initially referred to the company that made the products (the "original" manufacturer), but eventually became widely used to refer to the organization that buys the products and parts market is expected to grow at a higher rate than motor-vehicle sales during the next decade. "The OEM parts market is projected to grow, in real terms, 2 to 2.5 percent annually in the 1980s," Coleman wrote. "The domestic replacement-parts market...should have an average annual growth rate between 3 and 4 percent during this period." Aircraft and aerospace
US aircraft and aerospace producers and subcontractors look forward to the last half of the 1980s with "cautious optimism," according to Randy Myers
"Increases in military aerospace procurements will boost industry shipments, but may prove insufficient to offset civil declines," wrote the analysts. They forecast the compound annual rate of real value of shipments in the 1982-87 period as follows:
Percent Aircraft 2.8 Aircraft engines 2.7 Aircraft equipment 3.4
(wheel struts A framework for writing Web-based applications in Java that supports the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture. Struts is deployed as JSP pages using special tags from the Struts tag library, which includes routines for building forms, HTML rendering, storing and retrieving data and , flaps etc)
Guided missiles and 5.6
Space propulsion units 4.6 Space vehicle equipment 3.3
(fuel tanks, control surfaces etc)
Myers and Kingsbury see the compound annual growth rate for the entire industry at 3.7 percent for 1982 through 1987. Household appliances
The outlook for the US household-appliance industry through the mid 1980s is for continued growth as the economy continues to recover, according to John M Harris, Office of Consumer Goods consumer goods
Any tangible commodity purchased by households to satisfy their wants and needs. Consumer goods may be durable or nondurable. Durable goods (e.g., autos, furniture, and appliances) have a significant life span, often defined as three years or more, and and Service Industries. "During the next five years," he wrote, "shipments of household appliances are expected to increase at a real compound annual growth rate of 5.0 percent."
Harris bases his prediction partly on the assumption that real disposable income disposable income
Portion of an individual's income over which the recipient has complete discretion. To assess disposable income, it is necessary to determine total income, including not only wages and salaries, interest and dividend payments, and business profits, but also is expected to increase at more than 2 percent compounded annually. Also, the number of households headed by people aged 25 to 44--the principal appliance buyers--is expected to increase 20 percent during the next five years.
"The biggest boost for the industry will be increased confidence, leading more consumers to replace appliances to seek a higher standard of living," Harris wrote.
For information on the new 1984 US Industrial Outlook, priced at $11 a copy, write to: John J Bistay, Director of Publications, Bureau of Industrial Economics, US Dept of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230. The emerging business of factory automation
As discrete-part manufacturing becomes more automated, not only in the US but worldwide, something called the "factory automation" or "industrial automation" business is emerging. Companies are being formed with the purpose of selling not only discrete products and systems, but also the automation of shops, departments, and even complete factories.
The phenomenon isn't new, of course. Consulting companies such as Ingersoll Engineers based in Rockford, IL, have been providing automation design and engineering services for years in this field. (For an example of how Ingersoll can transform an entire metal-products plant, see the January, 1984 issue of Tooling & Production, pg 39.)
Arthur D Little Inc, Cambridge, MA, identifies the market for the business as teh computer integrated manufacturing (application) Computer Integrated Manufacturing - (CIM)
http://dmtf.org/. (CIM (1) (Computer-Integrated Manufacturing) Integrating office/accounting functions with automated factory systems. Point of sale, billing, machine tool scheduling and supply ordering are part of CIM. ) market. According to their system of classification, component technologies include computer-aided design computer-aided design (CAD) or computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), form of automation that helps designers prepare drawings, specifications, parts lists, and other design-related elements using special graphics- and calculations-intensive (CAD), group-technology programming and software, automated material-handling, robotics, computer-aided manufacturing computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), a form of automation where computers communicate work instructions directly to the manufacturing machinery. The technology evolved from the numerically controlled machines of the 1950s, which were directed by a set of coded (CAM) hardware and software, and general-purpose computers and industrial software.
Within the CAM technology, Arthur D Little includes DNC DNC Democratic National Committee
DNC Democratic National Convention
DNC Do Not Call
DNC Delaware North Companies
DNC Domain Name Commissioner
DNC Direct Numerical Control
DNC Do Not Change
DNC Does Not Compute
DNC Digital Nautical Chart and CNC (Computerized Numerical Control) See numerical control.
CNC - Collaborative Networked Communication machine tools and machining centers, flexible manufacturing cells and systems, and computer-aided inspection and test.
Based on a study recently completed by the company, the CIM market in the US is expected to grow from $25 billion in 1982 to $98 billion annually by 1992. "The highest rates of growth will occur in CAD and robotics," said Clifford D Young, the company's practice leader for CAM. "These technologies will expand at over 25 percent annually."
Frank T Curtin, general manager of General Electric Co's Industrial Automation Systems Dept, Charlottesville, VA, sees the automation business ready to mushroom. "Factory automation is more than a buzzword A term that refers to the latest technology or a term that sounds catchy. If not a flash in the pan, new technologies become mainstream. For example, Java was a hot buzzword in the 1990s, but should remain a major topic for decades. ," he said. "It's now seen as something with a life of its own Memory Burn A Life Of Its Own was released by Noise Kontrol in 2002. Memory Burn is made up of several high profile musicians who came together to create this special work. . In the latter half of the 1980s, the automation business will really take off."
Companies of many different sizes, types, and backgrounds are entering the automation field. The entrants of today, likely the forerunners of a large pack to follow, include everything from robot vendors, to agglomerations of acquired companies, to newly formed divisions of large corporations.
An example of the first type of company is GCA GCA, ground-controlled approach: see instrument-landing system. Corp's Industrial Systems Group, Naperville, IL. When GCA entered the industrial automation field just a few years ago, it did so mainly as a vendor of its own line of gantry-mounted robots, derived from equipment that GCA's PAR Systems Div had developed for the nuclear power industry. Soon the company added 21 models of pedestal-mounted electric robots imported from Dainichi Kiko of Japan.
Today GCA's Industrial Systems Group offers complete factory automation services, including plant and system design, CIMROC robot control Robot control is the theory of how to model and control robots.
A simplistic model of a robot is to view it as a collection of links connected by joints. software, and CIMCELL software for control of manufacturing cells. Recently the company introduced CIMNET CIMNET Center for Information Management Network , a complete factory networking system for control and data transmission.
"We've already engineered several major installations that will be publicized pub·li·cize
tr.v. pub·li·cized, pub·li·ciz·ing, pub·li·ciz·es
To give publicity to.
Adj. 1. publicized - made known; especially made widely known
publicised soon," said Arne Carlsson, newly appointed group vice president of marketing and sales. Carlsson had previously been with the DoALL Co, machine-tool builder and distributor in Des Plaines Des Plaines, city, United States
Des Plaines (dĕs plānz), city (1990 pop. 53,223), Cook co., NE Ill., a suburb of Chicago on the Des Plaines River; inc. 1925. Among its manufactures are chemicals and electronic equipment. , IL.
"Our gantry Gantry
A name for the couch or table used in a CT scan. The patient lies on the gantry while it slides into the x-ray scanner portion.
Mentioned in: Computed Tomography Scans robot design--along with the CIMROC, CIMCELL, and CIMNET software--enables us to close the loop for many operations in the plant," he added. "The loop may include not only many types of manufacturing cells and systems, but also cost accounting, work in process, inventory control, and all the other activities needed for high productivity, quality assurance, and profitable operation.
"We anticipate that other robot vendors will follow us in this direction. The key to success will be capabilities in programming and control engineering." Litton's in it, too
Another recent entry in the automation business is the newly formed Industrial Automation Systems Group of Litton Industries Named after inventor Charles Litton Sr., Litton Industries was a large defense contractor in the United States, bought by the Northrop Grumman Corporation in 2001. , with headquarters in Florence, KY, near Cincinnati. Headed by Gordon Palmer, formerly chief of Litton's Unit Handling Systems (UHS UHS University Health Services
UHS Universal Hint System (gamingy)
UHS University High School
UHS Urbana High School
UHS University High School (Australia)
UHS Union High School ) Div, the group brings together Litton's seven metalworking and machine divisions (New Britain New Britain, city, United States
New Britain, industrial city (1990 pop. 75,491), Hartford co., central Conn.; settled c.1686, inc. 1871. The tin shops and brassworks in the city were established in the 18th cent. , Lucas, Landis Tool, Gardner Machine, Twin City Tool, Landis Lund, and Citco), plus the UHS Div and a company in Zeeland, MI, that builds automatic guided vehicle systems. The last named company formerly belonged to Bell & Howell.
The group also includes Taylor Mfg Co, a manufacturer of high-speed conveyor systems in Salisbury, NC, and Kimball Systems Div, a designer and builder of automatic identification and marking systems for load-tracking. Kimball is located in Paramus, NJ.
"We have a good collection of hardware producers, programmers, and system designers today," Palmer said, "and we continue to add a variety of skills. Our team will include specialists in the design and selection of machine tools, material-handling equipment, and controls, as well as in computer application and programming.
"Initially, we were surprised at the amount of up-front work needed to do overall plant and system planning. It requires a very broad variety of skills--broader than many industrial vendors have ever had."
According to Palmer, the Litton group is targeting three main industries for its automation activities: metal-products plants, electronics, and the food and beverage F&B is a common abbreviation in the United States and Commonwealth countries, including Hong Kong. F&B is typically the widely accepted abbreviation for "Food and Beverage," which is the sector/industry that specializes in the conceptualization, the making of, and delivery of foods. processing industries. "We've been active in all three fields for many years," said Palmer. "Now we're raising the level of coordinated services we can offer to companies that want to automate."
He also pointed out that computer-aided simulation is an essential tool for practitioners of factory automation. "It involves a terribly complex set of variables," he noted, "including throughput volumes, flow rates, permutations of product design, and others.
"Even after you arrive at a system design, you have to spend a lot of time playing what-if games to find the best solutions. It's no longer possible to do your design work on the back of an envelope." The integrator
At General Electric's Industrial Automation Systems Dept, General Manager Frank Curtin sees GE's role as that of integrator. "We intend to integrate hardware, sofware, and thoughtware," he said. "Thoughtware is all the planning, the strategic thinking, that must be done at the outset of an automation project.
"We think we're pretty good at it. After all, GE's expertise grows out of 100 years' experience on the shop floor, operation of 377 manufacturing companies around the world, and the production of many kinds of products in various volumes and mixes. We also have 30 years' experience in the use of computers in manufacturing."
Curtin sees his group primarily as a general contractor A general contractor is an organization or individual that contracts with another organization or individual (the owner) for the construction of a building, road or any other execution of work or facility. and designer. "We'll work closely with machine-tool companies and others to develop solutions," he said. "We won't compete with manufacturing systems people; in fact, we'll broaden their market, since we (GE) are now a major force in getting people to automate."
As for competition: at GE's level and type of activity, Curtin sees competition not only from Westinghouse, and to some degree from IBM (International Business Machines Corporation, Armonk, NY, www.ibm.com) The world's largest computer company. IBM's product lines include the S/390 mainframes (zSeries), AS/400 midrange business systems (iSeries), RS/6000 workstations and servers (pSeries), Intel-based servers (xSeries) Corp, but also from Hitachi, Toshiba, Siemens, and a few others of their caliber. "Competition will be worldwide," he said, "but we're prepared to play--and win."
The race has just begun, and thus far we've seen only the first few runners of the mark. France turning east
Usually when we talk of international trade, we mean trade between the western nations, and between the west and third-world or "developing" nations. The idea of doing business with the eastern bloc During the Cold War, the term Eastern Bloc (or Soviet Bloc) was used to refer to the Soviet Union and its allies in Central and Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and—until the early 1960s—Albania). seems about as inviting as that of taking a winter vacation Winter vacation has been proposed in modern times (the 20th and 21st centuries) as a more practical alternative to summer vacation in areas that have harsh winters and mild summers. in Siberia, and our Administration's anti-Soviet posture does little to warm the prospect.
Other western nations see the world a little differently, however. France, for example, remains a staunch ally of the US but maintains its own independent attitude toward the Soviet Union. According to one report, France is preparing to increase its trade with the Soviets to include the export of nuclear technology.
The major reason for the step-up is the fact that France's trade deficit with the USSR USSR: see Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. hit $500 million in 1983. This is expected to soar in the near future, because France will soon begin buying Siberian natural gas. French purchases of this gas could top $1 billion by 1986.
To help reduce the trade imbalance further, state-owned Renault has agreed to help Moscow build a new passenger car. The deal is expected to net about $120 million in orders for Renault and for French suppliers of equipment and engineering.
As France and other western European nations become more dependent on Soviet fossil fuels, look for an increasing flow technology from west to east. Germany, too
Following the OPEC-induced oil shocks, West Germany rose to the challenge by debt-financing of massive social programs. As a result, the nation's debt has risen 500 percent--much more than the UShs debt--during the past decade.
At the same time, unemployment remains a serious problem in Germany, and the nation has failed to develop new technologies and products that would alleviate her problems. Consequently the Germans have turned in the only direction logical to them: to the east.
Trade ties betwene Bonn and East Germany East Germany: see Germany. , though not widely publicized, are strong and growing stronger. In conjunction with the Soviet pipeline project--called by some the "Deal of the Century"--West German manufacturers are scheduled to sell hundreds of millions of dollars worth of pipe, steel, turbines, and other products to the USSR.
"The message in the Siberian pipeline deal is clear," wrote David Nussbaum, a former editor of Business Week, in his book, The world after oil: the shifting axis of power and wealth (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1983). "The Soviet Union offered West Germany a lucrative market for its heavy industrial products. Moscow did not import computers, semiconductors, or robots from Germany; it took steel pipe and turbines.
"Germany, for its part, could not sell those products anywhere else in the world, so it provided extremely cheap financing for the Soviets to allow the deal to go through," Nussbaum continued. "The Dela of the Century may be the first of many to follow as Germany falls behind in the race for the technological heights of the 1980s and slides away from the west." China waking up?
For the short term, it appears that mainland China could become a more lucrative market for US-made farm and industrial machinery, and also for certain kinds of US-spawned technology.
According to one recent report from the World Bank, that organization will lend as much as $2 billion a year to China by 1990. Most of the funding is expected to go into industrial, energy, and transportation projects.
Early in January of this year, the Chinese government Ever since Republic of China founded in January 1st, 1912, China has had several regional and national governments. List
Also, Mack Trucks Mack Trucks is one of the world's leading truck-manufacturing companies. It is now a subsidiary of AB Volvo, Volvo Group. The company's headquarters are in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of the state. Inc, Allentown, PA, is reportedly close to signing a deal with China for $7.1 million in logging and oilfield equipment. Shipments from Mack's US plants to China could reach as much as $44.5 million a year in 1985. The deal includes assistance with assembly facilities in China.
American companies could also become involved in several major railway, hyropower, oil-field, and coal-mining projects in China. All this activity reportedly stems from China's current plan to reach the west's 1975 level of technology by the end of the century. Short term, therefore, Beijing could prove a welcome customer to many American metal-products manufacturers.
Long term, however, the prospects are not overly promising. China has a habit of switching its economic policies radically and almost overnight, as though by whim. Mao's Cultural Revolution left the country starved for educated engineers, scientists and managers, and even today few students are allowed to study in the west.
without cultivated technical and managerial minds, China has little hope of catching up--not with the west, not even with South Korea or Taiwan. What China must import, she cannot export, so as long as her plans hold firm, and as long as relations remain warm with the US, some American producers will benefit. The new Japan
The Japan of today is far different from the Japan of five years ago, and certainly different from the myth about her that many of us hold. By 1990, we may scarcely recognize her, for the island nation is opening to imports of foreign goods and to investments by foreigners.
The great change was signaled on Dec 1, 1981, when Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki Zenko Suzuki (鈴木 善幸 Suzuki Zenkō; January 11,1911–July 19,2004) was a Japanese politician and the 70th Prime Minister of Japan from July 17, 1980 to November 27, 1982. replaced Rokusuke Tanaka, exclusionist ex·clu·sion·ist
One that advocates the exclusion of another or others, as from having or exercising a right or privilege.
ex·clu head of the Ministry of International Trade & Industry (MITI MITI - SQRIBE ), with Shintaro Abe Shintaro Abe (安倍 晋太郎; Abe Shintarō, April 29, 1924 - May 15, 1991) was a Japanese politician from Yamaguchi Prefecture.
He was the eldest son of member of Parliament Kan Abe and son-in-law of Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi. . He's an internationalist in·ter·na·tion·al·ism
1. The condition or quality of being international in character, principles, concern, or attitude.
2. A policy or practice of cooperation among nations, especially in politics and economic matters. who's inclined toward freer trade, and who's expected to work closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs foreign affairs
Affairs concerning international relations and national interests in foreign countries. .
Why the shift toward internationalization The support for monetary values, time and date for countries around the world. It also embraces the use of native characters and symbols in the different alphabets. See localization, i18n, Unicode and IDN.
internationalization - internationalisation ? Because, for the past decade, Japan has been buffeted by high energy costs, stagnation Stagnation
A period of little or no growth in the economy. Economic growth of less than 2-3% is considered stagnation. Sometimes used to describe low trading volume or inactive trading in securities.
A good example of stagnation was the U.S. economy in the 1970s. in the domestic economy, and stiffer restrictions on imports of her products by governments of the European Economic Community European Economic Community (EEC), organization established (1958) by a treaty signed in 1957 by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany (now Germany); it was known informally as the Common Market. and the US.
At home, MITI lost much of its power to control Japanese industry on Dec 1, 1980. On that date, the ministry was stripped of its authority to decide who could go into what business and when. MITI continues to steer government funds into selected R&D and high-tech areas, but private enterprise is turning more and more to private equity financing Equity Financing
The act of raising money for company activities by selling common or preferred stock to individual or institutional investors. In return for the money paid, shareholders receive ownership interests in the corporation. .
In electronic components, Japan is pushing to dominate the world market for semiconductors. By late next year, say industry observers, Japan's producers will be able to build 75 percent of the sophisticated equipment needed to turn out VLSI VLSI: see integrated circuit.
(1) (Very Large Scale Integration) Between 100,000 and one million transistors on a chip. See SSI, MSI, LSI and ULSI.
(2) (VLSI Technology, Inc., Tempe, AZ, www.semiconductors. chips.
Computers is another market that the Japanese have targeted. Here the national goal is to win 30 percent of the world market--including 18 percent of the US market--by 1990.
According to a report in Business Week (Dec 14, 1981), their strategy for computer marketing will be much like the one that worked so well for autos and consumer electronics: "Start at the low end of the product spectrum, establish a reputation for excellence, and then get customers to trade up."
In robotics, Japan's export push has already begun, as evidenced by the stepped-up advertising by Hitachi, Fanuc, Seiko, and others. The domestic market is nearing saturation; major robot builders are achieving economies of scale; and foreign manufacturers are ready and willing to automate.
At the same time, Japanese robot builders, aided by MITI, are developing more "intelligent" robots with vision and tactile tactile /tac·tile/ (tak´til) pertaining to touch.
1. Perceptible to the sense of touch; tangible.
2. Used for feeling.
3. sensing. Reportedly, Nippon Electric Co (NEC (NEC Corporation, Tokyo, www.nec.com, www.necus.com) An electronics conglomerate known in the U.S. for its monitors. In Japan, it had the lion's share of the PC market until the late 1990s (see PC 98).
NEC was founded in Tokyo in 1899 as Nippon Electric Company, Ltd. ) has developed an assembly robot that can position a part to within [plus-or-minus] 0.000 04" (4/100,000"). Developments such as these may well ensure Japan's place as premier supplier of robots in the decades ahead. Where the people will be
Suppose we do succeed. Suppose we automate our plants, hold the lead in new technologies, and develop new products that many people want. Who, besides ourselves, will buy our products?
Only people buy products, so part of the answer lies in determining where the people will be. In this regard the United Nations has been of help.
Part of that organization, the Fund for Population Affairs, makes annual reports on population censuses and forecasted trends in population. As shown in the table, by the end of this millenium, Europe is expected to grow by only 6 percent, and North America--including Mexico--some 20.5 percent.
Much larger growth in population is forecast for the "less-developed" or "underdeveloped un·der·de·vel·oped
Not adequately or normally developed; immature. " regions: South Asia This article is about the geopolitical region in Asia. For geophysical treatments, see Indian subcontinent.
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia , 48 percent; Latin America Latin America, the Spanish-speaking, Portuguese-speaking, and French-speaking countries (except Canada) of North America, South America, Central America, and the West Indies. and the Caribbean, 55.5 percent; and Africa, 81.5 percent.
And what will all those people buy? Not many personal computers, or videotape recorders, or $12,000 Buicks. More likely they'll be prospects for food, and farm machinery, and utensils, and perhaps a few Jeeps and low-cost TV sets.
That assumes, of course, that they can afford the basics. The growth of even a modest consumer economy requires a stable government, a sound economic policy, level if not lower energy costs, and a national debt that allows a worker to keep a decent percentage of his wages.
It seems clear that technical and economic assistance to the poorer nations of the world is not charity after all, but merely enlightened self-interest Enlightened self-interest is a philosophy in ethics which states that persons who act to further the interests of others (or the interests of the group or groups to which they belong), ultimately serve their own self-interest. . Indeed, a failure to provide assistance could lead to disastrous consequences.
Among those who have voiced a warning is the German philosopher Karl Jaspers Noun 1. Karl Jaspers - German psychiatrist (1883-1969)
Jaspers, Karl Theodor Jaspers , author of the book, The future of mankind (R Piper & Co, Munich, 1958). "Today, the global picture of unequal growth shows the western nations approaching a standstill, while the pace of Asian, African, and Latin American growth quickens from year to year," he wrote.
"The Chinese have increased from 315 million in 1911 to 470 million in 1941, and some 650 million today (1958); the Indians increased by 50 million from 1931 to 1941. The impression of all these Indian and East Asian masses--hungry, restless, rising like a tide that may engulf en·gulf
tr.v. en·gulfed, en·gulf·ing, en·gulfs
To swallow up or overwhelm by or as if by overflowing and enclosing: The spring tide engulfed the beach houses. the globe once they are in possession of technology and arms--is overwhelming.
"These masses may not yet be a menace," Jaspers warned, "but the menace they will be in a few decades must be considered now."