The Third Industrial Revolution Will Be Crowd-Sourced and Digitized

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[Staff reporters]

Henry Ford was fond of saying that “nothing was particularly hard if you divided it into small jobs.” He followed his own advice, built world’s first assembly lines that cranked out 15 million Model Ts, and left his competitors in the dust. Engineers are now taking Ford’s advice to the extreme and breaking down the factory to bits and bytes.

“Software, data and analytics are changing what we can make in ways I couldn’t imagine when I left school,” says Christine Furstoss, global technology director at GE Global Research. “It’s more than 3-D printing jet engine parts from a digital file, which we already do. We can build a factory that can make itself better. We call it the Brilliant Factory.”

Furstoss spent a recent Tuesday afternoon at the White House, where President Obama announced that he would open two new innovation institutes to boost advanced manufacturing in the U.S. The first one, in Chicago, will focus on digital manufacturing and design innovation.

The other, in Detroit, will experiment with light-weight materials. “It’s all about growing a new generation of workforce,” Furstoss says. “The next manufacturing revolution can be an American revolution.”




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One Response

  1. 7 things this med student learned about being an innovator

    Years ago as a first-year medical student, I wrote a piece titled “Be an Innovator in Medical School.”

    The content was meant to be a starter guide for medical students interested in creating change at their institution or community.

    via Lew


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