Viewing blog posts written by Gino DiCaro

CMTA Champion FATHOM issues challenge: Make the un-makeable

Posted by Gino DiCaro, Vice President, Communications on May 20, 2015

This qualifies under the "California manufacturing rocks" category.  Additive manufacturing is becoming a universal part of the supply chain in the overall manufacturing community. One company leading the way is CMTA Champion FATHOM, who is challenging all designers and engineers to think differently about how they design and manufacture products today by leveraging the unlimited design freedom made possible through additive manufacturing.
From prototypes to production, the winning submission selected by a panel of judges in FATHOM’s Make the Unmakeable challenge will demonstrate an original way 3D printing can enhance the product development process.
Judges for Make the Unmakeable of 2015 include:
This month FATHOM is holding the second of three different challenges, all hosted through GrabCAD. In addition to scoring great prizes, the winning design of each of the three challenges will be judged for a grand prize. In September of 2015, the ultimate Make the Unmakeable champion will win a professional 3D printer from FATHOM.
FATHOM is challenging designers and engineers to reimagine two off-the-shelf components: hinges and fasteners. Having to design around traditional stock components is a problem because it increases part count, limits functionality, and hinders design freedom. Leveraging the unlimited design freedom of 3D printing—such as the ability to 3D print moving assemblies in a single build—design a hinge or fastener that improves upon conventional designs. In this Make the Unmakeable challenge, redesign a traditional hinge or fastener for the future of direct digital manufacturing.
  • Entries are due June 15!
  • Entries will be judged on originality, both aesthetic and mechanic
  • Designs should be mechanically sound
  • Traditional concepts will not be considered
This contest is hosted through GrabCad. Let your designers and engineers know so they can enter the contest.

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Report shows diminishing middle class in LA & Bay Area

Posted by Gino DiCaro, Vice President, Communications on May 13, 2015

The California Business Roundtable's Rob Lapsley said this week, "Policymakers have to modernize our laws in a way that will attract investment that creates middle class job opportunities."
It was his concluding response to a report issued by the Center for Jobs and the Economy titled “Economic Tale of Two Regions: Los Angeles vs. Bay Area”.
The study used EDD data for Los Angeles and the Bay Area to show that jobs created in the past 24 years have been at opposite ends of the wage spectrum—either low-wage or high-wage—leading to a diminishing middle class and the creation of a two-tier economy and growing lower-wage class in California.
The Bay Area accounts for more than 60 percent of the state’s net employment gains since 2007, but job growth has been led by higher wage jobs of the expanding new industries and the lower wage service jobs related to that growth. By contrast, Los Angeles presents a trend largely of jobs stagnation under which middle class wage jobs have been steadily replaced by lower wage service jobs.
Los Angeles and the Bay area's emerging trends are cautionary tales for the entire state of California. Indeed Mr. Lapsley is correct about attracting high wage middle class jobs. Let's start with manufacturing.

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Industrial electricity rates continue to increase

Posted by Gino DiCaro, Vice President, Communications on May 13, 2015

California's manufacturers paid 70 percent higher electricity rates than the U.S. average in 2014.  What's worse is that our rates have seen a steady incline for the past five years starting at 44 percent higher premium than the U.S. average in 2010.


Industrial rates by state

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Grow CA manufacturing, grow CA wages

Posted by Gino DiCaro, Vice President, Communications on May 7, 2015

Dan Walters wrote in the Bee this week that, "a third of California’s employed workers are 'low-wage' and their ranks are growing according to a new study from the Center for Labor Research and Education at University of California’s Berkeley campus." Walters also discussed the legislature's passion for a minimum wage hike as a means to fix this problem. We can do better.

California manufacturers pay an average $78,000 salary and those wages adjusted for inflation have grown by almost 40 percent since 2000. A growing manufacturing sector would create tremendous opportunities for the low-wage ranks often providing a gateway to the middle class.  We can fight to attract manufacturing investment and jobs and grow the same industry that helped so many California families follow their dreams in the eighties with aerospace and in the nineties with tech manufacturing.
We looked at the growth and declines of California's job sectors since 2000 and as you see below, California's manufacturing sector is on a steady decline versus other sectors, often giving way to industries that pay lower wages. 


(click image for pdf)

Job sector growth and decline since 2000




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Siemens transfers technology and opportunity to California

Posted by Gino DiCaro, Vice President, Communications on April 23, 2015

Siemens has been building railcars for over 160 years, yet the level of technology innovation they employ is on par with the latest high-tech manufacturing companies. Sacramento is fortunate to be home to 850 Siemens employees, including more than100 engineers who are finding new ways to improve safety, reduce weight and achieve mind-blowing energy efficiency.  

This week CMTA got a glimpse of Siemens’ Sacramento operation.  Everything we saw -- from precision welding of parts for the undercarriage to survive 30 years of operation to final touches on interior spaces for the comfort of passengers -- confirmed the company’s commitment to be an industry leader. We particularly enjoyed seeing the latest generation light rail cars to be delivered to Charlotte, Portland, San Diego and Calgary. Soon the plant will begin to build the next edition light rail cars for the San Francisco Muni and this year will also be the production start of the trains for All Aboard Florida – a new passenger service connecting Miami and Orlando.

We were also pleased to learn that “Made in America” is a major goal for Siemens production.  That means many types of jobs are required in the facility and suppliers across the country benefit greatly from Siemens operation here. The company was also one of the first major manufacturing facilities to power its operations with solar power — 85 percent of the plant is powered by the sun.

Since Siemens chose Sacramento as a major headquarters in 1984, it has provided hundreds of upwardly mobile jobs to support a middle class or better lifestyle for California families. The good news is that the future for Siemens and other rail industry suppliers remains bright, as population growth and the need to reduce vehicle miles traveled to meet the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals will put more rail options on the table for consideration.  Passengers on Siemens railcars will get where they need to go in energy-efficient style, not wasting time on congested streets and freeways or in clogged airports. 

When it comes to high-speed rail, Siemens has a great track record. They have more than 400 high-speed trainsets in operation globally that have traveled more than 600 million miles to date. And, the mileage for the fleet is growing by over 300,000 miles each day, experience that proves their leadership and innovation in the field.  

Siemens exemplifies what it means to be a California manufacturer – providing great value to customers through innovation and the contribution of highly skilled and productive workers able to meet all business and technical challenges.  We look forward to another visit with Siemens as they continue to grow and prosper in the state. 


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