TechHub: MIT Makes Ink for 3D Printing, 4 IIoT Trends for Executives & More

MIT Makes Ink That Changes 3D Printed Objects’ Color

New research from MIT has created a method for recoloring 3D printed objects after they’ve been printed. The method, called ColorFab, combines software, hardware and special 3D ink, according to CNN.

The new tech aims to reduce waste in manufacturing — preventing the need to re-print something to change the color.


“Manufacturers and designers spend significant amounts of time, energy and money re-printing designs when they don’t come out exactly right the first time,” Stefanie Mueller, coauthor of the paper and professor at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, told CNN Tech. “This sort of technology could help minimize the amount of waste that is produced from updating products.”

By using special 3D printable ink, the color is changed when exposed to UV light. Currently, researchers can change the color of an object in 20 minutes, but believe the time will decrease in the future as methods improve. Efforts are focused on plastic 3D printed materials for now, but it will plans are underway for it to be used on a wide variety of other materials like metals in the future.

4 Trends That Will Help Executives Create A Better World

As we enter into the second month of 2018, everyone in the industry knows what industry 4.0, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution, is and what it means. More and more studies are showing that executives are jumping on board, believing artificial intelligence, machine learning and IoT are going to change the world for the better.

Forbes and Deloitte recently reported that of 1,600 executives surveyed, 87% said industry 4.0 would lead to more equality and stability.

Due to this, it’s predicted that in the future, executives will be expected to pay more attention to societal issues. While the need to achieve financial returns will never go away, four existing trends have been observed that can help companies drive social values:


Technology as a societal tool

Opportunities for using tech for problem-solving humanity’s greatest challenges exist across multiple industries. HSBC CEO John Flint points out that industry 4.0 has enabled the banking sector to create a better world, allowing it to serve previously undeserved communities, due to technology lowering operating costs.

Interested in learning more about smart banks?


Financial Returns From Doing Good

Studies show that companies who focus on doing good reap financial benefits. According to Deloitte, the average sales growth for brands with a commitment to sustainability outperform brands without it, operating at a higher performance. Studies also show that a majority of consumers are willing to pay more for products and services offered by socially responsible companies.


Millennials Adhere To A New Set of Values

It’s known by now that millenials have disrupted the market, often considering a company’s purpose when choosing what to buy or where to work. 64% of millenials won’t take a job from a company that doesn’t have strong corporate social responsibility practices, making it no longer an option.

Deloitte reported that six in ten millenials consider business leaders to be committed to helping improve society, and see business as a positive force that behaves in a responsible way.


The Dawn Of A New Era

The 1980’s brought material excesses, 1990’s the dotcom bubble and 2008 the financial crisis — meaning we’re due for a reset of the social mood. The director of MIT Media Lab predicts that a societal awakening is underway, creating a new sensibility and nonlinear change in consumer behavior through a cultural transformation. Executives will be pushing companies in a more socially minded direction to compensate.

U.S. Shale Breaks Records with Explosive Growth, Beating Saudi Arabia

U.S. oil production has now surged above 10 million barrels a day for the first time in four decades, marking a profound shift in global crude markets, according to Industry Week.

This comes just weeks after the International Energy Agency said the U.S. is poised for “explosive growth” in oil output that would rival Saudi Arabia and Russia this year.

New drilling and production techniques have opened up billions of barrels of recoverable U.S. oil in shale rock formations, reversing decades of declining output and turning the nation into a top exporter.

Nationwide output climbed to 10.038 million barrels a day in November, the Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday. That’s the highest level since November 1970 in monthly data collected by the U.S. agency since 1920.

Production from Texas contributed 3.89 million barrels a day to the November figure, the most of any state.

Forecasts predict U.S. production to have an average of 10.3 million barrels a day this year, and 10.9 million in 2019, beating Saudi Arabia’s production of just less than 10 million barrels.

TechHub: Industry 4.0 and the C-suite, AI and Big Data in 2018 & More

The Problems Industry 4.0 is Solving for the C-suite

Industry 4.0 generates a lot of hype — making it easy to forget the essential purpose of implementing the technology; running and growing the business.

C-suite executives rarely interact directly with this smart tech, but that doesn’t make it any less vital for businesses, according to Forbes.

It improves customer service, achieves operational efficiencies, innovates for the future, reduces risk, meets standards and regulations while improving company management. Let’s not forget the most important challenge — meeting the expanding demand for increased agility, speed, predictability and quality.

The demand never ends, creating an arms race to serve the customer the way they want while maintaining cost-effective production.

“What used to take generations is happening at a very rapid pace now,” says Erik Nistad, director of ITS for Mondelez International, in Forbes.

As a consumer products company, Mondelez must produce different products in different packages to serve different customers throughout the globe – all with the same high quality, he says.

In China, for example, customers want green tea-flavored Oreos. In developed countries, the company sells big packages of cookies; in developing countries, it sells smaller packages to customers with less discretionary income.

Meeting that variation drives the need to do localization and customizations. What was previously a “black box” to the C-suite, the factory is now the core in a demand-driven supply chain. Plants are more predictable, reliable and responsive in order to meet the needs of a changing market.

New approaches to product development are now possible thanks to digital transformation, creating an intelligent infrastructure that seamlessly connects design, manufacturing, automation and the supply chain.

Learn more about Industry 4.0 and starting your digital transformation.

Penn State’s Smart University Transformation: Webinar News

Large universities in the U.S. are faced with the increasingly emergent problem of updating their building’s aging infrastructure, with many campuses housing buildings built in the 1800’s.

Digital JourneyAs the 10th largest university in the U.S., Pennsylvania State University is a highly competitive institution. When it came time to upgrade their dated infrastructure across their expansive campus, the stakes were high.

Resources were right and the project couldn’t wait, forcing the Penn State IT and Plant Services departments to put a plan in action — fast.

Join GrayMatter and Tempered Networks on January 11, 2:00 PM EST for a webinar that will take attendees through the project details.

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5 Ways Big Data & AI Will Impact 2018

Companies dominating the life sciences world have begun to embrace the opportunities of Big Data & AI, with predictions to really make a difference in 2018.

Notable progress in drug development and the quality of insights produced at the research stage are a result, however opportunities to utilize the data for larger gains continues to grow, according to Forbes.

Here’s five major ways Big Data and AI will impact life sciences in 2018:

industry 4.0


The environment in the US will be increasingly hostile to high drug prices. This will make it essential for life science firms to defend their research budgets and profit margins by utilizing robust data and clearly demonstrate the value of their products.

industry 4.0


Life science firms have had a hard time improving the speed and quality of bi-directional learning between patients and the drug discovery process due to poor data access and quality issues. As new best practices in data strategy are created, the industry continues to move towards the value unlocked by such translational medicine to accelerate.

industry 4.0


Risk and inefficiencies continue to be life science supply chains’ biggest challenge. The employment of new technologies, such as blockchain, offers the potential to radically improve levels of control and quality measurements. Overall costs for infrastructure dramatically reduce as a result.

industry 4.0


New branches of science are deepening our knowledge of genomics — the study of structure, function and mapping of DNA/ genes — creating opportunities for utilizing AI to gain previously impenetrable insights. Although still at the research stage, it’s predicted these techniques will impact fields such as oncology.

industry 4.0


With all of the different fields of study opening up, at the end of the day the most important is the economical impact. Accessing and analyzing the right data to deliver sustainable business value remains the central purpose for life science firms.

Whatever the coming year holds, one thing is beyond doubt: Exciting new ways to create value and improve patient care await those firms willing to exploit the data tools and techniques that are now emerging.

TechHub: Industry Growth, Data Analytics for the C-Suite and More

Manufacturers preparing for Industry 4.0 and tech industry growth

A boom in the tech industry in Southeast Michigan is becoming inevitable — at least that’s what a leading technology and manufacturing association in the state is predicting.

Automation Alley, a nonprofit compiled of industry members seeking to transform Southeast Michigan into a leading technology and innovation region, released an industry report for 2017 surveying approximately 400 senior technology and manufacturing executives on Industry 4.0 and digitization of manufacturing within their companies, according to the Oakland Press, a Michigan news organization.

“We believe that there is a huge opportunity for the technology industry to grow, both in Oakland County and across Southeast Michigan,” said Automation Alley Executive Director Tom Kelly in the Oakland Press.

According to the report, technologies such as the cloud, big data analytics and cyber security are the top three categories invested in. Manufacturers are also planning to invest in autonomous robots in the region.

industry growth automation

Sterling Heights-based Lighthouse Molding was the first company accepted in the Automation Alley 7Cs program. Image: Oakland Press

Perhaps the most insightful findings in the report are the communication gaps highlighted between technology and manufacturing executives in the region, as well as the lack of company resources devoted towards technological advancements.

Ultimately, it’s determined that the local manufacturing industry is actually “ahead of the curve” for the adoption of Industry 4.0 technology, whereas national manufacturers are not.

Interested in joining the digital revolution of Industry 4.0? We can help — read more about our services and let us join you in the journey to becoming a digital operation.

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City of Pearland investing $160 million in new surface water treatment plant

As the population curve increases, so does the massive need for water and sewage infrastructure.

The City of Pearland, located in Texas near Houston, has a population of over 100,000 with a predicted population of 220,000 by 2050.

With a drastically increasing population, the city is in the design phases for a new surface water treatment plant, aiming to provide 20 million gallons of additional drinking water daily, according to Community Impact.

Currently the city’s only sources of surface water are the city of Houston and Clear Brook City.

Apart from drinking water, sewage and wastewater treatment is a large concern for the city. Gray Matter is aiding in an expansion of the Reflection Bay Water Reclamation Facility, which is projected to be completed by 2019.

industry growth Pearland

The development boom in Pearland has improved the quality of life, but put a strain on water and wastewater infrastructure. Image: Community Impact

By implementing GE Digital’s iFIX and upgrading the plant’s Historian software, the facility will be better secured, more connected and have data readily available.

iFix is an industrial automation system that can be implemented within HMI or SCADA systems, and uses advanced analytics to model high-flow scenarios within a water and wastewater system, allowing the plant to better prepare for weather-related issues.

Historian allows for storage and display of real-time analytics of big data, storing it in GE’s Predix cloud. This allows for higher productivity, a decrease in plant downtime and an increase in both machine visibility and reliability.

Faster Time to Value for Operational Technology (OT) Security

Our customers are telling us that the cyber headache is only growing in operational technology and when they look at the list of priorities it could take several years just to get their heads above water.

Armed with this knowledge, we developed a speed to operational technology protection cyber plan that you can put in place right now– without having to redesign your whole architecture.

The rapid digital assessment often takes a few hours to a day and micro-segmentation can often be done within a week.

Once you get the fast protection, you can start breathing and prioritize next steps. Faster security allows you to multiply the impact of your team, allowing them to make smarter decisions in less time.

Join two operational technology consultants from Gray Matter Systems, Steve Varmuza and Bill Weed, as they detail how to accelerate time to OT protection in our third installment of the cyber education series.

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Data Analytics in the C-Suite

Global executives who understand the value of advanced data analytics are currently using it to their advantage and implementing it as a core part of their business strategy, according to Forbes.

A new report from Forbes Insights highlights executives embedding analytics into all parts of their enterprise, aside from marketing and sales, to capitalize on the opportunities it creates.

Many large organizations still struggle with achieving the full potential of analytic capabilities, despite an increase in investment.

The survey was based on over 1,500 executives across various industries and geographic locations. The C-level executives’ companies had at least $500 million in annual revenues, with 21-percent having revenues more than $50 billion, according to the report.

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