The advance of 3D printing is accelerating to the point that while 4% of airplane parts currently are made in this manner, in another decade 40% will be and 10 years later only a handful of parts will not originate from additive printing.
3D printers allow the manufacturers to innovate quickly by performing rigorous tests and developing more efficient tools in shorter periods of time, according to Renaud Severac, audit senior manager of the Mexican accounting and management consulting firm of Mazars.
“The major players in the aerospace sector have started a certification approach for a significant number of parts that are included in this manufacturing process,” Severac points out.
The advantages of 3D printing include the ability to maintain the precision of design during production, elimination of waste products and the ability to reduce costs and the total time of production.
Another advantage is that the 3D printing machines don’t tire out like people do, and production can continue throughout the night, Severac notes.
3D printing also helps aircraft designers meet their ever-present goal of reducing an aircraft’s weight, which reduces fuel consumption, improves performance and increases carrying capacity.
Builders can reduce some parts’ complexity because in many cases assembly is not required: Everything is printed in one piece, Severac says.
Airbus uses 3D printing for its A350XWB aircraft, creating robust, lighter parts, while significantly reducing manufacturing time and costs, he observes. NASA used 3D printing to produce more than 70 parts for the Mars Rover. The rapid generation of prototypes that could be tested in the Arizona desert allowed NASA to optimize the vehicle’s design.
<h2>States Want CA’s Contractor Law</h2>
Other states are seriously considering emulating California’s new law making it impossible for independents contractors, like truckers, to serve companies in the same business they are in.
The law goes into effect on Jan. 1 and already has drawn court challenges (AA, 9-30-19, P. 1). It also is drawing imitators.
Legislation introduced in the New Jersey legislature would adopt a version of California’s law, holding that workers can be considered contractors only if they render a service outside the usual course of the business of the company they work for.
The bill already has been approved by the New Jersey State Senate and is expected to pass the legislature and be signed by the Democrat governor.
New York also plans to consider a California-style bill in 2020. The state Senate recently held a hearing on the issue and proposals are expected to be introduced in early 2020.
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) supports such a measure. Democrat State Senator Diane Savino said, “California has gone forward, but we’re going to have to be even stronger than California.”
In Illinois, another pro-union state, Democrat Rep. Will Guzzardi is preparing a similar measure for the upcoming legislative session.
In Wisconsin, the governor’s task force at the Department of Workforce Development wants to tighten restrictions on gig businesses on the state and is considering development of legislation mirroring California’s new law, at least as far as ride share drivers are concerned.
Both Oregon and Washington State considered similar legislation in their 2019 sessions but both bills failed to advance.
<h2>Burnout Seen As Pervasive Issue</h2>
The country is nearly at full employment, but workers in the United States may be approaching full burnout, according to research conducted by a division of Robert Half International.
On the heels of the World Health Organization defining it as a syndrome resulting from workplace stress, a survey from staffing firm Accountemps found that nearly all senior managers (96%) believe their team members are experiencing some degree of burnout. In a separate survey, 91% of workers said they are at least somewhat burned out.
Senior managers were asked to report the level of burnout among employees on a scale of 1 (not at all burned out) to 10 (completely burned out), and the average was 5.6. One in 5 respondents rated their team’s burnout level at 8 or higher. Workers also cited an average burnout level of 5.6, with 28% falling within the 8 to 10 range.
Workers and managers seem to agree burnout is an issue, but they don’t see eye to eye on the main reason. Given a list of factors that may contribute to employee burnout, workers ranked constant interruptions first, while senior managers believed unmanageable workloads were the biggest issue.
“Employees are often okay with working hard if they know that their efforts will not go unnoticed by their employers and it helps them advance their careers,” said Michael Steinitz, senior executive director of Accountemps, a division of Robert Half. “However, maintaining high productivity cannot come at the expense of staff members’ well-being and engagement.”
Steinitz’s advice: “Managers need to identify responsibilities that can be reassigned or put on hold. They can also bring in temporary professionals to alleviate heavy workloads, support day-to-day needs and assist with projects requiring specialized skills.”
He warns, “Companies that don’t take steps to prevent employee burnout could drive top performers away and find themselves in a bigger pinch.”