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Pandemic shows the need for an American manufacturing revival that Chicago could lead

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of U.S. manufacturing — and shown how digital technology can pave the way for its revival. A few local demonstrations: mHUB, a Chicago product startup incubator, teamed with 700 Illinois businesses to produce critical medical supplies as part of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s essential equipment task force.


The accomplishments included designing and building hospital ventilators that cost just $350, made from off-the-shelf parts. Azul 3D, a startup founded by three Northwestern University researchers, used its high-speed 3D printer to make face shield parts. It developed a prototype in 24 hours and produced enough components in 48 hours to make 1,000 shields per printer per day. Fusion OEM, a Burr Ridge systems integrator specializing in robots that operate alongside humans to perform […]


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