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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.

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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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