Walk across the spotlessly clean and well-lit floors of Pratt & Whitney’s 1 million-square-foot manufacturing plant in North Berwick, Maine, and you’ll pass by dozens of closed-door CNC machines, each the size of a large refrigerator. The machines quietly whir and hum as they turn, mill and grind finished parts for the company’s Geared Turbofan jet engines. Robotic arms easily lift and stack heavy gears. Shop-floor workers who once did the dirty work and heavy lifting barely touch the parts. Instead, they operate the machines, usually with a push of a button, monitor their health and progress, and oversee the automated processes. Welcome to the New Age of Manufacturing.
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