Thursday, September 26, 2013

Manufacturers Know How to Throw a Party

Friday, October 4th is “Manufacturing Day.”

It started out a few years ago with a few companies holding special “open houses.” This year, it has grown to more than 500 companies hosting tours and working with schools to show the critical nature of manufacturing in our economy, and the opportunities for both hands-on and high tech careers.

The site has a searchable map of participating companies and their events

In Wisconsin, Governor Walker has proclaimed October “Manufacturing Month”

Manufacturing Month happens in concert with Manufacturing Day on October 4th, a nationally recognized day sponsored by the national Manufacturing Extension Partnership, National Association of Manufacturers, and Fabricators & Manufacturers Association.

In Minnesota, the Statewide Tour of Manufacturing happens October 24 – 26th.

Details, including participating manufacturers and events are posted on Minneosta's “Dream It, Do It” website

In Illinois, the Illinois Manufacturing Improvement Specialists has a list of participating manufacturers, events and dates. Find out more here.

More on 3-D Printing

3-D printing is quickly emerging as the next great disruptive technology for consumers and businesses across the globe.

In ‘3-D Printing,’ a devices manufactures, or ‘prints’ objects from the bottom up, one ultra-thin layer of material at a time. In the article “3-D Printing: The Next Disruptive Technology,” recent examples of its use include:

  • NASA has successfully tested a part of a rocket engine made through 3-D printing, has plans to send a 3-D printer to the International Space Station in 2014 and is even working with a private company to 3-D print a pizza.
  • Companies are developing ways to 3-D "bioprint" human tissue such as blood vessels and organs.
  • A startup company in Missouri is developing ways to 3-D bioprint meat.
  • A Dutch firm is in the process of 3-D printing an entire house

Read more about the latest in 3-D Printing from BizTimes here.

Skills Gap? Maybe Not

The U.S. skills shortage will be far less of a problem than many people believe in the short term, and it is unlikely to prevent a resurgence in U.S. manufacturing in the next few years, according to a report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The report is titled “The U.S. Skills Gap: Could It Threaten a Manufacturing Renaissance?”

A key quote from the report: “Our research finds little evidence of a meaningful and persistent skills gap in most parts of the U.S., including in its most important manufacturing zones. The real problem is that companies have become too passive in recruiting and developing skilled workers.”

You can read more about it here in Modern Materials Handling magazine