Saturday, April 19, 2014

Real Trends for Manufacturing

There are a lot of opinions these days on the state of manufacturing (most of them leaning positive).

Jacob Prak, CEO of Michigan Manufacturing International, sat down with the editors of Industry Today to discuss the trends he sees affecting manufacturing, especially over the next twelve months. Topics he covered include:

  • the impact of the shale oil and gas boom
  • growth in technologies
  • localizing
  • 3-D printing and more.

Prak believes that companies “that are well aware of the changing situations and flexible enough to adapt” will be in the best position to grow and succeed.

Read the complete article here

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fresh Talent for Manufacturing

We've commented on this before, and it's still a hot topic at manufacturing events everywhere:

With ever-changing technology and an aging workforce, what are others doing to build up the talent pool?

For one, Joe Brown, who heads up talent development at Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP), has been talking up and organizing school-to-work partnerships across the state. Brown says there's a myth that says manufacturing is dirty, behind the times, and headed offshore. He's been hands-on in helping young people "see manufacturing in the true light that it really is – a dynamic environment.”

You can see a detailed report on his finding and activities from WPR here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Products People & Policy

Here’s an amazing statistic:

Manufacturing employment can grow by more than 300,000 jobs every year and the economy can grow by an additional $1.5 trillion if manufacturing’s share of the U.S. economy rose from 12 percent to 15 percent — where it was at the beginning of the last decade.

Sounds easy, but it'll be a major challenge...but one that can be realistically achieved.

So what do we need to do to achieve it? Jay Timmons, president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Manufacturers says it “comes down to a focus on three specific areas: products, people and policy.”

His specific strategies for each are featured in the current issue of Fabricating & Metalworking Magazine. See the complete article here.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Metal in Memphis

We usually associate the City of Memphis with good food and music (especially Elvis). But few people know that Memphis is also home of the country’s largest and most prestigious Museum of Metalworks.

While the metal artwork displayed is a long way from the steel that’s cut and stamped in the manufacturing sector, visitors do learn a lot about raw materials, like differences in weight and the grain-like structure of wrought iron vs. mild steel. Timelines are important, too, taking visitors from hand-crafting done by blacksmiths to modern day 3-D printing.

The Metal Museum is featured in this month’s issue of Modern Metals Magazine.