To kick off the start of the new year, we thought we would take a look at the state of manufacturing to see where it will be headed. We specialize in providing engineering support and building custom machinery and precision parts, serving a broad range of applications across many industrial sectors.
One emerging trend in the manufacturing industry is the increased use of technology to improve processes. Automation and robotics improve productivity in many sectors and are becoming more affordable. As a result, we’ve noted general-purpose robots are being integrated into operations by both large and small companies. As the manufacturing industry continues to regain its foothold in the U.S., adding cost saving capabilities will improve competitiveness in the marketplace.
Manufacturing isn’t the same workplace it was 50 or even 20 years ago. As technology throughout the industry increases, so does the need for workers who can manage “new” industrial requirements. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of qualified workers to meet this need. The focus on STEM education is the first step to bringing science and technology to students. We will continue to spread awareness of this initiative.
With the help of the government, the U.S. is working on instituting career and technical education (CTE) programs which offer high-quality apprenticeships for students. This is based on a very successful program in Switzerland, where students are prepared for careers in manufacturing. Apprenticeship programs have all but disappeared in our country. Following the Swiss model would provide a quality education, while offering a flexible pathway for students to choose more training and/or higher education.
The industrial sector is currently addressing the state of employment through community college programs, events such as Manufacturing Day, and education programs through organizations such as NAM and NTMA. Creating formal apprenticeship programs brings more hands-on training to students and offers them more choices for the future.
The industries we serve (medical, pharmaceutical, energy, food processing, government, aerospace, electronics/semiconductors, telecommunications, packaging, and general manufacturing) will continue to need more skilled workers. As leaders in delivering top quality custom machinery and machined parts, we look forward to promoting the cause.