An industry regarded as dirty, loud and dangerous must do more to attract young people with the skills needed for modern manufacturing, while companies should promote their technology in the 21st century as exciting, cutting-edge, clean, safe and fun, according to a panel of experts.
Demand for more effective turning processes is growing again in one of the most cyclical of industries—the resurgent oil and gas industry. Meanwhile, high-precision manufacturers in aerospace, automotive, and other manufacturing industries are on the lookout for more efficient turning processes.
Everyone agrees that effective titanium machining requires a stable machine base, and that there’s no substitute for mass when it comes to vibration dampening. But what do you give up in speed for greater mass? And what’s the best way to move that mass?
Manufacturing is adding technology and seeking more precision, more output and less downtime. One of the most basic parts of manufacturing, parts cleaning machines, is on the same path. The industry is growing in sophistication to match its customers.
Rapid growth has spurred a cutting tool manufacturer to reach out to its community to grow the pool of young people available to join its workforce. You don’t have to look farther than the lobby of Midwest Industrial Grinding Inc. (MITGI) to find evidence of its commitment to workforce development for its own benefit as well as that of its Hutchinson, MN, manufacturing community.
The International Federation of Robotics forecasts that by 2019, 1.4 million industrial robots will be installed in factories around the world. Manufacturing organizations are looking to this technology as a way to streamline operations, improve safety on the factory floor and grow their business.
With each new contract and change order to increase part volume and improve delivery, Johnson Matthey Medical Components expanded capacity and capabilities in the same way—by purchasing more equipment. The San Diego, CA-based company would invest in another EDM to meet growing demand for orthopedic, endoscopic, cardiology and neurological medical devices, which is at an all-time high. The tactic was effective, but costly.
When I was at another job a few years ago, I remember watching in disbelief as all the files on my PC were encrypted. A note popped up saying that I had joined some “community” and that I had to pay a fee to see my now encrypted files. I shut down the PC and called my IT guy, who told me my files were probably toast. However, by shutting down quickly, I saved the root files; my IT hero removed the virus and restored my computer.
Alan Rooks - Editor in Chief, Manufacturing Engineering
I am endlessly fascinated by how inventive people can be, not only in creating things but also in how they adapt existing technology to their own use. Take the microtome, a device used in clinical pathology labs to slice very thin sections of tissue to determine various disease states such as cancer. It is typically used on skin, organs, or even “fresh” brains—anything a doctor would biopsy.
Bruce Morey - Senior Technical Editor, SME Media
A fused filament 3D printer has saved a custom outdoor lighting manufacturer tens of thousands of dollars a year, improving operations and winning more business. The purchase also helped retain customers who would previously have gone elsewhere for specialized parts.
When I was growing up, my family owned a small machine shop in the Chicagoland area. My grandparents all immigrated to the US from a war-torn Europe in the early 1920s with the hope of a new life based on the American dream. Both of my grandfathers were machinists, and my father was an engineer and a member of SME’s Chicago Chapter 5, joining the American Society of Tool and Manufacturing Engineers in 1964—the year I was born.
Starting this month, TechFront has a new format that spotlights manufacturing research programs at key universities, followed by summaries of recent research in SME’s Journal of Manufacturing Systems, Journal of Manufacturing Processes and Manufacturing Letters, all published by Elsevier Ltd.
Patrick Waurzyniak - Contributing Editor, SME Media
Manufacturing is important to communities, regions, nations: In the US alone, manufacturing supports more than 17.6 million jobs—that’s one in six jobs–and accounts for nearly $6 trillion in GDP. More than 12 million Americans (9% of the workforce) are employed in manufacturing.
For many years, American manufacturing was defined by the might and capability of its automakers and the businesses that manufacture automotive parts and products. While US automakers face more competition today, they remain vital to the American economy.
Christine Longroy - Automotive Industry Manager, SME
Workforce development, like many economic factors, is subject to supply and demand. This is sometimes called the “push-and-pull equation.” The employers represent the “pull” and training represents the “push.”
Peter Mancini - Educational Programs Manager, CNC Software Inc.
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