The recall of Earthbound’s organic bagged spinach dominated the news cycle during the autumn of 2006; I can remember exactly where I was in my life as the story broke and continued to unfold, as I’m sure many of you can as well. For those who cared about food safety, the recall — and the illness and death associated with it — was big news.
Communities investing in manufacturing and economic development apply the same techniques as...
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The concept of “everyone should go to college” is finally being questioned, which I think is long overdue. In fact, the U.S. Labor Department says that most jobs (69 percent in 2010) don’t require a post high school degree.To get an idea of what the economy is going to offer in the next ten years, look for the Labor Department chart titled “Occupations with the largest job growth, 2010 and projected 2020.”
This issue of American job development is certainly not a black and white one, but with all of the domestic resources being allocated towards its improvement, you can be sure there are some elements of red, white, and blue. Check out this year’s Jobs Report to see some of the jobs programs available and how they might factor in to your workforce needs, skill gaps, or hiring practices.
Humans are curious creatures. We like to see how things work, and we want to know what makes things tick — we have a deep-seated desire to make a connection with our environment by understanding the process of creation. That, in part, is what is so appealing about facility tours.
Here’s a test. Go into your parts storeroom and try to find a part that you can’t match to any piece of equipment in your plant. It’s a very rare plant that doesn’t have a box of parts that no one is quite sure exactly where they go, but the storeroom is keeping, “just in case.”
Incremental improvements are more or less feel good measures that say to management “there was a problem and we did this to solve it.” In reality, most continuous improvements have come from technology advancements, not from employee performance advancements. Has the continuous improvement mentality caused manufacturing to settle for mediocrity?
Baxter’s ability to work side by side with human counterparts has many people worried. What if he and his robotic buddies stop dancing and take over all the manufacturing jobs? What if people – and the wonderful human qualities they bring to manufacturing – become passé?
Variable speed control compressors can be an important component of an optimized system provided that it is properly applied. Variable speed is not, however, a simple panacea for instant compressed air system efficiency. The dynamics of the control must be understood and the machines properly sized.
The right thing to do is to enforce invention and innovation rights. These rights create jobs, economic benefits, and profits for our society, while our patent-piracy tolerance destroys the economic benefits we seek. If an American-made business model is destroyed by the cannibalistic capitalism of our marketplace, what products can survive to create jobs in our society?
Recently, Kiplinger released a forecast of its own, and it’s a direct and complex identification of both the good and the bad elements facing manufacturers and the economy as a whole. Notably, Kiplinger cites that, despite losing some steam this year, manufacturing will still power the economy and continues to outpace gains in the economy as a whole, both this year and next.
After years of advice, prodding, urging and incentivizing, manufacturers are greener than ever, and so are their pocket books. According to statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average retail price of electricity for industrial customers has risen steadily from 5.05 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2001 to 6.82 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2011.
Perhaps one of the most significant contributions the Internet has made to our daily lives is the ability to find the rock-bottom price for just about anything we need to purchase easily. With a quick search on the right keywords, we can find exactly what we’re looking for and save a lot of money to boot. Or so it would seem. The truth is that strategy works for some items but not others.
As we grow up, we often get wonderful gifts from mom and dad. Gifts such as intelligence, passion, communication and leadership skills. We also get gifts from different mentors, which can complement the ones from our parents. As adults, business leaders bring these childhood gifts — or lack thereof — to the companies they lead.
2012 saw the widespread acceptance of cloud computing, “including the validation of the model by some of the largest software companies in the world.” So as leading vendors continue to invest the resources in making this technology smarter, more reliable, and easier to use, manufacturers can do their fair share by giving these innovative solutions a little attention as well.
Manufacturing floors don’t have Lego stations and pool tables – and yes, OSHA may take issue with throwing empty cans from the mini bar into the same bin as the scrap metal from the lathe, but that doesn’t mean that the industry has any fewer engineers flocking to it.
Industrial work environments requiring physical labor pose a variety of risk. Injuries can occur from lifting, straining or moving, but also from contact with irritants and chemicals in the warehouse or distribution center. The safety and security of employees should be the number one priority of any business.