As technology advances and better automation systems are made to perform various functions, it reduces the need for human workers in manufacturing. While this technology has been developing rapidly, there are still many flaws in the system. Some people might think that either having a fully automated shop or a staff of able workers would be the optimal choice to run their manufacturing process. Another and quite possibly a better option is to have an automated system run by workers that are intertwined.
Every generation of engineers tries to challenge the traditional idea of engineering — it’s the nature of engineering to constantly push for more efficient, innovative ways to solve problems. Yet basic fundamentals of entire industries rarely change.
Now, with a new generation of computer-savvy engineers, a tremendous shift has started to transform the manufacturing sphere of engineering. Continue reading “3D Printing and the Skilled Manufacturing Challenge”
A recent study by Deloitte revealed that the industry will face a shortfall of almost 2 million skilled manufacturing workers in the next decade. That’s a lot of shoes to fill. Unfortunately, manufacturers often aren’t sure how to prepare for the gap, especially in a challenging global market. Three recurring problems have been shadowing the industry for a long time, contributing to the shortage companies see today.
In an uncertain global market, manufacturers are facing disruptions and revolutions in the way things are made. Digitalization in manufacturing—the Internet of Things (IoT), analytics, and cloud computing—buzzes in the industrial community’s collective thoughts. It provides a glimpse into the future of manufacturing and the industrial solutions that future will need.
But technology never solves broad and complex problems without structural changes to support it. Just as the tools we use to manufacture evolve, so do the business models.
Pittsburgh was once as renowned for pollution as it was for industry and manufacturing. Decades after the Smoky City cleaned up its act and became a modern pillar of education, healthcare, technology, and finance, many people still associate Pittsburgh with a coal-gray haze.
Now manufacturing itself has undergone a millennial renaissance, yet it still carries a bad reputation as dirty and dangerous work.
But like Pittsburgh, the nature of industry has changed.
While the automation industry expands and evolves, many manufacturing companies still haven’t touched their production lines with automation technology. Whether the hesitation comes from cost or uncertainty, their competitors are eating into their profit margins with the advantages of modern industrial solutions.
What three technology trends can manufacturers use to stay competitive?
“Learning to choose is hard. Learning to choose well is harder. And learning to choose well in a world of unlimited possibilities is harder still, perhaps too hard.”
― Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less
In today’s industries, manufacturers have an entire constellation of technology solutions to consider. Factories can be digitized from beginning to end, integrated into automation systems, connected to the cloud, measured by big data, mobilized and networked into the Internet of Things.
With so much technology available, many manufacturers are paralyzed by the paradox of choice: the more industrial solutions appear, the harder it is to know what will work and what just isn’t right for your business.
How can you emerge from the swamp of indecision and implement the automation solutions that will boost your business?