Nothing in the world is permanent, and this is especially true when it comes to business and technology. Thanks to centuries of human invention and technological advancements in automation and robotics, the shop floor has been transformed from “dark, dirty, and dangerous” to clean, high-tech centers of efficiency offering challenging and highly skilled jobs. It’s a different manufacturing world today.
In the final blog post of this series, let’s take a look at ways to ensure an increase in the number of skilled workers in the manufacturing sector.
The U.S. manufacturing industry is experiencing a time of incredible growth and is considered the world’s 8th largest economy. The country is benefiting from this success, but so are the employees! Check out the most recent data from The Manufacturing Institute:
The manufacturing industry continues to play a critical role in the economic future of many countries. Not only does it drive innovation and technology, one in six private sector jobs are still in or are directly tied to manufacturing. Still, that future is not without its challenges in the form of advanced technologies, new policies, finding and retaining skilled employees, and rising costs.
As we enter 2017, let’s go through our most viewed blogs from the past year, representing different facets of manufacturing. Our readers were most interested in the technical issues surrounding different manufacturing processes. The concerns related to career development and the hiring of millennials to replace baby boomers also topped the list. Additive manufacturing continued to be a hot topic of interest, as well.
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” These words come from Henry Ford, one of America’s prominent industrialists and founder of the Ford Motor Company. Ford revolutionized factory production with his assembly-line methods for automobiles.
President Obama issued a presidential proclamation on October 2, 2014, declaring the first Friday of October every year to be celebrated as National Manufacturing Day. The President stated:
“On National Manufacturing Day, more than 1,600 American manufacturers will open their doors and take up the important work of inspiring our young people to pursue careers in manufacturing and engineering. Today’s science, technology, engineering, and math graduates will power the next chapter of American production and innovation, and harnessing their potential is an economic imperative. When our manufacturing base is strong, our entire economy is strong. Today, we continue our work to bolster the industry at the heart of our Nation. With grit and resolve, we can create new jobs and widen the circle of opportunity for more Americans.”
Considered one of the most influential woman in engineering, Kate Gleason was an American engineer and businesswoman known both for being an accomplished woman in the predominantly male field of engineering and for her philanthropy. Her unconventional attitude and approach to business and engineering made her a pioneer in the field and paved the way for a growing number of women engineers.
Image credit: http://alchetron.com/
A scientist can discover a new star but he cannot make one. He can have an engineer create something similar for him, though. These are the thoughts of Scottish mechanical engineer Gordon Lindsay Glegg as he emphasizes the importance of the role of an engineer in the world today.
Engineering education today is challenged to prepare technically competent graduates. To be effective, today’s engineering graduates must not only be grounded in scientific and mathematical fundamentals, and engineering principles and design, they must also have a global outlook and a broader skill set to land a good job. If engineering firms want to see an influx of young people showing a true passion for engineering in general, they need to address the significant factor of improving practical skills post-education.
The world’s first digital weapon and the most “successful” industrial attack in cyber history was the Stuxnet virus, a 500-kilobyte computer worm that infected the industrial control systems that operate equipment in Iran. The virus was discovered in 2010, compromising at least 14 industrial sites, including a uranium-enrichment plant. Rather than simply taking over targeted computers or stealing digital information, Stuxnet caused the physical destruction of equipment being controlled by the infected computers.
In continuation of our Throwback Thursday series, where we revisit the lives of distinguished figures from the manufacturing industry, we are remembering the Father of Modern Robotics Joseph Frederick Engelberger this week. He was an American physicist, engineer, and entrepreneur who was responsible for the birth of one the most important and impactful industries, gaining him global recognition for his contribution as the Father of Robotics.