We are living in a digital age where the customer is more empowered and is driving demand. Customers are also driving the pressure for faster time to market, fierce global competition, and the advent of new technologies. In order to have a competitive edge, manufacturers are required to make production decisions on the spot using information captured digitally. Manufacturers can analyze everything that goes on in the plant using their fingertips without being physically present.
Additive manufacturing is changing how manufacturing companies design parts, components, products, and structures. It is helping remove constraints and enabling new freedom and flexibility.
However, just because a part can be produced using additive manufacturing doesn’t mean that it should be. The key is to understand where and how to adopt additive manufacturing to reap business advantages. And this knowledge can be gained by either applying additive manufacturing on the job or by learning from industry experts.
Human resource management is usually focused on hiring and retaining talented employees. Cross-training could be a tool for improving both organizational success and team performance, but is often overlooked by the human resource function. It is in fact an excellent way to develop a versatile and flexible manufacturing workforce.
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.”
An American engineer specializing in heat transfer and fluid dynamics, Nancy Burr Deloye Fitzroy was the first woman to study chemical engineering at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is an internationally-recognized expert in the field of mechanical engineering.
On my last trip to India, I got the chance to speak with students of SSN College in Chennai and share my entrepreneurial journey with them. I had an opportunity to speak with the students of mechanical and manufacturing engineering. Decades after graduating from college, I still feel like it would have made a huge difference for my learning curve if I knew then what I know now. Of course, there is no way I would have, because what I learned through experience cannot easily be taught otherwise. I wanted to share my experience with these students, hoping it would help accelerate their careers in the right direction.