Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Manufacturing: Producing REAL Wealth for Ohio

I remember the moment as if it was yesterday. A coworker forwarded me an email and then, before it even hit my inbox, he was in my office standing at my desk shouting, "Do you believe this! How could he say that?"

"What on earth are you talking about?" I asked.

"Look at your email!" he insisted. I opened the message and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It was a copy of a letter from our governor stating that, as far as he was concerned, manufacturing was obsolete, a relic of the past, and that Ohio's future was going to be built on a new hi-tech service economy (my paraphrase). As a career manufacturer, I couldn't have been more disappointed.

Well, that was almost 15 years ago and, my, how things have changed! It's apparent now that the reports of manufacturing's death and unimportance were greatly exaggerated. Our current governor travels the state celebrating our industry's growth, and other state officials are singing our song too. Treasurer Josh Mandel recently launched a new effort, called Ohio Strong, to "help recognize men and women in manufacturing and the skilled trades, and raise public awareness to encourage more people to pursue careers in these fields." As a career manufacturer, I couldn't be more thrilled.

So, what gives? What is it that these guys see that the others didn't? Why are states across the nation, from Nebraska to Georgia, tripping over themselves to make their state a great place for manufacturers to do business. Why are they fervently working to develop programs to train up a skilled workforce that can fill the jobs in this industry?

Simple Economics

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What is manufacturing, anyway?

Most people I talk to agree that manufacturing is important. Important for those who make a living from it and important for those cities and communities that benefit from the economic growth it provides. 

But, for some, there appears to be different classifications of manufacturing. I hear them talk about regular Manufacturing and Advanced Manufacturing. Then, in what seems to be a completely separate category, Aerospace, UAS(V), 3D printing and Composites.

Typically, on this blog, I'm sharing my opinions or industry insights. Today, I have only questions. Three specific questions that I'm hoping you can help me with. Here goes:

1. What is Manufacturing?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

3 Steps To Ensure YOU Won't Be Replaced By A Robot

Robots are a key element of modern manufacturing
Fact: Manufacturing productivity in the U.S. is at an all-time high.

Fact: This productivity is being achieved using substantially less workers than before.

How is this possible? One word: Technology!

More with less

You don't have to look hard to see that our industry is being fundamentally transformed by significant advances in manufacturing technology. Simply put, U.S. manufacturers have learned to do more with less. 

Did you know that 184 manufacturing workers can do today what it took 1,000 workers to do in 1960? We see that change here in our own metal fabrication company. Years ago, it would have taken over 100 workers to turn out the same amount of work that we do today with under 30. Wow!

A New Reality

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Exciting (and surprising) changes coming soon to MADE in DAYTON blog

A while back I shared on Twitter that Steve and I were working on some exciting new plans for this blog. And that's the truth!

This summer we'll be kicking off something amazing! Something awesome! Something you didn't see coming! Something... well, you get the idea.

We're not ready to reveal the details of our plans yet - we still have a lot of work to do - but, I can give you three subtle hints. Here goes:

An Improved Image

Hidden in this very attractive, new logo (right) are clues about what we are working on. Can you make the connection? Can you figure out the combination?

Starting today, this logo is replacing the Dayton cityscape as our icon on Twitter.

More than words

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Manufacturing is a bad career choice (Here are five reasons why)

Manufacturing is a thing of the past.
First let me offer an apology. If you've been following this blog for any length of time you know that we have been very vocal supporters of the manufacturing industry and have actually been encouraging young people to consider a manufacturing career. 

Over and over we have presented manufacturing as positive alternative to dead-end jobs and expensive (and unfruitful) college majors. Week after week we have encouraged parents to speak to their kids - the ones who love to tinker, to create, to fix things - about attending events like MFG Day and the Xtreme BOTS competitions to gain a better understanding of manufacturing and what it is really like today. 

We have presented manufacturing as something that government officials should support with programs and funding and that educators should not overlook when presenting career options to high school students who are depending on them for sound advice.

It's hard for me to admit, but we were wrong. Here's why: