- Tactical Briefs
- Collaborative Manufacturing
- Control Panel Optimization
- Embedded systems & Trends
- Energy Efficiency
- Ethernet I/O Networking
- Factory Floor Network Deployment
- Fieldbus I/O
- HMI, From the Web to the Cloud
- Internet of Things
- Machine Safety
- Mechatronics @ Work: Insight & Technology Solutions
- Real-time Operational Intelligence (RtOI)
- The power of PackML
Getting the Right Labor Force
Manufacturing growth has been driving the U.S. economy since the economic implosion in 2008 and has added more than 500,000 jobs in the last three years.
The growth in manufacturing jobs is the most since the late 1980s. More good news: Reshoring is making bigger inroads in the U.S. That’s a definite trend, even if the national media has not picked up on it yet. (Gary Mintchell is dead on in his assesment that the national media is clueless about U.S. manufacturing)
The bad news for manufacturing is the skills gap. According to a September 2011 Deloitte and Manufacturing Institute online survey, the number of manufacturing jobs unfilled is around 600,000. But a more recent survey from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) cites a dramatically different number. The October 2012 BCG study points to 80,000 to 100,000 high-skilled manufacturing jobs available and unfilled. A recent blog post on www.Reshoringmfg.com cites these two surveys and says it really doesn’t matter what numbers are correct. Due to reshoring and the vast number of “graybeards” ready to retire, advanced manufacturing needs qualified employees with the right skills.
The post suggests the best way to solve this problem is with more training from manufacturers and better starting wages. However, manufacturers make thing and don’t necessarily specialize in training people. They need help. In late 2012, Automation World reported on an Advanced Manufacturing internship-training program—Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant—with the State of Illinois and local manufacturers that was headiing down this path. The internship program offers training by the manufacturer, and the local community college provides sound academic candidates. A local manufacturer participating in the program added, “They are learning how to implement training programs.”
Regarding training programs, The Automation Conference in 2012 (www.theautomationconference.com), produced by Automation World, provided a how-to presentation on this very topic. Visit http://bit.ly/awvid091 to watch Simon Nance of Stihl Inc. describe how he developed a training program for this venerable manufacturer. And consider attending TAC 2013, to get trained on additional topics.
Trending Content on AutomationWorld.com
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While developing the November 2012 feature article for Automation World on wireless sensor networking trends, Wi-Fi rarely, if ever, got mentioned. Cellular networks were referenced in a few instances, but not Wi-Fi.
Case Application | Web-based SCADA Gathers More Fans
Using standard costing techniques, manufacturing managers can more efficiently measure costs of goods sold, and allow for more effective budgeting and price setting on future jobs. Visit http://bit.ly/awslant064
Feature Article | Leadership in Automation 2012: 1st Team HonoreesAutomation World reports on how readers implement automation projects in order to improve their companies’ bottom lines. This annual survey helps you know which companies your peers have chosen as their “first team” suppliers. Visit http://bit.ly/awfeat100
Feature Article | Operator Interfaces: Moving from Comfortable to Most Effective
Continuous process industries have spent almost 20 years analyzing how control system interfaces and alarm management policies help or hinder plant performance. So what are the best practices, and why aren’t they being implemented? Visit http://bit.ly/awfeat101
Recent AW Webinars
The Cloud for Manufacturing: A Path to Success
Taking cloud systems and turning them into useful tools for manufacturing is still in its infancy, but it’s becoming more prevalent as the technology, and products, become adapted to the needs of the industrial automation user. Visit bit.ly/webnr001
Learn How to Improve Control System Design with an Integrated HMI/PLC
Trends in embedded technology and industrial networking are converging to favor an integrated HMI-PLC over the classic, separate component architecture. For OEMs and end users alike, this can lead to increased efficiencies throughout the lifecycle of their machines.
Smart Remote Connected Sites: Using Cellular Automation to Monitor & Control AssetsThis webcast discusses how wireless communication that uses cellular automation enables cost-effective monitoring and control of data at remote sites. Visit http://bit.ly/webnr003
Designing Reliable Industrial Ethernet Infrastructures
Brian Oulton & Mike Miclot from Belden Inc., share their steps for mainstream Industrial Ethernet Infrastructure design, along with practical tips and commentary that will benefit both IT and Industrial Automation professionals. Visit http://bit.ly/webnr004
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