Technologies in Manufacturing

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Does the use of better technologies in manufacturing bring more advantages to the industry? This is an interesting question touched on by Daniel Griswold, a senior research fellow and co-director of the Program on the American Economy and Globalization at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. In an August op-ed column in the LA Times, Griswold contrasted the idea of technology being a catalyst while simultaneously being a reason for the disappearance of jobs in the industry. While many blame manufacturing job loss on trade agreements, as witnessed by speeches from presidential hopefuls, Griswold reasons that trade with foreign nations is not the real issue. Instead, the issue is technology.
Technology Rules
It’s hard to deny the impact technology plays as a disruption. Technology adoption, particularly in the area of additive manufacturing, remains a potential breeding ground of growth for manufacturers. The use of new technologies pushes manufacturers to higher and higher levels in order to keep pace with the requests of customers looking for more efficient ways of doing things. Technology also means higher productivity and the production of high-value products.
The Gap Remains
Few will argue the impact technology continues to provide but it also highlights a glaring problem for manufacturing workers who do not have the on-going necessary technological chops to remain a relevant part of the company. As often is the case, government training programs and academia may or may not have access to the same technologies used by manufacturers tasked with producing pharmaceuticals, plastics, machinery, electronics, computers, motor vehicles and aircraft and aerospace equipment. Then depending on the strength of the training program, students and workers may or may not have the tools they need to earn a spot in a workplace needing fewer employees to do the work.
Innovation and Ingenuity
As with many other industries, finding and retaining a job is directly related to how valuable the business and the employees within remain. One of the best ways to do this is understand how customers use your business offerings and how the offerings can be continually tweaked and improved to an even better result.

 

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