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Another Look at the Importance of U.S. Manufacturing

U.S. manufacturing

Last month we talked about the State of the Union and the disappointing lack of emphasis on manufacturing and its role in the U.S. Perhaps much of this letdown stems from the attention and forward momentum that manufacturing appeared to be gaining just a short time ago in the 2014 State of the Union address.

The speech highlighted the creation of a National Network for Manufacturing designed to focus on the creation of four pilot institutions representing different aspects of manufacturing. These areas would include digital, electronics, modern metals and additive manufacturing. The institutions were to be located in Ohio, Chicago, Detroit and North Carolina with the purpose to improve the manufacturing competitiveness of the U.S., increase domestic production, and accelerate the development of an advanced manufacturing workforce.

While there have long been networks of manufacturers in place throughout the U.S., this initiative included unique pairings among government agencies, NGOs, universities and manufacturers. Over the next decade, the National Network would look to expand its reach by up to 45 manufacturing industries.

Key Takeaways from the National Network for Manufacturing

  1. Manufacturing is vital to the success of America’s economy
  2. Seed money from the government can encourage investment from the private sector
  3. Collaboration can help the evolution of modern manufacturing

Getting the Local Perspective

Here in Ohio, we are proud to have one of the pilot manufacturing institutes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, in Youngstown. Housed within the Youngstown Business Incubator, the program is dubbed “America Makes.” In a blog commentary written by Barb Ewing, chief operating officer of the Youngstown Business Incubator and Scott Deutsch, manager communications and special programs for the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining, the two industry insiders outlined the importance of initiatives such as the manufacturing innovation institute.

One thing that caught our eye was how their commentary worked to define manufacturing as something more than just large multinational corporations. In the piece, the two thought leaders shared their opinions regarding the growing importance of small to mid-sized businesses that they see as responsible for reinvigorating and redefining what manufacturing means to both the industry and to the U.S. as a whole. A large aspect for the success of this initiative is finding and filling the gap between what currently exists and the problems that manufacturing could solve through collaboration and innovation.

To a local manufacturing company like the Cleveland Deburring Machine Company this sounds a lot like the initiative that we take with each and every customer. Each client brings with them a unique set of needs and desires that are dependent on the item or tool that needs to be deburred. It is our job as a manufacturer to bridge the gap between what they currently have and what they could have with a little manufacturing innovation. While there will always be standard tools, there rarely will be a need that doesn’t require some element of adjustment in order to best suit the needs of the manufacturing process.

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