2011 Mid-Year Report: Question 4
Manufacturing leaders discuss the characteristics that successful manufacturing operations have in common.
Question 4: You talk with successful manufacturing operations all the time. What characteristics do they have in common?
Mohamed AbuAli, University of Cincinnati
Based on our 10 years of industry-driven research at the Center for Intelligent Maintenance Systems, we view “successful” manufacturing operations as sharing specific characteristics that drive that success. I have gained significant expertise working with the center for the past five years in researching and implementing a systematic methodology and technologies for prognostics and health management (PHM) of industrial assets.
Successful manufacturing operations are able to realize an IT-enabled value shift; a shift from collecting manufacturing data to transforming and utilizing actionable information, a shift from physical static machining assets to functional dynamic assets, a shift from traditional machine maintenance to predictive and proactive maintenance activities, and a shift from product-centric operations to a customer-centric manufacturing system.
Such a value shift in manufacturing operations today is brought by predictive analytics for smarter manufacturing.
William Gaskin, PMA
An unrelenting focus on improving productivity through lean operations and upgrading employee skills, along with strategic capital investments, is a critical success factor for manufacturing companies today. Also critical is a need to diversify markets and adjust their technology to accommodate shorter production runs. This allows these companies to have the flexibility to meet the ever-changing needs of their customers.
Dave Tilstone, NTMA
Our most successful members continue to evolve and change by adding more value-added processes and/or capabilities to their operations. In this way they can provide a more comprehensive product and service offering to their customers. It generates them more profit and helps streamline the customer’s supply chain.
Report to 2011 Mid-Year Report: Grading on the curve.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.