Industry Voices: Chuck Edwards
Chuck Edwards, president of Lenze Americas, discussed some of the issues facing U.S. manufacturing with Plant Engineering.
Q: With the federal tax picture a little clearer as the new year begins, how is your business poised to grow in 2013?
Our plans are to continue to aggressively invest in the Americas market. Recent actions within the government are beginning to establish greater stability and predictability in the economy. This provides our customers a more attractive environment to invest in new machine designs or increased capacity.
Q: What challenges still are in front of you?
Our greatest challenge continues to be finding enough qualified people for the range of skilled positions in our company. This ranges from assembly workers through field engineers. With this being the case we continue to increase our funding for internal training and development.
Q: From a manufacturing standpoint, what are your goals for the year? Where does your production operation need improvement?
Customer focused efforts to drive continued improvements in efficiency and costs
- Accelerated implementation of Lean processes
- Streamlined supply chain for reduced material and logistics costs
- Flexible processes for more customer specific solutions
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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.