Inside the manufacturing revival
Plant managers talk about their challenges, and their success
With the 2008 recession behind us, how is manufacturing doing? The short answer is: Pretty well. Whatever fears there may be over national or global issues haven’t stopped local expansion and local optimism for the near-term.
Over the past few months, Plant Engineering has been in contact with plant managers all over the country to ask a few basic questions: What’s working, what still needs work, and above all, what is fueling this optimism? The answers vary by industry, but they have a remarkably consistent ring to them.
Call it a revival, or a renaissance or a surge. Manufacturing in the U.S. clearly leads the world in both productivity and swagger. The veterans in Europe struggle with a balky economy, and the new kids on the block in China have seen some growing pains. What’s important is that manufacturing in the U.S. is winning on its own merits by building high quality, safety and productivity into its manufacturing DNA. They are winning not because others have failed, but because they have succeeded.
These are a few of those stories…
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Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey