Blog! Five Fast Things for December 15, 2006

12/15/2006


1. Top Plant winners: Congratulations to this year’s Top Plant recipients %%MDASSML%% Toyota , BMW and Square D . The Plant Engineering staff hustled around the country to visit these facilities and get an on-the-ground view of excellence.

Our senior editor, Kevin Campbell, got a view of excellence at 140 mph behind the wheel of a BMW. I got a view of circuit breaker manufacturing at the Square D facility in Lincoln. Actually, the circuit breaker’s trip mechanism is a lot faster than 140 mph, but admittedly doesn’t have any leather seats.

What all the Top Plant winners have in common is not the size or speed of the product, but the quality of the manufacturing process. The proper mix between automation and human manufacturing delivers excellence. This year’s recipients, who will be honored at our Manufacturing Summit in March in Chicago, are prime examples of excellence in American manufacturing.

2. And if you want to see speed: This is a clip from BMW. It’s not the car that’s going 140 mph in this case. Click here to see what happened .

3. Education reform: One important part of rebuilding America’s competitive edge in manufacturing is rebuilding the way students are guided through the choices they have in school, and beyond school. A new report from the bipartisan Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce said that there must be a fundamental change in the way students are taught and teachers are compensated. The idea that a European approach to helping track students to career paths as early as 10thgrade is being reconsidered is interesting. Teacher groups are understandably concerned, as it changes the status quo. Manufacturers who are concerned about the “skills gap” in manufacturing jobs ought to pay very close attention and see how to drive such reforms forward.

Education, like manufacturing, is about producing a finished product on time and with high quality. Unlike manufacturing, education’s success rate is disappointing.

4. HMI market rockets ahead: Part of what makes the challenges for manufacturing so acute is that the need for skilled, computer-literate workers has never been higher. Thanks to advances in technology, the manufacturing floor needs equal parts computer savvy and human ingenuity.

That point is driven home again through a report from the ARC Advisory Group that the human-machine interface (HMI) software market is expected to grow from $650 million in 2005 to more than $1 billion in 2010. Thanks to the 7thgrade math skills I picked up from Mrs. Brigel, that’s a 54% increase in five years

"The last two years have been witness to growth rates near 20%.The corresponding effect on supplier's market shares has been equally dramatic as some of the players shuffle positions in what has become a market separated by thousands of dollars," said ARC analyst Stefan Surpitski , the principal author of ARC's " Human Machine Interface Software Worldwide Outlook "

"Over the last two years, HMI software has been propelled into applications that have previously been custom or proprietary," according to ARC research director Craig Resnick , "This has caused unprecedented market growth over the last two years, and we expect the momentum to continue."

5. And a little Christmas cheer: As a kid growing up in Chicago, three classic short films that every child stopped what they were doing to watch %%MDASSML%% Suzy Snowflake, Frosty the Snowman (a jazzy version of the original) and Hardrock, Coco and Joe. By today’s standards, they are tame, a little grainy and very hokey. Of course today, you can find them online.





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
2016 Product of the Year; Diagnose bearing failures; Asset performance management; Testing dust collector performance measures
Safety for 18 years, warehouse maintenance tips, Ethernet and the IIoT, GAMS 2016 recap
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Safety at every angle, Big Data's impact on operations, bridging the skills gap
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

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

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role of plant safety and offers advice on best practices.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me