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
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