Outside Detroit, U.S. manufacturing shows its muscle

International challenges forced manufacturers to get smarter, faster, Leaner

06/09/2009


An article on the Reuters news service notes that the struggles of General Motors and Chrysler and the fallout into related auto businesses are not indicative of improvements in the overall manufacturing landscape in the U.S.

Analysts quoted by Reuters said while manufacturing as a percentage of GDP is down, as is overall employment in the sector, the efficiencies of U.S. manufacturing are still formidable.

"That contraction is progress," said James Schrager, a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. "We have a larger output of goods and services than ever and we have a smaller number of workers doing it."

"The U.S. still manufacturers more than any other country in the world," said Tom Murphy of RSM McGladrey. "We're just making different things than we made in the past and we're making them differently. That's not going away just because of what's happened in the automotive industry."

Experts quoted in the Reuters story noted that there is a way out for automakers, but it requires fundamental change. "There's no reason on earth why GM and Ford and Chrysler can't be as efficient and cost-competitive as Toyota," said Alex Blanton, an analyst at Ingalls & Snyder. "All they have to do is run their plants the way Toyota does. But you can't do that if you have these union work rules and costs -- like pension and healthcare costs -- that are not in line with the competition."

 

 

 

 

 





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Leaders Under 40 program features outstanding young people who are making a difference in manufacturing. View the 2013 Leaders here.
The new control room: It's got all the bells and whistles - and alarms, too; Remote maintenance; Specifying VFDs
2014 forecast issue: To serve and to manufacture - Veterans will bring skill and discipline to the plant floor if we can find a way to get them there.
2013 Top Plant: Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Bring focus to PLC programming: 5 things to avoid in putting your system together; Managing the DCS upgrade; PLM upgrade: a step-by-step approach
Balancing the bagging triangle; PID tuning improves process efficiency; Standardizing control room HMIs
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

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.