Spanning the globe, and finding our common ground

The completion of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad proved once again that the people of the world can come together peacefully in pursuit of a common goal. In the Olympics, it's sport. It's not always perfect, but sport doesn't demand perfection; only the effort toward perfection. In that effort, we find the best of who we are.

09/15/2008


The completion of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad proved once again that the people of the world can come together peacefully in pursuit of a common goal. In the Olympics, it's sport. It's not always perfect, but sport doesn't demand perfection; only the effort toward perfection. In that effort, we find the best of who we are.

However we are ultimately measured against others is of secondary importance if we have achieved that first standard. We don't give our medals for effort, but the Olympics are more than just medals. We celebrate those special athletes from more than 200 nations who come together to make the effort at excellence.

Manufacturing, as I've noted before, isn't a game, yet we still keep score a lot. The scoreboards and dashboards that permeate our plants these days look an awful lot like the agate section of your daily newspaper. We measure ourselves, and make adjustments, and strive to do better.

And it's not just happening in the U.S. There is a global effort to make things better and faster and safer and smarter. The equipment to make these efforts possible is available around the world as well. A pump is a pump. A sensor is a sensor. A CNC machine will operate no matter if it's installed in Boston or Bangalore or Bahrain. The skill to operate the machine and to see its possibilities is what separates the great manufacturers from those who finish behind.

As it was in the Olympics, Plant Engineering is reaching out with a global effort to understand the common issues and celebrate the unique challenges. In partnership with Hannover Messe, the global edition of Plant Engineering will debut as an e-book in November, and it's easily the most exciting project I've been involved with in 35 years in publishing. We will connect our great manufacturing leaders around the globe in a common effort to understand how to make everything we make a little better. In that common understanding, we improve global economies, improve global workers' standards of living and make the world a better place.

That's the ideal, at least. We cannot overlook the challenges and the failures we face each day. Our leaders, our criminals and our imperfect world conspire to keep us from that ideal. But we still must strive for it.

In that effort, there is greatness, and even more greatness in succeeding. Slowly, and against loud and misguided opposition from those who don't understand the world we now live in, we find ourselves globally connected in every possible way. Some days, we can reach across the miles on the Internet. Some days, when we come together with a common purpose such as the Olympics, the world is literally at our fingertips.

In the world of manufacturing, Plant Engineering will deliver both. The world of the Internet is at our fingertips, and through that, the manufacturing leaders of the world can come together to share ideals and reach for ideals.

And we won't have to wait four years to do it.





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...
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

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 that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
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