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.


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...
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
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
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