U.S. health & manufacturing

Anyone you know think that the USA doesn’t make anything anymore? U.S. industrial output is about equal to the combined total industrial outputs of the second and third place countries (Japan and China, respectively), according to “The Economist Pocket World in Figures 2009 Edition.” U.


Anyone you know think that the USA doesn’t make anything anymore? U.S. industrial output is about equal to the combined total industrial outputs of the second and third place countries (Japan and China, respectively), according to “The Economist Pocket World in Figures 2009 Edition.”

U.S. manufacturing seems to get a lot of what it doesn’t deserve and not enough of what it needs. Beyond changing perceptions, we need to: 1) Improve U.S. business conditions for manufacturers so they can continue to invest in people, processes, and technologies and augment U.S. productivity; 2) Remind policymakers that manufacturing DOES matter because we manufacture more than anyone else, and manufacturing is good for the economy; and 3) Support U.S. manufacturers with business when it makes sense (taking into account more than just price). Four Rockwell Automation executives seem to agree. Here’s how they see it.

“It’s ludicrous what some people think about U.S. manufacturing,” says Steve Eisenbrown, senior vice president. General media and the public don’t know how “we’re driving optimization and productivity,” he said. “The next round of optimization will focus on safety and sustainability, not just on the OEE [overall equipment effectiveness] of a machine. That’s how we’ll continue to differentiate ourselves.”

Joseph A. Kann, vice president, global business development, says, “The U.S. continues to be leading practitioners of highly automated industry.” Because of the economic advantages manufacturing brings, Kann says there’s a 1.3 to 1 multiplier of additional economic benefit to supporting service industries on top of manufacturing output. As manufacturers become more successful, that will increase. A plant-wide integrated architecture allows greater flexibility and ability to upgrade features more frequently, he says.

“Now that we have the ability to integrate sustainability, smart automation, and safety,” says Robert A. Ruff, senior vice president, control products and solutions, “we can drive manufacturing to even higher levels.” Doing so, by integrating controls with the enterprise layer, will get better products to market faster, he suggests.

And Keith Nosbusch, chairman and CEO, offers praise and encouragement: “Manufacturing is one of the few sectors that continued to increase productivity over the years. Manufacturing isn’t dumb, dirty, and declining; it’s one of the most high-technology, exciting careers out there.”

Invest time, talent, and dollars in smart manufacturing, so we can continue to lead.

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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

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