“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”
– Dolly Parton
1. Robots Taking Human Jobs Is Overhyped
And data shows it! Go figure. A study examining the rate of robots replacing human workers found that only 14% of workers say a robot has replaced their job, and those who have experienced job displacement overstate the effect of robot takeover by about three times. It concludes that attention-grabbing headlines predicting a dire future for employment have likely overblown the threat of robots taking over jobs and that robots and humans can work together in ways that generate more value for human labor.
2. 3D PDFs
3D PDFs with model-based definition (MBD) are an effective way to improve production. MBD allows all the required information for manufacturing to be included on a 3D CAD model, which can be shared easily with others via 3D PDFs. 3D PDFs contain interactive 3D models with full PMI, assembly structure, geometry, attribute information, metadata, and can be annotated. This reduces the need for paper drawings and engineering interpretation, as well as reduces costs and time to manufacture. It’s just up to the user to be young enough to know how to open one. #shotsfired
3. 2023: More of the Same
Local manufacturing experts anticipate that the state of manufacturing in 2023 will be similar to 2022, with key challenges such as labor shortages and inflation. Companies like Gentex and Cascade Engineering are taking steps to attract and retain talent to address these shortages, while DeWys Manufacturing is investing in training and education programs to prepare the next generation of workers. Automation is also being explored as a way to free up capacity for higher-level tasks. The state of Michigan is also providing grants to small manufacturers to help them adopt new technologies. Overall, industry leaders are hopeful for 2023 but remain realistic in their expectations.
4. Students Today Have the Best Opportunities
WSWHE BOCES has renamed their former Machine Tool Technology program to Industrial and Performance Machining to better reflect the industry and inform prospective students of the program. The program focuses on teaching students precision and how to use high-tech equipment to fabricate component parts for applications such as automobiles, performance vehicles, and industrial machines. Industry partners have expressed their need for skilled students in the field, and WSWHE BOCES hopes that the new name will better position the program to interested students. Open house events are being held to inform current 10th graders and their parents about the program in addition to other CTE programs available.
5. Grant for Printing Silicon Nanoparticle Electrodes
Tyler Ray, assistant professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, has been awarded a two-year, $237,916 grant from the National Science Foundation to explore innovative fabrication techniques such as 3D printing for creating high-capacity batteries. The goal of this research is to develop a scalable and robust method of manufacturing silicon nanoparticle electrodes, with the aim of advancing battery technology. As part of the grant, Tyler Ray will visit the Materials Research Laboratory at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to establish long-term research collaborations and training opportunities between the two universities, including the creation of a student exchange program for undergraduate researchers.
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