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Manufacturing Matters

Check in for the highlights, headlines, and hijinks that matter to manufacturing. These lean news items keep you updated on the latest developments.
by AMT
Sep 28, 2022


Consider a Workflow and Not Just a Single Technology

Despite the industry looking to harvest value from new, faster, and more efficient technologies, no one technology will truly drive a company to their goals. All the advanced manufacturing technologies are workflow improvements. Additive manufacturing (AM) is a prime example. By its definition, AM is the process of growing, post-processing, and finishing. Automation can significantly increase throughput by expanding upstream and downstream of the operation/machine. Metrology improvements are gained from managing data flows and analytics. Is a shift from 3-axis to 3-plus axis in your plan? Consider the CAM to match the capabilities and the inspection techniques to reach these features. Going to high-speed machining? Are the pre- or post-operations within the required TAKT time? As manufacturers explore new technologies at upcoming exhibition events, one question to consider is: What can I improve pre- and post- this operation?


JOLTS Data Set in the News

The “Great Resignation” has made big news in recent years as a record number of people left their jobs during the pandemic, peaking at 4.53 million in March 2022. This data is easy to see in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey report (JOLTS), which tracks U.S. job vacancies, hires, and separations. During this time, a combination of approximately $5 trillion in government stimulus and unprecedented low-interest rates increased personal savings and financial asset prices dramatically. With increased financial security, many households reevaluated their work-life balance, sped up retirement, and opted for new careers. The JOLTS data indicates this trend may be over, as job openings and voluntary separations have decreased since the March 2022 high. Visit the following link to explore the data set yourself. fred.stlouisfed.org/searchresults?st=JOLTS


The Onshoring Project Is Here To Help

In the wake of ongoing global supply chain disruptions, AMT and a consortium of North American innovators, practitioners, and supply chain experts from across the manufacturing industry launched The Onshoring Project. During IMTS 2022, The Onshoring Project hosted the inaugural Smarter Sourcing Symposium. Consortium members and supply chain leaders shared strategies for sounder and more financially beneficial North American part production. OEMs, tier suppliers, and contract manufacturers alike benefited from firsthand demonstrations and panel discussions on new tools and proven techniques for leaner, more agile, more profitable domestic sourcing. Specific tools and topics covered included Manufacturing Critical-Path Time (MCT), Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), and Supply Chain Interoperability Specification (SCIS).


MTUniversity: Outsource Your Sales Training to AMT

AMT’s Smartforce Development team launched a new, digital career fair model at the Smartforce Student Summit at IMTS 2022. There were tower signs in Student Summit exhibitors’ booths and throughout IMTS that displayed the new Smartforce Career Connections brand, participating exhibitors’ logos, and a QR code that linked directly to the “Careers” page of each exhibiting company. Community college, technical college, college, and university students nearing graduation were able to use their smartphone camera to connect directly with each company’s posted job openings using the QR codes. Students explored hundreds of job openings for robotics technicians, field service technicians, and more from the exhibitors who participated in this initiative. For more information, visit IMTS.com/smartforce, as these QR codes will be posted online as well.


Globe-trotting With AMT

One hundred twenty years. Four generations. An impressive amount of time for an organization to represent and support your industry. Equally noteworthy are the 30-plus years we have been helping members sell into foreign markets. Toward the end of the 1980s, Al Moore, AMT’s then-president and former chairman, and the AMT board were looking for a way to assist members in a hot, new market: the former Soviet Union. An office was set up in Zurich due to Swiss neutrality, and a local national was hired to travel back and forth on behalf of members. Since then, AMT has set up offices and Tech Centers in China, Mexico, India, Brazil, and Europe and helped more than 350 members increase export sales through a variety of products and services. Recently, geopolitics and the manufacturing supply chain have shifted the opportunity landscape. So, where next? We have ideas and a focus, but we’d also like to hear from you about emerging international markets you may be interested in pursuing.


Program Funding Center Stage in Washington

Before the August congressional recess, Congress adopted the bipartisan Chips and Science Act of 2022 (CHIPS+). CHIPS+ includes more than $52 billion in funding to boost semiconductor production in the United States. In addition, it authorizes $102 billion over five years for science and technology efforts at the National Science Foundation, departments of Commerce and Energy, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). These authorized programs, several of which benefit manufacturers, must be funded either with existing money or through the appropriations process. Now that Congress is back in Washington, appropriations are next up on the agenda. So far, the House has approved a package of six of the 12 funding bills, while the Senate has passed none. Given the work that still needs to be done and the elections on the horizon, it’s likely that Congress will continue existing funding levels until after the midterms. That means it may be a while until the full benefits of CHIPS+ are realized.

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