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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
Jun 01, 2023

TECHNOLOGY

Growth or Evolution?

Why not both? Growth through technology doesn’t occur in isolation. The pace of technology development and adoption is becoming faster and faster, and the only way to keep pace is to evolve the workforce at the same rate as technology. After all, a human worker is involved in each portion of the technology adoption process, which is a workflow of identification, adaption, implementation, and maintenance. And as the market constantly fluctuates based on reshoring efforts, economic drivers, and shifting global competitiveness, advanced manufacturing technologies will show their value by enabling companies to increase output or decrease costs to meet market conditions. Innovation is pivotal for companies to stay competitive – and the key to innovation is people. 

INTELLIGENCE

Imagining Industry 6.0

Industry 4.0 introduced the world to advanced automation and human-robot collaboration. Industry 5.0 is characterized by personalized manufacturing and the increased use of co-robots and AI. Industry 6.0 may bring even more advancements and human-technology synergy in fields such as medical and bionic enhancements, robotic automation, and neo-critical manufacturing. 

The ideological concept of Industry 6.0 encompasses areas such as robotic automation, society and policy, and intelligent manufacturing. However, advancements in several other fields could help us explore and develop new methods of manufacturing and resource gathering, such as renewable energy, total machine independence, interplanetary resource gathering and manufacturing, aerial manufacturing platforms, and quantum control to name a few. In the coming years, in anticipation of Industry 6.0, creating the necessary regulatory and societal frameworks will be essential for these technological advancements. Read more about Industry 6.0 here.

SMARTFORCE

The First AMT Tech Invitational Competition

In March, AMT held its first-ever Tech Invitational competition at its headquarters in McLean, Virginia. Fresh off the 2023 FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Mid-Atlantic Competition, three FTC robotics teams from the Washington, D.C., region showcased their innovative robots, problem-solving abilities, and business models in a Shark Tank-style contest. As a result, AMT awarded $1,000 cash prizes to FTC Team 19458 Equilibrium.exe, Team 7393 electron Volts, and Team 6417 Blu Cru to support their upcoming trips to the 2023 FIRST Championship in Houston, Texas. Teams are fully responsible for all operational, manufacturing, and competition expenses, such as materials, contest registration, and travel. 

Watch for an upcoming roadmap from AMT’s Smartforce Development team on how to connect with local robotics organizations to organize your own event to gain exposure and build relationships in your community while supporting local STEM students on their journeys to engineering careers.

ADVOCACY

AMT Supports Death Tax Repeal Act

AMT recently joined over 150 small business organizations in support of a permanent death tax repeal. Business groups from every sector of the economy signed the coalition letter released by the Family Business Coalition. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act nearly doubled the estate tax exemption. But only temporarily. If action isn’t taken by Dec. 31, 2025, the exemption could be cut in half, increasing the number of manufacturers subject to estate taxes and the number of jobs lost. Extending the deadline won’t help the millions of small businesses subject to the tax. Only a permanent solution provides the certainty necessary for growing and hiring. 

The coalition letter states: “Far too often, this tax is paid by selling family assets like farms and businesses. Other times, employees of the family business must be laid off and payrolls slashed.” To learn more, click here

INTERNATIONAL

Workforce Development: A Universal Language 

Everyone is familiar with the challenges facing manufacturing in attracting and retaining a workforce. The skills gap, the need for competitive compensation and benefits, creating a positive work culture, embracing technology and innovation, and promoting career development opportunities are the most obvious. Countries worldwide are investing in solutions to address these challenges and ensure a sustainable workforce for the future. Examples include Germany’s well-developed system of vocational education and training, Singapore’s emphasis on skills training and lifelong learning, South Korea’s investment in education and vocational training, Switzerland’s apprenticeship programs, and the United States’ range of workforce development programs. Global private and public investments are critical in these areas of training and development if we are to equip the next-generation workforce with the necessary skills and knowledge to meet the changing demands of the industry. 

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