Thoughts from Justin: Top 3 challenges manufacturing faces, and how you can benefit from them

Running robot

If you’ve been reading my blog posts, you’re aware that I enjoy writing about science, and my experience here at HGR. Yeah, they’re interesting articles (in my opinion), but I want to address what YOU care about in my final blog as summer intern at HGR.

An article written by Scott Stone, marketing director for Cisco-Eagle, Inc., introduced to readers the challenges that the manufacturing industry faces for 2016: the manufacturing skills gap, Internet of Things, and robotics.

1) Manufacturing skills gap

With the retirement of the Baby Boomers by 2025, there are expected to be 2 million unfilled manufacturing jobs in the United States. Is that bad? Yeah, no doubt, but there’s reason to be optimistic.

As of today, there are about 80 million Millennials. These millennials bring potential to the table with regard to innovating new ways to get things done in the industry. According to a study done by two Accenture researchers, there’s a simple 4-step strategy that can be applied to the industry to develop talent:

  1. Identify talent needs
  2. Build a talent pipeline
  3. Develop talent pool relationships
  4. Reinvigorate talent development

2) Internet of Things (IoT)

The IoT revolves around machine-to-machine communication. By implementing the IoT to industrial machines, tasks and processes can be completed with ease and, ultimately, increase the efficiency of an organization.

As of today, more than 80 percent of machines already have IoT capability implemented in them; however, they’re not being used to their full extent. By formulating a strategy on why IoT is needed and the purpose for it, the opportunities for machines are endless and can serve as a major breaking point in the transformation of the manufacturing industry.

3) Automation & robotics

Robots aren’t a thing of the future anymore; they’re here, and they’re commonplace in industry. Robots work quick and smart, when programmed and applied properly, and you should be worried IF you’re not taking advantage of them.

Implementing robots in your business WILL reduce downtime and increase productivity and efficiencies. You’re probably thinking, “How can I afford a robot? They’re out of my budget.” Well, let me be the one to break the news: You can buy one for CHEAP that will quickly maximize your return-on-investment. At HGR, we have robots from several top manufacturers, including ABB, Fanuc, Kuka, Motoman and Denso.

Shifting off-topic about challenges, but another opportunity for this industry is for marketing graduates. In some circles, manufacturing has a “bad name” right now – college students aren’t attracted to it; what it needs is a fresh mindset. A way to shift from the old and into the new, a way to bring more attention to the industry. What better way to do that than to hire recent marketing graduates who want a challenging, yet rewarding, career?!

ATTN: Skilled laborers, marketing graduates, anyone interested in manufacturing

If you’re reading this, it’s not too late. In fact, it couldn’t be better timing. Yeah, the industry has some serious challenges ahead, but you have the perfect opportunity to be the change it needs.

Despite the risks and challenges the manufacturing industry faces, there’s always a silver lining, depending upon how you look at it. The skills gap, IoT, and robotics — they’re challenges, but with the right approach they can be what reinvigorates the industry. Think about it as if you were Johnny Manziel and the manufacturing industry was the Cleveland Browns. You have all this talent, and you’re bringing it to an industry that needs serious help. With the right approach, the industry can build and become what your dreams want it to be. Or, you can be like Manziel, and, yeah, no further comments.


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