Emily Probst joined the metalworking world in 2006 as the IMTS intern for Modern Machine Shop. Landing a permanent position as assistant editor for the magazine in 2007, her duties include covering new products each month, among others. Recently, Emily has put her journalism degree from Ohio University (Athens, Ohio) to use by administrating Modern’s blog as well as its Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Remember the cool tool chest we featured in this blog post? Well now’s your chance to win it for free. Stop by the Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMC), Booth W-160, to enter the “Tools You Can Use” contest. The interactive contest will award a 53" Kobalt stainless steel tool chest to one of four winners selected each month from September through December.
Presented by Gardner Business Media’s Modern Machine Shop, MoldMaking Technology, Production Machining and Automotive Design & Production, the “Tools You Can Use” contest is a continuation of the AMC’s “Connecting Advanced Manufacturing” theme. To enter, manufacturing professionals must submit a picture taken at their manufacturing facility in which they display one of the four magnets they can pick up in Booth W-160. Submissions can be sent to email@example.com.
Starting NOW, we are blogging live from the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS), which runs September 10-15 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. The show features more than 1,500 exhibitors from 119 countries and occupies 1.2 million square feet of floor space. If this doesn’t demand a week’s worth of coverage, I don’t know what does.
While you are at the show, we hope you stop by and visit Gardner Business Media (publisher of Modern Machine Shop) in the Advanced Manufacturing Center at Booth W-160. There, you will be able to network and expand your knowledge base in the Gardner Business Media Lounge. Happy hour is from 1-5 p.m. daily. There, you can visit to have a drink and meet with leaders from all the AMC presenters and technology partners, including participants from TRAM3, which brings together the premier minds in aerospace manufacturing.
Tune in to IMTSTV TODAY at 12 p.m. ET to watch more news from The MFG (Manufacturing for Growth) meeting, which took place in Orlando, Florida, March 8 -11. If you can’t watch today, make sure to visit IMTS.com for the archived episode. Here’s what you’ll see:
— Reshoring Initiative: Bringing Manufacturing Back Home. Harry Moser, founder of the Reshoring Initiative, talks about the reshoring movement and the reasons why it makes good sense to bring manufacturing operations back to the United States.
— Champion Now: Changing the Public Perception of Manufacturing. Terry Iverson discusses the Champion Now movement, which works to change the public perception of manufacturing to help inform younger generations about the industry’s career opportunities.
— Local Motors: Building the First IMTS Car. Recently, some IMTS staffers went out to the Local Motors headquarters in Chandler, Arizona, to take part in building a Rally Fighter, the first-ever IMTS car. It’s a sneak preview of what’s to come at IMTS 2012 in the Emerging Technology Center.
— Industry News. This segment features a few business headlines for both the domestic and international manufacturing technology industry.
— My Show Planner: A Demo for Visitors. If you’re going to be a visitor at IMTS 2012, you’ll want to plan your visit using MyShow Planner, an interactive organizational tool. Jerry Gildea of Map Your Show gives an informative demonstration on how to use the planner and all the ways it can make your IMTS visit more efficient.
— Why Should You Be at IMTS? Doug Woods, president of AMT, talks about why it’s important to go to IMTS 2012.
— MFG Exhibitors: A Look Ahead to IMTS. Exhibitors from The MFG Meeting share their thoughts on the manufacturing industry and IMTS.
What brings this to mind? On March 26, I received the first press release featuring a product that will be on display at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) 2012, which will run from September 10-15 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. Why, you wonder, would somebody send in a press release so early?
Every other year, our August print issue becomes a catalog of sorts containing new products and technology that will be on display at IMTS, the largest and longest-running manufacturing technology trade show in the United States. The show will feature more than 1,100 exhibitors and attract more than 82,000 buyers and sellers from 116-plus countries. So you can see how important it is for both manufacturers and companies that are considering purchasing new equipment to be there.
And because MMS prints a preview of the products that will be on display, you see how important it is for exhibitors to send me their press releases by no later than June 1.
The state of Virginia is doing something right. Attracting and keeping viable manufacturing operations is a priority for the state as is evident from some of the facilities I visited during a recent press tour with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. In fact, the week after I visited the Rolls-Royce Crosspointe facility in Prince George County, President Obama travelled to the facility and outlined his proposed National Manufacturing Innovation Network. We’re not exactly talking small potatoes now, are we? Manufacturing has fought its way into the news as a major mover and shaker of the U.S. economy, but with the lack of skilled employees, it seems the industry could be on shaky ground.
Here are some ways that facilities, schools and programs within the state are moving manufacturing in a more stable direction:
1. Educating the future workforce at technical community colleges. John Tyler Community College (JTCC) works hard to teach students the skills they need to thrive in the manufacturing workforce. They have advisory councils that closely monitor the curriculum and make changes to meet industry and specific company needs. In fact, the college met with Rolls-Royce to show the curriculum they were teaching students. With Rolls-Royce’s help, the school was able to tweak their program to teach what students need to join their particular workforce. The college says that some of their first program graduates are working at Rolls-Royce today.
JTCC student Cory Edwards operates a Mazak machining center. The machines arrived at JTCC as a result of a partnership between the college and Rolls-Royce.
2. Bridging the gap between universities and manufacturing facilities. The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) enables industry members to support direct and generic R&D initiatives at the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University. Organizing industry members include Canon, Chromalloy, Newport News Shipbuilding, Rolls-Royce, Sandvik, Siemens and Sulzer Metco. CCAM will focus on two areas of advanced manufacturing research: manufacturing systems and surface engineering. As an added benefit, the companies learn who some of the best students are, which can help them find talented employees down the road.
3. Employing traditional methods of teaching manufacturing skills through apprentice programs. Newport News Shipbuilding is the largest industrial employer in the state of Virginia with more than 20,000 employees. Of these employees, more than 2,800 are Apprentice School graduates. Over the last three years, the school has received almost 10,000 applications; however, about 200 students are accepted into the school each year. Newport News Shipbuilding, the City of Newport News and the Commonwealth of Virginia have partnered to build a new $70 million apprentice school campus that is scheduled for completion in 2013.
Founded in 1919, The Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding offers training in 19 trades and seven advanced programs.
These three actions are not a panacea that will stop an aging workforce from retiring or fix the entire U.S. economy. But perhaps approaching these issues from multiple directions is the best solution. Virginia has proven that this can work. The state has become a virtual hotbed of advanced manufacturing and innovation. If we open as many routes of entry into the manufacturing industry as possible, we just might find the talent, innovation and creativity to light a spark in the future generations and keep manufacturing strong for years to come.