Catalysts Of The Future

Harley Davidson motorcycles, the Wright Brothers' first flight, the automobile and assembly lines were only a few of the brilliant inventions that occurred in the first half of the 20th century. Where would we be today if it weren’t for these catalysts of manufacturing? Throughout the second half of the 20th century, profound events took place that included NASA landing the first man on the moon; the microwave oven finding its place in our kitchens; and the personal computer arriving on shelves in our local department stores.

Columns From: 2/5/2004 Modern Machine Shop,

Harley Davidson motorcycles, the Wright Brothers' first flight, the automobile and assembly lines were only a few of the brilliant inventions that occurred in the first half of the 20th century. Where would we be today if it weren’t for these catalysts of manufacturing?

Throughout the second half of the 20th century, profound events took place that included NASA landing the first man on the moon; the microwave oven finding its place in our kitchens; and the personal computer arriving on shelves in our local department stores. These innovations are recognized as catalysts of technology.

If you were born after 1980, I would like you to stand. If you are literally standing up at this moment, thank you. I applaud you, for you are a part of an elite group—the catalysts of our future!

So, what have you been inventing? Manufacturing? Curing? Are any of you considering running for president? The rest of us look forward to watching you continue the momentum. We believe in your ability to make our home (whether home is Streamwood, Illinois or, looking at the big picture, the USA) a better, safer, and stronger place.

Students, your generation has already begun the process. Do you realize that there are arthritis patients who are only 20 to 40 years of age and, just weeks ago, could not even pick up a book? At this very moment in time these same 20- to 40- year old patients are walking, moving freely and picking up books. This happened because of a current breakthrough that your generation developed in advanced arthritis medications.Medications are discovered but without manufacturing, machinery, tools, and engineers, none of these patients would have been cured.

Computer aided design (CAD) has leapt from wireframe to 3D modeling capabilities. The computer-generated image looks as if you could literally grab it off of the screen. Plasma televisions just a few inches thick are on sale today. Wow! Who doesn't want one of those to go with that surround sound system? And the list goes on.

Students, you have been given the most valuable gift—to work with your minds and your hands. You are able to mathematically and conceptually capture an idea, a tool or a product in your mind.

The Tooling & Manufacturing Association (TMA) is one of many partners that participate in the IMTS Student Summit. In the Chicago area alone there are over 1,300 TMA manufacturing companies that support your education in the manufacturing industry. We already know what you are capable of doing; your generation has already started!

Today’s metalworking programs are evolving into engineering technology labs where machines meets computers. The manufacturing facilities of the future will contain more machines, robots and computers that will be managed by highly skilled employees. Our goal is to continuously develop an educational environment suited for a successful workforce.

Your goal is to continue the momentum. Remember who is behind you: Harley Davidson, Ford Motor Company, the Wright Brothers, NASA, the TMA and the IMTS Student Summit Partners. In 1903, William Harley and Arthur Davidson put together the first Harley motorcycle in a backyard shed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They took their idea to the next level by building it! When you have an idea, take it to the next level and build it. Remember, you are the catalysts of our future!

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