Archives for the ‘Next Generation Manufacturing’ Category

Bringing Diversity to Manufacturing

Written by Melissa Basa, IMEC Regional Manager

With more than 500,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs in the United States in recent years, much has been hypothesized and written about the cause(s). If we consider the words of Warren Buffet, who in 2013 told Fortune Magazine that America has built our prosperity using only 50%Diversity of our talent and left an entire gender out of the equation for most of our history, we see that a solution is very much within our reach.  But balancing the gender equation and bringing more women into manufacturing doesn’t require the same approach as increasing the ranks of men.  Let’s look at an example (or three) from my Alma Mater.

In 2016, Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering was the first US national research university to graduate an undergraduate class of engineers that was more than 50% female.  Compare this to the national average that has yet to break 20%.  But gender parity didn’t happen for Thayer overnight and it certainly didn’t happen without intentional cultural changes.  I believe Thayer’s successes could be those of America’s shop floors as well.

Training for Success As We Face the Maintenance Skills Gap

Written by Lawrence Bouvier, CMRP
Vice President – Fuss & O’Neill Manufacturing Solutions

A large amount of industrial maintenance technicians are approaching retirement age – taking with them invaluable knowleTraining for Successdge and experience. Today’s workforce entrants often have high school level vocational training and apprenticeship programs are nearly non-existent. All too often, employers try to fill this void with computer-based learning that focuses merely on craft skills. But hands-on practice is required to develop hands-on skills. Additionally, tradespeople need to understand more than basic craft skills; they need to be expert problem solvers with process knowledge specific to their companies. How do employers close the skills gap?

The Manufacturing Council and White House Steering Committee visit Chicago manufacturers

On Thursday, May 28, IMEC had the privilege of joining the U.S. Department of Commerce Manufacturing Council’s Sub-Committee on Innovation and Research and Development, White House Advanced Manufacturing Partnership officials, Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) and local manufacturers for a round table discussion.

Manufacturing CouncilThe discussion was held at the UI LABS: Digital Manufacturing Design Innovation Institute building in Chicago and was centered on the state of innovation in the American supply chain ecosystem, and effective strategies to help small manufacturers identify opportunities for innovation, invest in innovation and upgrade capabilities.

7 Insights for Illinois Manufacturers from the NGM Study

2013_NGM_StudyEvery other year, the Manufacturing Performance Institute releases the Next Generation Manufacturing (NGM) Study to assist small and medium manufacturers in benchmarking and planning for the future of their organization. What do you need to know about the responses from this survey? How can you plan your organization’s growth? How can you receive this study?

The 2013 study took the insights from many manufacturers across the nation, and here are the 7 of the important findings from this study.

Manufacturer Networking Breakfast: Gain Competitive Edge with IMEC

Calumet Area Industrial CommissionThe Calumet Area Industrial Commission (CAIC) and the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) will host an Informational Networking Breakfast for Chicago Area Manufacturers on Thursday, April 25th, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., at the Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, 1250 West 119th Street (Just East of I-57), in Chicago.

Made in Illinois’ Featured Manufacturer: Bellman-Melcor,LLC

Bellman- Melcor is a 50 year old family owned business headquartered in Tinley Park, IL. Bellman-Melcor manufacturers brazing and soldering preforms and distributes bulk brazing and soldering materials in silver bearing, non-silver, and specialty metals.

Family Business Advisor Certification for IMEC Specialists

Galliard Group Family Business Advisor Certification

The Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center (IMEC) announced seventeen manufacturing specialists recently completed the comprehensive Galliard Group Family Business Advisor Level One training program in Bloomington, Illinois. Completion of the certification equips the IMEC team members with comprehensive tools to assist family-owned and closely-held businesses.

Manufacturing Skills Lab to be featured by Lake Land College for Manufacturing Day

Lake Land College in Mattoon will open its doors to the public to showcase the nationally recognized Manufacturing Skills Lab for Manufacturing Day on October 5th. The innovative lab delivers hands-on technical training to maintenance and machine operators and has the ability to be customized to meet the needs of technicians from apprentice-level to the most experienced senior technician. Using components identical to those found in modern manufacturing equipment, system functions are recreated in a lab environment where participants learn practical setup, operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting manufacturing skills.

Manufacturing in America > Data and Trends

Manufacturing in America

NIST-MEP has released a new infographic that uses data visualization to tell the story of manufacturing perceptions vs. reality. It’s a powerful image of the economic and innovation success of “Manufacturing in America” that more people should be aware of.

Manufacturing in America is central to our economic strength and a driver of innovation. Manufacturing jobs are some of the best in the country, yet the public doesn’t perceive them to be. And there aren’t enough skilled workers to fill them. But together we can help tell the real story…”

This and other new infographics are being shared at a time when our nation is really beginning to focus on the importance of industry to our nation’s economy, and will hopefully boost the real perception that manufacturing is alive and thriving!

Make sure you check out the new “Manufacturing in America” infographic on!


NIST Director, Manufacturing Leaders Connect in Chicago

Manufacturing leaders from the greater Chicago area, in addition to Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Patrick Gallagher, IMEC President David Boulay, and representatives from the City of Chicago and state commerce department gathered for a duo of manufacturing-focused events last week.

NIST Director Visit - Chicago 07/12

The group first met at PortionPac Corporation in Chicago for discussion and a tour of the sustainable company that manufactures pre-measured packs of highly concentrated cleaning products for use in a variety of industries, including school districts and correctional facilities.  “The last decade for manufacturing has been about diversification and the ability to develop a focus in niche markets in order to continue growing,” said Burt Klein, President for PortionPac. During the visit, Klein also spoke to the city’s investment in the manufacturing sector and how building a strong workforce, transportation can lead to a strengthened climate.

PortionPac employee at work

Through a city initiative, Chicago Sustainable Industries, there has been an increased awareness about manufacturing and its importance to the strength of the community. “Manufacturing jobs play an anchoring role in a community,” Director Gallagher stated. “It’s great to see the combined efforts of the public and private sectors working together to strengthen that role.”

Chicago Sustainable Industries

Following the facility tour and discussion, the group met at the Transco Products downtown headquarters, where they engaged in discussion around the direction of future trends in technology, workforce and the need to campaign for a brighter image of the industry. “If manufacturing has a bad image, it affects the desire of youth and adults alike to educate themselves and pursue a career in industry,” said Gallagher.  Talk continued around the need to promote manufacturing nationally, regionally and locally, including initiatives manufacturers can take to reach out in their communities.

NIST Director Gallagher, Transco President Ed Wolbert and Mfg Leaders

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