The 2017 Job Market was so Strong Employers had Trouble Finding Workers

The numbers are in, The country has added jobs for 86 consecutive months — the longest streak on record — according to the Labor Department. (Its numbers date back to 1939.) The unemployment rate has ticked down to 4.1%, the lowest level since 2000. Experts say that the current low rate shows it won’t get much better than this.

In fact, unemployment is so low that an increasing  

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New York Manufacturers End 2017 with Continued Growth

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has released its December report on the state’s manufacturing industry, and it shows good news for manufacturers.

Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity continued to expand strongly. The general business conditions index was little changed at 18.0. Thirty-seven percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved  

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To Reinvent Themselves, Manufacturers try Doing More

The latest idea to reinvent American manufacturing: Servitization.

More manufacturers are shifting their focus from products to end solutions in a means to enhance their competitive advantage.

A survey of 750 manufacturers in 16 countries by enterprise applications company IFS found a growing number are offering “servitization.” Anthony Bourne, Vice President of Global Industry Solutions  

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A New Face for an Old Giant

The NY Times published a profile of Ford a few weeks ago, focusing on the legendary car company’s efforts to compete with tech companies like Google and Uber in developing a Self-Driving car. It’s an interesting piece that captures the changing face of manufacturing. The company that introduced the Model T and the factory assembly line that  

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The New Business-Academia Collaborations Shaping Manufacturing

Businesses are collaborating with academic partners to advocate for modern manufacturing jobs. While such collaborations have existed for years they have become more common, and more thorough, as the manufacturing skills gap continues to widen.

Silicon Forest Electronics first learned of the individual through a locally based industry ally, Partners in Careers, which helps provide resources,  

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The Data Proves It: 3D Printing is Transforming Industries as we Speak

3D printing is officially transforming industries. Experts have been saying that for ages, but now there’s data to prove it:

With more and more 3D printed parts hitting the market, Forbes predicts the spare-parts supply chain will shift toward 3D printing solutions within the next three years. A survey report from Strategy& estimates that 85% of spare-parts suppliers will build 3D  

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Sharing Economy Comes to Manufacturing

40% Of Manufacturing Machines Are Under-Utilized. That’s the sad fact, but one company had an idea that brought the sharing economy to the manufacturing industry.

Here’s the deal: Say a manufacturer needs to make a machined part, but does not have the needed machinery or a reliable method of outsourcing. Another company (a supplier) has the machinery needed, sitting idle, collecting  

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A New Generation of Robots is Changing Business

Robots have been a part of manufacturing for years now, but recent developments have seen a tipping point in terms of what the machines are capable of. New, sophisticated, robots are rapidly transforming the workplace.

Robots are becoming easier to configure and use than their traditional industrial forebears. Embedded vision systems, sophisticated behavior software, and robotic positioning  

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How to Adjust Teaching Styles When Working with Engineers, Technicians

The Socratic method, kinesthetic learning and vivid visualization are three of the techniques that may be effective when teaching engineers and other people in technical occupations, Don Graham of SECO Tools writes for American Machinist.

A successful teaching strategy hinges on two primary goals: get students to retain and apply the information. With that said, instructors first must identify  

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Attract Millennials to Manufacturing in 3 Easy Steps

SupplyChain Management Review is out with three suggestions on how to raise Millennial interest in manufacturing:

Embrace mobile connectivity. Millennials came to the workforce in the age of the app. They don’t have a context for careers without speed and immediacy of the Internet and using mobile devices. For workers in this group, having to go from the production floor  

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You Can’t Stop Change, but You Can Manage It

Manufacturing is changing at a greater pace than ever before. So how do you keep up? There’s never going to be an easy answer to that question, but the trusted management firm McKinsey & Company has just come out with what it says are the four key characteristics of successful change management:

No mountain high enough: Aspirations to give inspiration

Few transformations achieve more  

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The Latest Buzz on Additive Manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing is the latest thing everyone’s talking about, so just what is it that’s got everyone buzzing?

Simply put, it’s 3D Printing for people who want a more formal name than 3D Printing.

Additive manufacturing (AM)—the process of making a product layer by layer instead of using traditional molding or subtractive methods—has become one of the most revolutionary  

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NY Manufacturing Business Continues to Grow

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported yet another strong month in every area covered by it Empire State Manufacturing Survey.

The headline general business conditions index held steady at 24.4. The new orders index rose four points to 24.9 and the shipments index climbed four points to 16.2, pointing to ongoing solid gains in orders and shipments. Unfilled orders increased, and delivery  

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The Future of Factory Robotics

Robots are getting cheaper and there are more workers qualified to handle them than there were in 1990 according to a new study by McKinsey. So where to they go from here?

As robot production has increased, costs have gone down. Over the past 30 years, the average robot price has fallen by half in real terms, and even further relative to labor costs. As demand from emerging economies encourages  

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When being Middle-Sized means Largest Growth


“Bigger is Better” the saying goes, but a recent survey suggests that for the manufacturing sector such conventional wisdom isn’t always true. Conducted by the National Center for the Middle Market and reported by IndustryWeek, the survey found that mid-market manufacturers reported revenue growth at a higher percentage than that of the biggest manufacturers.

In NCMM’s second  

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2017 Golf Outing a Huge Success

Our annual Golf Outing is always a lot of fun for everyone involved, and this year proved no exception. With more participants than ever before, and perfect weather (not to mention a new treat in the form of free ice cream) it is safe to say a good time was had by all. As always we’d like to thank all our participants and especially our sponsors for making this great day possible! Here  

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The Forklift of Tomorrow

The forklift is an essential part of every warehouse, but have you ever stopped and wondered if there’s any difference between the old models and the new? As it turns out, there is. Boss Magazine has a look at some of the new innovations being made to the classic machine, including alternative power sources, and increased maneuverability, and even going digital:

The Fourth Industrial Revolution  

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Business Best it’s Been in Years According to New York Manufacturing Survey

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has released its latest survey of the state’s manufacturing industry, this one reporting figures for August. The results showed a strong month across the board:

Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity expanded strongly in August. The general business conditions index rose fifteen points to 25.2, its highest level since  

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To Close the Skills Gap Fix the Gender Gap

In 2016, women accounted for just 29% of all U.S. manufacturing jobs. When you consider that women make up 47% of the entire U.S. workforce, that’s an alarmingly low number. What’s even more alarming is that the problem has nothing to do with job shortages. Instead, manufacturing is suffering from a significant shortage of skilled workers and ingrained misconceptions of male-dominated industry  

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The New World of Predictive Data

The use of predictive data can help manufacturers predict problems and make proactive adjustments, asserts Doug Fair, chief operating officer of InfinityQS. This trend shifts away from the use of data to “chase” problems.

Modern manufacturers collect mountains of data every day. But how much of that data is ever studied, beyond the small percentage that raises red flags?

The newest  

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4 Ways 3D Printing will change the Metals Industry

Management consulting firm McKinsey & Company has published an article on the impact of 3D Printing on the metals industry in which they highlight 4 key ways the technology will change the industry.

The main benefits of 3-D printing are a shorter value chain, cost and time reductions through elimination of assembly steps, greater customization and design freedom, and minimal waste. But the  

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Looking Beyond Efficiency

In a new OP-ED published on Forbes, Jim Lawton questions if a decades old emphasis on increasing efficiency while keeping costs down as the benchmark for measuring success in the manufacturing industry may be out of place with the new Advanced Manufacturing.

Technology has always promised to improve efficiency – the ability to do things right. And that has always been at the heart of any case  

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3D Printing is So Last Season

With 3D printing officially mainstream now, scientists have started theorizing on what 4D printing will look like. 

Although it will take some time for 4D printing to be available commercially, said Chaudhary, early forms of 4D printing are anticipated to comprise flexible objects designed in such a way that they can transform themselves when immersed in water or subjected to pressure, gravity  

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Consider: Workers Who are Willing to Learn

A column in IndustryWeek argues that with technology advancing so quickly and a shortage of skilled workers it makes more sense to train employees on site rather than look for workers with appropriate degrees and training.

How does a manufacturing company leader solve that problem?

By emphasizing the only capability that truly matters: The willingness and ability to learn.

Whatever technical skills  

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The Unlikeliest Tech Comeback

File this under “Comebacks Nobody Saw Coming.” After becoming a rare failure for the internet giant, a symbol of Silicon Valley excess, and a PR flop of New Coke proportions, Google Glass, the smartphone for your head, is poised to make a comeback in the private sector.

“Workers in many fields, like manufacturing, logistics, field services, and healthcare find it useful to  

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