The Latest DIY Skills Gap Hail Mary: Train Them on Site

Much has been written about the manufacturing skills gap and the steps companies are taking to solve it. One increasingly popular solution is to provide the necessary training to workers. Usually this happens offsite at local community colleges or workforce development agencies, but lately some especially ambitious manufacturers have been attempting to train potential employees in-house.


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Building IIoT Framework

Everybody in the industry seems to be talking about the Industrial Internet of Things, but what exactly it will look like when it makes the leap from speculation and becomes a larger part of industrial life is still up in the air. Writing in Baseline Magazine, Samuel Greengard lays out his own ideas about what the basic framework should be like:

As the IoT moves from the periphery to the center  

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3D Printing and Cyberattacks

As the world becomes more aware of the damage that can be done by small groups of hackers, a particuraly potent opportunity of sabotage has emerged: 3D Printing. If hackers can gain entry to a device they could alter the programming in such a way that would be undetectable to the human eye, but cause massive damage to the products and endanger those around them. A small-scale example of the  

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AI: Artificial… Licorice Maker?

Sometimes new technology opens new doors of thought previously beyond our imaginations, and other times it helps perfect a really mundane task that most of us never even thought about. Such is the case of the Microsoft AI that has helped Hershey make the perfect Twizzler. Ensuring that each package of Twizzlers has weighed the same has traditionally been unusually difficult because slight variations  

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The New Safety Seminars: Cyberattack Prevention

Cyberattacks have been in the news a lot lately, so it is a good time to remember that even as computers and the internet of things offer new opportunities for manufacturers, they also offer new dangers. That doesn’t mean that they should be avoided (as if you could even if you tried), but rather that like any other piece of machinery used on site, there needs to be proper training so  

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NY Business Activity Slows

The latest from the New York Fed:

Business activity leveled off in New York State, according to firms responding to the May 2017 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index fell six points to -1.0. The new orders index dropped to -4.4, suggesting a small decline in orders, and the shipments index edged down to 10.6, indicating that shipments increased at  

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The Security Weak Link of Industrial Robots

Hacking has been in the news a lot lately, so a new study by global security software company Trend Micro and Polytechnic University of Milan, the largest technical university in Italy seems especially timely. The study looked at Internet security vulnerabilities that could involve industrial robots used on manufacturing lines in areas such as the automobile and aerospace industries. As these  

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3D Printing for Electronics

Monika Mahto and Brenna Sniderman in the Deloitte University Press report on the advances 3D printing has made in printing fully functional electromechanical parts.

While still at an early stage, the applications for 3D-printed electronics seem promising. For example, engineers are experimenting with conformal electronics—stretchable electronics that can be embedded in fitness trackers,  

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Meet Our 2017 Manufacturing Champions

It’s that time of year again! On May 12 the Council of Industry will present its annual Manufacturing Champions Awards to three individuals and one organization that have gone above and beyond to promote the manufacturing industry in New York State. Today it is our pleasure to introduce you to this year’s recipients:

George Quigley has been committed to growing and  

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New York State Teens Shop for High-Tech Training-From High School

A school district in Buffalo, hoping to counter declining graduation rates, has revamped its high school curriculum to allow high school students more opportunities in science and tech focused study.

At the Research Laboratory Program for Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, students will be able to make medical devices and replicas of molecules on a 3D printer.

“We’re hoping to expose  

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State Unemployment Rate Lowest Since Feb 2007

The statewide unemployment rate decreased from 4.4% to 4.3% in March 2017, according to preliminary figures released today by the New York State Department of Labor. This represents New York State’s lowest unemployment rate since February 2007. Pushing the statewide rate lower was another drop in New York City’s rate, which declined from 4.3% to 4.0% in March 2017. New York City’s rate  

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Meet the New SUNY Chancellor: Dr. Kristina Johnson

Dr. Kristina Johnson, a former engineer who developed technology critical for the screening of 3D movies and served as under secretary for the Department of Energy in the Obama Administration, will serve as chancellor of New York State’s SUNY college system after the current chancellor, Nancy Zimpher, retires in June. SUNY currently serves some 440,000 students at 29 four-year colleges  

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9 Ways to Get High Schoolers to Consider Manufacturing

Gary Miller of Kyocera SGS Precision Tools, says companies can encourage high-school students to apply for internships and apprenticeships by offering competitive pay and a training period. He also recommends tours for parents to show what modern manufacturing looks like and to reassure parents of the plant’s safety. Miller got his start at Kyocera, a small cutting tool manufacturer in  

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Get the Latest New York Manufacturing Survey

Business activity continued to grow but at a slower pace, according to the latest Empire State Manufacturing Survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The headline general business conditions index fell eleven points to 5.2. The new orders index, which had climbed to a multiyear high in March, retreated sharply to 7.0 in April, suggesting more modest growth. The shipments index edged up to  

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To Solve Skills Gap GE Retrains Workforce

GE, a company synonymous with American manufacturing, has recently undertaken an initiative to retrain 150,000 workers to make them better suited to the new more tech-heavy environments the company sees as the future of manufacturing. While the Internet of Things is still in its infancy, GE has been at the forefront of a movement to reshape the manufacturing for the 21st century.

As productivity  

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Exoskeletons: Trying to Make Fiction a Practical Reality

Who needs a forklift when you can just use an exoskeleton? Several innovators are trying to make those sci-fi styled suits a reality, including Hiromicho Fujimoto, president of ActiveLink, a small company in Japan. Via Industry Week:

Fujimoto, for one, recognized the need to enhance workers on the floor — and to suit them with the tech necessary to work harder and smarter — well before  

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Apprenticeships In Action

This profile of MTU America’s manufacturing operation offers a glimpse into how valuable an apprenticeship program can be for American manufacturers. After starting the program, modeled on the one its German parent company uses in Europe, MTU America has discovered a previously untapped labor pool.

Although there are some up-front costs to establishing an apprenticeship program, such as  

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Robots Even a Small Business Can Afford

There’s been a lot of talk about automation in manufacturing, usually though any discussion on the topic comes with the presumption that the robotics in question are only accessible to larger manufacturers who can afford not only the high-tech machines but also the labor force needed to run them. That is starting to change, writes Jim Lawton in a column for Forbes:

With equal access  

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Augmented Reality gets Second Life-In Manufacturing

Google Glass may have been an embarrassing failure, but augmented reality had found something of a niche among large manufacturers, according to PC World:

Automakers like Volkswagen and BMW have also experimented with augmented reality. The technology proves useful in leaving workers’ hands free and making communication between teams easier.

The world’s largest aircraft maker, Boeing  

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How the Lack of an Oxford Comma Could Cost a Company Millions

The debate over the Oxford comma has long raged among grammar nerds, and remains unresolved. Proponents of its use say that, when listing things in writing, a comma before the last item is paramount. It separates the sentence “He ate dessert, fries, and ham” from “He ate dessert, fries and ham.” Opponents say that it’s redundant, and potentially more ambiguous. Recently however, the  

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Are We Thinking About the Skills Gap Wrong?

In a column for, Carlos Gonzalez argues that efforts to fix manufacturing’s skills gap are too shortsighted:

Although the skilled labor gap is a pressing problem, it is also a short-term problem. The Internet of Things, mobile devices, and robotics are set to take over the industrial world. Many of the day-to-day skilled labor jobs will be performed by smart machines.  

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Industry 4.o and the 3D Tools Needed to Adapt

The trend toward and demand for greater flexibility in manufacturing by using machine and robot-based applications is unstoppable. The end result will be adaptable processes that can produce a batch of any size, with unprecedented efficiency. Industry 4.0 provides the concepts necessary to realize these goals, and Lee Van Avery has a look at what manufacturers will need in order to adapt over  

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HV Mfg Preview

Get a sneak preview of the upcoming issue of HV Mfg, due out in April. This is an excerpt from our interview with Ben Katzenstein, President of Star Kay White:

HV Mfg: Tell us about Start Kay White, What do you make and how did you come to lead the company?

BK: My Great Grandfather, David Katzenstein founded Star Extract Works New York City in 1890. He was an immigrant from Germany.  

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Preview: CBS News’ “America-Manufacturing Hope”

As part of a broader series examining the shifting sands of American society, CBS News will air a special report this coming Monday on the lives of residents in struggling Americans in Erie, Pa. Correspondent Jamie Yuccas takes an intimate look at residents trying to make ends meet in a manufacturing town whose economy and population have been hollowed out over the past three decades. Read  

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