Are you someone who sees the glass half-full or half-empty? There’s no right or wrong answer to that question but it’s all about perspective and that same theory applies to the world of manufacturing. In the manufacturing industry, would you say that the industry has challenges or opportunities?
The way you answer that question is especially important when you’re a woman working in manufacturing. The thing people fail to realize is that manufacturing is indeed a male-dominated industry and its long history proves that the way industry leaders view and react to the ever-changing landscape will heavily influence its future. Women have been looked at as not being tough enough to handle everything that comes with the industry but regardless of whether you’re male or female, there’s one constant in the industry and that’s its challenges.
As mentioned above the key thing about challenges in this industry is all about how you view them. Again, do you see them as challenges or do you see them as opportunities? Your response to this question isn’t based on gender either… it’s based on grit. How will you handle these challenges or opportunities? Or will you crumble under the pressure? Whether you see them as challenges or opportunities, here are the areas of the manufacturing industry that pose to be the most difficult.
Multi-Generational Workforce With Gaps in Manufacturing Skills
Over the past several years, research has shown that there has been a skills gap in the manufacturing industry. According to the Manufacturing Institute, there is a shortage of skilled workers of more than 75%. Research also predicted that there could possibly be 2 million manufacturing jobs that aren’t filled by 2025. That’s quite an alarming number, right? Yes, so why is that the prediction? Well, Baby Boomers are getting older and hitting retirement age and by them leaving their positions, there just aren’t enough skilled workers out there to fill the positions they’ve left.
The Solution: Offer Incentives to Your Workforce
When you hear the word incentives, most people think of money but incentives come in more forms than money. Offering incentives to your workers in this industry will come by way of training and bringing up a new generation of skilled workers. Did you know that the Millenial generation is comprised of around 77 million? If you got some of them enrolled in the proper training programs and set them up for effective recruitment, this could be THE generation to bring in new talent and rebuild the manufacturing industry. The way you’ll want to g about rebuilding your manufacturing sector is to identify the type of talent you need, create and build a talent pipeline, develop talent relationships, and put development programs in place. This will ultimately make your employees feel valued in your company and turn them into loyal employees.
Miniaturization of Electronics Assembly
The miniaturization of consumer electronics, automotive parts, and medical devices have all posed to be issues within the manufacturing industry, particularly electronics assembly. This need to manufacture small and complex assemblies with a surface mount component can be a challenge or opportunity for surface mount process engineers.
One of the most important aspects of surface mount assembly is the ability to deposit very small and very precise amounts of fluid, like adhesives and silicones, to tiny microelectronics and other tiny parts. These tiny amounts of adhesive and silicone must be dispensed accurately and precisely… it’s critical to the product’s functionality, quality, and appearance.
The Solution: Micro Dispensing
With micro dispensing, there’s no room for human error. Microdispensing is the technique of depositing tiny amounts of liquid media and it spans across multiple industries too. It’s been used for sealing laminated glass in smart TVs, touch screen computers, and digital cameras. Microdispensing technology has been developed and designed for inline assembly systems and stand-alone production cells.
Automation and Robotics
Automation in the manufacturing industry has been going on for many years and has improved the industry drastically. It has not only transformed the floors of many factories all over the world but it has also removed human error in sectors where accuracy was critical. The only issues with automation and robotics is utilizing these technologies in a strategic way.
The Solution: Capitalize on Data
From robots to conveyors, all the technologies used in manufacturing today can see and think better now more than ever before. So how do you make these technologies work better with you? You have to get more detailed when inputting your data. We live in an era where data is everything and the more you put into these machines, the more they’ll be able to help you find efficiencies.