Manufacturing production in the United States has steadily decreased over the past 16 years. Starting in mid-2000, manufacturing jobs began to disappear at an alarming rate. In 2016 more than five million manufacturing jobs had been lost. Clearly, something has to change if manufacturing wants to become a major player in the U.S. economy once again.
Change is never easy, but adaptability is key to the survival of manufacturing. Slowly but surely the industry has begun to evolve. More efficient processes, training, and technology are needed to reverse the trend of losing jobs.
The Future of Manufacturing Safety
Safety is crucial to the success or failure of manufacturing in the U.S. With the right protocols in place manufactures can ensure the prevention of injuries, efficient use of products, and adherence to lawful practices. This will ultimately save time and money.
What is the focus of manufacturing safety moving forward? The outsourcing of safety management. Safety professionals will become more important than ever. Many manufacturing facilities hire safety professionals to be on-hand during peak operating hours. This improves safety in 4 ways:
- Prevent accidents, hazards, and injuries
- Provide safety training to workers
- Build safety awareness by fostering a company culture of safety
- Ensure federal regulations are being met and avoid penalties
Having a safety professional helps manufacturers comply with OSHA regulations and avoid costly mistakes and injuries that might otherwise occur. They can organize programs to enhance employee security and protection, navigate the minute details of government regulation, and create an atmosphere where workers can thrive. Technology improvements will also become essential to manufacturing’s safety success. Automation will continue as a growing trend which in turn will result in less risk to workers.
All About Smart Engineering
Smart factories are popping up all over the world. Gone are the days when robots were simply a novel, entertaining way to boost brand awareness. Now they’re the latest, greatest manufacturing innovation. Not only is smart manufacturing less expensive, it’s also safer, faster, and more efficient in many cases.
With advancements come problems. Smart factories require their workforce to have proficiency in robotics in order to maintain ideal levels of operation. Even then, many experts question the ability of automated manufacturing to match the levels of traditional manufacturing. Regardless of current opinions, automated manufacturing will continue to grow. Drones, self-driving cars, 3D printers and more will keep revolutionizing the global industry.
Process improvements, production tips, and training all contribute to efficiency. Cimlogic, a leading provider of manufacturing operation management solutions, came up with five tips manufacturers can use to enhance their efficiency:
- Become a greener and more sustainable manufacturer
Manufacturers that can focus on social responsibility will be able to drive down their energy costs. Eliminating energy waste removes a massive expense that will positively benefit the bottom line.
- Collaboration between humans and automation for sustainable growth and innovation
Automation is the wave of the future. The biggest fear most manufacturing workers have is job elimination due to automation. Collaborative automation requires a human be present to program an automated system. This removes the problem of job loss.
- Embrace the industrial internet of things to become smarter
Don’t run from the industry 4.0 move, embrace it and master the technology. Those at the forefront of the revolution will reap the benefits.
- Consider cyber security as a critical threat
In their SlideShare, Cimlogic states a surprising fact; “Manufacturing is the second most cyber attacked industry after Healthcare.” That means it’s more important than ever before to protect against cyber-attacks.
- Adopt predictive analytics to drive greater efficiency
Studying the data associated with common processes will help manufacturers determine a variety of factors that contribute to efficiency. This can include predicting when machinery will require repairs and when inventory will need to be ordered.
These five guidelines equip manufacturers with the approaches they need to handle difficult scenarios and still maintain a high level of productivity.
Adaptability and scalability are relevant to the growth and success of manufacturing’s future. Why? Because the manufacturing workforce is getting older and fewer young, skilled workers are available. This means manufacturers will need to invest in training programs that minimize the risk of low-skilled labor and increase the value of their workforce.
Combining a knowledge of safety, smart engineering, and efficiency tactics will allow modern manufacturers to flourish and evolve with major industry changes.