Manufacturing Strategy, Technology
February 3, 2017
Not surprisingly, the number one concern expressed was the difficulty in finding and retaining capable employees. To address the problem, 70% have put in place in-house training and development programs, 36% set up apprenticeships and 52% instituted profit-sharing programs.
Information technology is also on their minds, with 61% of shops upgrading their IT structures and 46% adopting enterprise management software (ERP, MRP) systems. They’re also working to streamline processes, reorganize shop floors and set up more cells to reduce downtime. Many are using 3-D modeling off the factory floor to simplify jobs and reduce waste, then streaming the files to the work cells.
In terms of manufacturing technologies, automation is top-of-mind, with quick change tooling and CNC tool presetting most mentioned, followed by robotics and unattended operation.
CNC investment centers on multitasking and 5-axis machines, although there is concern about the cost of keeping up with machine tool advances and finding personnel capable of operating more sophisticated equipment.
You can view a summary of the survey results and download the complete report.
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