Surveying the Moden Manufacturing Landscape

An article written by ResourceMFG reporter, published in ResourceMFG on March 24, 2014 [Opens in New Window]

Manufacturing has gone through many different changes in recent years, and many of the jobs that used to be a staple of the industry have morphed into something new in modern times. The process had some difficulties along the way, but as America’s industry grows again at a rapid pace and more companies look to American workers once more to create their products, it’s clear that those who have adapted and taken on the skills for the latest developments have a promising future.

Focusing on new areas
Much of the changes have enabled even greater manufacturing safety, according to the Northwest Indiana Times. The source spoke to Chenn Zhou, the director of the Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation at Purdue University. The lab focuses a great deal of its work on helping to create solutions that will allow for greater safety for all manufacturing workers, and it has made a good deal of progress in the field, improving designs for areas such as blast furnaces.

All of this work has led to greater efficiency, and needs in different areas, for the manufacturing industry.

“For manufacturing, there’s direct savings by troubleshooting, cost avoidance by not having to buy new equipment and avoiding downtime,” Zhou said, according to the source. “We also offer training that provides more skill for operators, results in more effective communication and saves money over time.”

The cutting edge
Of course, there are also developing industries that have created manufacturing jobs that were rarely considered – especially in such high volumes – as recently as a decade or two ago. Environmental concerns have led to a boom in the field of green energy research, and that is one area that those who spoke to the Times were excited about.

Charles Barnhart, a post-doctorate researcher at Stanford University, recently told Scientific American that the industry is approaching an exciting new frontier thanks to better manufacturing advances in creating solar and photovoltaic solutions.

“What we’re saying is that theoretically, it is now theoretically possible to have this perfect world that’s just based on wind and solar,” he said.

Those who spoke to the Times, as well, felt that the future of manufacturing held a great deal of green energy work in it. With so many new technologies coming out all the time, there is still much to do for manufacturing workers.