As COVID-19 created an entirely new future for manufacturers, strategically embracing technology has enabled them to thrive despite the challenges.
IndustryWeek – Keeping manufacturing operations on track to consistently crank out quality parts has never been an easy task. And, in many ways, it continues to increase in complexity as tolerances tighten and customer expectations intensify.
At the same time, the skills gap has steadily grown. With baby boomers nearing retirement, it has become clear manufacturing has lost its appeal. The writing is on the wall. Dramatic change is necessary to make manufacturing exciting again. The future is coming–and fast.
Embracing a New Reality
Like it has for many manufacturers, the pandemic has intensified the impact of the labor shortage for Rockford, Illinois-based manufacturer PBC Linear. “The biggest problem was finding new people and getting them up to speed fast enough and then keeping them,” says Beau Wileman, a design engineer tasked with managing the factory of the future initiative at PBC Linear. “It’s inefficient and expensive to have a manager step away from whatever he was doing and train them.”