The Skills Gap in the Manufacturing Industry and What We Can Do About It

Workforce

There is a serious skills gap crisis in the U.S. manufacturing industry, an industry which makes up nine percent of the U.S. workforce, making it one of the largest workforces in the country.  The manufacturing industry, like many other industries in our quickly-shifting, modern economy, requires skilled workers to fill critical positions, such as machine/equipment operators and automation supervisors.  Without these skilled workers, the manufacturing industry would undoubtedly be disrupted and overall production and revenue would take massive hits.  Despite the importance of skilled worker positions and the fairly high compensation offered, manufacturing companies are still finding themselves with a dearth of talent from which to hire some of their most important employees.  For years now, the industry has reported that the number one issue plaguing it is a lack of skilled workers.  There are almost three times as many skilled worker positions being posted than are being filled. Over the next decade, almost two million manufacturing jobs are predicted to go unfulfilled due to the skills gap crisis.

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Force Majeure Best Practices – Hurricane Florence Edition

hurricane

The threat presented by Hurricane Florence has forced government officials to order South Carolina residents to evacuate hurricane zones. Safety should always be the No. 1 priority for the millions of individuals and families affected by the storm. The mandatory evacuation and closure of many businesses and schools in the area has shut down a number of manufacturing facilities and distributors located in South Carolina.

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3D Printing Continues Making Inroads in Auto Industry

3D Printing

Additive manufacturing (aka 3D printing) has long been a growing part of the auto industry.   Companies started out using 3D printing for prototypes and small batch production.  As technology advanced, the role of 3D printing is rapidly increasing.  This week, several major players in the auto industry announced new developments for the role of 3D printing in the industry.  HP unveiled its “Metal Jet” 3D printers, which it describes as 50 times more productive, with lower operating and purchase costs than existing technology.  HP has already partnered with suppliers in the auto industry on the technology, and GKN Powder Metallurgy is already using the printers in its factories.

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Raw Material and Commodity Purchasing – Key Concerns for Manufacturers

labor and employment

On August 9, 2018, Original Equipment Suppliers Association (“OESA”) held its 2018 Automotive Commodities Event covering a variety of topics related to commodities purchasing, including strategies for price risk management, insights into future mixed material usage in the automotive industry, and legal strategies for navigating volatile commodity markets.  Highlights of the issues discussed during the event include:

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From Econobox to Land Yacht: Upsizing Electric Vehicles for Larger Margins

batteries

When the Toyota Prius was first introduced to the United States back in 2000 (and to Japan earlier in 1997), it set the stage for a distant future tsunami of hybrid models.  However, early hybrid models were aimed at meeting fleet fuel economy standards, and were often billed as “compliance cars,” requiring state or federal incentives and long-term ownership for buyers to recoup the higher cost of the electrified powertrain.  To make matters worse, these early hybrids were typically hatchbacks, such as the original or current Honda Insight which, until recently, were at the bottom end of U.S. consumer preferences, regardless of their global appeal.  The shift from hybrid powertrain to electric vehicles generally followed the same narrow approach, with Chevrolet’s Bolt and Nissan’s Leaf adopting the same hatchback configuration as the early hybrid entrants.

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