Category Archives: Manufacturing

Celebrating Manufacturing on MFG 2013 and Beyond

Everyone at Chicago Nut & Bolt looked forward to this year’s annual National Manufacturing Day, which was held across the country on October 4th. Manufacturing Day is a celebration of all that is great and transformative about American manufacturing. It is also a day to dissuade people of the notion that the importance of “Made in the USA” is outdated. Leaders from a wide variety of industries sponsored events throughout the nation. Big names like Shell, Kelly Services, and IHS GlobalSpec joined with thousands of smaller manufacturers like Chicago Nut & Bolt to highlight what is making manufacturing in the U.S. strong again.

Overall, we have seen increased activity when it comes to manufacturing recently. Due to this manufacturing comeback, we are excited to see what lies in the future of manufacturing. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most recent numbers:

  • In 2012, manufactures contributed $1.87 trillion to the economy, according to this report.
  • August’s Manufacturing ISM Report on Business shows that manufacturing expanded for the third consecutive month, hitting its highest level of the year and its strongest since June 2011. In addition, the overall economy grew for the 51st consecutive month.
  • U.S. manufactures have added 520,000 jobs since January of 2010, as seen in this article.

In keeping with the concept of a renaissance in manufacturing, MFG Day’s goal was to focus on the role of youth and technology. There is little question that if we have any hope to continue growing the sector, we must get more young people, with the proper technical skills interested in manufacturing. That’s why it is necessary for all companies in the industry to showcase the importance of manufacturing and educate others on the skills and opportunities within the manufacturing sector. For us here at Chicago Nut & Bolt, every day is a celebration of manufacturing; we hope you join us!

Automation and Manufacturing: A Partnership in Innovation

It’s no secret that American manufacturing is coming back. Gone are the days when companies are expected to send their business overseas, where labor is cheaper and dependence on foreign manufacturing is the norm. Small manufacturers and Fortune 500 companies alike are returning to our shores, realizing the value of manufacturing independence and true American quality.

One of the greatest reasons behind this reshoring is the technology and innovation that’s showcasing this country’s leadership in the industry. And one of the best examples of this is automation. Almost every industry is now realizing the value of automation and the ways in which it can help them.

In fact, according to a recent article in The Economist on automation: “If people on the factory floor or in workshops are provided with easy-to-use robots they can become more productive…Bring together these new robots with innovative manufacturing technologies, and you could get a manufacturing renaissance.”

Today’s automation involves sophisticated robots that can take over the menial tasks once done by entry-level workers, saving time and money while creating roles for more skilled employees. They are advanced machines that, according to that same article, “fetch and carry parts, hold things, pick up tools, sort items, clean up and make themselves useful in myriad other ways.” They are helping to create efficient workplaces that manufacture higher quality goods in a shorter amount of time.Automation

At the same time, these robots need to be programmed and maintained, creating new career opportunities for Americans. Rather than replacing workers, as some had feared, they are creating the need for more—albeit higher skilled—employees. Furthermore, the efficiency, quality, and cost savings from automation are helping American manufacturers compete with overseas labor rates, continuing manufacturing’s reshoring.

American manufacturing has always stood for advanced technology and innovation, and automation is making this as true now as ever.