BERT MAES

The Future of CNC Manufacturing Education – CNC Manufacturing, Education Reform & Change Management News.

Posts Tagged ‘cars’

Forecast + List: The Most Durable Jobs of the Future

Posted by Bert Maes on August 3, 2010


We do expect continued growth in manufacturing of a fairly modest 5% or so this year and next year — which is stronger than the overall economy. I guess there are a couple of things driving that: One is exports have done well and we expect to continue to see growth in exports. Second, there is some recovery in investment in capital goods. It’s mostly metals inventory rebuilding and replenishing factories for equipment that has gone beyond its useful life. It’s not really adding to productive capacity; it is productivity improvement and simply replacement. Investment in equipment and software is growing, but still far below 2007/2008 levels. The only way to get faster growth in manufacturing is to bump up the export share.

I BELIEVE THIS SHOWS THAT THE MOST DURABLE JOBS OF THE FUTURE INCLUDE:

Energy-Efficient Automobiles
Computer Software Engineer jobs
Electrical Engineer jobs
Engineering Technician jobs
Welder jobs
Metal Fabricator jobs
Computer-Controlled Machine Operator jobs
Production Worker jobs
Operations Manager jobs

Building Retrofitting
Electrician jobs
Heating/Air Conditioning Installer jobs
Carpenter jobs
Construction Equipment Operator jobs
Roofer jobs
Insulation Installer jobs
Truck Driver jobs
Construction Manager jobs
Building Inspector jobs

Mass Transit
Civil Engineer jobs
Railroad jobs
Electrician jobs
Welder jobs
Metal Fabricator jobs
Production Worker jobs
Bus Driver jobs
Transportation Supervisor jobs
Dispatcher jobs


Wind Power
Environmental Engineer jobs
Iron and Steel Worker jobs
Millwright jobs
Sheet Metal Worker jobs
Electrical Assembler jobs
Construction Equipment Operator jobs
Truck Driver jobs
Production Manager jobs
Production Supervisor jobs


Solar Power
Electrical Engineer jobs
Electrician jobs
Machinery Mechanic jobs
Welder jobs
Metal Fabricator jobs
Electrical Assembler jobs
Construction Equipment Operator jobs
Installation Technician jobs
Laborer jobs
Construction Manager jobs

Of course this all depends on
(1)
increased confidence of companies and consumers to invest,
(2)
healthier demand from exports markets,
(3)
streamlined permitting processes to start up exports,
(4)
a permanent favorable government business tax & fiscal policy in R&D, new technology, product development, increased efficiency etc,
(5)
easier access to low cost credit finance conditions,
and (6)
heavy & smart investments in technology-based education and export training.

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Only the manufacturers with highly skilled machinists can survive: an example

Posted by Bert Maes on February 17, 2010


Detroit-area auto suppliers are differentiating and rolling in new business. At least 100 auto suppliers already have secured contracts in other industries and that at least 250 have bid for work.

The machine tool and parts company W Industries, once an exclusive supplier to the auto industry, is now:

  • Making heavy steel parts for the frames, bodies and gun mounts of Humvees and Stryker combat vehicles destined for Afghanistan and Iraq. (see CHART expected growth in defense)
  • Testing the Orion space module by simulating the violent vibrations of liftoff. The NASA Orion space program aims to send human explorers to the moon by 2020 and then to Mars and beyond. (see CHART expected growth in aerospace)
  • Finishing a steel mold that will be used to make 70-foot-long roof sections of Airbus A350 passenger jets.

Race-car engine developer McLaren Performance Technologies is now making components for thousands of SunCatcher solar dishes, and is helping to design and build the motorized units that will convert concentrated sunlight into electricity. (See CHART expected growth in energy & resources)

Dowding Industries, a tool-and-die shop for Oldsmobile in 1965, later expanded into metal auto parts, tractor and rail car parts. In 2006, the company started to develop better-performing tools for plane makers and wind turbine components, in one-fifth the time of current methods. The carbon-composite blades will be 30 percent lighter than fiberglass blades and last 20 years or longer. (See article: the challenges of manufacturing wind turbines). Dowding sees opportunities to use similar technologies for bridges, expressways and ships.

Upcoming products in Michigan include remotely piloted military aircraft, lithium-ion batteries (Johnson Controls), the next-generation wind turbines (General Electric), a Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier engineering center, solar panels and battery systems for utilities.

What makes this shift possible?

The standard of manufacturing in the automotive industry is extraordinarily high in Detroit, and that is the only place you can find such a concentration of skills, for R&D, pilot projects and early-stage production.

The main allure of the Detroit area is its ability to quickly turn designs and prototypes into real workable products, that are more efficient, less expensive and easier to mass-produce.

The region is the country’s premier precision manufacturing base, with tens of thousands of highly skilled, underemployed mechanical engineers, machinists and factory managers. “We have the best manufacturing resources on the planet here in Michigan,” says Chris Long, the founder and chief executive of Global Wind Systems. “We just need to get aligned.”

A BIG question is whether the new work will sustain Detroit’s manufacturing ecosystem if auto assembly keeps migrating elsewhere. As suppliers close, more managers and engineers could move away.

To illustrate how difficult that manufacturing talent would be to replace, Bud Kimmel, vice president for business development at W Industries, points out to 30-year-old machining whiz Jason Sobieck.

Jason is like an artist,” Mr. Kimmel says. “We built our whole program around him. Jason began work at 17 at a small Detroit welding shop. He then worked for tooling companies, where he learned to program automated systems and manage projects. “These skills really aren’t taught in school,” Mr. Sobieck says, “This is a trade you learn on the shop floor.”

That’s one reason that W Industries wants to snap up as many good machinists and engineers as it can afford.

If we don’t re-engage the automotive workers soon in major programs,” Mr. Kimmel says, “this set of skills will be lost.”

Source: Detroit Auto-Parts Suppliers Branch Out to Other Industries – NYTimes.com

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Is struggle to find highly skilled workers most pressing issue facing manufacturing?

Posted by Bert Maes on February 1, 2010


A retake from the article “Thought Leader — Help Wanted” by Josh Cable:

With skilled job openings going unfilled, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ Mark Tomlinson sees workforce development as a top priority for manufacturers.

The May 2009 survey — “People and Profitability: A Time for Change,” conducted by Deloitte, Oracle and the Manufacturing Institute — found that of 779 responding companies, 51% reported moderate to serious shortages of skilled production workers today, while 36% reported similar shortages of engineers and scientists.

As the United States slowly emerges from the depths of a recession, Mark Tomlinson, executive director and general manager of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), sees the struggle to find highly skilled workers as perhaps the most pressing issue facing manufacturers.

“The [SME] believes that in the next three to five years this will be the single biggest topic we’ll be discussing,” Tomlinson tells IndustryWeek. “Once we recover, the biggest challenge won’t be the fact that we have an unemployed workforce. It’ll be the fact that we can’t fill the job needs that are available.”

Tomlinson — who has said that the wealth-creating “twin powers of innovation and manufacturing” are the keys to returning “the U.S. economy to its former glory” — points to aerospace/defense and life sciences/medical devices as two of the brightest hopes for U.S. manufacturing in the future. However, according to the Deloitte survey, a whopping 63% of companies in each of those sectors reported moderate to serious job shortages.

The crux of the issue: The recession has spawned legions of unemployed people who “need to be retrained and redeveloped so that they can become a higher-skilled workforce to support the needs of those innovative and creative companies” that will drive the economic recovery, Tomlinson explains.

“Manufacturers are looking for employees who are the opposite of the stereotypical factory worker doing repetitive, assembly-line work,” Tomlinson says. “They are in need of 21st century workers with specialized technical training such as machinists, operators and technicians.”

Tomlinson asserts that manufacturers need to evaluate the skills of their current workers, look ahead to products and technology that are on the horizon, and help workers develop the necessary skills to “transition from one sector to another as the economy continues to shift from one industrial sector to another.”

“[Companies] need to think about agility versus longevity,” Tomlinson says.

Tomlinson believes that manufacturers need to have “a sense of urgency in regards to retraining the workforce and making it easy for workers to go out and get that training.” Professional associations such as SME can help manufacturers identify their workforce knowledge gaps and facilitate the necessary training.

However, Tomlinson adds that building a more agile, technically skilled workforce also might require manufacturers to try some “nontraditional” approaches to employee development. For example, Tomlinson suggests collaborating with other nearby manufacturers to tackle the challenge from a regional perspective.

Mark Tomlinson, Society of Manufacturing Engineers

“When things are busy, there tends to be this self-serving approach of ‘I don’t want to share with anybody because I need all my workers for this,'” Tomlinson explains. “But through collaboration, you can jointly understand what’s needed for the region.”

Another nontraditional approach to workforce development, Tomlinson explains, is using certification as a criterion for employment. “This gives you a worker who, in most cases, can transition to many different manufacturing sectors.”

Last year, SME and the Manufacturing Institute (the research and education arm of the National Association of Manufacturers) announced that they are partnering to create a new skills certification system “with the potential to help millions of U.S. workers succeed in high-quality, middle-class jobs,” according to SME. The system is designed to provide skills assessments, standardized curriculum requirements and portable credentials that validate the attainment of critical competencies required by industry.

The onus for workforce development doesn’t just fall on manufacturers, Tomlinson adds. State and local governments need to play a more active role in making job training accessible and affordable to workers, he says.

“The community colleges are promoting that they have educational training available, but you don’t hear enough about, ‘Well, did you realize that you could get that [training] for free through a tax credit, a government grant or on a loan basis where you can pay it back after you get a job?'” he says. “There needs to be a more concerted effort to make it easy for the worker to get that training.”

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Robotics draws students to math, science, teamwork

Posted by Bert Maes on November 5, 2009


Kids don’t like maths.

I talked about that in a previous post. I said that we’ll need better marketing, better teaching and better training equipment.

NASA Robot

NASA Robot

A BEST PRACTICE of this vision is ROBOTS in the classroom:

Teaching in robotics is an excellent way to engage students in science and math in a hands-on way.

It’s so empowering to children to build something and program it to do something, and it does it. It’s better than any video game.” (Karlicia Berry, teacher Ponderosa Elementary School in Post Falls)

Kids get engaged and turned on while learning to build and write algorithms and program robots, i.e. while applying serious engineering.

And, believe it or not, Spokesman.com reports that this approach leads to careers in engineering and technology.

The students participating in the robotics project were nearly twice as likely to major in science or engineering and more than twice as likely as students in a comparison group to expect a career in science or technology.

More: Why “Generation Y” Loves Robots

More: Creating a Buzz: Robot Camp

 

Robotics draws students to math, science, teamwork
Teaching in robotics is an excellent way to engage students in science and math in a hands-on way

It’s so empowering to children to build something and program it to do something, and it does it. It’s better than any video game.”

Kids get engaged and turned on while learning to build and write algorithms and program robots, while applying serious engineering.

And, believe it or not, this approach leads to careers in engineering and technology. The students participating in the robotics project were nearly twice as likely to major in science or engineering and more than twice as likely as students in a comparison group to expect a career in science or technology.

https://bertmaes.wordpress.com/2009/07/31/best-practices-generation-y-and-robots/

https://bertmaes.wordpress.com/2009/07/06/best-practices-creating-a-buzz/

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[Portrait] Women in Manufacturing – Klara Kaczkowska

Posted by Bert Maes on November 4, 2009


Women can make a real difference in manufacturing. Today, there is nothing more relevant for our society than making things, creating technology, with a female eye for detail.

Klara KaczkowskaFor the past 2 years, Klara Kaczkowska has worked as a CNC machine tool engineer with Abplanalp Consulting: A highly successful Haas Factory Outlet (HFO) in Warszawa, Poland.  From an early age Klara was always inquisitive about how things were put together, so it didn’t surprise her friends and family when she chose to study for a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, and then a career in what is still a relatively male dominated industry.

“I got a lot of admiration from my family and friends for choosing to follow a career path that is a little unusual for a woman,” she explains. “For me, it felt great to know I was doing something I loved, but that was also a little bit different from the norm.” As a child, Klara enjoyed helping her father, who was a car mechanic. “When we were working in his garage I became used to technical terminology which gave me such a great grounding for my later studies.”
In addition to her current work commitments at HFO Abplanalp, Klara has also found time to continue with her education and in July of this year she finished her second phase of studies: A Masters degree in Management and Production Engineering.

Klara’s role at the HFO is split between two areas: She works part of her week as contract manager, where she uses her extensive professional knowledge to advise on technical documentation for Haas machines; the other half of her week she works as a technical assistant.

“I definitely prefer the time I spend as a technical assistant”, she says. “I have been lucky that this part of my role has always linked well to my educational back ground.  This is my first permanent job and my experience with Abplanalp over the last 2 years has done so much to help me acquire more practical knowledge of CNC machine processing.  This is what I’m truly interested in.”

Klara has also been involved with the development of Haas Technical Education Centres (HTECs) in Poland.

“The HTEC program provides a good CNC machine tool education for students and it’s great to be part of creating a friendly environment to encourage students to practice their skills. Among other things, I’m involved with helping to raise the awareness that the equipment needs to be updated on a regular basis to ensure that the students are continuing to train on current models; I firmly believe that this up-to-date knowledge is essential grounding for their futures as precision engineers.

Klara works hard to encourage others like her to overcome the perception that the machine tool industry is stereotypically for men, and to pursue a rewarding and exciting career in the sector.

“I’m very proud of my achievements as an engineer,” she says, “and I’m eager to progress even further with my professional development. Whenever I get the chance I encourage other women to take up the challenge, as I did.  It is such a great industry to be in and offers many opportunities for both men and women alike.”

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Learn/teach about robots with 3D vision

Posted by Bert Maes on September 28, 2009


In the manufacturing industry of the future, sophisticated automation and robots will play the key roles.

Now several companies are creating robots with a 3D vision guidance system.

dyson_washing_machine

Example: engineering and placing the tub of a washing machine.

Robots with 3D vision can pick up parts of several kinds of sizes and orientations, find the exact position where the parts should be and rotate them to match the location of the studs.

Example: warehousing

Robots with 3D imaging can place parts into racks, pick parts from leaning stacks, and accurately locate large, hard-to-fixture parts.

iRCalibrationExample: car manufacturing

A laser-based 3D guidance system shows the robot exactly where to install the rear window on a vehicle, where to dispense an adhesive or where to make a weld.

(more on http://www.assemblymag.com/)

It must be pretty cool to design and engineer such super robots, isn’t it?

Kids: get acquainted with advanced CNC machining to make your creative dreams come true…


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Manufacturing Education – How To Fight Back

Posted by Bert Maes on September 14, 2009


Matt Holzmann posted a very interesting read, titled: North American Manufacturing – How To Fight Back Against the Odds.

Amongst others, he clearly states that “fewer and fewer of our leaders have a real grasp of the process of making things”

But “crisis generates opportunity, there is a window open”, Matt adds. “Der Spiegel reported that it is manufacturing which is leading Germany out of the recession. Germany now leads the world in making the equipment and materials for many green technologies.”

Matt advises: “Technology equipment in many companies is 20-30 years old. We must retool for the new technology. Our infrastructure must be upgraded, especially if we are to see a transition to electric cars.

CareerlineThe same is so true for all schools offering metal shaping education!

>> Due to a lack of investments and a lack of “focus on building long term value” and benefits, the majority of the technical education establishments in Europe completely miss key technologies… to equip young talented creators with the skills they need to become leaders in reinvention of products, for “a world demanding green technology solutions“.

School leaders actually have the opportunity to make a real difference “for our future as individuals, as families, as industries, and as nations” by focusing on the right industry/projects/products.

CNC manufacturing for green technology engineering must become a central subject at each technical school…

Linked post: “what can make the difference between success and failure of a school?

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[Video 2] You’d like to produce your own cars?

Posted by Bert Maes on August 17, 2009


[Video 1: machining the 1923 GT Roadster logo]

Video 2: Modern manufacturing ~ Reverse Engineering

After hand fabricating a transmission tunnel for the 1923 T-bucket, it was reverse engineered to produce one with an improved shape and to be able to mass produce small quantities.



The model was scanned using a handheld scanner reading 26,000 points per second. The point cloud was used to develop a CAD solid model to be used as the math model for CNC machining the styrofoam pattern. The machined pattern was used to layup the fiberglass mold.

Thanks to:
Gary A. Walters
Professor Applied Technology Advanced Processes
Macomb Community College
Warren, Michigan, USA

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[List] Green Jobs: Growing Opportunities in Manufacturing

Posted by Bert Maes on July 24, 2009


green-jobs-bigLast week, Dan Sunia (Department Chair Industrial Technology at Petaluma High School in California) said to me:


Before kids choose their school or field of education, they first have to check the kind of jobs that are available”.

And then I find this at blog.simplyhired.com: a detailed list with descriptions of several green jobs with significant expected growth –

THE JOBS OF THE FUTURE


Building Retrofitting
Electrician jobs
Heating/Air Conditioning Installer jobs
Carpenter jobs
Construction Equipment Operator jobs
Roofer jobs
Insulation Installer jobs
Truck Driver jobs
Construction Manager jobs
Building Inspector jobs

Mass Transit

Civil Engineer jobs
Railroad jobs
Electrician jobs
Welder jobs
Metal Fabricator jobs
Production Worker jobs
Bus Driver jobs
Transportation Supervisor jobs
Dispatcher jobs

Energy-Efficient Automobiles
Computer Software Engineer jobs
Electrical Engineer jobs
Engineering Technician jobs
Welder jobs
Metal Fabricator jobs
Computer-Controlled Machine Operator jobs
Production Worker jobs
Operations Manager jobs


Wind Power
Environmental Engineer jobs
Iron and Steel Worker jobs
Millwright jobs
Sheet Metal Worker jobs
Electrical Assembler jobs
Construction Equipment Operator jobs
Truck Driver jobs
Production Manager jobs
Production Supervisor jobs


Solar Power
Electrical Engineer jobs
Electrician jobs
Machinery Mechanic jobs
Welder jobs
Metal Fabricator jobs
Electrical Assembler jobs
Construction Equipment Operator jobs
Installation Technician jobs
Laborer jobs
Construction Manager jobs

Cellulosic Biofuels

Chemical Engineer jobs
Chemist jobs
Chemical Technician jobs
Machine Operator jobs
Agricultural Worker jobs
Truck Driver jobs
Agricultural Inspector jobs


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Last week, Dan Sunia (Instructor and department chair Industrial Technology at the Petaluma High School [great video on that website!] in California) said to me:

Before you choose your school or field of education, first check the kind of jobs that are available”.

And then I find this at blog.simplyhired.com:

Five areas with significant expected job growth are Building Retrofitting, Mass Transit, Energy-Efficient Automobiles, Wind Power, Solar Power and Cellulosic Biofuels.”

>> The blog offers a detailed list with descriptions of several green jobs of the future:

Building Retrofitting
Electrician jobs
Heating/Air Conditioning Installer jobs
Carpenter jobs
Construction Equipment Operator jobs
Roofer jobs
Insulation Installer jobs
Truck Driver jobs
Construction Manger jobs
Building Inspector jobs

Mass Transit

Civil Engineer jobs
Railroad jobs
Electrician jobs
Welder jobs
Metal Fabricator jobs
Production Worker jobs
Bus Driver jobs
Transportation Supervisor jobs
Dispatcher jobs

Energy-Efficient Automobiles
Computer Software Engineer jobs
Electrical Engineer jobs
Engineering Technician jobs
Welder jobs
Metal Fabricator jobs
Computer-Controlled Machine Operator jobs
Production Worker jobs
Operations Manager jobs

Wind Power
Environmental Engineer jobs
Iron and Steel Worker jobs
Millwright jobs
Sheet Metal Worker jobs
Electrical Assembler jobs
Construction Equipment Operator jobs
Truck Driver jobs
Production Manger jobs
Production Supervisor jobs

Solar Power
Electrical Engineer jobs
Electrician jobs
Machinery Mechanic jobs
Welder jobs
Metal Fabricator jobs
Electrical Assembler jobs
Construction Equipment Operator jobs
Installation Technician jobs
Laborer jobs
Construction Manager jobs

Cellulosic Biofuels

Chemical Engineer jobs
Chemist jobs
Chemical Technician jobs
Machine Operator jobs
Agricultural Worker jobs
Truck Driver jobs
Agricultural Inspector jobs

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Inside the NASCAR Stewart-Haas Racing Job Shop [Pictures]

Posted by Bert Maes on July 22, 2009


The world of manufacturing – the world of creators and inventors – is too often seen as dirty, dark, dangerous and dingy.

Did you know that the best CNC shops out there have a distinct and attractive image, with clean, well-lit and enjoyable working environments?

A great example I’ve seen is Stewart-Haas Racing which is manufacturing and preparing their cars for the NASCAR competition:

Pictures © Dan O’Brien, Fullerton College

A nice, cool, well-organized and fun place to work, don’t you think?

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A great experience: driving the cool “Shop Rat Electric Wheelie Car”

Posted by Bert Maes on July 19, 2009


I did it in Greensboro, USA and I can assure you: it’s fast and fun!

and thanks to the Shop Rat Education Program: it’s fabricated by kids!

THAT is what I call:

A great example of contemporary, hands-on and fun manufacturing education!

Are there more examples out there?

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Part 3: Green Technology ~ Solar Power and CNC

Posted by Bert Maes on July 17, 2009


Part 1: Wind Turbines and CNC

Part 2: Nano-engineering and CNC

Part 3: Green Technology ~ Solar Power and CNC

Production of solar panels… It’s pretty intriguing if you ask me.

When you look at this video, ask yourself

  • How are the major components of these production machines made?

  • And the instruments that are used, such as the computers, robots, volt meters, soldering equipment, and simple screws?



It’s hi-tech CNC manufacturing.

Students following CNC education sometimes even build their own solar carRead more…

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