Explore the transformative journey of American manufacturing in our exclusive review of the video by Tony Demakis, Max Preston, Caitlin DeMasellis, and Christina Fuges. Uncover the innovative strategies shaping the future of manufacturing, highlighted by the power of collaboration and cutting-edge technology.
Discover the groundbreaking insights that promise to redefine the landscape of American manufacturing. Read on to gain a comprehensive understanding of the strategies that will shape the future of this industry.
“The Future of Manufacturing in America” video, presented by Tony Demakis, Max Preston, Caitlin DeMasellis, and Christina Fuges, delves into the dynamic landscape of American manufacturing. The discussion encompasses key themes such as industrial innovation, technological advancements, collaborative strategies, and the transformative impact of Industry 4.0. The video underscores the importance of sustainable practices, automation, and workforce development in ensuring global competitiveness and economic growth.
This insightful video provides a compelling overview of the future trajectory of manufacturing in America. The diverse perspectives shared by the presenters offer a well-rounded understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. The emphasis on innovation, collaboration, and sustainability aligns with the industry’s evolving needs. Overall, a must-watch for industry enthusiasts and professionals seeking a comprehensive glimpse into the exciting future of American manufacturing.
Industrial Innovation, Technological Advancements, Supply Chain Optimization, Collaborative Strategies, Sustainable Manufacturing, Automation and Robotics, Industry 4.0, Economic Impact, Workforce Development, Global Competitiveness
In this Manufacturing Alliance filmed podcast hosted by executive Tony Demakis, seasoned leaders and younger managers from the mold-making industry discuss how manufacturers can recruit, train and retain a new generation of workers. As younger employees push to use forms of technology and off-site work that proved their value during the pandemic, traditionalists still distrust whether remote work can be sufficiently productive. However, the panelists report that manufacturers are changing their corporate culture to reach younger workers. Some support remote or hybrid work while others are developing mentorship and training programs.
- As exemplified in the Mold Making industry, as older manufacturing workers retire, companies need to recruit and train a new generation of labor.
- Younger employees seek work-life balance and emotional openness on the job, even in traditional manufacturing environments.
As exemplified in the Mold Making industry, as older manufacturing workers retire, companies must recruit and train a new generation of labor.
In this video of the Manufacturing Alliance’s “Chat and Chow” podcast, Tony Demakis, president of Illinois-based Alliance Specialties and Laser Sales, hosts a discussion with Caitlin DeMasellis of Ideal Machinery, Max Preston of Smart Attend and Christina Fuges, editor of MoldMaking Technology magazine.
With workers retiring and insufficient formal manufacturing training available for new, younger employees, the mold-making industry must develop in-house training and mentorship programs, even if these initiatives are expensive and time-consuming undertaking. Other manufacturers find themselves in a similar dilemma.
“Mentorship is huge, right? As well as allowing younger employees…to have the opportunity to maybe step outside whether it’s the location that they’re working at or outside of their comfort zone.” (Max Preston)
Max Preston, the general manager of Smart Attend, a production data and solutions company, is an under-30 manufacturing executive. He believes the manufacturing industry is suffering “a missing link of about 20 years” of technical knowledge. His youthful peers sought degrees in business and the law, not manufacturing. Preston worries that the next generation of factory leaders will be eager to enter management without the necessary hands-on experience or will leave manufacturing due to frustration with most companies’ “very old school approach.”
Caitlin DeMasellis’s father founded Michigan’s Ideal Machinery, which buys and sells plastics and metals, and she warns that younger-generation workers often perceive manufacturers as polluters. She feels that people blame manufacturers for what consumers throw away, and that different parties’ interests may collide. For example, she points out that customers who want products made of recycled material can’t demand “pure white” or “pure black” molds of single-use purity – a standard which is necessary only in health care settings.
“In North America…we went through…a long time when we decimated any kind of education for manufacturing. So, there is a real gap in terms of even if people want to come into this world, where are they getting educated?” (Christina Fuges)
As the editor of an industry magazine, Christina Fuges believes that one effect of the pandemic was to shine a light on manufacturing’s positive contributions in molding and 3D printing. She hopes this attention enabled younger workers to observe how manufacturing makes the “world better.” She notes that COVID also pushed companies to adopt new automated training methods and new technology.
Younger employees seek work-life balance and emotional openness on the job, even in traditional manufacturing environments.
While multiple generations of workers often have more similarities than differences, it takes patience and open communication to reconcile conflicting views. Mentorship programs, such as the Plastics Industry Associations Future Leaders in Plastics program (FLIP), can help bridge the cultural differences between seasoned and new workers.
Balancing work and personal life is another issue. About 20% to 30% of Max Preston’s staff members now work remotely, while staying in touch by using Slack frequently. The firm’s goal is to get the work done, regardless of where it gets done, however his company had to persuade “seasoned workers” to trust people to work from home.
The panelists found that the pandemic brought about another workplace change: companies had to make sure their employees felt comfortable talking to corporate leaders about their emotions, whether they were discussing mental health issues or adherence to COVID protocols.
“I think the biggest takeaway and advice is…you have to treat the employees [as a] whole person.” (Max Preston)
As manufacturing moves well beyond the pandemic and into the future, the industry needs to recruit young workers, train them on-site and change its traditionally brusque communication style. Part of that, the panelists agreed from their varying perspectives, is learning to “listen to each other.”
About the Speakers
This “Chat and Chow” Manufacturing Alliance podcast (@TheMFGAlliance) was hosted by Alliance Specialties Tony Demakis with guests Caitlin DeMasellis of Ideal Machinery, Max Preston of Smart Attend and Christina Fuges, editor of Mold Making Technology magazine.