Weekly Update 05/31/2007

Weekly Update 05/31/2007

May 31, 2007

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Exact JobBOSS


WOW Project #102 - Exact JobBOSS Empowers General Metal Works
Issue: Sales are declining and competitors are cutting into our business.
Vision: Implement lean and invest in cutting-edge machines and technology to reposition the company.
Results: Sales volume doubled, finished goods inventory was reduced 800%, lead times and set up times were cut in half, achieved ISO certification

Training

Several machinery manufacturers have launched new training and technical centers in the past month to provide venues for the education of a skilled workforce. Finding and keeping skilled labor is an vital issue for machine shops, and the pool of workers who are knowledgeable and able to operate machines is shrinking. That is one reason that machine tool makers are investing in facilities in which they can train new workers and teach the current employees of machine shops how to use all of the features on the increasingly complex machinery that they are developing. Here are links to reports on the establishment of new technical and training facilities, and reports on workforce development issues.

Mori Seiki establishes Mori Seiki University

In an effort to develop the skilled machine tool tradesmen it needs as employees and, eventually, as it needs as customers, Mori Seiki ( www.moriseiki.com) has established Mori Seiki University, a new division of the company that is designed to function as a comprehensive educational resource. Dr. Masahiko Mori, president of Mori Seiki, dedicated a 9,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility May 14 near his company's U.S. headquarters in Rolling Meadows, Ill. Mori Seiki University will offer courses with a scientific approach to providing education on topics ranging from the nuances of newly developed machine technologies to theories on lean manufacturing.

Manufacturing equipment makers join forces in Thinc partnership
Charlotte, N.C. - Under the leadership of Okuma Corporation, 24 manufacturing companies have come together to put a very different spin on the development of a new numerical control and to establish a unique demonstration facility that is also designed to be a training center. The companies are calling themselves Thinc Partners, and their new enterprise opened May 4 in Charlotte, N.C. The partnership includes toolmakers Kennametal Inc. and Sandvik, robotics manufacturers Fanuc Robotics and ABB, metrology products makers Blum Lmt. Inc. and Hexagon Metrology, and a wide variety of software and machine tool accessory equipment producers. The complete list of the companies involved in the partnership is available on its Internet site, (www.partnersinthinc). .

Mazak Corporation Canada launches new headquarters, tech center and website
Mazak Corporation Canada launched a new Internet site (www.mazakcanada.ca) on May 1, in conjunction with the grand opening of its new, $4 million headquarters and technology center in Cambridge, Ontario, and the 20th anniversary of its introduction to Canada.

The Most Important Factors For Future Success In Business
Manufacturers identified the availability of highly skilled workers as the most pressing need to assure continued business success, according to a report from the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute. Having a high performance workforce surpassed new product innovations, low-cost producer status, increased customer service, export sales, outsourcing and supply chain integration as a factor for business success, according to the report. The report said there is a broadening gap between the availability of skilled workers and the requirements of modern manufacturers, and that the skill shortages are affecting manufacturers' ability to maintain production levels to meet customer demands. The U.S. Labor Department has projected that there will be 2.4 million jobs available for machinists, machine assemblers, operators and technicians between now and 2012.

Help Wanted: 35,000 machinists!2/
The first quarterly Charmilles/NTMA survey of job openings and starting wages for skilled production employees showed strong results in August/September 2005. Job openings, with an average starting wage of $16.34 per hour, equaled 4.7 percent of total shop employment. The online survey targeted the NTMA membership list and achieved a 25 percent response rate (300 responses/1,200 valid email addresses). This high level of job openings is consistent with the current strength in manufacturing indicated by the NTMA Business Conditions Survey and Customer Forecast Reports as well as private data from the Charmilles Machining Business Activity Index. It is also in line with indicators of recent improved financial stability of the industry as measured by the Charmilles/USBEF Machining Industry Financial Strength Index.

Finding and training tomorrow's machinists/
TThe popular media are full of gloom-and-doom reports of the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs to other countries and as a result of the recent recession. The manufacturing-sector job loss is estimated at 2.9 million since July 2000. However, a paradox exists within these statistics. Even though manufacturing in general has, and is, facing serious layoffs, there is a rapidly growing need for highly skilled, technically competent employees capable of exploiting new technologies and supporting increased product complexity. Most jobs that have been lost to countries with cheaper labor costs have been manual labor, such as assembly-line jobs. Those that remain and need to be filled are the more intellect and reasoning-based jobs.

Upcoming Webcast Series

The CNC Best Kept Secrets Series of educational webcasts from GE Fanuc and American Machinist is designed to educate manufacturers on the often overlooked ways to prevent downtime, enhance the speed of machine tools, and improve part quality. Click here for more information.


Practical Machinist Metalworking Forum

Unique Storage Idea?
Pros/Cons of using a shipping container as a storage building.. Feel free to share your little tricks that someone taught you or you came up with yourself.
Government Contract Work
Are government contracts/job worth pursuing?

How It's Done (with pictures)
Which tools to use for knurling

AMERICAN MACHINIST DIGITAL EDITION
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Click here to learn more about the digital edition.


Welding Webcast Series

Four hot topics you need to hear about.
  • ERP for Gases: On the Edge of Enough - July 18, 2007 @ 2:00 PM ET
  • Best Practices in Electrode Selection: Maximum Profit Starts With the Process - September 25, 2007 @ 2:00 PM ET
Click here to attend these free Webcasts.



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