Teaching Engineers About Fabricating
Editor’s Note: The October 2015 edition of “Tube Talk”
e-newsletter referenced a blog entry on thefabricator.com (“The gap between exact and real world,”
www.thefabricator.com/blog/the-gap-between-exact-and-real-world). In the online editorial, Editor-in-Chief Dan Davis called out engineers that spend
all of their time in the 3-D modeling world, but none
on the shop floor. “Fabricators that can give the next
generation of engineers an idea as to how metal
parts are made are doing everyone in manufacturing
a favor,” he wrote. The blog entry sparked the following responses.
We see this virtually every day. Often engineers
design a product solely by the book and calculations, and they take little input from the actual
fabricators on what materials are actually readily
available in the marketplace. Often materials that
are special need to be mill-run, and this is not a viable solution for small-volume jobs or prototypes.
We find working with many large OEMs in the construction industry that oftentimes if they would use
an industry-standard product instead of their company’s special product, the overall cost of the items
would be significantly reduced.
We have worked diligently to bridge the gap between engineering and production with most of
our customers. We encourage them to involve us in
the design stage of their new projects. When they
engage us and other suppliers, the end result is a
product that meets their design criteria and is cost-effective with materials that are readily available.
While making this happen is not easy, the end result is beneficial for both customer and the supplier.
Letting the computer specify hole dimensions that
are not compatible to existing off-the-shelf drill bits
or punches is just one example that occurs in our
Alternate Energy Systems Inc.
Peachtree City, Ga.
The Importance of MFG Day
Editor’s Note: Manufacturing Day was held on Oct. 2,
and more than 2,500 companies and institutions participated. The goal was to raise awareness of the importance of manufacturing to the U.S. economy and
to show young people that a manufacturing career
can be exciting and fulfilling. In this LinkedIn post,
“Why MFG Day Matters,” Jennifer McNelly, executive
director, The Manufacturing Institute, explains how
to reach those young people.
There is such a wealth of information available
to kids today; what is it that most influences the future direction and career choices of high school students? There are guidance counselors, whose job
description is to advise students. There are parents,
whose advice teenagers ignore more often than not.
And there are peers, which in the age of social media, many believe have the most influence over students. But as the parent of any teenager can attest,
they are their own person.
In a new report, “Attracting the Next Generation
Workforce”, published by The Manufacturing Insti-
tute, SkillsUSA, and the Educational Research Cen-
ter of America, we see the importance of activities
like Manufacturing Day.
A large majority of high school students ( 64 per-
cent) report that the greatest influence on their
future careers is their own experiences and inter-
ests. This is followed by their father and mother
( 22 percent and 19 percent, respectively) and their
teachers ( 11 percent). Interestingly, some of the
least important influences were places where they
seemingly spend the most time, social and other
media ( 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively). And
finally, in a signal that perhaps college and career
counseling services need to be rethought, guidance
counselors are the least important influence on a
student’s career choice ( 3 percent).
Knowing that personal experience plays such
a big role in the career decisions of the next generation, The Manufacturing Institute is a proud co-producer of national Manufacturing Day and runs a
student engagement program called “Dream It. Do
It.” The program works to change the perception of
the industry and inspire next-generation workers
to pursue manufacturing careers by providing real-world manufacturing experiences.
So the challenge is clear to our nation’s manufacturers—engage. Offer students greater opportunities to experience manufacturing and develop a
familiarity with the industry.
The Manufacturing Institute
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