Friday, December 21, 2012

The Top Manufacturing Themes of 2012


2012 has been a pivotal year for our country's manufacturing sector. A sector which is integral part of any sustained economic recovery. We’ve seen a renewed focus from media, legislators and the general public to sustain and assist the industry. Media outlets provide continuous coverage on many high profile questions like exporting, wage vs. skills gaps, access to capital and the pros and cons of tax incentives for the sector. This year, MEP with the help of many friends, held our first Annual Manufacturing Day on October 5th, to help increase visibility into the variety of skilled jobs and technology at work in today’s manufacturing facility. Here, from our perspective, were some of the most buzzed about and intriguing themes related to manufacturing in 2012:

  1.  Innovation – Innovation is the process used to generate opportunities for growth. Manufacturers are able to improve productivity and profitability when they use innovation to develop creative solutions. (Note: MMTC offers an Innovation Leadership Program, a step-by-step approach to learning how to create, communicate and commercialize new ideas and opportunities.)
  2. Re-Shoring  - Re-Shoring is the opposite of Off-Shoring, and one step removed form insourcing. Rather than sending a portion of a company’s business operations overseas, companies are shifting all or a portion of their business back to America. According to a recent survey conducted in April by Forbes contributor Vivek Wadhwa, "40% of companies indicated that they have won new manufacturing business this year that had been previously offshored." Manufacturers are seeing the benefits of conducting their operations right from home, and consumers are as well – resulting in the “Made in America” movement.
  3. Made in America – There is an increased awareness among consumers to purchase products that were made in America rather than products that were imported from other countries. Purchasing homemade goods supports business and job growth in America. If Americans purchased all of their holiday gifts right here, we would create 4.6 million jobs. For a holiday gift guide for Michigan-made products, visit the Buy Michigan Now Holiday Gift Guide and Grocery Guide. There is no need to search high and low for the perfect gifts - they are right here in our backyard!    
  4. Additive Manufacturing – In 2012, a $30 million grant was created to transform America into a premiere high tech manufacturing area. The grant established the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) in Youngstown, Ohio. Additive manufacturing is also known as 3D printing and is the process of making three dimensional, solid objects from a digital model. Watch for advancements in this field next year.

These are just a few of the most important themes in the manufacturing sector. One thing for sure – MMTC will be here to experience all of the manufacturing trends occurring here in Michigan for years to come. To find out more information about MMTC’s programs and services, contact us today.

Have you seen a different manufacturing trend or important topic this year? Leave a comment below and tell us what you’ve experienced!

Image by Industrial Packaging Corp.

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