I have been conversing with a few friends over the past few weeks about manufacturing. What I hear is a little disturbing. At least as an old guy. I’m over 60, but I still try out every new technology that comes by. Check it out see what works. How it works. What it can be used for.
That’s what started this blog 10 years ago. And my podcasts, videos, flickr photos, twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook. Since 1996 I’ve progressed from Palm Pilot and car phone, to newer Palms and cellular phones, to smart phones/iPad/laptop.
And I write about all the cool tools that are available in manufacturing. Granted, I no longer am responsible for getting something back into production. But I talk with engineers and managers who have successfully implemented new technologies and have positive results to report.
Yet, one of my friends pointed out that the thirst for knowledge about methods to improve manufacturing is almost unquenchable in Europe and Asia. But in the US? Not so much. Another friend talks about all the technologies that have been developed–and even exist in plants–that lie dormant, unused.
Many people tell me that the older guys just don’t want to work with the new technologies. It’ll take a few years and a generation change to see progress. That’s disturbing. It’s people my age who first smuggled PCs into manufacturing so that we could increase productivity. And applied digital technologies to process control. What has happened to all those innovative people?
If that is the case, then we should stop wringing our hands over looming retirements and hope that the new generation gets here faster.
What do you think? Are you as critical as my friends? On the other hand, what can we do to entice bright young people into manufacturing? I’m always open to speak to groups just about anywhere. Let me know.