December 18, 2013  -   Preview Issue
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Community Colleges Quelling the Threatening Skills Gap
Former Delco Remy CEO Tom Snyder, now president of Indiana's Ivy Tech Community College (ITCC), blogged last week on The Huffington Post about a few of the many impressive initiatives underway at community colleges throughout the United States to address the skills gap. Noting that "74 percent of manufacturers report that the skills gap has hurt their company's ability to expand operations," Snyder describes several partnerships between community colleges and manufacturing companies that have been "remarkably successful…by providing customized training."

Snyder also introduces his school's recent foray into such training: a 75-hr. co-op Advanced Manufacturing degree ready to launch in January 2014.

Make-to-Stock Manufacturing Will Soon be Replaced make-to-individual manufacturing, "in which centrally located modular platforms will be used to design products with local small factories…for local needs." So says this article describing the coming factories of the future, which "will have more flexible and enhanced decision-making capabilities." Noted in the article is a recent survey report titled, "Business Strategy: the Journey Toward the People-Intensive Factory of the Future." Among its findings: a remarkably high percentage of companies say they are currently designing "factories of the future."

Take a Virtual Tour of BMW South Carolina
Here’s a quick yet informative inside look at the BMW SUV plant near Spartanburg SC, where the firm exclusively manufactures its X3, X5 and X6 vehicles. Learn how the facility, the first full-scale BMW manufacturing site outside of Germany, has recently expanded annual capacity from 300,000 vehicles to 350,000 vehicles. The 1150-acre campus includes an automated paint shop that is the first among U.S. automotive plants to use water-based paint.

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Press Feeding—Options Abound
What's the best servo roll feed solution for your stamping application? Consider the HMI capabilities, available feed profiles, pilot-release mechanism, the feed-to-press mount style, and the process used to support the coil as it enters the feed.

Identifying and Maintaining a Reliable Supplier Network
...can be quite a challenge. Here's how three manufacturers tackle the challenge with the help of a buying group and its limited network or qualified endorsed suppliers.

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