Northeast Ohio students reap rewards from Arconic Foundation Grant
MAGNET has recently completed work on a grant award by the Arconic (formerly Alcoa) Foundation. The grant, designed around activities for middle and high school students, centered on increasing awareness of viable career paths in advanced manufacturing through plant tours, presentations, and other work-based learning activities. Over 350 children from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Olmstead Falls City Schools, Polaris Career Center, and Strongsville City Schools participated, with educators and students being introduced to professionals from local companies currently serving in technical or engineering-oriented positions.
Initial feedback indicates that tours and presentations made a positive impact on views of manufacturing as well as career decisions. Of the students surveyed, over 83 percent would consider a career in manufacturing, 91 percent would recommend the activity to other students, and 80 percent said the activity furthered their understanding of how science, technology, engineering, and math (collectively known as STEM fields) are used in a manufacturing environment.
Comments from students including the following:
• “I enjoyed the information about careers and the future that manufacturing provides.”
• “I learned that manufacturing opportunities are available whether you go to college or a career-tech school.”
• “I liked learning about technology works from different people.”
MAGNET would like it express our deepest thanks and appreciate to the Arconic Foundation for their support through this grant. This efforts will be continued and expanded upon through grants provided by other foundations, and will play an active role in encouraging students to consider advanced manufacturing careers and pursue activities leading to more training and “earn and learn” opportunities.
HEADLINE The survey definitively shows that product innovation leads to more growth, while “grow your own workforce” strategies will be needed to fill the major labor shortages hampering small manufacturer growth. Emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, and digital manufacturing are beginning to enhance innovation and productivity, but still have significant room for adoption amongst Ohio’s small manufacturing businesses. ABOUT THE SURVEY Under the direction of the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Ohio MEP), MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network conducted a thorough survey of Ohio’s manufacturing base. Contributing approximately 20% of Ohio’s jobs (and driving in some regions up to 50% of Ohio’s economy), and generating a disproportionate amount of export revenues and Gross Regional Product, manufacturing is critical to Ohio. Greater than 95% of Ohio’s manufacturers are small (under 500 employees), and these manufacturers need to remain competitive both nationally and internationally to ensure our economy’s health. Ohio’s Development Services Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which runs the MEP, recognizes the importance of this sector and fuels MAGNET and the Ohio MEP program to directly serve and support innovation, efficiency, and growth in small and medium manufacturers. What manufacturers need
How Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Can Help Keep Our Engineers Safe and Our Manufacturing Strong Recall how difficult it was to put together complex LEGO creations when you were a child or helping a child. Now, picture assembling a fighter plane from a room full of parts. Even highly trained engineers can benefit from technology to help improve consistency and quality. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are making near-perfect assembly a possibility in the manufacturing space. By wearing AR glasses that use cameras, depth sensors and motion sensors to overlay images onto the real working environment, engineers and factory workers can visualize the exact bolts, parts, part numbers and instructions on how to assemble a particular component correctly. Lockheed Martin began using AR goggles and improved F-35 assembly time by 30 percent, in addition to increasing accuracy to 96 percent. In order to remain competitive, businesses should consider the ways VR and AR can improve efficiency and supply chain productivity. According to a recent BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research report, AR platforms can provide companies up to 25 percent in cost savings on installation of equipment. Here are four ways VR/AR is disrupting the mid-market manufacturing space:
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