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WASHINGTON

The Pool of RCRA Universal Waste May Get Bigger

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On March 16, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to add hazardous waste aerosol cans to the category of “universal wastes” regulated under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations, codified at Title 40 of the C.F.R., Part 273. 83 Fed. Reg. 11654. According to EPA, this action would benefit the many manufacturing facilities and others that generate and manage large quantities of hazardous waste aerosol cans.

WomenMfg

At one Pennsylvania manufacturer, women play important roles and find success with tangible results.

By Susan Towers

A recent study by Deloitte found that women constitute one of U.S. manufacturing’s largest pools of untapped talent. Women made up about 47 percent of the U.S. labor force in 2016, but accounted for a small portion of manufacturing jobs. Underrepresentation of females in manufacturing may be due in part to the perception that jobs in the industry are “too difficult” or “too dirty” for women. At Miller Welding and Machine Co. (MWM), a strategic metal fabrication partner for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), in Brookville, Pa., women are a vital part of the workforce. Female employees put their skills to use, whether on the shop floor or in the C-suite. While they work in various roles, these women all agree on one thing: anyone can have a successful career in manufacturing, regardless of gender.

EmployeeEngage

Mobile Tech Is Key to Solving Manufacturing Sector’s Employee Engagement Crisis

By Bulent Osman

The words “manufacturing” and “innovation” are almost synonymous. A report from McKinsey Global Institute describes this important sector as “a vital source of innovation and competitiveness, making outsized contributions to research and development,” noting that the industry contributes disproportionately to innovation when compared to all other sectors.

Yet despite this emphasis on pursuing leading-edge R&D and advanced technologies when making products, manufacturers are not ahead of the curve when it comes to optimization of employee engagement solutions. This is evidenced by the fact that in an industry that would logically be linked with the excitement of continuous development, manufacturing workers instead rank lowest of all U.S. industries when it comes to employee engagement, with just one-quarter of workers feeling engaged according to 2017 figures from Gallup. This disheartening stat puts the manufacturing industry on the lowest rung possible as the least-engaged occupation in the most recent State of the American Workplace report.

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TechIntro2

Mexican University Innovation Leads to International Partnerships

By Juan Terrazas 

When people hear “manufacturing in Mexico” many immediately and unfortunately think cheap labor.  But in Baja California, manufacturing sectors can boast of qualified labor, which has evolved significantly in the past decade. Going from the early 1900s where industry in the area consisted of recreation and commerce, to the 1930s where the region experienced industrialization attempts before moving to the then traditional maquiladora or factories in the 1960s, and then to Asian consumer electronics in the 1990s. But since the 2010s, labor has advanced in sector specialization and tech automation in Cali-Baja, a binational megaregion – which combines Southern California and Baja California.

In the midst of the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and President Trump’s recent tariff proposals, a university in Mexico, CETYS, is working on continued collaboration with manufacturing industries and building global relationships from both an education and an industrial perspective.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Electrification and The Next Generation of American Manufacturing

By Baskar Vairamohan

Since the Great Recession, American manufacturing has seen slow, but sustained growth. A hockey stick graph shows the steep declines after 2008 with consistent — yet restrained — growth in manufacturing in the subsequent years. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show the sector is adding jobs at a faster rate than almost any other part of the economy in recent months.

What is driving these changes, especially in such a turbulent economic environment, is unclear. With pending changes to international trade norms, widely discussed but yet to be proposed government-funded infrastructure investment programs, and the recent overhaul of U.S. tax codes, there is substantial uncertainty in segments of the economy impacting manufacturing. While some of these changes, such as those to the tax code, will lead to investment in this space, others provide more questions than answers.

CybersecurityGDPR

How the European Union’s New Cybersecurity Measure Will Impact Your American Manufacturing Business

By Dan Messeloff and Emily Knight

As concerns about cybersecurity and data privacy weigh more and more heavily on the minds of corporate executives in manufacturing companies around the United States, the European Union has initiated expansive new efforts to protect its citizens from cybersecurity risks.  The EU’s initiative – the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – might ordinarily be viewed with passing interest from American companies, but the reach of the GDPR is actually far broader than any cybersecurity measure ever seen before in either the European Union or in the United States.  More importantly, as a result of the reach of the GDPR, millions of American companies may unknowingly be at risk of violating the new law and thus subject to significant monetary penalties.  The good news is, whatever your level of interaction with companies and/or individuals in the EU, there are measures you can take to comply with the GDPR.

EXCLUSIVE INTRO

Airgas is making major strides in helping its customers become more competitive by addressing efficiencies in their welding operations.

By Staci Davidson, Managing Editor, Knighthouse Media

With more than 1 million customers, Airgas is known for its quality of service, as well as the quality of its products. The company is the nation’s leading single-source supplier of gases, welding equipment and supplies, and safety products. Airgas is known nationally with more than 950 retail locations, but it goes beyond retail service to ensure customers have what they need.

About 10 years ago, Airgas realized customers wanted a greater level of technical expertise for their operations, and so the company implemented a way to apply cost-measuring analysis to customers’ welding programs. Called “Unlocking the Hidden Cost of Welding,” Airgas educates customers how labor impacts welding costs; how gas and other welding inputs effect quality and penetration; and how customers can trim 20 percent or more from their operating costs without capital investments. Airgas developed a curriculum based on industry needs to train Welding Specialists and to help our customers compete in their respective industries.

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Operations2

One manufacturer demonstrates that it’s not just about a skills gap in finding manufacturing workers.

By Staci Davidson, Managing Editor, Knighthouse Media

HM Manufacturing boasts state-of-the-art operations and innovative solutions to help customers remain competitive. While HM continues to invest in itself to grow, it frequently needs workers, like many U.S. Manufacturers, to fulfill all of its orders. President and CEO Nicole Wolter is doing all she can to not only bolster her own workforce, but also the local area’s base of manufacturing employees.

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