PM Blog

A manufacturing facility is currently being built in southeastern Wisconsin that will eventually be a 20-million-square-foot manufacturing facility. This facility is being billed as the most technologically advanced manufacturing facility on the planet. According to Matt Kirchner, managing director at Profit360 LLC and contributing columnist for Production Machining, “Predictions about the impact of this project abound, but my favorite one is that the Midwest will become the nation’s ‘Epicenter of Industry 4.0 Technology,’ bringing with it a host of new career opportunities.”

One of the lead industrial engineers working on this transformative project shared some examples with Matt earlier this year. Matt, in turn, shared 11 examples with us in his latest About Your Business column. Future manufacturing job titles include interface developer, app developer, automation engineer, systems integrator and more. To see the full list and the meaning of each title, read “Industry 4.0 Careers of the Future.”  

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Over time, multitasking has become well applied on the shop floor in machines that can perform different machining operations in a single handling. Turning, milling, grinding, material deposition, even laser cutting are finding a welcome place on many shop floors.

The concept of moving away from relatively dedicated machines has been evolving for a long time. The article, “Automated Inspection on the Shop Floor,” looks at a new inspection and measurement cell that is configurable to perform various functions automatically.

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Once IMTS closes in Chicago, preparations for EMO 2019 in Germany start to get into full swing. The world’s largest metalworking show will be back in Germany September 16-21, 2019. In order to focus on the development and implementation of Industry 4.0 functions, the event’s theme is “Smart technologies driving tomorrow's production!” The theme will be included in a special IoT in Production show and a new area for individual control technology, software and automation technology exhibitors.

"Industry is facing a period of significant upheaval," Dr. Wilfried Schäfer, executive director of EMO organizer VDW (German Machine Tool Builders' Association) said at an EMO Press Breakfast in September 2018 at IMTS in Chicago. “Industry 4.0/IoT is gaining momentum and is becoming a reality. Having an overarching network of people, plant and processes along the entire value chain is crucial for the creation of the intelligent factory. According to estimates by the international market research institute International Data Corporation, 30 billion endpoints could be networked worldwide by 2020.”

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Registration is now open for the 2019 Precision Machining Technology show. PMTS, which is the only trade show in North America dedicated to the precision machining industry, will take place April 2-4, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. Attendees who go to and use the code “VIP” can register for free, and the first 1,000 registrants will receive special VIP status at the show.

In addition to free registration, all attendees who pre-register online will receive fast and easy check-in at the show, access to free educational sessions and live machine tool builder demonstrations on the show floor, admittance to the happy hour on the show floor Tuesday and Wednesday, and pre-show updates. VIP attendees will also receive a PMTS VIP t-shirt, a dedicated check-in line and drink tickets for the Tuesday and Wednesday happy hours.

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As a fourth-generation machining industry family member, Jim Preston Jr. has a passion and energy for the industry. He has worked his way up as co-owner and vice president of Meier Screw Products since he began his career there 13 years ago. He is responsible for the shop’s upgrade from Brown & Sharpes to faster CNC Swiss machines, HMCs and VMCs in only a few years. The company has also become paperless thanks to Jim.

“Working in a small shop with 10 employees, ‘Junior’ quickly assumed leadership in many areas,” according to his father and nominator, Jim Preston. “For example, he has become safety coordinator, ISO management representative, IT administration, ERP programmer (his college degree is in computer science), UAW negotiator (we are a union shop in a right-to-work state), job/machine scheduler, material and tooling purchaser, and CAD/CAM programmer.”

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