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Robotic Welding Fills Skills Gap with Quality Production

Senior Editor Jim Lorincz


The decision to adopt robotic automation for welding cells is getting easier every day. There are any number of manufacturing considerations influencing that decision, including quality, productivity, and consistency of the weld. Today, however, the key driver is the lack of skilled welders available to fill the requirements of shops both large and small. Though at first glance shops may be put off by their cost and the idea that robots are difficult to program, they soon learn that robotic controls are easier than ever to program and that in the long run it’s easier to train someone to operate the robot than it is to find qualified welders and support their very human health, safety, and employment costs. Full Article

SME Designs 3D Printing Contest for SkillsUSA

Pam Hurt, SME Industry Manager, Workforce Development


During the 51st annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference this summer, 14 teams of two students each took part in the first ever additive manufacturing contest using the latest 3D printing technology and software. Full Article

SME Speaks: There are Many Paths to Manufacturing

Jeffrey M. Krause, Executive Director & CEO, SME


When people make a conscious decision to enter a career in manufacturing, there are several paths available to craft their skills. The education/training route an individual selects is largely dependent on areas of interest and how they like to learn. Whether you want to pursue a research position or become a CNC machinist, you have the ability to earn your degree at a community college or university, or take part in training opportunities (like certifications, vocational schools, internships, etc.) to expand your skills and knowledge of manufacturing. Full Article

The Evolution of Manufacturing Engineering Training

Tony Glocker, Co-Founder, SolidProfessor


Engineering is changing. Engineering education needs to change with it. The days of “one and done” intensive education are obsolete due to the rapid changes made possible by advanced electronics, software, tools and the internet. Staying current means implementing new ways of learning. Today, continuous learning needs to become a normal part of an engineer’s work week. About three decades ago, experts examined how long it would take before an engineer’s technical skills became obsolete. For mechanical engineers, they determined it was 7.5 years Full Article

Visionaries Wanted: MTConnect Student Challenge

Ghida Zahr, Intern for AMM


The deadline is fast approaching for the MTConnect Student Challenge. The challenge offers $33,000 in prizes to promote the possibilities that the open-source XML-based communication protocol offers to manufacturers. Full Article

Workforce Pipeline: Motivated by a Mission for the Next Generation

Dick Tiano, SME Chapter 430 Chair. Senior Program Manager, SCRA Applied R&D, Maritime & Manufacturing Technologies Division


Charleston Chapter 430 has definitely experienced success over the past few years, but not without some pain. Our chapter was a dead chapter for seven years. There was no leadership and no interest, which will kill any chapter. In mid-2009, two long-time members met for lunch and discussed how to revitalize our chapter. Full Article

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