Archive for May, 2016
When I was growing up, I basically had the impression that the state of Iowa did not have much to offer compared to other states. Of course, no kid pays attention to how well the manufacturing industry is doing while he or she is growing up. Honestly, I am quite impressed by what I have seen written about the Iowa manufacturing industry over the last few years! I found a great article on the manufacturing footprint ranked by state:
EPI.org – Click here for the article
In this article it states that, “Manufacturing plays a particularly important role in supporting jobs in a core group of states in the upper Midwest (East North Central and selected West North Central) and South (East South Central) states. The top 10 states ranked by manufacturing’s share of total state employment in 2013 are Indiana (16.8 percent, 491,900 jobs), Wisconsin (16.3 percent, 458,400 jobs), Iowa (14.0 percent, 214,500 jobs)…”
USA Today also listed Iowa’s Manufacturing share of output at 16.7%, which is a pretty good percentage for Iowa considering the other states. Also notable was that the unemployment rate for Iowa is low compared to other states.
USAtoday.com – The Article
What Does Manufacturing Mean To Various People?
People who go through their normal lives each day do not seem to think about the products they use or where they even came from. For example, some goods that they use such as metal or plastic products are certainly processed by someone or some company, but once the consumer buys it and uses it he or she probably does not think about the origin or process of how it got to the finished form laid out before him or her. Believe it or not, Iowa’s manufacturing Gross State Product has grown at an impressive inflation-adjusted rate of 9.2 percent. For those that work in the manufacturing industry, that is very good news! Check out what economic professional Debi Durham had to say:
“Iowa’s economy is very strong, thanks in large part to the success of the advanced manufacturing industry in our state. It’s obvious that we have the right tools in place to attract and grow manufacturing companies. From our logistics advantages to our highly productive work force, Iowa has a proven track record in helping manufacturers succeed.”
In fact, 13.8% of the total employment in the state of Iowa is made up of manufacturing, according to this data from NAM.org
Aside from those that work in the manufacturing industry who need a source of income to make a living, there are certainly companies and businesses that need a manufacturing company to assist them with various needs. One recent study said this:
“It is important to note there are a variety of industries available such as: industrial metal processing, automation precision machinery, environment control systems, digital and electronic devices, and power generation equipment. Other top sectors are aerospace, defense, industrial chemicals, construction components, commercial and industrial motor vehicles, food ingredients, printing and packaging, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices and products.”
For more info on the study I mentioned above, you can visit this article.
A Place For Manufacturing
Iowa is not only a great place to call home for our families; it’s an excellent home for business. The economic environment, the Midwest work ethic and many more factors is why KRYTON Engineered Metals has flourished and continues to grow.
To some people, the manufacturing industry may not be the first place they would look when it comes to technological innovation. I’m not one of those people, and chances are if you’re reading this, you aren’t, either. Ever since the announcement of products like the Oculus Rift, virtual reality has entered the mainstream. Outside of the enthusiast’s gaming circles that VR is usually touted in, virtual reality is also being spoken of in other circles, too, due to the possibilities it introduces for things like training, in addition to immersive educational/entertainment experiences.
Virtual reality has also become more prominent via things like Google Cardboard and Samsung’s Gear VR. One of the more mainstream usages include CNN airing the first Democratic Debate of 2016 Election in VR, which was described as an immersive, but strange experience. As time goes on, utilizations of VR technology like this will increase, and it’s already beginning to see usage in manufacturing circles.
A primary usage that VR sees in other circles is in training applications. The United States military has been using VR applications to assist in training their soldiers for quite some time, in addition to Pilot Training.
More prominently to this article’s topic, VR has seen usage in manufacturing, too. For instance, training courses via Superscape (a VR application) were being used as early as the late 90s to train for things like water inspection, cleanroom procedures and more. These applicatiosn also allowed evaluation of performance in a safe, consequence-free environment.
Other applications made possible with virtual reality in manufacturing circles includes virtual assembly. Virtual assembly is performed through a computer, made to help with assembly decisions via simulations and other advanced calculations. This was primarily used by the auto industry, pioneered by Ford in their creation of the Ford Mondeo, the first Ford to be made using virtual assembly.
Ford is also notable for using the Oculus Rift to create VR simulations of driving around in their vehicles, via the Immersion Lab project. As covered by Forbes (I highly recommend reading the full article), Ford created an incredibly high-specced virtual reality environment to help its manufacturing and design departments test out the look and “feel” of their vehicles in early stages of development. In addition to the internals of the car, things like weather and lighting conditions are also simulated, offering a wider picture of how customers might feel about the car.
The above examples are the most prominent that come to mind, but there are more out there. Virtual reality has had its place in manufacturing for a few decades now, and as the technology evolves and enters the mainstream, I can only see it becoming even more prominent and powerful in the future.