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Manufacturing Day 2014

October 1, 2014

American manufacturing dates back to the early 1800s. The country was built on it. Yet in spite of this rich history, the majority of Americans have no idea what manufacturing is or how it plays a role in their everyday life. The inaccessibility of the industry makes it difficult to close this knowledge gap. Fortunately, manufacturers are aware of the issue and are working hard to make a positive change.

The Solution – MFG Day!

Manufacturing Day was created to address misconceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers the opportunity to open their doors to the general population. Manufacturing companies, through lectures and demonstrations, can educate the public about their industry in an organized and safe environment. Click here to find an event near you!

The Cause

On this special day, manufacturers can shed light on their growing shortage of skilled labor. The day also offers them an opportunity to connect with future generations of workers. As areas of the country change from manufacturing-based economies to knowledge-based economies, it is important that manufacturing companies are able to recruit new employees and educate graduates about the benefits of a career in the manufacturing industry.

While many might be quick to dismiss manufacturing as a blue collar industry, they probably don’t know that 90% of manufacturing workers have medical benefits, the average salary of a manufacturing employee is $77,000, and manufacturers have the highest job tenure in the private sector. Manufacturing Day is supported by a group of industry sponsors and co-sponsors and was designed to allow manufacturers to draw attention to their common concerns and challenges.

Why the Interest?

American manufacturing accounts for a large portion of the American economy. Changes in the industry have direct effects on the economy and national security. In 2013, manufacturing contributed $2.08 trillion to the US economy. Millions of Americans depend on the industry for their livelihood. More than 12 million Americans (9% of the US workforce) are employed in manufacturing.

Staying Involved

There are plenty of ways to stay involved during the month of October. A wide number of events are taking place throughout the country, and a full list can be seen on mfgday.com/events.

Here’s one example of how a manufacturing company is becoming more engaged with the public: Metal Craft, a leading partner in custom precision manufacturing, works with a variety of schools such as Dunwoody College of Technology, St. Cloud Technical College, and Alexandria Technical College. The company attends career fairs and provides engineers as instructors at the schools.

Manufacturing Day is the rallying point for a growing mass movement. Manufacturers and schools are coming together as a united front to ensure = continued prosperity and to help =communities and future generations thrive.

American Manufacturing Infographic

Recruiting Qualified Employees to the Machining Industry

September 23, 2014

In our past two blogs we discussed two important aspects of our company: tackling the gender gap and design for manufacturability. Both of these components are a big part of the Metal Craft / Riverside culture. As a growing company, we’re interested in attracting passionate, educated, and loyal employees. We work with a number of organizations and schools to introduce our career opportunities to students and to educate those interested in the machining industry.

We are especially proud of our strong partnerships with the Dunwoody College of Technology, St. Cloud Technical College, and Alexandria Technical College. In fact, one of our engineers teaches at a local school. Our staff also attends career fairs to promote jobs in the machining industry and also frequently opens our facility to student tour groups.

Currently, we are actively recruiting for a variety of open positions. Some of our open positions include a 2nd shift Swiss Machinist, a 2nd shift CNC Machinist, a 2nd shift Finisher, a 2nd shift Assembler, an Inspector and a Quality Engineer.

Depending on the position, there are a number of different requirements, responsibilities, and duties. For example, our open 2nd shift CNC Machinist role requires the candidate reads and understands blueprints, job routings, tooling instructions, and standard charts for such specifications as dimensions, tolerances, and tooling instructions such as a type of holding fixtures, cutting speeds, feed rates, and cutting tools to be used. Additionally, the candidate must know how to write programs in FANUC and/or YASNAC language to set specified rotation speeds, feed rates, and depth of cuts (excluding manual turning machinists). Other requirements such as a two year certificate, related experience, and more are required.

We also offer a variety of benefits such as health, dental, life and disability insurance, 401 (k), personal time off, paid holidays, and more. Depending on the role and whether a role is part-time or full-time, other benefits are available.

Make sure to frequently check out our employment listings to learn more about current openings, requirements, benefits, and job descriptions.

Metal Craft / Riverside Employees

Design for Manufacturability

August 29, 2014
Tim Kilness - Director of Engineering

Tim Kilness – Director of Engineering

As we continue to look for ways to enhance our partnerships with our customers, we are focusing more and more on Design for Manufacturability (DFM) services. When manufacturing components for our customers, we work with them from idea conception to delivery, ensuring that the entire process is done efficiently, safely, and in a cost saving manner.

At Metal Craft and Riverside, we like to get involved with our customers’ projects as early on in the design stage as possible. Design for Manufacturability allows us to work with the client from the beginning to make any necessary changes to reduce cost and time spent on each project.

Design for Manufacturability optimizes the entire manufacturing process, such as fabrication, assembly, test, and procurement. When the designers and manufacturers collaborate, the whole process is streamlined because geometry, tolerances, and materials are handled together, without any costly and unneeded operations.

We know that when you’re developing a new product, you have to decide whether or not to use off-the-shelf parts. These components are less expensive than DFM parts, but aren’t customized to the exact needs and specifications of the customer. That’s why we offer a full line of Design for Manufacturability services.

Our trained and experienced manufacturing team uses the most advanced modeling software to prepare your components for use in our Design for Manufacturability services. Additionally, Design for Manufacturability can be extremely useful when determining material type, material form, tolerances, design and shape, and the correct drawing dimensions and content. Our team will work with you to make sure that drawing notes, drawing layouts, and specifications are handled for your particular needs.

Remember, when considering cost saving options, Design for Manufacturability is an effective and time-saving way to produce components. We understand the importance of excellent product development. Our dedicated and experienced staff is available to meet all of your DFM needs while saving you time and money.

 

Tackling the Gender Gap in Manufacturing

July 28, 2014

Fotosearch_k0604970In our previous blog, we discussed the importance of boosting interest for the next generation of workers. While we believe getting any worker into manufacturing is key, we can’t help but think about the specific importance of recruiting women in manufacturing.

As a certified woman-owned small business, we realize that we need to band together to spark interest to a different gender. On average, women make up nearly one-third of employees in the sector, according to a Women in Manufacturing study. Women in the manufacturing industry peaked in 1990, making up 32 percent of the workforce, and we believe we can get there (and even higher) once again.

Similarly to our discussion on spreading the word of STEM education, there are plenty of high school and college-level female students who do not realize their options. These are the types of students we need to be focusing our efforts on—even starting as far back as elementary school.

Our CEO, Trisha Mowry, spent a lot of time growing up in our facilities, and we wish more women had the opportunity to do so. She believes women bring a different perspective to the rapidly evolving manufacturing industry. Today, technology is more advanced and the importance of precision planning is now more critical than ever. Because of the increasingly flexible working patterns allowing more women to combine employment with caring for children; women now play a significant role in mentoring, leadership, communication development, management, as well as manufacturing best practices. Their participation is on an upward trend due to the economy’s changing social and behavioral norms of women and the impact they have on the market. Another defining factor is the rise of urbanization and the growing consolidation of manufacturing sourcing sites being brought back to the United States.

While we know this is part of a longer-term strategy, we wanted to bring attention to the gender gap and highlight the importance of narrowing it. If you aren’t already involved with STEM education and gender gap awareness, social media is a great place to start. There is plenty of chatter on Twitter with the #STEM and #GenderGap hashtags, and it’s good to get involved with one of the many LinkedIn groups on both subjects.

For more information on our company history, visit Metal Craft’s website.

Encouraging the Next Generation of Manufacturing Workers

July 7, 2014

Fotosearch_k1099017Earlier this year, our CEO Trisha Mowry and our president Jack Mowry were highlighted in the Bone Zone publication. The article centered on a recent major growth spurt for Metal Craft, stemming off of their outstanding leadership and commitment to customer support, and as the second-generation leadership for the company, they have a lot of insight on what it’s like to be successful.

For Trisha and Jack, the introduction to this industry started at a young age when they would stop by (or work) Metal Craft, but not all young Americans get the same exposure. Because of this, the siblings are looking to raise awareness to not only help their own business, but the future of all others. Metal Craft has made a considerable effort to reach out to local colleges and partner with school to get students familiar with the industry and future possibilities.

“It is important they recognize what the requirements are to keep manufacturing jobs in the U.S. rather than going offshore,” Trisha said. “It’s critical as funding is getting cut for schools and their extended programs.”

Not only is STEM education an important part of curriculum, but there needs to be an emphasis on communication and accountability. To build a sustainable future, we need to get the next generation more involved—and we’re not alone in thinking this way. There are plenty of movements on social media looking to raise awareness, and many manufacturers are joining forces to getting the word out.

In a time when many manufacturers are cutting back and reducing labor, we’re thriving—and we’re looking to continue. Part of this lies in finding the right people, which has proven to be more of a challenge than expected these days—putting an emphasis on the importance of STEM.

What part does your business have in building the future of manufacturing workers? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting at us.

Why Testing Is Vital to Manufacturing

May 5, 2014

The manufacturing industry encompasses an abundance of processes and products, which means it can be somewhat difficult to identify all of the sectors within its grasp. Ranging from military and defense to orthopedic and medical manufacturing, it’s important to monitor every piece of product and machinery closely.

We believe the only way to guarantee excellence is with thorough quality control and testing with such a high volume of products coming out of businesses. If you know every single product you ship is completely effective, it gives your customers confidence in your commitment to their satisfaction and safety.

Because we do complex assembly projects in our Minnesota and Wisconsin facilities, Metal Craft and Riverside Machine & Engineering makes product testing a top priority. We see a number of different reasons why product testing is a key to our success:

  • Proper testing can instantly make your products superior to those of your competitors.
  • If you make quality a top priority, it will find its way into all aspects of your manufacturing process.
  • Testing has the ability to lower costs because it can highlight inefficiencies before it’s too late.
  • It allows you to judge if raw materials meet your demands. If not, you can make changes before it costs you time, money, and customers.
  • Perhaps the most important of all: the safety of the public.

In the end, proper testing is a sign that you are committed to the highest levels of quality. Extensive testing of your manufactured products shows the world that you care about more than just profits; you care about people. If you are interested in learning even more about Metal Craft and Riverside Machine’s detailed testing procedures, please contact us today.

The State of the U.S. Orthopedics Industry

March 6, 2014

Fotosearch_k11390307It seems new and exciting medical breakthroughs are constantly being revealed on television programs and in newspapers—and there’s a reason for it: The 21st century has offered amazing opportunities for the medical industry. This sector is expected to be worth a staggering $127.1 billion this year in the U.S.

Thanks to the growing interest in health and life-extension, the U.S. ranks as the world’s largest spenders per capita on medical devices—and within the medical device market, the orthopedics industry is a major player. As the massive “Baby Boomer” generation ages, the demand for orthopedics (such as knee and hip replacements) grows as well, and according to the Millennium Research Group, the U.S. orthopedic extremity device market should be worth $4.2 billion by 2016.

While knee and hip replacements make up a large share of the orthopedics industry, plenty of other innovations and inventions are in the spotlight as well, including:

  • The growth of the sports medicine industry.

These are just a few of the interesting and exciting trends that will help orthopedics in the U.S. grow over the next decade, and we’re working to continue to boost the industry. For more information on how our products function in this growing sector, check out Metal Craft and Riverside Machine & Engineering.

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