Public Exposure for Manufacturers
Every year, Manufacturing Day gives the public a glimpse of how products they see and use every day are produced within the walls of U.S. factories. Last year, there were over 1,660 opens houses and other events where participants showcased every aspect of their businesses, including production methods, end-products, skilled labor, and community involvement. There was an abundance of "free advertising" as the news media covered these events in newspapers, television reports, interviews, and radio announcements.
Tapping Into New Talent
After just a few short years of existence, Manufacturing Day attendance has surged to over 100,000 people, many of whom are students considering careers in the manufacturing sector. These events both inspire students to get involved in the industry and help them make the necessary connections with prospective employers. When young people see the innovation and prosperity that exists in the fields of manufacturing and engineering, and realize they may be able to move straight from college to a position with an established manufacturer, the labor "pipeline" grows larger and flows smoother.
The Automotive Industry
One of the biggest winners on Manufacturing Day is the U.S. auto industry. Businesses involved in the design, production, assembly, marketing, and sales of automobiles and automotive parts find themselves in the spotlight for a day. By seizing the opportunity, these companies can outshine their competition, exchange ideas with others in the industry, and attract future talent to their workforce.
The auto industry is one of the highest-revenue sectors of the U.S. economy but faces stiff competition from rising-star manufacturers in the "BRIC" nations—Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Yet, the U.S. is still the second-biggest automobile producer behind China and one of the leading exporters. The U.S. produced 140 models of vehicles in 1970, 260 by 1998, and 684 in 2012. As the industry grows and diversifies, it is crucial that new models and features garner attention, and Manufacturing Day is the perfect occasion.
Cold-Formed Auto Parts
As a specific example of how Manufacturing Day could benefit the auto industry, consider cold-formed steel auto parts. Every automobile has a multitude of "small parts," such as screws, bolts, rivets, pins, washers, clinch studs, and other fasteners. Cold-forming allows these parts to be produced faster and with little to no scrap. As machining can involve 40% to 60% scrap waste and long delivery times, substituting cold-formed auto fasteners for machined ones is a major cost and time saver for auto manufacturers.
Manufacturing Day is a perfect opportunity for producers of cold-formed auto fasteners to connect with factories who prefer to import their small parts as well as with retailers of auto parts.
On October 2, 2015, manufacturers from a wide array of industries all across the United States opened their doors to the public and exposed the benefits of their products to others in the industry. Students interested in a career in the manufacturing sector connected with employers and suppliers with buyers. As a result, the industry will be strengthened and better prepared to compete in a global economy.