Members of the US House of Representatives this week passed four communications-related bills, including the "Secure Equipment Act of 2021" -- which directs the Federal Communications Commission not to approve wireless technology from companies believed to pose a national security threat. Other bills passed by the House include making the FCC's Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council permanent, supporting small network providers offering open networks and architectures and examining the economic competitiveness and trust in communications technology vendors.
Honeywell International has integrated its safety management system into all strategic business groups, allowing them to deploy and oversee its implementation while the system is governed at the corporate level. The company also has a distinct safety program for contractors that "has driven improvements through the contractor organizations that we engage with on a routine basis," says Honeywell official Tim Belitz.
Texas Instruments brought out the TMAG5170 3D Hall-effect position sensor aimed at real-time control for use in factory automation and motor-drive applications. "Systems that utilize position or motion feedback in automation often are very dynamic in nature, and they must respond quickly and efficiently to varying changes in load, speed and other factors," TI's Steven Loveless says.
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Regulatory compliance and cybersecurity can no longer be considered separate issues, writes Maciej Dziergwa, CEO of STX Next. "Neither can truly succeed without the other, and emphasis should be placed on balancing resources so that both areas are covered," Dziergwa notes.
Rental robots offer a low-risk starting point for manufacturers that aren't ready to commit to an equipment purchase, writes Ethan Karp, president and CEO of Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, or MAGNET. "It can be daunting to take the first step if you're a company that has done things the same way -- and succeeded -- for years or decades," says Mike O'Donnell of MAGNET, which worked with a chemical company on its first robot rental.
Manufacturers investing in automation and other advanced technology will need to provide on-site training and pathways for career advancement, writes S&C Electric Chief Operating Officer Jim Johnson Jr. "The manufacturing labor shortage is an opportunity to change the public perception of manufacturing careers, strengthen the U.S. economy, and introduce a new generation to a fast-paced, secure, and innovative career path," Johnson writes.
Roboticists are working on developing robots that improve sustainability through recycled parts, energy efficiency, longer lifespans and reduced maintenance. Some robots are even being made from biodegradable materials.
Team members can develop a sense of internal accountability when they are clear on their responsibilities, feel supported in how they do their work and are rewarded for their results, writes consultant and trainer Kammy Haynes, who offers eight areas to target. Accountability is "all about taking ownership of the decisions and actions you take to achieve a stated goal or objective," Haynes writes.
The Toyota manufacturing plant in Georgetown, Ky., is the automaker's largest manufacturing facility and has thousands of employees, with workers lauding the facility's culture and advancement potential. "I think the biggest pride that I have working here is seeing people achieve levels that they never imagined," says plant President Susan Elkington.
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Don't miss the next installment of SMRP's Workforce Development Series with guest speakers Mike Pubillones and JC Carpenter. If you're searching for new ways to recruit skilled professionals, the solution could be closer than you think. In 2007, The Mosaic Company and Polk State College partnered to develop two maintenance apprentice programs: one for mechanics and the other for electrical, instrumentation, and automation employees. The move has helped Mosaic develop its own skilled maintenance practitioners, while helping each employee earn at least five industry certifications and credits toward an associate of science degree.
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