Fisker previewed its electric-powered crossover vehicle at CES 2020, and General Motors, Ford and other automakers plan to introduce electric pickup trucks and SUVs. Advancements in EV battery technology have helped make such vehicles possible, although they will cost more than electric sedans.
Manufacturers that adopt the industrial internet of things, automation, predictive analytics and other technologies will be more successful and see more return on investment than slower-moving companies, according to this analysis by McKinsey and the World Economic Forum. Late adopters can catch up by focusing on problem-solving, bolstering essential functions and getting the company to see that change is urgent, the authors write.
Manufacturers will need specially trained maintenance staff who can handle modern factory assets, writes Kevin Price of Infor. He recommends taking a prescriptive approach as part of a holistic management process, in which "maintenance needs to move away from being considered a siloed operation with separate priorities, budget, and resources," he writes.
Apple is using a robot named Daisy at a Texas warehouse to remove lithium and other valuable minerals from iPhones so they can be reused in other Apple products. "We're not necessarily competing with the folks who mine," said executive Lisa Jackson.
Manufacturers are aggressively marketing job postings by mentioning higher pay, signing bonuses and relocation expenss. "We are having to really track them down a little bit and schmooze them more than we used to," says Julie Scannell of G.H. Tool & Mold in Missouri, which is recruiting workers from neighboring Illinois.
Multiple programs in Tennessee are providing high school students with manufacturing experience. The Local Options and Opportunities Program in Jackson has students work at a Stanley Black &* Decker plant while taking classes, while the Academies of Nashville will provide on-the-job experience and pre-apprenticeships that will result in certifications.
Manufacturing employment fell by 12,000 workers in December, dropping for the second time in the past three months. In 2019, manufacturers added roughly 3,800 workers per month on average, compared to the average of 22,000 manufacturing workers created each month in 2018. While the manufacturing sector has steadied somewhat recently, it remains weaker than desired as firms continue to grapple with slowing global growth and trade uncertainties. Eleven of the 19 major manufacturing sectors experienced reduced hiring in December. Read more.