Category: Europe vs. US vs. Asia
Kudos for promoting manufacturing
February 29, 2012
Lack of an adequately skilled workforce remains one of the greatest issues for American manufacturers. Despite the availability of some excellent educational programs and despite the high paying gold-collar jobs available, many schools report an inability to attract students into these programs. Some schools are shutting down their daytime advanced manufacturing and mechatronics programs for lack of students - this at a time that a Deloitte study reports 600,000 unfilled...
There's More. Click to continue reading "Kudos for promoting manufacturing"
Get-cha vs. Got-cha Culture
December 5, 2011
In your day to day relationships, do you or your organization operate with a culture driven by a get-cha or got-cha attitude? It can make a tremendous difference in your success and effectiveness....
There's More. Click to continue reading "Get-cha vs. Got-cha Culture"
The PLC Charade
October 27, 2011
We need to question the ongoing practice of adding an unnecessary PLC to a complex mechatronic machine while maintaining the primary control software in another control platform. That primary platform will contain the motion control algorithms but could just as well perform the functions allocated to the PLC. Why are we permitting, or in some cases requiring, this added cost and complexity?...
There's More. Click to continue reading "The PLC Charade"
Manufacturing and education and politics
June 24, 2011
Manufacturing jobs and the education required to obtain them appear to be hot topics that we will be hearing about as the presidential campaigns accelerate. The President is today in Western PA speaking on manufacturing. I was in the same area two weeks ago auditing the capability of schools in the region to train people for today's manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing jobs have been in big demand, although that demand seems...
There's More. Click to continue reading "Manufacturing and education and politics"
German Companies Supporting US Technical Revival
March 31, 2010
German technology companies are opening their wallets and leading the way in the revitalization of science and engineering programs for youth in the United States. Kudos to them for bringing a bit of their educational culture back to our shores! This past week, I had the privilege of participating directly in one of these programs which will be life-changing for a group of young students....
There's More. Click to continue reading "German Companies Supporting US Technical Revival"
Breaking News - US Department of Labor Recognizes Importance of Mechatronics for the Economy
August 31, 2009
This week the US Department of Labor acknowledged the importance of mechatronics to the packaging industry and to the US economy by publishing a hybrid-industry, packaging-oriented mechatronics competency model on the Career One Stop website. The Mechatronics Competency Model is one of only fourteen featured by the Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration in the Competency Model Clearinghouse. This compentency model may be used by industry, government and education...
There's More. Click to continue reading "Breaking News - US Department of Labor Recognizes Importance of Mechatronics for the Economy"
Higher wages: one solution to cheap labor
June 29, 2009
We often hear about cheap overseas labor destroying the US manufacturing base. The response of threatened manufacturers is often to pull in, cut spending and try to beat the foreign competition at their own game by squeezing labor costs. But, you can't save your way to prosperity. A better solution might be to reinvest in people and advanced technology....
There's More. Click to continue reading "Higher wages: one solution to cheap labor"
Lack of skills stifles competitiveness, but funding isn't following the need.
January 30, 2009
Lack of skills ranked second behind high tax rates as the issue that makes US cities uncompetitive, according to a report issued in December by the US Chamber of Commerce. We all want to complain about taxes, and given what I know about European tax rates, I question if American companies are at a global tax disadvantage. This even further highlights the disparity in and importance of skills when we...
There's More. Click to continue reading "Lack of skills stifles competitiveness, but funding isn't following the need."
Are US and European machine automation architectures diverging?
November 17, 2008
As I reflect on 5 days of observations at PackExpo, it strikes me that automation architectures of US and European machine builders are diverging and becoming more entrenched....
There's More. Click to continue reading "Are US and European machine automation architectures diverging?"
Is anyone measuring packaging machine sales per capita?
November 11, 2008
I've always been a believer in managing by metrics. Is anyone looking at packaging machinery sales dollars per capita in a particular region of the world? If not, I think they should be....
There's More. Click to continue reading "Is anyone measuring packaging machine sales per capita?"
Outsourcing: Be careful what you ask for!
August 25, 2008
As packagers or packaging machinery builders, many of us have followed the trail to outsourcing our production, assembly, or our packaging. Although the short term benefits may be attractive, or even essential, beware the long-term impact on your intellectual property and ability to execute....
There's More. Click to continue reading "Outsourcing: Be careful what you ask for!"
Chinese manufacturing excellence: why we should be nervous
July 1, 2008
Our mature Western societies just aren't scared enough yet about the threat to our standard of living as the result of a rapidly developing China. If we really understood China's potential impact, we would be embarked upon crash programs of education, infrastructure building and revitalization of our manufacturing base....
There's More. Click to continue reading "Chinese manufacturing excellence: why we should be nervous"
Robots at Interpack: Cars to nuts, and purpose-built too!
June 22, 2008
What was the most significant trend at Interpack 2008? Many would agree that it was the ubiquitousness of robotics. The halls of the Duesseldorf messe contained hundreds of robotic arms. The smallest item I saw handled by a robot was a single almond and the largest was an entire automobile. But the big news is the number of purpose-built arms that have been implemented by the European packaging machine industry....
There's More. Click to continue reading "Robots at Interpack: Cars to nuts, and purpose-built too!"
Will they discuss science or just religion?
April 22, 2008
In December I suggested that we needed a presidential debate on innovation. Last week the democratic candidates Obama and Clinton did participate in a discussion on religion. Held not far from my home in Pennsylvania, this event has for a time occupied not only the national but also my local news. In contrast, a very thoughtful discussion on the promise of science and the role that it should play in...
There's More. Click to continue reading "Will they discuss science or just religion?"
Let's have a presidential debate on innovation!
December 17, 2007
Could we have a national discussion on innovation? I don't think that I can stand 11 more months of harping on the same old topics by the US presidential candidates. If they want to talk about something constructive - something that will have long term political, social and economic impact for our nation and our children - let's turn the discussion to the imperative for more innovation....
There's More. Click to continue reading "Let's have a presidential debate on innovation!"
Social Networking - The Next Great Enabling Technology
December 7, 2007
Few would disagree that the digital servo has been the great enabling technology for packaging operations over the past 15 years. Could it be that social networking software as exploited by YouTube and MySpace may be the next great enabler?...
There's More. Click to continue reading "Social Networking - The Next Great Enabling Technology"
The robots are coming
October 29, 2007
We may be OnTheEdge of major growth spurt for robotics on North American packaging lines. That is what some, including Ben Miyares of PMMI, reported at a robotics conference held over the weekend leading up to Pack Expo in Las Vegas....
There's More. Click to continue reading "The robots are coming"
OMAC Standards: Marketing ploy or value-adding?
June 25, 2007
With the price and scarcity of manufacturing labor, the future of manufacturing in America depends upon our ability to automate – Really Automate. Our ability to really automate depends upon making it simple to reliably automate and simple to reliably integrate our automation with our supply chains. Making it simple and reliable depends upon our adoption and use of standards like those under development by OMAC and the availability of...
There's More. Click to continue reading "OMAC Standards: Marketing ploy or value-adding?"
Why demographics will drive your packaging automation
March 26, 2007
Indications are that capital spending for packaging automation is on the rise. PMMI reports increased sales among their members; automation companies are reporting a brisk business environment; and machine suppliers that I have talked to report both increasing backlogs and forecasts. One reason often cited for this is workforce demographics....
There's More. Click to continue reading "Why demographics will drive your packaging automation"
Small packaging machinery suppliers may be shut out of pharmaceuticals
March 11, 2007
Some packaging machinery manufacturers and systems integrators have shied away from pharmaceutical customers due to the burden of process and machinery validation. The costs of validation may exceed the costs of hardware and software, and going through the process is not for the faint-of-heart. Costs of 1.5 times the total automation cost have been reported for initial validation and changes to a validated process that may take 2 hours in...
There's More. Click to continue reading "Small packaging machinery suppliers may be shut out of pharmaceuticals"
Standards increase design creativity, not restrict it
February 10, 2007
During a remodeling project at my son's house, a trip to the home improvement store revealed that the track and fixtures that they now carry aren't compatible with the track and fixtures that my son already has. Result: he can forgo the improvements, or he can tear it all out and start over with new track lighting, or he can waste time and resources to try to find the parts...
There's More. Click to continue reading "Standards increase design creativity, not restrict it"
Promat observations: Can packaging learn from material handling?
February 2, 2007
Just returned from Promat, the international exhibition of the Material Handling Industry of America held in McCormick Place. With more warehouses doing order fulfillment or repacking, warehouses are beginning to look more like packaging operations and several packaging machines were being exhibited for just those proposes. Warehouses are also being packed full of high tech machinery, controls, motion and IT products....
There's More. Click to continue reading "Promat observations: Can packaging learn from material handling?"
|About Keith Campbell
|Leaders learn from the past while
looking to the future - and bring both to bear on the here
and now. This is the philosophy that has steered Keith Campbell's
30+ years in manufacturing. It has worked for him in operations,
maintenance, engineering, R&D, education, consulting and
professional organizations--and now he's putting it to work
for you--taking you to the edge of his thoughts on packaging