Crawford covered many elements of the exciting developments in manufacturing and highlighted "Marlin Steel Wire Products recently invested $3.5 million in new equipment and robotic technology. “Robots make better-quality parts,” he says. “The robots are inside the cage, doing the nasty, carpal-tunnel work. This allows our employees to do safer, more challenging work.”
Robots and automation can therefore provide critical relief to workers, who were often pushed to the limit during the Great Recession. By improving the comfort and safety of the workplace, companies can retain their most skilled and creative employees. This is a huge concern, considering the fact that the lack of qualified workers, i.e., the “skills gap,” is the greatest threat to U.S. manufacturing today."
In addition, Crawford explored the demanding supply chain system and the higher level of requirements "Companies are also streamlining their supply chains, cutting out vendors that don’t deliver their absolutely best effort, every time. “Companies that survived the Great Recession have a much shorter tolerance for mistakes or inconsistent performance,” says Drew Greenblatt, president of Marlin Steel Wire Products in Baltimore, Maryland. “Companies also don’t want to tie up cash or space for inventory. Therefore, supply chain partners must be more efficient and flexible in the services they provide.” "