Can Technological Advancements Bring Manufacturing Jobs Back to North America?
For years, we have reduced manufacturing costs by moving manufacturing to low-wage economies. This has had some devastating effects on our manufacturing economy. It destroys communities and towns. It’s an environmental problem because we ship goods thousands of miles unnecessarily.
In a world where trees are felled, logs shipped overseas and brought back to nearby towns for cheaper chopsticks to use in restaurants, something is simply wrong!
But what if technology and the advent of so-called Manufacturing 4.0 could actually bring high-paying manufacturing jobs back to North America? Is that possible?
In this episode, we discuss this question and more with L2L’s Eric Whitley. Eric has worked in manufacturing his entire career.
Whitley was part of the lean manufacturing movement that, ironically, was based on American work but was widely adopted in Japan. Lean, adapted as the “Toyota Way,” made Toyota the world’s largest automaker. This success sparked a new wave of lean manufacturing in North America, saving much of the continent’s remaining manufacturing resources.
Over the past few years, Whitley has been working on smart manufacturing systems and so-called Manufacturing 4.0 – the “digital transformation” of manufacturing.
Much has been written about Manufacturing 4.0. If you’ve seen or heard some of this and wondered what the hell happened, this discussion with Whitley lets us get first-hand accounts from experts with our sleeves rolled up.