If you are a student in the United States, there is a good chance that you are not considering a manufacturing career in your future. You probably don’t have close friends or family working in the industry and few popular shows feature it. My advice is, do not overlook it!

This book, The Smart Student’s Guide to Smart Manufacturing, will introduce you to exciting career opportunities that smart manufacturing provides today. It’s why I capitalize it in this book: Smart Manufacturing.

Manufacturing suffers an image problem due to decades of failed national policies that allowed U.S. manufacturers to move to…


Business Practices so Bad they should be Illegal in 2021, Part 1. Unpaid internships. If you don’t have work important enough to compensate for, you have no right to an…


MANUFACTURING IN THE UNITED STATES HAS A CHALLENGE WITH ITS IMAGE. WHEN THE MANUFACTURING Institute surveyed Americans about manufacturing, a career in manufacturing ranked fifth out of seven possible industries. The dilemma for manufacturing is the general population still sees industry jobs as blue-collar when they are increasingly white-collar jobs with sizeable salaries requiring highly technical and specialized skills.

But the persisting misperceptions about industry jobs are contributing to a recruitment challenge for career and technical colleges and manufacturers alike. …


Industry 4.0 operation relies on digitally connected devices, with a large volume of data being recorded, processed, and stored at any point in time. Big Data Analytics has enabled the Smart Factory to examine these huge data sets to make associations and spot patterns and trends. These can be used for purposes such as production scheduling, planning predictive maintenance, and the prevention of bottlenecks. ♦ A collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside your company that represents a source for ongoing discovery and analysis ♦ The collection and storage of massive amounts of structured, unstructured, and…


Why Industry 4.0 Matters and How to Explain It’s Benefits in 2021

I travel throughout North America to introduce the current state and likely short-term trajectory of advanced manufacturing technologies to educators and policymakers.

These are the people who will design, instruct, or financially support the next generation of skilled professionals. But the industry of manufacturing competes with many others for both mindshare and funding.

In my experience, most of the decision-making folks generally don’t have deep personal experience with manufacturing operations, so they rely on articles written in the general press for information. Unfortunately, for decades many articles about manufacturing have been negative, concentrating on job losses or lousy working conditions.


As 2021 approaches, the technology behind Smart Manufacturing is maturing rapidly and is starting to deliver on its promise of bringing us personalized products that are available right away.

For someone with the necessary hard skills, Smart Manufacturers offers excellent opportunities to forge a successful career.

But keep this in mind. I have presented and brainstormed with hundreds of manufacturers and economic development committees about workforce development issues throughout my career. Discussions with them always include the topic of Soft Skills — every single time.

It seems that finding people with the right skill sets required aren’t confined to just…


3D printing

A slang term for a sub-class of additive manufacturing printing. It allows one-off or small batch production, 3D printers can be leveraged into the manufacturing process of Smart Factories for flexible production equipment. The technology is advancing rapidly and both the speed of production is increasing and the types of materials that can be printed are being expanded to include metals and other materials. See Additive Manufacturing.

5th Generation

5th generation mobile networks or 5th generation wireless systems,are the proposed next telecommunications standards beyond the current systems. Will provide high bandwidth for all sorts of applications.

5S

It applies to workplace organization and…


By: Mike Nager

Industry 4.0, or the fourth industrial revolution, is happening now. The factory of the future combines the real world of production with the virtual world of information and communication technology. The advancements that come with this shift present both challenges and opportunities for production.

Workers are interacting with each other and machines in new and different ways. New positions are being created as the need for programming, coding, robot design and machine maintenance continue to rise. In the age of Industry 4.0, …


25 years. That’s how long I have been employed by European based industrial manufacturers — but responsible for sales and marketing in the United States. I thinking about writing a short book or blog that would help small companies that are considering opening up sales operations here.

What do you think? Anyone interested? Shoot me some feedback! Which ones topics below are the best and what should be added?

* Don’t Drive your Customers Crazy with Lack of Documentation

* Yes, Approvals are Expensive and a Pain

* No, Customers Won’t Wait

* Management Negativity is Really Bad Karma Here

* Create Hierarchical Structures Very Very Carefully

* Email Manifestos Never Work

* Meetings don’t have to be Marathons

* Yep, Everything Seems More Expensive than it Should Be

* Country Manager sounds Strange and Doesn’t Help

* Reducing Sales Friction Is Job #1

* Channels and Customers Are Different, From Each Other and from Where you are From

* Technical Training ≠ Sales Training

* Elevator Pitches aren’t just for Shark Tanks

* Better? Prove It, Don’t Say It

* Perfect is the Enemy of Good Enough

Photo by Trent Szmolnik on Unsplash

Mike Nager

Making accessible the concepts of Industry 4.0 and Advanced Manufacturing to educators, laypeople and the industrial controls industry.

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