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Manufacturing: It’s Unbelievably Exciting and Nothing Like the Past!

The revolution will not be televised—but it will be digitized!

Taken from a famous poem and song by Gil Scott-Heron first recorded in 1970, this was a popular slogan in the African-American community back in the day. The lyrics in the poem refers to television series, advertising slogans and icons of entertainment and news coverage that feature examples of what the revolution will not be or do.

When I talk about revolution I am referring to the revolution that is happening in the manufacturing sector often called Manufacturing 4.0.   Today manufacturing means cars being printed—yes I said printed!  There are new materials being developed that allow cars to be printed like the street legal vehicles that Local Motors features.  Local Motors is a co-creation, innovative manufacturer of vehicles that are made by using additive technology, also called 3-D printing, to produce small batches of cars for specific community oriented use.  They utilize an open source community of over 50,000 people from all over the world to help them come up with ideas by employing design challenges. Visiting a Local Motors micro-factory is an experience for anyone who likes cars, manufacturing and/or seeing the future now.  It is a must see, and it is not televised—except on YouTube where you can find David Woessner, the GM of Local Motors in National Harbor, MD.

Yes, there is a seismic and exciting shift in how and what we are manufacturing.  We must stay tuned and involved through digital connections because TV is not quick enough these days.  It’s happening faster than we can imagine. And it will be fun to be connected in ways we could only dream of before!

Local Motors is just one of the thousands of manufacturers with MFG Day events happening today. Happy Manufacturing Day!

Photos Courtesy of Local Motors  

About the author

Carroll Thomas

Ms. Carroll A. Thomas, recently named National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Acting Associate Director of Innovation and Industry Services also serves as the Director of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).  In addition to the MEP program, Ms. Thomas also provides senior leadership for the NIST Office of Advanced Manufacturing, Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and the Technology Partnerships Office.  For the past 5 years her efforts have mainly focused on the MEP National Network™ which  helps U.S. manufacturers compete globally by strengthening supply chains and helping them access new technology. MEP, with its $146 million federal budget and matched private investment, is a $300 million public-private partnership leveraging federal support by teaming with industry as well as state and local organizations to be the go-to resource for U.S. manufacturers. With over 400 manufacturing extension offices located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, MEP services provide measurable  enhance growth, improve productivity and expand capacity.

With more than 30 years of entrepreneurial and small business development experience, her accomplished public/ private sector career demonstrates her leadership expertise as a catalyst for creating innovative partnerships and advocating economic development by supporting dynamic innovation ecosystems.

Ms. Thomas is a graduate of Leadership Washington and a former Regional Director of the Fashion Group International of Greater Washington, DC. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Drexel University in Design and a Master of Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University in International Business.

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Yes. Technology so much improved in the manufacturing industries. happy about it.
In the age of technology has reinvented so many industrial products. It is always amazing to learn about all of these technologies that are making impact on modern market. Thank you!!
The manufacturing industry has always been greatly affected by technological advances. This has been true throughout history as human hands were replaced by fuel driven machines and now human inspection and control is being replaced by computer controls. This has brought immense efficiency to repetitive manufacturing functions like extrusion blow molding, parts assembling and the likes. It is good to know that the tradition continues.

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