Five Manufacturing Trends to Watch in 2020

By Mike Schmidt, AEM

Both the immediate and long-term future of the manufacturing industry will be defined by the development of several ever-evolving and cutting-edge trends and technologies. Many of these trends and technologies are poised to have a significant impact in 2020 and beyond, so it’s critically important for manufacturers to develop a keen understanding of what they are, how they will grow over time, and how they will impact those within the industry – both this year and in the future.

With that in mind, let’s look at five manufacturing trends to watch in 2020:

Wearable Technology

The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) in industrial applications has given way to the increased prevalence of wearable technology in the manufacturing industry. Manufacturers of all types and sizes are increasingly looking into – and investing in – wearable devices with different sensors that can be used by their workforce.

According to a recent article from EHS Today, electronic features found in wearable devices allow for organizations to monitor and increase workplace productivity, safety and efficiency. In addition, employers are now readily capable of collecting valuable information, tracking activities, and providing customized experiences depending on needs and desires.

Improvements in bio-sensing now allow for health parameters such as body temperature, heart rate and blood oxygen levels to be monitored. Furthermore, employers now have the ability to leverage the data they obtain to complement welfare programs and reduce healthcare costs.

Factors leading to the increased adoption of wearable technology include portability, convenience, operational efficiency, and much more. Consumers use the technology for fitness and health tracking, mobile notifications at a glance, and even contactless payments. The business world has taken notice, and wearable technology is quickly becoming a fixture in manufacturing.

An article from Manufacturing.net notes that potential applications in the manufacturing sector include safety awareness and injury prevention, training, process improvements, situational awareness, augmented reality, remote management, as well as authentication and security planning.

Manager Technical Industrial Engineer working and control robotics with monitoring system software and icon industry network connection on tablet. AI, Artificial Intelligence, Automation robot arm

Predictive Maintenance

Effective equipment maintenance is central to the success of any manufacturer. So it goes without saying that the ability to predict impending failures and mitigate downtime is incredibly valuable. Predictive maintenance offers that and much more. Ultimately, it gives manufacturers the means to optimize maintenance tasks in real time, extending the life of their machinery and avoiding disruption to their operations.

Seebo outlines predictive maintenance for Industry 4.0 as a method of preventing asset failure by analyzing production data to recognize patterns and identify potential issues before they occur. Predictive maintenance for Industry 4.0 is a method of preventing asset failure by analyzing production data to identify patterns and predict issues before they happen.

Predictive maintenance isn’t without its challenges, however. In order to successfully build a predictive maintenance model, manufacturers must gain insights on the variables they are collecting and how often certain variable behaviors occur on the factory floor.

It’s absolutely critical for organizations to possess knowledge about each specific machine and a strong data set of previous failures in which they can review. Manufacturers also have to make decisions around lead time, as the closer to failure the machine is allowed to go, the more accurate the prediction.   

5G/Smart Manufacturing

The fourth Industrial Revolution isn’t coming. It’s already arrived. Smart factories are becoming the norm in manufacturing, and they rely on connected devices to leverage technologies like automation, artificial intelligence, IoT and more. In addition, these devices are capable of sensing their environments and interacting with one another. As factories of the future continue to grow and develop, manufacturers need to realize that they must be able to adapt the networks that connect them – efficiently and effectively.

According to a recent article from AT&T, 5G networks offer the industry opportunities to create new revenue streams. Along with energy and utility, the manufacturing industry stands to benefit the most from the rise of 5G. A report from Ericsson states that “the expected addressable market in 2026 will $113 billion, a substantial 7 percent potential revenue growth from current service revenue forecasts.”

The factories of tomorrow will rely greatly on sensor technology, and they will prominently feature connected tools, utilizing data to guide the tasks of the workforce. According to AT&T, 5G’s high capacity, wireless flexibility and low-latency performance make it the perfect choice to support manufacturers in these efforts.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

When it comes to using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in manufacturing, the possibilities are endless. Whether it’s helping make processes more efficient, improving product design and development, or maintaining machinery more effectively, these technologies are capable of becoming game-changers in the coming years.

Virtual reality allows its users to move around a 360-degree virtual world and – in some cases – even interact with it. When using virtual reality, real, physical surroundings are no longer a factor. And, thanks to advancements in technology, the virtual world is now being reproduced better than ever before. Augmented reality differs in the sense that its users are required to be at a specific location to augment their experience of reality, while those who use virtual reality are completely immersed in a virtual world.

According to an article from PwC, manufacturers are becoming more adept at finding ways to incorporate these technologies within their organizations in an effort to drive a future defined by digital connectivity. And, says PwC, one in three manufacturers have adopted – or will adopt – virtual reality and augmented reality in the next three years.

Cybersecurity

The importance of cybersecurity in manufacturing cannot be overstated. More and more connected devices are being integrated into organizational processes each day, so it almost goes without saying that the manufacturing industry needs to develop a keen understanding of how to best deal with them.

As the industry becomes more connected with time, equipment manufacturers and their customers will be impacted in a number of ways. For example, even the simple act of charging a mobile device in a nearby USB port may lead to dire consequences. As a result, companies must be diligent in their efforts to educate employees on the potential consequences of their cyber activities.

The ability for a manufacturer to effectively protect itself today hinges upon its willingness to take the following two key steps: address organizational concerns and implement a clear and effective cybersecurity strategy.

Cybersecurity is – and will – remain a major concern for companies of all types and sizes. With malware attacks on the rise and many organizations having been negatively affected by the increased prevalence of ransomware, companies (both literally and figuratively) can’t afford to overlook cybersecurity as a top priority in 2020 and beyond.Looking for more information about the latest trends and technologies impacting the manufacturing industry in 2020 and beyond? Visit aem.org/think and subscribe to the AEM Industry Advisor.

This feature appeared in the February 2020 issues of the ACP Magazines:

California Builder & Engineer, Construction, Construction Digest, Construction News, Constructioneer, Dixie Contractor, Michigan Contractor & Builder, Midwest Contractor, New England Construction, Pacific Builder & Engineer, Rocky Mountain Construction, Texas Contractor, Western Builder

Turner Construction Teaches Educators About the Industry Through Externship Program

By Jessica Hoover

Last summer, the Rutherford Works Teacher Externship Program paired educators from five middle schools in Rutherford County with five companies in the fields of construction, advanced manufacturing, health care, information technology, and supply chain management. The program is a partnership between the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce and Rutherford County Schools. 

“The goal of the program is to help expose educators – so teachers, counselors, administrators – to the world of work,” said Beth Duffield, Senior Vice President for Education and Workforce Development for Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. “Most educators don’t have extensive work experience outside the classroom. We want them to become familiar with our employers and some of the challenges that our employers are having in finding a qualified workforce. Ultimately, we want the educators to utilize what they learn from the employers in the classroom to help students learn about careers in the related industry.”

A Multi-Faceted Program

On the first day of the program, all 22 educators from the five schools gathered at the Chamber of Commerce for orientation.

“During our first day with the educators, we give them a deep dive into all things high school,” Duffield said. “We teach them about graduation requirements, early post-secondary opportunities and work-based learning experiences so they are able to talk about what’s next with their eighth graders. We also review all the programs that the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce facilitates with our schools.”

After orientation the teachers are divided into five groups, with each group going to Turner Construction Company, Ingram Content Group, Magneti Marelli (Calsonic), Nissan Group of North America or TriStar StoneCrest. Each company developed its own two-week program independently. 

Turner was the only company in the construction industry. Turner hosted five educators from Christiana Middle School over the course of the two-week program.

Turner’s program involved the educators job shadowing the project engineer, superintendents, safety manager and project manager for the Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital Tower and Operating Room Expansion in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. 

“Our educators got the opportunity to see the logistics that go into an expansion project at a functioning hospital,” said Paul Lawson, Project Executive for Turner Construction Company. “They took part in daily huddles, scheduling meetings, pricing reviews, submittal reviews and construction activity notice meetings held with the hospital’s engineering and maintenance staff. I think many of them found it eye-opening to see the level of coordination that goes into the work we do.”

“The teachers that worked with Turner last summer learned about safety and quality and teamwork,” Duffield said. “They were exposed to as much hands-on, real-world work as possible.”

Reaching Students Through Educators

The Rutherford Works Teacher Externship Program gives educators real-world experience in STEM-related fields so they can advise students on their educational and career goals. The program aims to increase the number of individuals with both soft and technical skills needed to fill the growing number of jobs in the construction, advanced manufacturing, health care, information technology, and supply chain management industries.

“Ultimately, we’re trying to reach students through these educators,” Lawson said. “We understand that middle school is pretty early to be thinking about a career, but we think it’s beneficial to create awareness of our industry early on, so that when students do start thinking more seriously about a future career, there’s already some familiarity there. … Each teacher who participates in this program could potentially reach 60-plus students per year. By drawing on their firsthand experience through the program, they can help students understand what’s interesting and fulfilling about our work, as well as how skills like math and science can be beneficial in the engineering and construction industries.”

After the two weeks is over, Duffield said that each group of educators identified a problem that they wanted to solve within their school and developed a school-wide implementation plan for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade. Turner’s five educators from Christiana Middle School implemented career and lifestyle exploration throughout all grade levels, along with monthly advocacy projects. They also created a parent pathway night so students and parents could make connections with companies.

“The teachers who took part in the program this year told us that it was very illuminating to see the behind-the-scenes planning and coordination that is involved in our projects and that students seemed to be genuinely interested in hearing about their experiences,” Lawson said. “Because these students are in middle school, we won’t know for years if any of them end up pursuing careers in construction, but our hope is that through this program and similar initiatives, we’ll begin developing our construction workforce of the future.”

The 2020 Teacher Externship Program will be held from June 8-19, and participating teachers will be paid $20 an hour for the two weeks of the program.

This feature appeared in the February 2020 issues of the ACP Magazines:

California Builder & Engineer, Construction, Construction Digest, Construction News, Constructioneer, Dixie Contractor, Michigan Contractor & Builder, Midwest Contractor, New England Construction, Pacific Builder & Engineer, Rocky Mountain Construction, Texas Contractor, Western Builder

CONEXPO CON/AGG and IFPE 2020 to Take Place in March

Registration is still open for the co-located CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE 2020 exhibitions, North America’s premiere events for the construction industries and the fluid power, power transmission and motion control industries. CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE 2020 will be held March 10-14 in Las Vegas.

Both CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE have already set exhibit space records and will feature industry-leading education programs. Several show ticket options are available, and all tickets include a monorail pass. New for 2020 is the opportunity to mix and match education sessions between CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE for one price.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE come around every three years for a can’t-miss event. No other shows bring together as many segments of the construction industries and of the fluid power, power transmission and motion control industries in one place.

Attendees will have up-close access to the leading manufacturers and suppliers, latest product innovations, and knowledge resources to help their businesses thrive. For 2020:

  • The Tech Experience returns with two locations.
  • The show campus has expanded with the new Festival Grounds for a total of 10 areas to explore.
  • Plenty of show shuttles and hotel shuttles will run during the event, plus information stands and staff will help attendees easily navigate the show campus.
  • CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE make it easy to prepare with an interactive online exhibitor directory and a show mobile app that will continuously synch to your online customizable show planner.

Education is always a vital component of both CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE to help attendees not only survive, but thrive in a changing and global industry.

Attendees at the 2020 shows can take advantage of more than 180 education sessions packed with timely and actionable information, developed with the guidance of leading industry groups, and delivered by industry experts. 

New for 2020 are mix-and-match sessions between CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE for company teams to cost-effectively obtain learning sessions targeted to their needs.

“The line-up of programming is not only larger than it has ever been but includes a fresh line-up of speakers stacked side-by-side with core programming that is always highly attended,” said Eileen Dickson, Vice President of Education, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association and CONEXPO-CON/AGG Education Committee chair.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 education features 10 tracks covering a variety of equipment applications, site development, fleet management, business best practices, technology, safety, and attracting and retaining talent.

IFPE education is grouped in two tracks: Hydraulics and Pneumatics at Work and The Business of Fluid Power. Its popular College Courses return, and new is an IFPE Research Symposium.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG Education – Targeting the Construction Industries

CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 education tracks will offer the latest trends and best practices focused on: aggregates; asphalt; concrete; cranes, rigging and aerial lifts; earthmoving and site development; equipment management and maintenance; business management; and safety, plus technology solutions and attracting, engaging and retaining talent.

“The education committee took great care in putting together a program that grows attendee knowledge on building their business on all fronts, whether the technical skills needed in the field or best practices to build their business,” said Graham Brent, CEO of the NCCCO Foundation and CONEXPO-CON/AGG Education Committee vice chair.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 education includes:

  • Driving New Innovation at Complacent Companies – James Benham, JB Knowledge
  • Drones on Construction Sites for All Contractors – Ryan Murguia/Zach Pieper, Quantum Land Design
  • Gain a Competitive Advantage Through Construction Technology – Tauhira Hoossainy, Milwaukee Tool
  • How to Win the War for Talent – Gregg Schoppman, FMI
  • Safety Training Ninja – Regina McMichael, The Learning Factory, Inc.
  • Technology Trends: Lessons Learned – Helga Jacobsen, United Rentals
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Construction Businesses Fail – Larry Kokklenberg, Center for Business Development

IFPE Education – Focused on Fluid Power

The IFPE College Courses emphasize hands-on technical knowledge on the effective use of hydraulics in mobile equipment. Content includes Fundamentals of Hydraulic Systems; Electro Hydrostatic Actuation; Safety Hydraulics, Best Practices for Modern Machinery; Hydraulics in the Digital Age: Hydraulic Fluid Properties, Efficiency and Contamination Control; and Digital Design.

The IFPE Research Symposium is hosted by IFPE co-owner National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) and runs during lunch (11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) March 11-13. Sessions will showcase the latest fluid power research at U.S. universities being funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to improve energy efficiency of off-road vehicle hydraulic systems.

“We focused on developing education programs that offer attendees the latest ideas and innovations in fluid power technology, applications and research. Our classes and sessions deliver critical information for engineers and others involved in the design and manufacturing process,” said Eric Lanke, President/CEO, NFPA. 

IFPE 2020 education includes:

  • Additive Manufacturing – Vince Anewenter, Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • Industry of the Future – Prasad Ganorkar, McKinsey & Company
  • IoT – Sharing Data Across Customer Boundaries – Adam Livesay, Elevat
  • Mobile Hydraulic Robotics – Autonomous Machines – Chris Woodard and John O’Neill, Danfoss
  • Workforce Development – Lynn Beyer, NFPA

Learn more and register online at conexpoconagg.com and ifpe.com.

Catching Up to Keep Up

By Greg Sitek

By now you’ve had a chance to face the fact that we are well into the new year 2020, which is also the start of a new decade, the second in this the 21st Century. One of the many things that has change in recent times is the speed at which thing evolve or change. Many people look at the construction industry and think that it is slow to change. Although it may appear to be it isn’t.

Granted, much within the industry doesn’t change — the equipment used doesn’t “look” like it has changed but equipment owners and operators know that it has. Construction equipment is more efficient and more productive; requires less maintenance; is more comfortable in all kinds of weather and all kinds of climates; it has machine controls to assist the operator; some can be operated remotely, and the list goes on.

Typical hand held construction tools have changed evolving from the once standard corded tools to battery powered versions that deliver as much if not more productivity without the hazard of electric cords stretched a jobsite. Lighting has improved radically not only on the mobile equipment but also on the hand-held and on the jobsite. 

If you think about it, there has been a lot of change with the equipment, tools, safety devices, lighting, signs, communications, data and information collection and distribution, design and engineering and management.

Along with these changes have come an endless list of acronyms. If nothing else, our world has gone acronym crazy. Some of them have become a part of our jargon and we know instantly what they while others take time to figure out and still others need someone to explain them to us.

BIM is one of the acronyms that has become more common. What is BIM? Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a process that begins with the creation of an intelligent 3D model and enables document management, coordination and simulation during the entire lifecycle of a project (plan, design, build, operation and maintenance). (Autodesk.com)

What is BIM used for? BIM is used to design and document building and infrastructure designs. Every detail of a building is modeled in BIM. The model can be used for analysis to explore design options and to create visualizations that help stakeholders understand what the building will look like before it’s built. The model is then used to generate the design documentation for construction. (Autodesk.com)

What is the process of BIM? The process of BIM supports the creation of intelligent data that can be used throughout the lifecycle of a building or infrastructure project. (Autodesk.com)

Another acronym that has become popular is IoT — The Internet of Things is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. Wikipedia

We ran a few article on IoT in the ACP magazines and on this website. The most recent, Construction Enters the IoT Age, was posted on December 15, 2019 (http://www.site-kconstructionzone.com/?p=17582). According to market research firm, IDC, worldwide IoT spending will surpass the $1 trillion mark in 2022. It’s already disrupting many industries – from gathering sensory data on agricultural crops, trucking routes or the state of consumer appliances, to monitoring patient heart rates in healthcare. Construction has joined this IoT revolution. A study released by Dodge Data and Analytics, in partnership with Triax Technologies, found that nearly three-quarters of contractors surveyed believe IoT will help them control occupational risks, and about half expect it to reduce risks to the public, as well as financial risks and those related to property damage and construction defects.

Another article, The Future of Construction from DEWALT — Introducing the New Age of Jobsite Connectivity, was posted on May 31, 2017 (http://www.site-kconstructionzone.com/?p=14373). This article looks at the use of IoT to help contractors with asset management on the job. 

What’s next? How about, PBA – Project Business Automation. Project Business Automation (PBA) defines a new software category that integrates the fragmented project application landscape into one system, allowing information to flow freely throughout the enterprise, which means radically better and timelier insight and business management capabilities.

Project Business Automation is changing how project business gets done. It takes companies from a disparate and cumbersome collection of manual processes and business applications to a unified, holistic approach to their business. It takes a revolutionary look at the project business and enable entirely new capabilities that drive substantial improvements in efficiency, visibility, and control that ultimately lead to better project outcomes. ( http://www.adeaca.com/    )

Watch for articles on PBA in future issues of the ACP magazines. Meanwhile, to get caught up and/or keep current with changes in the industry take in some of the 203 educational session at the upcoming CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020, March 7-10, LasVegas NE.

This editorial appeared in the 2020 issues of the ACP Magazines:

California Builder & Engineer, Construction, Construction Digest, Construction News, Constructioneer, Dixie Contractor, Michigan Contractor & Builder, Midwest Contractor, New England Construction, Pacific Builder & Engineer, Rocky Mountain Construction, Texas Contractor, Western Builder

ARTBA Reports: 2020-21 Highway Worker Memorial Scholarship Opportunities Available. Application Deadline: April 17

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association Transportation Development Foundation (ARTBA-TDF) is seeking qualified students for its 2020-21 “Lanford Family Highway Worker Memorial Scholarship Program.” 
 
Applications are due by April 17 and can be found online at www.artbatdf.org.
           
Established in 1999, this first-of-its-kind scholarship fund provides post-high school financial assistance to the children of highway workers killed or permanently disabled on the job. More than 180 scholarships have been awarded to worthy students from 32 states to pursue undergraduate and graduate courses as well as technical training.
 
Eligible students must attend a post-secondary institution of learning that requires a high school diploma or its equivalent. This could include any public or private four-year accredited college or university; two-year accredited college; or vocational technical college or training institution. M.B.A. candidates and master’s degree students in civil engineering, construction management and other construction-related programs will also be considered. Scholarships have a value up to $5,000.
 
For more information, or if you have a lead on a student who might be eligible, contact ARTBA’s Melanie Laird at mlaird@artba.org or 202.289.1029.
 
Established in 1985, the ARTBA Foundation is a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt entity designed to “promote research, education and public awareness” about the impacts of transportation investment.  It supports an array of initiatives, including educational scholarships, awards, management and education programs, roadway work zone safety training, special economic research and reports, American National Standards Institute-accredited transportation project safety certification, and an exhibition on transportation at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.