Published July 16, 2021
by The UP! App

There’s no getting around it: the manufacturing industry is changing. With new technology and capabilities being developed every day, even the longest running shops are showing signs of incorporating new technology into their everyday routines.

Jerry Rex, Chief Revenue Officer at Athena, has over 45 years of experience in the manufacturing industry. During this time, he has seen technology grow at a rapid rate and become increasingly essential in day-to-day manufacturing operations. Learn more about some of the changes and challenges he has witnessed below.

The Changes

When it comes to new technology in manufacturing, Jerry believes in working smarter, not harder. One of the biggest changes he has witnessed is the integration of robot technology in production lines to complete simple tasks. “We’re using tech in all facets of our lives – why wouldn’t we use it in our factories? So much is still done manually, and many people don’t realize just how much can be done wirelessly and automatically.”

One of the other major changes Jerry has witnessed is the creation of new jobs within the manufacturing space. “Some people are worried about new tech coming in and putting people out of work. It takes people to program and run the new tech we use, so jobs aren’t being lost – they’re just shifting.” Jerry strongly believes in the saying, “you can teach an old dog new tricks.” If technology is used in the right way, it can greatly increase the quality of production and the specialization of workers.

The Challenges

When advancements are made, all facets of the manufacturing industry are impacted. Companies need to invest in retooling the machines they already have to fit new demands, and in some cases, changes may require an entirely new facility. This can be a significant financial investment that some are afraid to make.

For instance, the current focus on moving to green energy will potentially have a dramatic impact on automobile manufacturing. Electric vehicles are manufactured very differently from internal combustion engines, so if the shift towards electric vehicles continues to grow, manufacturers will have to make big changes. Even when the government insists on making the shift, many manufacturers aren’t given the amount of assistance they require to retool their entire factory. If manufacturers want to stay in the game, they have to invest their own time and money to make the changes happen.

Retraining employees on new technology can be challenging, as well. While there are many great online resources to help manufacturers train their employees on these new tools, many receive pushback from the employees who have done the same thing the same way for years.

According to Jerry, it is critical that every piece of technology is used to the fullest. “Your survival will be dependent on working smarter and using technology in an efficient way – if you don’t stay up-to-date on technology, you will no longer be competitive and could lose your business.” While updating technology in an industry that is notoriously slow to change can be a challenge, it’s imperative that all team members understand how critical that shift is to the long-term survival of the business.

The manufacturing industry will continue to evolve as the world changes. It is essential for manufacturers to evolve with it. If you’re interested in learning more about how your business can keep up with the ever-changing ways of the world, keep an eye on our blog! Or, contact us to find out how UP! can help you find speedy solutions for your machine repairs.