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Across America, millions of manufacturers are working everyday to make America – and over the next decade manufacturers are expected to hire 3.5 million more people to do it. Unfortunately, nearly half of those jobs may go unfilled due to a lack of trained workers.

We caught up with Omar Colmenares, a 31-year-old supply chain lead at International Paper, to ask how he got into modern manufacturing – and why others should too.

What was your path to becoming part of modern manufacturing?

I graduated in Industrial Engineering in my home country Venezuela. Upon graduation I worked for Ford Motor where I gained deep experience in modern manufacturing. I came to the USA to complete a MS in Industrial Engineering (Northeastern University in Boston), and after graduation I was offered a job to work for International Paper.

What do you like best about your job?

Being able to work close to production lines and experience firsthand how different parts get transformed into a final product that customers will enjoy.

Thinking about the next 5-­10 years, what excites you most about where modern manufacturing is going?

The fact that new programs are being created to be able to record and process big/thick data is just great! This helps companies tremendously because they are now able not only to run more efficiently but to understand the source of energy where cost savings can be incurred.

Young people can go into lots of different careers – healthcare, banking, retail, etc. What are the advantages of going into modern manufacturing?

Technology!! Manufacturing has always been hand-to-hand with technology, you can see this from the industrial revolution until now. Technology is the future and modern manufacturing is the key to succeed.

If you had to give young people the best reason to go into modern manufacturing, what would you say?

I will say that Modern Manufacturing is the future and you should go ahead and start thinking now how you’d improve it.

The post Meet Omar Colmenares, A 31-Year-Old Supply Chain Lead At International Paper appeared first on Shopfloor.

So far in 2018, manufacturers have continued to invest in the United States, hiring more workers and expanding their manufacturing footprint by building new facilities or expanding existing ones. In the past month, companies like Lockheed Martin, International Paper, and Ford Motor Co. have all announced major investments.

Minnesota-based Michael Foods Egg Products Co., owned by Post Holdings, is the latest company to announce an exciting expansion.

Michael Foods announced last Friday that it plans to build a new $85 million, 150,000 square foot manufacturing and distribution facility in Norfolk, Iowa:

Post Holdings-owned Michael Foods has announced it will invest $85 million to build a new manufacturing and distribution facility in Norfolk, Iowa.

The new 150,000 square-foot facility will process eggs and pre-cooked egg products, and the company claims the factory will create 100-150 jobs.

Construction of the new facility is expected to start in summer 2018, and the company estimates it will be completed in 2019.

The company said that nearly $67 million of the investment will go towards purchasing new manufacturing equipment. Michael Foods’ popular brands include Crystal Farms dairy products, Simply Potatoes and Better’n Eggs.

“We look forward to becoming a preferred employer in the area and being part of the community,” Steve Schonhoff, senior vice president of integrated supply chain at Michael Foods, said

The post Michael Foods Announces Plans To Build New $85 Million Manufacturing Facility In Iowa appeared first on Shopfloor.

Missouri-based Silgan Plastics, which manufacturers plastic containers, has begun construction on a new 100,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year and will support 150 new jobs:

A majority of those jobs, 150, will come from Silgan Plastics. The Chesterfield, Mo.-based company that was founded in 1957 is building its 20th production facility in Fort Smith with expectations of shipping products out the door by the first quarter of 2019…

Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tim Allen said the 100,000-square-foot building is slated for completion by the end of the year. Because of support services required for manufacturing, the sector is desired because of its heavy economic impact.

#BREAKING: Silgan Containers has chosen Fort Smith as the home of its next manufacturing plant.

The plant will be a 100,000+ square foot facility and will bring 150 jobs to the area.

Construction will begin immediately on Highway 45 in Fort Smith! pic.twitter.com/5ASVBWmEI1

— Krystle Sherrell (@5NEWSKrystle) January 30, 2018

The new facility will support jobs in both production line operations as well as high-skilled jobs like computer programming. The Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce said it plans to partner with the University of Arkansas to offer training programs to make sure the positions can be filled.

The post Silgan Plastics Begins Construction On New 100,000-Square-Foot Manufacturing Facility In Arkansas appeared first on Shopfloor.

Sustainability is at the forefront of many business conversations from the shop floor to the board room. Employees and leaders at all levels are identifying and engaging in solutions to make company products, systems and operations more climate-friendly while delivering strong sustainability options for customers.

For Ingersoll Rand, a world leader in creating comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments, sustainability is core to our business strategy and the way we operate.

Ongoing conversation drives shared goals, accountability

Every year in January, we bring together representatives from more than 100 companies within our supply base. Attendees are from every region of the world and are in large part members of our Preferred Supplier List – a group of strategic partners that align with our expectations for quality, service, value and risk.

The purpose of our conference is to address opportunities to continuously improve our collaboration, and strengthen our performance. We always include an element of business, social or environmental sustainability in our meetings. For example, last year we organized a diverse supplier expo and educational sessions on how to engage successfully with a diverse supplier base.

In 2018, we broadened and deepened our focus on sustainability through learning and breakout sessions designed to further integrate sustainability into our operations and focus on the areas that matter most. We discussed responsible sourcing, circular economics and other supply chain initiatives like zero waste pathways, and increasing diversity and resilience.

Overall, we want our supply partners to understand the sustainability elements that are important to us, and how we can create joint accountability for tracking, achieving and reporting breakthrough results.

Collective thinking results in sustainable solutions

We have a strong group of suppliers in every category who run the gamut from office supplies to highly engineered performance components for our products. We learn a lot from them, from sharing sustainability best practices to exchanging ideas on how we can improve areas from packaging to recycling. We also learn where our suppliers need help and how we can continue to partner and evolve to deliver sustainable, customer-driven solutions.

For example, one of our preferred supplier partners exhibited exemplary partnership with Ingersoll Rand in creating resiliency and driving sustainability in 2017 and was awarded our annual Sustainability Award. When their facility in Puerto Rico was hit by two major storms in 2017, the supplier extended immediate and generous humanitarian support to their employees in their time of need.

Then, thanks to their effective crisis planning, they took extraordinary measures to resume operations immediately to 80 percent capacity and to 100 percent within three weeks. This is true resiliency. They worked closely with Ingersoll Rand throughout the entire restoration process to ensure no customer production lines were affected.

We appreciate their like-mindedness in driving sustainable solutions even in the midst of unexpected challenging circumstances. As we continue to mature our business operating system for sustainability, we will continue to ask our suppliers to take a similar journey – whether it is tracking energy reduction or measuring environmental impacts through all phases of a product’s life cycle.

A commitment to sustainability is a factor in selecting our suppliers of the future. We need our suppliers to examine the entire value chain along with us to find the next set of productivity, efficiency and complexity reduction ideas to create a more sustainable supply chain.

Ultimately, through working together, we all agree that sustainability touches every aspect of our business, driving improvement, efficiencies and innovation. In today’s world, sustainability has to be more than just an ideal, it has to be a working part of the equation every day.

For more content from Ingersoll Rand, click here.

The post Partnering with Suppliers is Key to Achieving Sustainability Goals appeared first on Shopfloor.

The IHS Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI rose from 55.5 in January to 55.9 in February. It was the best reading since October 2014, boosted by accelerating new orders (up from 56.7 to 57.8) and employment (up from 55.0 to 55.8). In a similar way, the index for future output (up from 55.9 to 71.0) was just shy of December’s reading (71.1), which was nearly a two-year high, and more importantly, it suggests very healthy growth in production over the next six months. At the same time, current output (down from 56.2 to 56.1) and exports (down from 52.9 to 52.1) eased slightly in the February survey but continued to grow at a promising pace. On the downside, input prices (up from 58.6 to 61.9) picked up in the latest survey, with costs expanding at rates not seen since December 2012.

Meanwhile, manufacturing activity in Europe remained robust despite easing for the second straight month from December’s fastest pace since the survey was introduced in June 1997. The IHS Markit Flash Eurozone Manufacturing PMI has declined from 60.6 in December to 59.6 in January to 58.5 in February, a four-month low. The underlying data continued to be encouraging despite softer growth across the board, including for new orders (down from 59.6 to 58.1), output (down from 61.1 to 59.5), future output (down from 68.2 to 66.7), exports (down from 58.4 to 56.8) and hiring (down from 57.9 to 57.2). Input costs (down from 70.7 to 68.4) also remained highly elevated despite a slight deceleration in February.

In addition to data on Europe as a whole, IHS Markit also released figures for France (down from 58.4 to 56.1) and Germany (down from 61.1 to 60.3), both of which slowed to multi-month lows on weaker—but still reassuring —demand and output growth.

Final data on each of these surveys will be released on March 1.

The post IHS Markit: U.S. Manufacturing Activity Improved in January to its Best Month since October 2014 appeared first on Shopfloor.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said that existing home sales decelerated for the second straight month, down 3.2 percent in January. Sales of existing homes declined from 5.56 million units at the annual rate in December to 5.38 million in January, its slowest pace since September. Despite some easing in the past two months, the good news is that existing home sales remain not far from November’s rate, which was the fastest since February 2007.

The underlying data in January were mixed. Existing single-family home sales were off from an annualized 4.95 million units in December to 4.76 million in January, but condominium and co-op sales edged up from 610,000 to 620,000. Existing home sales were lower in every region of the country, with the largest decreases in the Midwest and West. On a year-over-year basis, sales were off by 3.2 percent.

Regarding the inventory of existing homes, there were 3.4 months of supply in January, up from 3.2 months in December but down from 4.2 months in September. As such, supplies have generally trended lower, which has helped to raise list prices. The median existing home sales price was $240,500 in January, up 5.8 percent from one year ago. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun commented about the lack of supply in the press release, adding “It’s very clear that too many markets right now are becoming less affordable and desperately need more new listings to calm the speedy price growth.”

The post Existing Home Sales Start the New Year Slower, with Supplies Limited appeared first on Shopfloor.