5 Manufacturing Leaders Who Contributed to Today's Advancements

Dr. Martin Luther King's contributions to the advancement of civil rights in this country defines the word "leadership". He was a visionary leader who was deeply committed to achieving social justice through nonviolent means. 

In celebration of Dr.King's birthday this past Monday, we thought we'd highlight past leaders in the manufacturing world who made very different but equally important contributions to today's advanced technologies.  Each of them had their own unique leadership styles with one important trait in common; they were all visionaries. They each saw the potential of creating a better, more efficient system or machine to complete a task. While the official “Industrial Revolution” may be over, our society still benefits from the work of these current day visionaries. 


Made in the USA: Is It Cheaper Than Previously Thought?

For years, products made in the United States have been considered to be more expensive than products made overseas. Manufacturing was cheaper outside of the US, and it was easier to find the low-paid labor needed to keep factories running. In 2004, each manufacturing dollar in the United States cost only 86.5 cents to produce in China, leaving a much wider margin for profit for goods made overseas. According to The Boston Consulting Group, by 2014, that number had changed substantially: each manufacturing dollar in the United States costs 95.6 cents to manufacture in China. The trend suggests that the gap between those numbers can only close further. As a result, a growing number of American companies are reversing the trend and bringing manufacturing back to the United States. 


Building a Strong Manufacturing Sector in Pennsylvania

Take a look at recent headlines and you will notice a lot of buzz about manufacturing.  Manufacturing in the United States is experiencing a renaissance along with all things made in America.  Even Wal-Mart has pledged to increase the number of U.S. made products it purchases to $250 billion by 2032. 


An Alliance Focused on the Future of Manufacturing

During a recent quarterly meeting of the Manufacturing Alliance of Bucks and Montgomery Counties, business leaders gathered to discuss key issues impacting the local manufacturing climate.


A Win for Everyone - Hiring Veterans for Manufacturing Careers

Today we honor and celebrate all of our men and women Veterans and thank them for their dedication and service to our country.  

Hiring veterans is the focus of the Get Skills to Work coalition, a collaboration sponsored by General Electric that combines manufacturers, educational institutions, and veterans advocates to prepare our soldiers for manufacturing careers. The coalition is part of Fast Track for Heroes, sponsored by the U.S., a program of the U.S. Department of Commerce Foundation. 

According to the website "Get Skills to Work is a coalition of manufacturing companies and community and technical colleges committed to recruiting, training, and retaining veterans in long-term careers in advanced manufacturing and other disciplines. Get Skills to Work reached more than 100,000 veterans with resources to help them prepare for and enter into advanced manufacturing careers. The founding partners included GE, Alcoa, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Manufacturing Institute, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, LinkedIn, TechShop, the Gary Sinise Foundation, the VA Center for Innovation (VACI) at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and more.  "

In this video, Gary Sinise describes the mission of the program: 


Apprenticeship Week, Restoring the Link between Hard Work and Opportunity


New eBook - How to Manufacture a Perfect Plastic Part

Manufacturing high-quality plastic injection molded parts takes a lot of attention to detail. There are four key factors that determine if a large-volume project will go smoothly. They include:

       Part Design -- Tool Design and Build -- Material Selection -- Manufacturing


The Robot Zombie Apocalypse

The mere mention of robots taking over manufacturing sends apocalyptic terror throughout the factory. Tales of an army of zombie robots replacing workers may sell news stories, but it is far from the truth.There are many key differences between robots and zombies.


Manufacturing Day, a Nationwide Celebration of American Ingenuity

Celebrating Manufacturing with America

In 2011, The Rodon Group hosted our first Manufacturing Day event.  We were one of about 200 companies throughout the country to open our doors to students, educators and parents.  Fast forward to 2015 and we were joined by over 2,300 companies and organizations, 120 in Pennsylvania alone.  The message is loud and clear; Manufacturing Day has struck a chord.

Michael Araten at The Rodon Group's Manfuacturing Day eventThis event resonates with so many Americans because it focuses on developing the next generation of manufacturers and innovators.  Our nation, within the last century, owes most of our economic gains to the manufacturing sector, a sector that had been in decline for several decades.  Companies took production offshore to low-wage countries, eroding our manufacturing base.  In doing so, professional trade careers were no longer seen as a viable employment choice.  Factories closed their doors, and apprenticeship programs closed as well.  The training pipeline to acquire skills dried up.

Fast forward to today and manufacturing is making a comeback.  Technical schools are beginning to see renewed interest from students and parents. So, on Manufacturing Day, we set aside our morning event to focus on teachers and students.  This year our morning educational program was highlighted by two interns who shared their experience working at Rodon with the group.  We even had a student videographer who helped get all the action on film.