The Biggest Problem in U.S. Industrial Engineering Today

on Monday, 14 May 2012.

The Biggest Problem in U.S. Industrial Engineering Today

Ask a handful of industrial engineers what they think the biggest problem is in U.S. manufacturing processes today and you’ll get a handful of answers. Whether your team is focused on automation, assembly, materials handling, or something else, there are actually three main problems that are holding industrial engineering back today.

We’ll explore these problems and offer solutions to them, but in short, they are: old, dangerous equipment, an internal reluctance to test new technology, and the inability to scale and change processes quickly. The faster that U.S., manufacturers can find ways to solve these issues, the more profitable, productive and efficient they will be.

Industrial engineeringsafety: outdated equipment hurts people and profits

A quick search of the OSHA website and you’ll find rules and regulations of all kinds for virtually every industry. And it’s no wonder – with so many companies relying on decades-old machinery and equipment, workers are bound to get injured. This not only impacts the people that get hurt – the most important part of the equation – but it hurts everything from the company’s image to its bottom line.

But buying all new equipment isn’t practical. Until companies and organization can afford to outright replace old machines, they need to at least put safety hard guarding and enclosures around them. One of the fastest and most cost effective ways to do this is by using aluminum extrusion profiles. Structural aluminum is strong, durable and inexpensive enough to add many enclosures at a time.

Automation manufacturing demands innovation, testing

And the truth is, it’s not just automation manufacturing – it’s all kinds of manufacturing. Unfortunately, many U.S., manufacturers are still doing things the way they’ve always been done and still relying on the same materials to make their processes go. Once known for innovation, we’ve become too reliant on traditional methods and technologies.

One of these outdated giants is painted, welded steel. While there are still plenty of places where steel fits well in U.S., manufacturing, there’s also room for new materials and no reason for not considering them. Aluminum extrusion profiles aren’t just for safety – they can also be used in automation manufacturing, assembly processes, and many other manufacturing practices. This material lasts longer, is faster to implement, and is often more cost effective. It’s just a matter of challenging the traditional manufacturing mindset to see these benefits.

Aluminum extrusion profiles offer scalability and quick changes

So by now you’ve likely realized our angle. While aluminum extrusion profiles may not solve global epidemics, it could solve a lot of issues that U.S. manufacturers face today, including scalability. Because there’s no welding, grinding, or painting involved to implement them, you can put them into production faster. Because they are made to fit together in a myriad of shapes and sizes, aluminum extrusion profiles can also be broken down and reused when your needs or processes change.

All of these benefits work together to make manufacturing better. Although change is rarely easy, U.S., manufacturers need to reconsider their internal processes and materials. If they don’t, it’s a global economy, and they are sure to be beat out by a competitor somewhere that does things faster, more efficient, and for a lower total cost.

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