Social Media and Manufacturing: Then and Now

Over the past few years, the power of social media has grown exponentially. It was once used primarily to keep contact with friends and family, but has now become a hub for networking, business, and just about anything else you can imagine. In the past, prospective and current employees have avoided having public social media profiles due to the fear that there may be something companies would see as negative. Now, companies are also using social media to recruit their next generation employees.

Social-media-for-public-relations1reduzidoManchester Community College in particular is trying to use social media to prepare and recruit a new generation of manufacturing workers. Because manufacturing jobs have evolved and changed, MCC feels as though the means of finding employees should be the same.  Many young people entering the workforce now grew up with websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn –  so to appeal to them you have to do it through a medium they use often.  Students often want to enter into fields that they learn about from their childhood such as medicine, law, education and so on. But it’s very rare that children learn about how diverse and interesting the numerous sectors of manufacturing are.

Manufacturing isn’t as cut and dry as some make it out to be. Here at Hi-Tek Manufacturing, we work in a variety of manufacturing capacities from CNC Milling to Laser Processing. There are also a multitude of industries that use high-tech manufacturing on a daily basis including aviation, which is an industry we often work with.

One of the most beneficial things about using social media for recruiting is engagement.  Social media gives recruiters and those looking for prospective employees the ability to converse with viable candidates who may not know much about the advancements in manufacturing.

Overall, there is certainly a change in the times as far as social media use goes. The technological aspects of manufacturing are growing and in turn so should the work force. So if social media can make it the “cool” field to explore, then more power to it!

 

Mythbuster? What’s the Real Story on Reshoring of American Manufacturing?

With the recent news of many American companies either making moves to reshore their manufacturing operations back to the United States many in the media have been speculating whether there truly is an American manufacturing renaissance and whether the reshoring of American manufacturing back to the U.S. was a myth or really fact.

Here are two of the most commonly viewed questions that we believe are myths about reshoring and then the facts as they stand today.

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Myth:  It still is cheaper to manufacture in countries like China and India where there are lower wages.

Fact:  Although wages still remain relatively low in these and other countries like Turkey, Vietnam, and Mexico, the wage difference between the U.S. and these countries can be offset by other lower expenses such as logistics and lower energy costs.   Even wages in other countries are on the rise, so this differential may not be that great in the near future.

For example, the cover story for the April 22, 2013 Time magazine was “Made in USA – Manufacturing is Back ─ But Where are the Jobs?”   Important stats from the article showed that China’s average hourly wage was only $0.50 in 2000, however by 2015 it was projected to increase to nearly but $4.50. Another statistic that was mentioned was that the cost to ship a 40-ft. container from China to the West Coast of the U.S. increased from $1,184 in 2009 to $2,302 in 2013. These facts outlined by Time magazine editors backs-up a 2011 Boston Consulting Group report about the eventual convergence of total costs to manufacture in the U.S. and China by 2015.

Myth:  If reshoring is happening, then where are the jobs?

Fact:  Manufacturing created 500,000 jobs in the past three years, of that Harry Moser, founder of the Reshoring Initiative estimates that between 2010 and 2012, about 50,000 jobs were created because of the reshoring trend.  The Reshoring Initiative promotes and tracks cases of reshoring across the U.S.

In addition, a February 2012 Boston Consulting Group survey found that 37 percent of U.S. manufacturers with $1 billion or more sales were contemplating reshoring some of their current China based production back to the United States.  Mainly due to rising wages in China as well as other factors related to Chinese labor laws.

And the reshoring isn’t just American companies bringing work back to the U.S.  Other countries with higher labor costs such as Japan and Europe are finding that it is less expensive to base manufacturing plants in the U.S. to lower labor costs and to shrink logistical expenses.  Examples include, Nissan, Honda, and Toyota are ramping up their exports from their United States facilities. Ikea opened a new furniture factory in Danville, Virginia to cut shipping costs. Airbus, the European airline manufacturer has begun construction of a new factory in Mobile, Alabama.

What do you think?  Is this a myth, reality, or somewhere in between?

Preparing the Engineers of the Future

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The fact that manufacturing in America has made a comeback is now yesterday’s news. Innovation, cost-effectiveness, and quality products have brought it back. Today’s news is now centered on the manufacturing skills shortage—the jobs are back, but there aren’t enough skilled workers to fill them. So the question is, what does that mean for tomorrow?

Statistics show that 33% of American 25-29 year olds have a bachelor degree (or higher), up from only about 20% several decades ago.  But are they learning the skills they need for real-world employment? Do enough young people know how to work in—and advance in—a technical or engineering career, where the jobs are open and waiting for them?

Programs throughout the country are working toward this.  STEM education is being promoted, and in programs such as California’s Linked Learning and Albany’s Tech Valley High, students are benefitting from career-focused training that will prepare them for a successful future, and possibly help fill the skills gap.  The hope is that more schools will follow the lead.

As a high-tech, low-volume company, Hi-Tek doesn’t build a ton of individual piece parts, but the parts we do build are very difficult to manufacture.  So when a young hire comes to us, rather than sitting in a shop, working on a stamping machine all day and watching widgets as they watch the clock, they are coming to us with a high degree of machining expertise, and the opportunity to be challenged daily, while producing quality parts.

Of course, this requires thorough training and education, and above-average technical skills.  If the examples set forth by the high schools and colleges who are doing this training early are followed by other schools in the country, there’s no telling what the future will bring.

Hi-Tek Sponsors, Races for the Cure, and Wins!

Judy and the Jets Team Photo 2012As proud as we are of the quality work we do for our customers, we at Hi-Tek Manufacturing are equally proud of the work we do for the outside community as a whole.  We recently participated as a company in the 2012 Greater Cincinnati Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and it was more successful than we could have dreamed of.

As a supporter of the outstanding work the Susan G. Komen foundation does, we registered our team, Judy and the Jets, for the race with a goal of raising $20,000.  Well, we reached and surpassed that goal by leaps and bounds, raising $30,471 in donations.  Additionally, we are proud to say we finished #1, out of the 522 participating teams.  It was indeed a great day for us, and for the foundation!

Susan G. Komen for the Cure is a national organization that has spent over $1.5 million on breast cancer research, education, services, support, and advocacy since 1982.  In fact, they are the largest breast cancer organization in the United States.  With a worldwide network of affiliates and hundreds of thousands of supporters, they are considered one of the most trusted non-profits in the country (according to the Harris Interactive 2010 EquiTrend poll). Their nationwide Race for the Cure events, such as the one we participated in, are together the largest fund raising event for breast cancer research and education in the world. They continue to make great strides toward finding a cure for breast cancer, and we are so proud to have been a part of this.

To learn more about the foundation, visit ww5.komen.org, and to learn more about us and our history of excellence, click here to visit our website.

We’re Doing Something Right When it Comes to Quality!

At Hi-Tek Manufacturing, we take our business very seriously. Since 1980, we’ve been serving the gas turbine industries, offering conventional and non-conventional CNC specialty machining for Hot Gas Path Components.  We’re a Six Sigma based company, working to ISO, AS, and NADCAP Standards. We deliver the highest quality and most cost-effective solutions to aviation and land-based turbine manufacturers.

What makes Hi-Tek Manufacturing unique in our industry is our passion for quality, and the fact that we monitor and maintain quality control ourselves. We do not outsource the QC function; everything is done in house, using several quality tools. (Take a look at the “Quality” page on our website for more detailed information.)

One of the performance-driven metrics we use is “Total Monthly Defects” – see the chart posted here:

hi-tek 1-2013A “defect” is defined as any part non-conformance that requires disposition prior to shipping the part to our customer. Dispositions that may be included in this performance metric are rework, repair or scrap. The chart above reflects a Total Monthly Defects performance goal of 1% and the corresponding Hi-Tek Manufacturing actual performance for the 10-month period of April 2011 through January 2012.

Looking at our performance, we know we’re doing something right when it comes to quality! We’re avoiding non-conformances and we’re meeting our quality performance goals every day.  Our customers know they can count on high-level performance and exceptional quality when you work with Hi-Tek Manufacturing. We’ve got the QC function under control in house, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

We invite you to contact us to learn more about our quality standards. Email us at sales@hitekmfg.com or call us at 513-459-1094.

Hi-Tek Employees are Top-of-the-Line

At Hi-Tek, we pride ourselves in recruiting and maintaining a solid workforce that will provide a solid foundation for our company. We’ve experienced 32 years of continuous growth, and our talented engineering staff has grown with us. Our employees are technical experts, and are experienced in developing and managing machining services for the aerospace industry. Clients who visit us receive cost-effective, functional designs that exceed industry requirements.

Our employees are knowledgeable, and some of the best in the market. We provide our staff with a complete training program that gives them hands-on experience working with, and learning about numerous types of machinery. By the program completion, employees are able to set-up and operate machinery on their own, with thorough understanding.

In addition, Hi-Tek has an outstanding employee retention rate. We pride ourselves in being a ‘family-oriented business,’ and do so by hosting employee events such as annual picnics and open houses, and encourage family members to celebrate with us. Approximately 60% of our workforce has been employed with us for five years or more, and 30% have been with us for ten years or more.

Currently, Hi-Tek Manufacturing is recruiting for machinist, engineers, and technicians. As we continue to grow as an organization, we are confident that our baseline workforce has the knowledge to be able to effectively train our ever-growing staff. For more information on future career openings at Hi-Tek Manufacturing, please visit our careers page or call us at (513) 459-1094.

We’re Expanding!

Hi-Tek is continuously growing, and we’ve recently completed a 37,000 sq. ft. expansion of our primary facility in Ohio! This newest expansion brings Hi-Tek’s total floor space to 125,000 sq. ft. across three facilities. The new, larger facility located at 6050 Hi-Tek Court features 112,800 sq. ft. of manufacturing and office space, and will provide an enhanced/upgraded environment for the company.

To celebrate the expansion and 32years of continued growth, Hi-Tek hosted a supplier/employee open house event in August, where the featured ‘All Employee Picture’ was recorded. In the photo, all employees wore their Hi-Tek Manufacturing polo shirt, which signifies “Team Hi-Tek,” and our specialty made Customer Service banner was displayed in the background.

In addition to the celebration, we’ve unveiled our brand new website that highlights our custom services and capabilities, as well as the company’s aviation and land based turbine parts. The new website features new product images, and in-depth product descriptions with easy navigation capabilities for customers.

Hi-Tek  began providing EDM machining services for the aerospace industry, and has grown and diversified throughout the year. Our operations include Wire, CNC Sinker & Fast Hole EDM, Laser, CNC Milling, CNC Turning, CNC Grinding, Welding, Airflow Testing and more.

Contact us to receive a quote for your project. You will be glad you did!

HI-TEK Manufacturing: 30+ Years of Perfection

Hi-Tek Manufacturing’s employees are proud providers of superior component production, delivering the highest quality products to the Gas Turbine Industry.  We are an ISO/AS certified, “Make Complete” manufacturer with 32 years of experience providing CNC Grinding-Milling-Turning, EDM, Laser Machining, Welding, and a complete offering of precision inspection services to some of the world’s leading technology firms.

Hi-Tek primarily provides hot gas path components to the Gas Turbine industry, including commercial & military aircraft engines, industrial land and marine turbines in the 1 to 50 megawatt range; and distributed energy turbines in the 50 to greater than 250 megawatt range.

Our fascinating history of innovation began in 1980, when our current president, Cletis Jackson, founded System EDM, performing EDM and Laser drilling of cooling holes in support of Aircraft Engines.  By 1984, the company was renamed Hi-Tek Manufacturing and has continued a dynamic growth pattern ever since.  Over the past 32 years, Hi-Tek has steadily invested in our product and service offerings to include: Tooling/Fixturing design & build, conventional CNC Machining (Grinding, Milling, & Turning), over 100,00 square feet of manufacturing facility expansion, a complete array of world class inspection equipment, and ISO certification in the year 2000 that has been maintained up through today.

With our full range of products and capabilities, years of experience, stable financial growth, and passion for what we do, we can handle any and all of your Gas Turbine component manufacturing needs.  We look forward to serving you.  Please check out our website at www.hitekmfg.com/Home.aspx for more information.